We are aware to the fact that Google is constantly changing. In fact, it is dictates the changes over the Internet, because of its high authority online. If Google changes, everybody changes as well, out of the desire to be in the top of its preferences. Do these last changes interest us? Of course they do, because it means there are new game rules for everybody.
If you have a website or online business, the following 3 major changes will definitely leave an imprint on both of them.
1. New chat feature may soon be available for Business Listings
It is true that this is not yet implemented however it is still a pilot project of a great importance. What Google is trying to achieve through this new chat feature is to allow business owners to communicate directly with their clients from the results listing. This will drastically reduce the time spent by clients getting in touch with a business, and the other way around. Just think about it, all the people listed in the My Business dashboard can be contacted through chat instantly. If this will turn to be a reality, it will definitely become a real hit. Still, it has to work properly in order to be launched by Google.
Because this feature is still in pilot testing, you can’t try it out just yet, it is only available to a number of businesses. Don’t bother to find a way to enter the testing program because it doesn’t work this. If your business is selected, Google will send you a personal e-mail. If not, you will just have to wait, just like the rest of us.
2. Mobile First Index
Now, you’re probably wondering what this is all about. Through mobile first indexing, Google is sending a clear message to all website owners that they need to be mobile-friendly, and they need to do it now. It is not a novelty the fact that being mobile-friendly is more than necessary for efficient SEO. Because more and more people start using their mobile devices to look for info online, it is obvious that your digital strategy should focus on offering high-quality experiences as well.
If you invested all your resources into developing a site more suitable for desktops, performing SEO in this direction as well, now is the time to implement AMP pages on our site. Also, be mindful that in the case you redirect content or use canonical tags, the crawlers will end up seeing the mobile version of your site only. Is this a bad thing? Yes it is, because if some of the content will remain exclusively on your desktop site, the Google bot won’t be able to see it and won’t place your site in the mobile first index.
3. Penalizations will be introduced for mobile sites that have bugging pop-ups
Advertising interstitial are the nightmare of every user. To make them more discreet, the shape of a little box is being adopted instead of having ads on the entire page. Still, this doesn’t help at all, because these pop-ups still block a part of the site’s content and when the user tries to close them, he ends up triggering them and leaving the used page, and this can be very frustrating. Because Google wants to come in the aid of the user, it will penalize mobile sites that will use such interstitial.
This new change will take place starting with the 10th of January, 2017, lowering a site’s ranks in search listings. Here is what will be considered intrusive by Google:
- The pop-ups that are blocking the main content right after the user leaves the search engine and access a page or while they are navigating on a page;
- Interstitial that have to be dismissed personally by the user, in order for him to access the content of a web page;
- Interstitial that have the above-the-fold portion of the page appears very much like a standalone interstitial, the original content being in-lined underneath it.
Is your SEO set to break or make? What other critical Google changes are seeing on the horizon that will affect SEO in a major way?