Do you know what’s new with Google? Keeping up with the dominant search engine’s endless updates can be demanding, but it’s important for your business to be up to speed. Here are the latest Google updates for 2017.
Mobile Index Coming Soon!
This is by far the most important change from Google, and could dramatically affect businesses that aren’t prepared. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it’s definitely time to change that. Google is making a huge change by rolling out a mobile-first index in 2017. This means that all search results will be based on the mobile version of every website. Sites that are highly responsive on mobile devices will appear first on search results, even if you are searching from a desktop. Google is doing this because the number of searches via mobile devices has become increasingly higher than traditional means. Make sure your website is tailored to mobile users and your search results will be just fine.
Google has decided to help people by adding a “Parking Availability” feature to its mapping service. When you get directions to your destination, look for the parking difficulty icon near the bottom of the page by the distance information. The parking difficulties that appear thus far are easy, medium and limited, with more options in the works depending on the popularity of the feature. The Parking Availability component will work differently than the “Popular Times” feature, which works in real time and highlights when businesses are supposed to be the most/least busy. Instead, parking results are based on historical data over the past several years.
In mid-January, Google rolled out a new algorithm that demotes mobile pages with “intrusive interstitial” ads. In layman’s terms, pages with ads that take up the whole screen and prevent you from getting right to the content will be ranked lower than they were previously. Google stated that if the interstitial “makes content less accessible to a user” in any way then the page rankings would suffer. You won’t be penalized financially, but the amount of exposure your site receives will likely shrink. The exceptions to this rule are interstitials that highlight legal obligations, action bars, slide-ins and banners that don’t take up too much space on your page. To make sure your search engine rankings don’t suffer, remove full-screen ads and standalone interstitials that users have to dismiss before accessing content.
As always, if you need help keeping your business up to date with the latest SEO and Google updates, partner up with us at Business Builders. We are your one-stop-shop for web design, marketing and branding. Contact us today!