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Previously, I provided some essential Internet marketing techniques for firms. And in some of my last few blogs, I discussed the importance of taking advantage of social media platforms to build up your online image and a new Google algorithm that concentrates on incorporating mobile devices to improve site rankings, but in this post I want to focus on how to get the most out of your interactions with Google.

Whether you have been developing your skills in SEO for a while or you’re just getting started in search engine optimization, you’ve probably already realized the importance of Google to your plan. No matter what your goals are, Google will in some way be at the heart of it. So, learning how to decode or decipher what they’re trying to tell you can be crucial to your success. Donna Duncan of Social Media Today explains,

The key to organic SEO success is conceptually simple – you have to please Google AND your intended audience…. Google dominates the search world. 65-85% of the world searches uses Google depending on who you ask and what they measure.

This means that if you work only to target your intended audience, you’re missing half of the equation needed for SEO success. The reality is that Google doesn’t just come out with a new algorithm without warning. Sometimes, the indicators are there years ahead of time if you only knew how to pick up on the cues.

The Mobile Update

A perfect example of this was when Google began talking about sites needing to be more mobile friendly. I know that I have discussed the need to be mobile friendly in the past, but still many companies are not picking up on it. But clearly, Google was laying the groundwork for mobile devices long before their recent update. For example:

As far back as December 2011, Google announced they were launching Googlebot-Mobile. The role of the bot was to crawl websites to determine those that provided the viewer with a better mobile experience. And in August of 2013, Google added more support to their PageSpeed tool for mobile devices. They provided webmasters valuable advice on how to speed up their interactions with the consumer on the go. This step should have been a clear sign of what was to come.

By November of last year, Google began identifying sites as “Mobile-friendly” at the beginning of site descriptions.

So, if SEO marketers had been in-tune to these various changes Google had been making over the years, chances are that they would not have been surprised or caught off guard by Google’s announcement on April 21st of this year. The new algorithm was designed to give websites who have been considered mobile-friendly an added boost in Google’s search results. The changes were so vast that the new algorithm picked up a few ominous names; mobilegeddon, mobilepocalyse, mopocalypse, or mobocalypse were just some examples of the identifying marks of what was to come. Today, we’re seeing a new trend coming to life. According to Bryson Meunler of Search Engine Land,

Keep improving your sites for mobile searchers…. If you are not yet mobile-friendly, make it happen. And if you are mobile friendly, prepare for the next update – because in this new era of SEO, it’s no longer possible to ignore mobile searchers and mobile sites and compete with those who don’t.

It was obvious that Google had been steering businesses in the right direction long before they launched their latest algorithm. But if you were not paying attention to the announcements and looking carefully at the subtle changes that were being made progressively over the years, chances are that you missed the 8-ball and are now playing a game of catch-up.

Those who heeded the cautions, notices, and discussions of Google have gained a lot of wisdom over the years. When you consider how SEO has changed over the last decade, it is easy to see how following their lead can help to propel your business to the top of the rankings.

What You Need to Know

Knowing what to expect in the future of SEO has helped more companies to become proactive rather than reactive. Heeding their warnings will not only keep you ahead of the pack, it will also help to avoid penalties or other complications that may result from poor ranking strategies.

We are all well aware that there will be many more updates and new algorithms heading in our direction. We can choose whether or not to pay very close attention to the direction that Google is heading in and make the changes before they are released, or we can find ourselves playing another round of catch up and wait until everything is said and done.

Every business that has an online presence needs to recognize that we are all playing in Google’s playground and that we need to be able to comply with their rules of the game. While focusing our efforts on targeting potential new customers is always a good strategy in our SEO plans, it should not come at the expense of recognizing who is pulling it all together for us. Learning how to read Google’s signs and cues will help us to keep a competitive edge in our industry.

The truth is that Google has never been secretive about its expectations when it comes to SEO. Heeding its advice can make a huge difference in the success of your site. As Owain Powell of Decibel Digital tells us:

Over time we have also seen may updates and YouTube videos… This has been of great value to those clean cut, law abiding citizens within the SEO industry, but another nail in the coffin of those stuck in the dark ages who continue to defy or ignore best practice SEO or Google algorithm updates.

For those industries that are serious about improving their search rankings, it has become increasingly necessary for them to pay more than the “usual” attention to the leadings of Google. The more you’re able to tune in to the direction Google is going, the stronger your brand image and search rankings will be.

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