We’re curious … it’s 10 days since Google adjusted it’s search results algorithms to favor “mobile compatible” sites over legacy architecture.
Has Mobilegeddon affected your traffic? Take the poll, help us understand what’s happening…
Late in February Google announced that it regards websites that are “Mobile” friendly as more relevant in search results — over websites that are not mobile prepared.
There are many alive now who may never own or even use a desktop computer.
“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”
View the complete text of the February announcement on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.
In a word? “Yes.”
But more importantly so do your web site visitors.
Much of the interaction with clients migrating from legacy web sites revolves around building a new vocabulary. New sites require new processes and these are not described with the web language of the previous decade.
Further, deploying a new Web Presence inevitably involves reshaping the message. Most often to sharpen it’s focus. Why? To render an effective page on mobile appliances to start. But there’s more.
A paper published online discussing these issues for Grad Students at Washington State asks:
“How can I decide what to include and what to exclude?”
“In all of these steps, it is important to have a clear sense of your audience: what are their interests? what do they know already? what do they consider appropriate evidence? Based on your title, what are they expecting?”
By default the “Forklift” site migration process means just what it sounds like — “shoveling” content from the old site to the new one. Yet this can be detrimental to how Search agents view the new pages.
Here’s why: A site that is 5 years old or more, probably contains way too much prose. And, there is a chance that the text it contains is less well written, at least from a “freshness” perspective. For lack of a better description, it’s “Grade Level” isn’t competitive with new sites in the market for a reader’s attention.
Given a site that reads like it was written by a High School student and one that seems if it was written by an MBA — Search will more positively rank the MBA’s work.
Why? Because in the age of “Symantec Search” — correctly and effectively answering questions is the game. It’s being won by well-designed and well-written Pages. (For heavens sake don’t use these pages as examples. Calculus makes sense to me. English has always been more like Black Magic.)
An online search of testing tools — ones where you can insert a paragraph of text and have it analyzed — yields just a few results. Here is my favorite:
Text Scoring Tool. http://sarahktyler.com/code/sample.php
Give it a whirl. And send Sarah an email to say thanks.
Or hire a quality Editor. Most of us don’t enjoy that kind of budget do we?
So when your Boss says “Just put it in there the way I wrote it” – you can run it through Sarah’s tool. Go back to them armed with some concrete suggestions on how to improve that lump of 10th grade (bleep) before site visitors laugh at your page.
Two issues: Vision and workflow.
Until an Operator begins to recognize the greater ability of an Anchor Website site to support, aggregate and consistently “Brand” content of all kinds, they won’t use it. The default is to just dump stuff to Facebook.
The impact of working from an “Anchor” site is an orientation to focusing attention — Specifically that the site isn’t full of all of the extraneous, distracting baloney that Facebook foists on viewers.
An Anchor Website site becomes the source for all of the Social Media “Channels.” So, which of those receive automated notifications from the site with pictures and links back to the site – depend on the kind of post one is “producing.” SM is used to drive visits back to the web pages you control. Collecting followers there permits all sorts of direct marketing opportunities — even via email.
There are specific occasions where one would prefer Twitter for certain things… and even less so, Facebook. Increasingly however, these are less SM channels (focused on engagement) for NPO/NGO and businesses — but more like simple media outlets. There is some capacity for “engagement” but a website is much more powerful.
Rules of thumb: Estimating the maturity of an Operation.
First: Until distinctions exist within a content vision — News, Press Releases, Member announcements, Documentation, Events, Updates, etc. — That each of these is a format and type of it’s own, in which one strategically overlays images, sound and video… Until an Operation reorients toward “Producing and Publishing” content, there won’t be any drivers for controlling distribution. If you don’t mind that you plaster FB with all of your stuff, don’t bother reading further.
So: If for now FB serves as a repository for unorganized and often unrelated or even conflicting information (like when one posts a time and a place — only to repost that it’s changed) and you don’t care. You needn’t fuss with anchoring your Web Presence with a Web Site.
Any “mature” operator today, realizes they doesn’t actually “control” what happens at FB. How people see Branded info, and where it’s placed into user feeds is dictated by FB. FB (In particular) kind of places a FB Wrapper on everything.
Second: And this is killer/chiller – is that content listed on FB isn’t even close to being optimized for search. In fact, you can’t view the details unless you’re a subscriber. I’m often stunned that operators don’t intuitively Hate FB. Engineers and Content Producers almost universally dislike FB/SM because any effort there doesn’t result in much cross-channel availability of the content.
Time one spends posting to FB results in content that lives inside the perimeter of FB – with only certain caveats of “public” visibility. In any case: Search Engines really don’t optimize results for FB content. Search Engines prefer a devoted, focused page – something that correlates interest-wise very highly with the query they are solving for.
Whereas: Content that I invest my scarce resources into that I produce on my Site — lives on the INTERNET. And oh by the way, it can be set to post to SM without additional effort by me.
An Anchor Website is a powerful tool. But be wary — if your expectation is that “if you build it they will come” — you’ll be disappointed. Any community requires active participation. We are in the dawning years of Web 3.0 … and “living” websites associated with SM Channels are powerful tools in Business.
Finally, mathematical proof that highly trained Engineers with knowledge across many disciplinary boundaries — will always earn less than management.
Understanding the proof requires a “pre-calculus’ understanding of basic math. This of course implies that managers, no matter how hard they try can ever actually understand what we’re saying.
And we Engineers, being a fraternity of the under-appreciated, will never, ever tell them. Why? Well, simply because we really actually love what we do. And we’d do it even if they weren’t paying us. (Shhh!!)
Make your own charts, test your theories. Because this is Google, the presumption is the enormous database and statistics behind the results assure a level of interest that isn’t available elsewhere.
No, seriously. Thanks Google.
Astounding. Share your surprises here.
Elsewhere in this blog I’ve noted with interest that some of the biggest companies on the planet are taking aim at supplying emerging markets where extreme growth is due to literally explode in coming years.
Corroborating this mega-trend is Googles’ launch of the “Android One” phone.
Curt Prins, Mobile Strategist, explains some of the deeper and very interesting details in a fascinating post on LinkedIn.com. Curt notes:
Instead of adapting to price sensitivities within emerging markets, Apple’s iPhone 6 starts at $649 (without contract) and tops out at $949. That’s an impossible purchase when the average household income in India is just US$7,700.
Talk about barriers to market entry!
Google’s Android One launched in India this week for just $105, and carrier subsidies will drive that price down into the $60s. Amazon India’s massive inventory sold out in a matter of hours. Google understands what works in Mountain View might not in Mumbai or Manila.
Notice the order of magnitude difference in price?
Anyway I completely agree with his assessment that data costs outstrip the costs of hardware — and keep users from going with smartphones. This is why some of what http://www.internet.org is doing is so important. Curt notes:
Google has also eliminated OS access from wireless carriers–like Apple did with AT&T seven years ago. Google took it a step further by understanding the great expense of mobile data for most users within India. They partnered with Airtel to allow Android One users to get free OS updates for the first six months—in time for a critical update to their more energy-efficient Android L OS. These users will also get up to 200MB of free data for app downloads per month.
I still don’t know how this will affect me and my teeny business, but I expect it will. Noticing that it is happening hopefully prepares me to position myself earlier than some who have become completely enamored with Apple and the iPhone 6 launch here in the US and seem blind that the market of billions of users remains untapped.
Investors that bought Alibaba this week? Smell the same opportunities.