It has been a pretty active week at Google and I just wanted to try to put some of the big news into headline form for small business owners to digest. As we move on to the second half of 2017, Google has been in the news a lot in the week finishing off the first half. With a reported major algorithm adjustment and some new tools, there is a lot to stay on top of. I am going to outline some of the big ones below with a little description for you to get a taste. I will also link on to a deeper source if you want to dive in with a little more depth.
- Major Algorithm Adjustment Rolling Out: Though it appears that Search Engine Land may have removed their article about this, many in the industry are reporting a significant adjustment starting on June 25. Some tools have shown this adjustment to be the largest of the year, even bigger than Fred earlier in the year. It appears to be mostly hitting sites ranking 6-10 and not the top rankers. It is likely still rolling out and we will learn more about what is being targeted as the data rolls in.
- Google Updates the Mobile Site Speed Tool: Google has updated the tool that tests and gives suggestions for ways to improve page speed. The tool used to immediately give mobile friendliness, desktop speed, and mobile speed scores. It now gives you the actual load speed and a projected traffic percentage loss due to the speed. I think it says more for site owners with what it removed than with what it added. Not even mentioning a mobile friendliness score basically tells us that it is a given that you better be mobile friendly. If you aren’t now, you aren’t really trying. Also, only focusing on one speed shows us more about the focus on mobile first indexing. They don’t separate it in the headline. Get used to mobile first indexing and get your site running faster as soon as you can.
- Google Provides Free Local Business Website Tool: Google also came out with a tool that offers a free option for a very basic local business website for those that don’t have a site. Though it doesn’t offer multiple pages or good SEO options, it at least give you an opportunity to get a domain name (hosted by Google at a price) and a basic website for local businesses. With AMP pushing site owners to let Google host some of their content and now entering into providing hosting for small business sites, it looks like Google wants to eventually not only provide the results but host all of the sites. Nevertheless, if you don’t have the budget for a real site you can at least have a basic site for free now, which is better than nothing.
- Google Making Ad Testing in Adwords as Easy as Checking A Box: Google has begun slowly rolling out a checkbox that will automatically create a second version of the first ad you create in Adwords. Google and I have always recommended running multiple ads for each adgroup to see what works best. This will make it even easier to give you two version of every ad you create. You should still work on making thoughtful versions of your ads yourself though.
Hope that was able to at least give you the basic headlines as you head toward your holiday weekend so you can be prepared to start the second half strong. Have a safe and happy 4th everyone!