How Will Google’s Latest Changes Affect Your Website?
What? Google made changes yet again? Shocking, I know. Unfortunately for anyone who does business on the internet change is simply inevitable. Rather than complaining about those changes the smart money says to pay attention to these shifts and then react accordingly. So, how will Google’s latest changes affect your website and online business?
Google’s Latest Changes
As far as changes goes, these are fairly straightforward and to an extent understandable:
- Search Results Display – You might have noticed that suddenly for any search you perform on Google that the top four results on page one are all purchased. No longer can organic search results have the top spot. This is big news because that means the larger companies that have the bucks to spend can always now easily trump great SEO. This is a big deal because statistics have always shown that most clicks from a search occur on the first few entries and pages two and three are lucky to get a 5% total organic click-through rate. With limited spots now available organically on page one, competition for top spots literally just doubled.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages – A slow mobile experience is something Google has been working to move past and now they have taken it to the next step by launching an open-source project called AMP (accelerated mobile pages) to help increase mobile loading times. Already some pages that have been worked on are blazingly fast. To stay in the running, for both consumer happiness and Google rankings, your site needs to support AMP. Keep in mind; Google’s search algorithms are rewarding content that is mobile friendly.
How will it affect you?
These changes are going to affect most businesses in one way or another. Obviously from an SEO perspective, if you put a lot of effort to maintain a top 5 ranking that work was just trumped by ad dollars. Companies that have the budget should look into paid search results for their most effective terms just to stay relevant in the game.
For those who simply can’t or won’t pay for rankings, expect some loss in your rankings and plan on utilizing other marketing techniques to offset traffic you expect to get from searches alone.
For AMP, you really need to look at this like the responsive web design concept; just get on board. Mobile is where it’s at right now and while mobile devices probably won’t take over too much more of the market, they certainly aren’t going to lose the majority share they currently have.
That means catering to not only Google and other companies that recognize this, but also to your own users who are going to be using mobile devices is just smart. There is no good reason not to be as mobile friendly as possible because the risk of quickly alienating customers is simply too great.
40% of shoppers abandon a site if their wait exceeds three seconds! Keep in mind, that statistic is based on current, slower mobile load times. That could easily increase when people get used to sites loading faster with AMPed sites being the norm.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that change is going to keep happening with technology and life on the web. Businesses need to learn that being adaptable and learning to ride the wave of change is one of the important ways to stay relevant and successful. How Google’s latest changes will affect your website and business is really all about how on board your company is with the idea of being adaptable and making changes when necessary.