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Google Turns to Mobile-First Indexing. Are You Ready?

Google mobile indexing

Smartphones have officially taken control of the internet. People use them to search more often than they use desktop or laptop computers. Statistically speaking, it is more likely that a person browsing your site will use a phone to do it than any other device.

In response, Google has turned to mobile-first indexing. This puts a priority on sites that have been optimized for a mobile experience. Are you ready for the change? The way you respond can dramatically impact your page rank and your site's exposure moving forward. The change is here to stay, and odds are that the mobile numbers will only continue to increase.

Not Mobile-Only Indexing

This new way of building site rankings now begins with mobile sites, which become Google's initial point for indexing, but that does not mean there is no value in a more traditional site. The index will not exclude sites without a mobile variation. It simply prefers them. A desktop version would still get indexed and could rank fairly well if there is no mobile version at all.

In other words, if you have not prepared for the shift yet, your site is not going to suddenly disappear from search rankings with mobile users. It can still rank. It is still reachable.

Ranking Issues

However, not having the mobile version can hurt your ranking. It's not preferred by Google, nor will it be preferred by the end user. The site could have less content, for instance, or it may not provide content in a manner that is easily accessible by a smartphone.

As you know, users do not take the time to work through any sorts of problems and complications online. They simply move on. This lack of optimization could then push mobile users away, cutting into traffic and reducing your ranking even further. At the same time, click rates and dwell times will fall. Everything works against you when your site is optimized for a platform that the majority of your visitors simply are not using.

Identical Content

One thing that can help is if you have engaging, identical content on both your mobile site and your desktop site. Both still get considered for your overall ranking. Where an inadequate mobile site really hurts you is if it means the site people get to actually lacks content that is presented to desktop users. Your site is not as valuable to those on smartphones, and your ranking will reflect that.

As such, it is important to carefully consider all of your content needs and to design a content plan that offers the same thing to both types of users. That could keep you from being impacted by this change in any way, even if you do not have a dedicated mobile site yet.

Mobile-Friendly Content

Another thing to consider is the need for mobile-friendly content. Consider the user experience on a small screen, potentially in a chaotic setting –- on the bus, at the airport, in a restaurant. Long paragraphs with complex sentences and small font are simply not user-friendly. Instead, focus on short, concise sentences. Break frequently for new paragraphs. Use large, legible fonts. Focus on a simplistic page and content construction. Make good use of whitespace. Make the entire site as intuitive as you can.

Embracing the Change

Google has been running this new change for much of 2018 and some of the impact is already clear. As always, Google is responding to the user and trying to focus on enhancing that user experience on every level. You need to embrace this change and do the same. Strive for content that fits the new mobile-first model and make sure you understand exactly what steps you can take to rank as highly as possible.

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Google+ Services End Due to Lingering Data Privacy and Security Risks

Google+ is ending

With a seemingly never-ending stream of high-profile data breaches, network penetrations and other malicious online activity, it comes as no surprise that privacy and security remain chief concerns for today’s netizens. In an effort to better support users, Google recently conducted an internal security audit focused on the company’s data sharing policies and practices. This review unearthed some eye-opening findings which resulted in several key policy changes including the termination of Google+ services. Overall, this audit may lead to enhanced user security and allow greater control over data sharing online.

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Study Finds Clear Link Between Hackers and SEO

hackers and SEO

Search engine optimization is one of the keys to your online marketing strategy. It's critical in today's competitive market, as necessary now as it used to be for businesses to have prime real estate. Google is your real estate. Although it's easier to change than your physical location, it takes time, effort and a dedicated SEO strategy that focuses on the end user.

This fact is not lost on hackers, it seems, as a new study has found a clear correlation between site hacks and SEO. But how many site hacks target SEO? And if your site's SEO is ultimately damaged by a hacker, do you know how to recover?

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Four Factors That Help Develop Your Content Strategy and Provide Value to Customers

develop content strategy

With leading search engine providers heavily focused on enhancing overall user experiences, hosting content which is actionable, engaging and high quality is now more important than ever. But what constitutes “high quality content” and how has the definition morphed over time? Today’s content must not only align with your small to medium-size business's overarching marketing goals but must also stand out from the static to inspire users to action. By examining four essential factors of your content strategy, your business can go beyond chasing the SEO tactic du jour, and, instead, focus on providing value to users.

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Cracking Google's RankBrain AI

Google RankBrain AI

To get your site to rank as highly as you can on Google, the most widely used search engine by a huge margin, you must understand exactly what the algorithm looks for and what factors have the biggest impact. Remember, Google is dedicated at every turn to end users searching for information, theorizing that they'll continue to use Google if they can find what they're looking for quickly. By focusing on these end users, you can crack Google's RankBrain AI and position yourself for success.

To get started, let's focus on two different factors that heavily influence RankBrain.

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