The internet loves change. Google constantly changes their search engine algorithms—the magic that produces search result—to make things interesting for internet marketing companies. Google does this for a multitude of reasons, but typically it’s best used to keep things fair for new websites.
But as time goes on, Google makes changes for a different purpose: mobile. We’ve talked about how mobile impacts the consumer journey and the way businesses interact, and that’s all because mobile is the new norm.
A recent blog post from Tyler Bishop at Ezoic talks about the future of search trends, and we’ve dug through the content to identify the three biggest trends that impact businesses at a local level.
Placing an emphasis on security and other macro trends
Google likes to talk about to things: mobile and “the next billion users.” These things are connected, as Google typically refers to developing nations as the next billion customers and those nations have higher mobile usage.
Google is pretty transparent about this, but it still needs to be echoed. Mobile friendliness makes websites rank better than their non-mobile competitors. Period. But something else is really starting to make a difference: security.
Google’s webmaster teams are focusing more on security each day. That means if your website has an TLS certificate—meaning it starts with “https”—then your website will rank better than the competitor. And it’s never been easier to get certified, as many web hosts are automatically enrolling their clients in TLS with no extra charge.
If you’re looking for a new web host, make sure they have the potential to offer TLS.
AMP + Speed = Happy Google
Page speed is becoming more and more important to Google as it prepares for the “next billion” users. That’s because the next billion users won’t have access to the same internet technology as Google’s existing userbase.
Slower speeds means the web developers are responsible for making their pages load fast on any device or connection. Google is forcing developers to be considerate of this by promoting websites with fast load speeds in search results.
This is important even for Google’s current userbase, as many of our clients in rural communities don’t have the same internet speeds available in big city centres. AMP technology is the best way to overcome this barrier, and there’s a lot of WordPress plugins that automatically generate AMP pages.
Give those a shot if you’re looking for a quick solution for your mobile users.
Building a strong user experience
This last one really depends on the market you’re serving into, but I’ll keep it simple for all markets: the backend of our site is really important.
A lot of people focus on making sure their pictures look pretty or their text is readable, but that’s not where good website tactics end, either. Google’s bots aren’t people. They not only consume text and images, but they also love the data not immediately available to the user.
Alt tags and image descriptions are always important to making sure Google can read your site. If a user has images disabled to make pages load fast, Google wants to make sure they’re being served pages that are accessible to them.
That means pages that don’t have additional information aren’t going to be promoted as heavily. Ensuring your metadata and backend is clean will help your website a lot.
We’re always having discussions about these topics and how we can serve our clients better. Contact us today to fill set up your client discovery to start optimizing your website for Google’s incoming changes.