4 Steps for Staying Up to Date on Google’s Algorithm Change

April 23, 2015

Google is creating a new “mobile-friendly” algorithm.
That single sentence has caused a stir throughout the world’s largest industries since it appeared in Google’s Webmaster Central Blog in late February. With the increase of smartphone consumption and an uptick in mobile conversion rates, being mobile-search accessible could be the difference between new customer acquisitions and becoming invisible on Google search, rendering any content you create or SEO tactics you use ineffective. This change will introduce “mobile friendliness” as a ranking factor on Google’s mobile search results, and in a world where Google rankings can directly influence revenue streams, any major change in the algorithm creates concern.
If this change inspires a moment of panic, take a deep breath. Google has stated that the changes will occur on a rolling basis and that some sites may not be affected at all, providing companies with plenty of time to correct any issues. In a recent webinar, "Google's Mobile Algorithm Changes & SEO Impact," we learned there are four essential steps you can take now to make sure your website will survive the Great Algorithm Change of 2015.
1) Examine your pages with Google’s mobile-friendly test. Use this simple tool to see how your website pages rank. Since the new algorithm is based on a page-by-page analysis, you should test each page on your website.
2) Check out your mobile crawl error report. Google’s algorithm crawls like a spider through the pages of the Internet, verifying the quality and usability of the links on a site. View your mobile crawl error report in Google’s Webmaster tools and correct errors to boost your chances of earning Google’s “mobile friendly” consideration.
3) Generate a mobile usability report for your website in Google’s Webmaster toolkit. Because mobile usability is a major determinant in Google’s new ranking, it is important to ensure that your website is easy for visitors to use. This tool does a comprehensive scan of your entire website through several measures. Each usability report will also include instructions for how to fix errors that pop up. This might include removing any instances of flash-based content or spacing out touch elements so users can tap the element they want without hitting something else instead.
4) Figure out a game plan to configure your mobile optimization. This step is probably the most labor intensive, but also the most rewarding. Google has released three different strategies of attack to configure your site’s mobile optimization via a minor (or major) website revamp.

  • Dynamic serving method involves the server responding with a different version of a site’s HTML every time someone tries to access the URL.
  • M dot website is a version of a website generated specifically for mobile users, with an equivalent but separate URL for a company’s website.
  • Responsive design is a fluid site that has the ability to adapt itself to the user’s display.

As mobile sales increase, getting found online should become a top priority for businesses looking to stay relevant. Having links that work, and lead to excellent content that users want to read, is essential to attracting the inbound traffic you need to drive sales. Following the steps above will get you on Google’s radar—from there, your search engine optimization and content creation are what will be bring in new business.
For more information on SEO optimization, check out our blog, A Crowdsourced Guide to SEO.

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