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Google Changes That Business Owners Need To Prepare For

Written by Josh Gershonowicz

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

If Google were a superhero, it would be the Avengers. If Google had a superpower, it would be the ability to purchase other superpowers. If Google ran the world, well, they pretty much already have an iron grip on the World Wide Web…

Google currently possesses 75.2% of the U.S. search market, as of this January, and 81.7% of the U.S. mobile search market, as of March 2014. When Google adjusts an algorithm, like their 4/21/15 mobile update, it has the potential to impact businesses, big and small.

Even with its current dominance of the world’s Internet usage, Google still maintains an air of secrecy with regards to any upcoming updates. It’s not that the Google team wants to keep businesses, marketers and users out of the loop, but that innovation takes time, and nobody stays in power if they reveal their algorithmic tricks.

Ignoring the secrecy and lack of upcoming announcements, a trend has started to emerge. Although the following are merely predictions, based on competitors and recent changes, it is clear that Google is moving towards a more user-friendly experience.

 

Google’s Last big Update: Mobile Friendly

Let’s quickly analyze the 4/21/15 mobile update before looking forward. In order to cater to the increasing number of mobile Internet users Google adapted how it ranks websites on mobile searches. Websites that are not responsive, or do not have a mobile version, were bumped downwards on Google’s search rankings while websites that were mobile-friendly saw their rankings rise.

Why?

With users in mind, Google has forced websites that are easier to use higher up in their lists. Mobile searches are on the rise. 94% of USA smartphone users search for local info on their phones. In order to be relevant, websites have to ‘get with the times, man’. Google doesn’t want outdated, difficult to use, sites bogging down the top of their searches. They want us to have the easiest experience possible.

mobile friendly test

While the current system incentivizes keywords and backlinks, it is not hard to imagine Google moving somewhat away from these metrics and instead continuing their user experience trend. Questions like the following will hold a greater weight on how a website ranks:

Does the website adapt to what screen/device it is being viewed on? What is the site’s bounce rate? How long do users spend on the page? How often is the site updated?

Currently, 55% of website visitors spend 15 seconds on a website. In order to ensure people are finding what they are searching for Google will prioritize websites in which people spend more time viewing. Google wants us to find what we’re looking for, not to click a site and disappointingly exit out after two seconds.

Constantly updating, whether content on existing pages or adding new pages to a site, will add more leverage to a site in than it currently does. Instead of focusing on adding a smorgasbord of specifically targeted words, adding content will prove that the site is keeping its information fresh. Sites that do not update will, hopefully, fall down in rankings. Google will doubtless develop algorithms to estimate how often a website should be updated based on it’s niche – for example, a news website should likely be updated more often than a plumber’s website.

 

The Knowledge Graph

Google currently tries to know and understand what you’re searching for, and most of the time its algorithm is right! Displayed on the right of many Google searches is the knowledge graph. It is comprised of data such as pictures, contact information, statistics, and reviews (depending on the search).

detroit

This presumed information would become more prevalent on all searches, and possibly be the default click on devices with smaller screens. Google will use the knowledge graph to quicken searches and time spent clicking. If you were using Google on a smart-watch, for example, and looked up a local bike shop, wouldn’t it be nice if it automatically brought you to closest shop’s website? Google does know your location, after all, which brings us to…

 

Geotracking

Your location, or your store(s) location for that matter, will continue to become more and more relevant. Depending on what you and/or others are searching and based on where they are, the results will differ greatly. This will have a much larger impact on smaller, one-shop, businesses. As we continue to add the Internet to more and more items that we wear daily, our location is going to matter more and more.

What’s nice about these predictions is that it has consumer’s best interests in mind. Businesses and advertisers will have to adjust their marketing plans, but being that these are predictions, we recommend waiting. Still, it’s always fun to imagine what the next Avenger’s movie will be about, and what our next Google update just might be…

 

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Josh Gershonowicz is the founder and CEO of Rebuild Nation, a marketing firm which focuses on the dental and health industry.

Will Google’s Mobilegeddon Hurt My Small Business? What Should I Do NOW?

Written by Tarun Bhatti

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Are you ready, friends? Mobilegeddon is upon us.

mobilegeddon

Don’t worry, your new smartphone hasn’t finally become sentient (that we know of), but there are big changes ahead. Before you reach for your tinfoil hat, there are a few things you should know.

Google tweaked its search algorithm on Tuesday. From now on, sites that aren’t mobile-friendly — meaning ones that have text that’s too small, take a long time to load, or are generally hard to navigate — will see their search rankings plummet. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re about to experience a huge drop in search traffic.

Not great, obviously, but here’s why it’s a very big deal: Approximately 86% of all U.S. smartphone users search via Google. There are 177 million websites covered by Google search. If you’re not optimized for those mobile users, you’re going to get lost in a very large crowd.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

 

Step 1

Find out if your site is mobile-friendly. Check this free, instant mobile-friendly test ASAP.

 

Step 2

If your site isn’t ready to go, don’t panic. We can help. Consider us your guide through this post-apocalyptic mobile wasteland. We’ll make your site mobile-friendly within a few days, helping you avoid any major losses in traffic or revenue (Google will notice the change and you’ll quickly regain your search ranking).

But you’ve got to move quickly. Contact our expert design team for a FREE consultation by calling 844-271-2301 or simply click the button below:

Rescue Me From Mobilegeddon!

Equipping Your Business With Google+

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Google+ Benefits For Your Business
I may be the first blogger to admit it, but I didn’t use Google+ very frequently as my preferred Social Media outlet. Having Facebook, Twitter, and several other mediums for connection felt like enough, right? But when you consider Google+ has only been around for three years, 1 Billion enabled accounts is quite the accomplishment.

Like any new and similar service, people are slow to adopt something they already have. What everyone has been missing, including myself, is the unique and powerful features Google+ possesses that many other networks cannot compare with.

Even if you’re not on Google+ socially, your business will greatly benefit from all the integral features Google+ provides. Here’s a few reasons to ignite your interest:

 

Virtually Everyone Uses Google’s Products

Whether it’s Gmail, Maps, Play, Drive, YouTube or just an old fashioned web search, we’re all on Google to one degree or another. Having one account makes it possible to utilize all these amazing services, and before you know it Google+ may just become as popular as Facebook.

As of 2014 Google+ boasted 359 million active users, a number that has increased at a rate of 33% annually.

What’s more, is that everything you post integrates with every other Google platform under one identity. For example, if you post a video to YouTube (The 2nd Largest search engine in the world) users will be able to click on your profile taking them directly to your G+ account. Here, many marketing wizards have begun creating engaging/brand oriented videos that make it incredibly easy to steer potential customers back to a page equipped with all of your contact info and a link to your website.

Having someone add your business page to their circles will begin to optimize your Google+ page, thus increasing your visibility performed for local searches.

 

Deeper Brand Engagement With Google+ Hangouts and Communities

One of the best techniques for securing loyal customers involves getting to know them on a personal level. In Hangouts your business can get in touch with anyone in the world by hosting a meeting using video chat. Most commonly, pioneers of the customer/business relationship have hosted live video conferences to allow customers to contribute feedback and work towards providing a better service in the future.

Using Google+ communities is also a great way to stimulate conversations over shared interests associated with your brand or service. Personally, I actively engage with my followers who are interested in learning photography techniques, and simultaneously receive feedback on more of what they’d like to see. Giving your time to a customer extends a bond that will help when they choose to recommend a service to a friend.

 

We Are Talking About Google Here, After All

Google isn’t just a search engine anymore, it’s practically a way of life. We’re communicating, sharing and building businesses through it’s services, most of which are offered to us free of charge. But because they’re still a business, it’s easy to see why they provide incentives for partaking in a their social medium instead of others.

These incentives only serve to help your business, and you’d be extremely wise to start taking advantage of them.

 

Image Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EDln3g_Fzyg/T5XrXBhRE-I/AAAAAAAAFnI/w10FfYL7Qnc/s1600/Google-+-your-Business.png

Your Business To The Power Of Google

Written by Michael Dickens II

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Google Apps Work HostGator

What do you do when one of the world’s most innovative companies of all time reaches out to you and your business and says, “We want to help?” Here’s a hint: take their hand and say “thank you” without any hesitation. Some things just make sense… and sometimes saying “no” makes no sense at all.

Cue, the mighty Google. What can be said about the company whose name has not only become synonymous with Internet searches but has actually become a verb; an honor reserved for only the most creative and unique individuals and entities in existence. Google has long been a standout for more than what they bring to the table; who they invite to the table with them is of equal importance. And, this time, they are inviting you.

Google Apps is a suite of tools, most of which you’re likely already familiar with (Gmail, anyone?) that are designed to streamline your business. HostGator now uses Google Apps internally for our email, document sharing, video conferencing, calendars, and so forth. Google Apps has literally changed the way we function, day to day.

Here is a brief snapshot of the things Google wants to do for you, aside from provide you with an excellent suite of fully useable tools:

  • Help ensure your business is HIPPA, PCI, SOX compliant
  • Provide you with their SLA for your internal AND external mail
  • Reduce your required IT costs
  • Improve your communications with conference functions
  • Establish a secure backbone for your internal and external interfacing
  • Maximize your project management efficiency with synced calendars
  • Bolster your branding and SEO efforts
  • Facilitate editing in multiple document formats without purchase of a license

 

This is a very big deal. In short, these benefits are amazing. Whether for your independent consultancy, your medium sized growing business or if your company has recently gone public, Google Apps for your business is possibly the best and arguably the most important move you can make. The biggest benefit of all? Making your life more simple. Now HostGator can help as well. Not only are we customers of Google ourselves, but we’ve now partnered with Google to offer Google Apps for business directly to you.

To learn more about our Google Apps offerings, including full details and how to order, please see our related KnowledgeBase article: http://support.hostgator.com/articles/articles/hosting-guide/lets-get-started/google-apps.

 

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