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April 27, 2015

Looting the Google Algorithm

Google did not become the intergalactic Web titan it is today by focusing solely on itself. In fact, the world’s most influential search engine made its bones by creating an easy and unobtrusive online experience for the user.

And so it goes with its decision to strong-arm online businesses into preparing their websites for the ‘Mobile Age.’

Businesses may wail and protest the algorithm update the search giant instituted April 21 because it may very well cost them a small fortune to become mobile-centric. But they should spend that money with a smile. If Google has proven nothing else to the online community, it’s that its updates have a track record of improving the online experience for everyone.

So, rather than gnash your teeth over the news that the dreaded MOBILEGEDDON has hit all of “Cyberia” with a ferocious clatter, relish the opportunity Google is giving you. Not only will conversions on your website improve, you’ll have a better shot at reaching your intended customers where they are most often: on their Smartphones.

Key Mobile Facts:

  • Consumers are interacting with your website on their mobile device 64 percent of the time.
  • Mobile searches account for 67 percent of Internet traffic.

In light of these realities, why would any respectable business want its customers to have to fumble around with their screens to find the company’s newest offering? Think of it like a movie: when you go to theater, you’re expecting the film to be projected clearly and correctly; you’re not expecting to fiddle around in the projection booth before the feature starts.

Do you really want to turn site visitors off and send them scurrying to competitor sites because you haven’t formatted your products and services in a visually accommodating way? Functionality is Webmaster 101 stuff, which means the necessity of Google’s new user upgrade is readily apparent (and frankly, rather overdue).

The Mobilegeddon update is not simply a matter of Google inconveniencing your company’s Webmaster and content production team; it’s really an opportunity to reach out to new mobile consumers, analyze the data, and find better ways to steer their interests and passions toward your brand.

With mobile accounting for nearly 40 percent of all searches, this is not an algorithm change that will have little consequence to most online businesses–this change will be historic. To give you an idea of how this impact relates to previous Google algorithm updates, think about this: the 2011 Panda update impacted around 12 percent of search results, while the 2012 Penguin update only effected 3.1 percent of queries.

What to Do?

Do what Google has always done: put the user first. How can you do that? Ask yourself, ‘What Would Google do?” Believe it or not, you can accomplish many of the same things simply by following the search giant’s lead:

  • Service customers on their terms and where they do business.
  • Constantly improve the user experience by making changes based on the ever-evolving needs of customers.
  • Give users the very best information by spotlighting it and making it easy to access.

Instead of trying to keep up with Google’s algorithm changes — even the Mobilegeddon update — make Google keep up with you. Loot the Google algorithm for all its worth simply by doing what Google does best: focus on the user. If you do that, not only will your customers find you more easily, they’ll thank you by ringing your cash register.


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Mike Canarelli is the CEO and co-founder of Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As the force behind Web Talent, Mike lays the foundation for his clients’ success by applying his experience, expertise, and passion for excellence to every account. His mission, and the mission of the agency, is to partner with clients to deliver exceptional results. Follow him on Twitter @MCanarelli.

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