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5 Recent Changes at Google Are You Aware and Keeping Up

Based on that volume of searches, Google Search Technology keeps developing or changing and we all need to keep up. Here are 5 changes that Google has made or is reported to have made. We recommend checking that you are aware of them all and that your company is taking full advantage of them!

1. SEO/SEM Changes

As you already know Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) keeps evolving. As explained here there are now many components and subtypes of them that may appear on the SERP. These may include the search query, organic search results, sponsored search results, local search results, rich snippets and knowledge graph results. Additionally Google now uses ‘semantic search’ making it is much harder to rank as your content is understood and search results are mapped to user intent. Where we used to ask, “how do I rank for this keyword?” now we must ask, “how best do I answer my prospect’s question?” We are also gradually moving away from keyboard input and the search box to voice access.Google Search Results Pages keep changing

Have you already adapted to these changes? The best way to check is to try Google yourself:

  • Search for your company and your products
  • Search for your competitors and their products
  • Search for the terms/keywords your customers use
  • Do it on a desktop computer and on a smart phone and compare the results
  • Do it via voice search

If you don’t have time now, here are the key points. The way Google selects which results to show and how to show them has changed markedly. Most B2B buyers now research their problems and potential solutions online before contacting salespeople. Businesses therefore rely on being found or discovered online. Primarily, that means via Google search. Therefore there is little more important than how effectively you, or your company, uses SEO and SEM!

2. Be Mobile-friendly or Miss Out!

Google now takes into account the ‘mobile friendliness’ of search results when ranking them – as this MoovWeb research on the right shows. Even if your search ranking isn’t enough to convince you to have a ‘responsive’ (to any screen size) website then your user experience (UX) should. TopSpot report that, “47% of users will leave a website and not consider them at all if they find the text difficult to read.Percentage of mobile-friendly search results in top 10 search positions

While we ‘re talking about phones, make sure your telephone number is prominent on your responsive website and that visitors can conveniently click on your phone number to call it. After all they are on a phone!

3. Google My Business

If you could get your company details on the first page of Goggle search results would you like to? Of course?Google my Business including Google Post

So does your company have a Google My Business listing in place? If not why not – it’s a free service by Google!

When you search on Google for your company name, that listing should show up on the right hand side (on a large screen) and below on a phone.

If your business’s fully completed listing does show up – congratulations! But are you also using the ‘Google Posts’ (see red box) to add your company’s events or other updates to your listing? How about customer reviews with ‘Google Reviews’ (see green box). You can even add custom call-to-action (CTA) buttons!

If you aren’t yet using a ‘Google my Business’ listing, here are TopSpot’s recommendations for setting it up or see this blog on the topic. Additionally you can optionally utilize Google Reviews for customer testimonials too (see green box):

  • Create your listing on Google My Business
  • Ensure your listing is verified by Google
  • Correct category
  • Photos uploaded
  • Correct business hours
  • Address is listed
  • Utilize Google Posts (see red box)

4. Content Freshness

As this analysis shows, the Google search algorithm considers the age or ‘freshness’ of content when deciding how to rank it. Your years old (and not updated for years) ‘static’ content, such as webpages, whitepapers, case studies, etc. could easily fall foul of this algorithm. The answer is to refresh and republish your content regularly.Google my Business including Google Post

On the other hand, dynamically generated content is created ‘on demand’ as users request it. This type of content is therefore always ‘fresh’. Dynamic content can include catalog pages (such as created by CDS Catalog as a Service), user configured products (such as created by CDS Configurator) and associated 2D CAD drawings or 3D CAD models (such as created by CDS ModelServer)!

5. Local Services Ads by Google

Google Local Services is a fairly new and expanding service from Google but note that these Ads are a separate and different service from Google Adwords. The goal is to provide leads at fixed cost to service businesses.Google Local Services

As the name suggests the service is aimed at geographically local searches for services – current categories are Locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and garage door services in a limited list of US cities. It may not be applicable to you, but we expect it’ll expand.

Even if your business isn’t just local this service could apply to you. A national or international business is still ‘local’ wherever you have customers. Isn’t that why we have local reps, offices, resellers, distributors, etc. The point is that proximity is usually part of the business equation. Online, searchers will often append a location to their search, for example ‘stainless steel bearing’ becomes ‘stainless steel bearing Chicago’ and data shows that people who include a location have a greater likelihood of moving to a purchase.

Conclusion

Whether these 5 changes were news to you or not, or whether they apply to you or not, we expect Google will continue to evolve and change. We all need to stay up-to-date and ensure we are optimizing our respective use of Search.

Whether you agree or disagree with us, or a bit of both, please join the discussion and let us know your thoughts as comments below. As always, if you’d like our opinion on your industrial website, Catalog, Configurators or CAD call us or click either button below:

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