April 7, 2016

How and Why You Should Align Your Website with the Latest Google Updates

google update

AMP is the buzzword in the world of internet over the past few months. This is one of Google’s ambitious projects that assure users of much better website viewing experience on mobiles through faster loading. But before we elaborate further on this, it will be pertinent to discuss about some other changes in the SERP that must have caught your eyes. Advertisements that used to appear on the right-hand side of Search Engine Result Pages are not seen anymore. Instead, there are four paid advertisements that appear above the top search result. There is a common thread that connects all the three initiatives of Google – these measures are taken with the purpose of making websites friendlier to mobile devices. For marketers and advertisers it is more important to understand its impact and find new ways of making their identities more visible on the web.

Impact of design change

The effects of change in the layout of SERP that has re-positioned the advertisements from the right hand side and concentrated on the space above the top search result is being felt by all. It has been observed that despite no changes in search rankings, the flow of traffic from organic searches has reduced.  This may seem a fallacy, but true. The reason is that the top search result that used to occupy the first line of the SERP has now been shifted almost 15-20 rows below in order to make room for the paid advertisements.  Likewise, lower ranking websites that could be accommodated at the bottom rungs of the first page have now been shifted to the next page, pushing back further all other results that fall behind it. Effectively, more scrolling is required to reach even the top result and if you can’t find a place among the first two, chances of getting found gets diminished greatly. Now you understand why you are losing out on traffic while your rank seems to be good.

Become more innovative

Although search engine results are extremely important, Google users now have many other alternatives to find their solutions instead of depending on search engines alone. This has compounded the problem further as the competition for visibility has got intense that has increased advertisement costs and is reflected in expensive cost per click. It is time to look for alternative ways of advertising that can contain the costs and yet deliver desired results.

Explore new options

Moving away from the conventional approach of relying only on search results to propagate your products or services, you can explore some other platforms for advertising. Big online stores like Macy’s and Amazon offer advertisers to utilise an advertisement network on their pages that allows external linking. This is a kind of piggy back riding as you can make use of the traffic that the online shops attract and try to gain mileage by advertising on their pages without spending too much.

The second method could be targeting upset customers by using the social media to broaden the customer base. This segment of customers has to be nurtured properly through continuous engagement that would allow you to present your product and services to them and ultimately convert them to buyers.

Be transparent to users

Take recourse to paid blogs for product reviews which can substitute formal advertising and have a better impact on viewers.  However, complete transparency has to be maintained in the process. Linking back to the company’s website or recommended pages should be avoided and disclosure of relationships is mandatory according to Google’s best practices for bloggers. This is a discreet form of advertising that has to be declared through a disclaimer to be displayed at the top of the content so that viewers are aware that they are reading a product review and not an ordinary content.

Move over to AMP

Be a part of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project because it is the only way to stay tuned with times. The project that was launched in October 2015 is now in the implementation stage. This is an open source initiative that aims at dramatic improvement in page loading speeds that promises a fulfilled mobile experience.

What is AMP?

Traditionally web pages are created using HTML. The AMP is actually a modified version of HTML that has been stripped of many features that were considered as impediment to speedy loading of pages on mobile devices. Third party scripts and Java Script has been stripped off from HTML to present a more trimmed language that has the capability of increasing the speed of loading on mobile devices between 15 percent and 85 percent as claimed by Google.  To get help about creating an AMP page you can turn to the online tutorial. Alternatively, you can convert an existing page into an AMP one by using some online plug-ins for WordPress that are available and are known to have given good results.

What you gain

After going through the changes it is time to reflect on what you have gained from it. There are two distinct gains that you can think of.

  • With Google’s liking for mobile pages, it is only logical that you can become more likeable to Google once your web page is AMP compliant. This will be reflected in the search rankings that get a boost and you can stay ahead of others. Moreover, AMP sites are specially highlighted with a green lightning sign that attracts viewers even more.
  • Three seconds is the maximum time that viewers are willing to wait for any website to be displayed. Through faster loading, you will be sure to be viewed every time someone clicks on the website link and this is a sure way to make the most important first impression in the minds of viewers.

Being creative holds the key to find better alternatives of making your web identity viewed by maximum people. Think creatively and build your campaign in a structured manner taking care that you do not cross the line of legality without being too much aggressive

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