Google, What Should We Expect in Terms of SEO?

Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, talks about the search engine’s algorithmic changes coming down the pike in the Summer of 2013 (see Cutts’ 7 minute video below). The changes will be an attempt to improve user experience and hinder spammers.

To avoid problems, Cutts encourages web owners to use high quality content with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. He says Google’s changes will promote doing a better job of detecting the authority of website and content authors. They are also looking at their filtering software, Panda, to find additional signals to refine things on sites and soften effects, as well as seek additional signals of quality. Google will supposedly be making improvements to how search results are viewed, too. For example, once you’ve seen a cluster of results from one site, you’ll be less likely to see more results from that site as you go deeper into the Google search result pages.

For the average Google user, you probably won’t notice anything has changed or maysimply find search results are better than before. But for website owners who utilize SEO strategies, be aware of your site content and keep it high in quality with clearly defined keywords and phrases. Avoid anything that may be considered ‘black hat’ and be sure to put emphasis on your authorship. If you don’t prepare for the changes, you may see your rankings and traffic take a hit this fall.

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Business and Mobile Web

Does My Business Need a Mobile Website?

mobile-web-design

For most businesses, an ideal website will be responsive to desktop computers, tablets and smart phones. When planning to design or redesign your website, however, you need to consider if you want to target a mobile audience. If so, what do you want to convey to them through mobile? Some statistics…

  • 56% of people who own cell phone use their phone to go online
  • 50% of smart phone owners use their phones for social media every day
  • 34% of mobile website users would visit a competitor’s mobile site, if they had a bad mobile experience with a business
  • 30% use their phone to decide whether to visit a local business, such as a restaurant or retail store

Top activities on Smartphones:

  • access local information (maps, directions)
  • search for general information
  • participate in social media
  • access news and entertainment
  • find local services (ie., restaurants)

Since over half of cell phone users go online with their mobile devices, many businesses (especially local storefronts and restaurants) would benefit from a mobile site. To avoid frustrating your audience, consider the following details:

Mobile Web Design should:

  • keep branding elements (logo, colors, etc.) consistent with the desktop website version
  • simplify navigation, so it is easy to understand and select options from a smaller screen
  • be thumb friendly–easy to click with little typing needed
  • give an option to view the full website version
  • use white space and minimal text for better viewing
  • clearly show contact information, directions and map

If you think you need to have your website accessible by phone, then consider the design, target audience and goals. Analytic tracking of mobile activity is a must and should be implemented to gauge the value of the mobile site. Otherwise, how will you know if your efforts have delivered a good return on your investment?

Statistical data from Pew Internet

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