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Is Search Already Different In 2017?

Is Search already different in 2017? We’re only halfway through February and there are already some noticeable changes to the search environment. While changes are always expected when it comes to the world of search, some changes do arrive faster than expected. As a top web development company, we strive to keep people informed of the changes in our industry that will affect their business and the changes to search certainly meet that criteria.

What has changed in Search?

  • HTTPS – We wrote an article in November about the then upcoming change to Google that would take place in January called the version 56 update. With that update those HTTP pages that are used to collect passwords or credit card information are marked as ‘non-secure’. Now, if those pages are using HTTPS (secure HTTP), then all is well. This ‘non-secure’ change is affecting those sites that have not updated to secure HTTP primarily with loss of conversions and lower ranking signals such as bounce rate from people leaving to find a secure site.
  • My Business – Google My Business is changing search by adding another Google-based location for people to find out about you and your business. Aside from being a great free business listing, like everything Google offers, using it will help your rankings because one of the places Google is going to check for trusted information is its’ own databases. If you don’t have your business set up yet, then you are missing out on a very easy way to promote yourself especially at the local level.
  • Content Marketing – The power of content marketing is on full display so far this year. We talked about how Content is King in our SEO Predictions for 2017 and right now Content Marketing and SEO are attached at the hip. If you want to increase visibility online, you need high quality content that is tailored to your audience and then pushed and promoted. That content is not only going to help with brand authority, but also will directly fuel your SEO efforts.
  • Spam Detection – According to rumors, Google is looking hard at bad and spammy links. This should not be a surprise since A) there are always a few good Google rumors floating around and B) Google has made their opinion of spam links and bad links quite clear. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our article from last month about how to Improve Link Building which covers important tips including running a backlink analysis to understand the quality of links you currently have. Even if you don’t engage in any unsavory practices that Google might downgrade you for that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t analyze the links you have.

If the history of the internet has taught us anything, it’s that change is expected. Search is already different in 2017 and the best thing to do is to embrace those changes and make adjustments to your plans as needed to ensure your business stays optimized and competitive.

Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.

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