Be Prepared for the Latest Google Algorithm Update

Written by Mike Helly on . Posted in Mobile, SEO, Web Design

On April 21st Google released an update to their world-class search algorithm. Google, normally very secretive when discussing their search algorithm updates, is handling the latest algorithm change a little differently. This year Google is being very clear that its searches will begin to favor sites that are mobile responsive. Browsing the internet on mobile devices is becoming increasingly popular and Google’s update will aim to offer mobile users the best possible results. Google has encouraged webmasters to prepare for the April 21st shift and said the update will impact mobile search results considerably.

responsive web design

The update illustrates how important it is to utilize responsive design methods when creating a site. More and more individuals are accessing the web from all types of devices. Google is making it clear with this update that if you want to rank highly in search results your site needs to look great on any device. If your not sure how your site looks on a smaller screen size, theMobile Friendly Test Tool provided by Google is a good place to start.

There are other factors that you should consider when determining how well your site is built to rank with Google as well. One area that they likes to focus on is content creation. These days having a static webpage that has looked the same for the past 5 years will only get you so far. Google realizes that users want to see things that are new and exciting. For that reason your site should be updated on a regular basis to ensure that the content appears fresh. Regularly posting on a blog, adding more descriptive pages and updating the content shown on the homepage of your site are great ways to keep your site from getting stale.

A few other considerations to make when assessing your site:

Does my site have a user-friendly layout?
Do I have images and other forms of media included on my pages?
Are my focus keywords included in the url of the corresponding page?
Do I include my focus keywords in the body copy of each page?
Are there clear calls to action that will help a customer learn more?

If your site is not mobile-friendly yet or missing any of the other features listed above there are a number of different options to get it back in Google’s favor. Finding a professional web design agency is often the best way to go to ensure your site is performing as well as it can. Professional designers and developers will have a good understanding of what Google values and be able to apply the best practices to your site. Finding a web design service will also allow you to stay focused on other important tasks and not get to caught up trying to figure out the ins and outs of Google’s algorithms.

hummingbird algorithm update

Hummingbird Update Makes Google More Human

Written by bryan on . Posted in Content Management, SEO, Web Design, Web Development

Over the past month, some of you have been seeing some changes in Google’s search results to display much more relevant results. This is mainly due to the brand new algorithm Google has rolled out, known as “Hummingbird”, that has overhauled the old algorithm.  They actually released it before announcing it, and nobody notices; which is exactly what Google would prefer. Google periodically releases new versions of their algorithm to improve certain aspects, however this is the biggest change in over a decade. What does this mean for your website and SEO rank?

Alga who?

A search engine algorithm is a mathematical computation that provides the end user with relevant search data. In other words, its what makes the search engine show you “Joe’s Used Cars” when you search for “used cars Boston” in any search engine. Fundamentally, the way Hummingbird affected the google algo is by treating the entire search term as one relevant string. It’s trying to become more …human. Now, as opposed to breaking it up and analyzing each keyword, Google will take the search phrase “show me used cars in Boston” and give you a Map with pins from local dealerships, including Joe’s. So this update focuses on semantics – the natural way that human speech and normal questions are formed and presented.

What hummingbird changes

Write better, useful, thoughtful content – this update makes quality content take precedence over junk. Essentially, people need to start to write better content, use a number of synonyms to capture all the variations that google will associate, and discontinue writing content that is saturated with one keyword, or using “article spinning” services that recycle the same content.

The Hummingbird update means that search engine optimization experts need to start finding new ways of measuring keyword usage rates, since all Google searches are now encrypted making much of the keyword data unavailable.  You may have noticed this when looking at your google analytics organic keyword data, and seeing “not provided” in the area that is supposed to show the exact keyword. Since keyword searches are more becoming encrypted, this means that a websites’ search engine rank is more heavily influenced by quality content.  This does not mean keywords are no longer relevant in the equation, but there is a higher focus on the quality of content a website contains.  If you have not recently evaluated your website content for quality, now is a better time than ever to do so.

What you can do

Keyword strategies should also now be revisited and revised periodically, to ensure the effort is being put into effective keywords that are going to get you ranked.  Competitive analysis is going to be a critical step in choosing quality keywords to list you in local search results. Is time for you to revisit your SEO strategy? Do you need expert advice about your current strategy? You should consult Boston Web Group today about our Search Engine Optimization packages.