Do startup businesses, small businesses, and/or businesses with limited Web marketing know-how truly need professional SEO services? In many cases, the answer is yes — and one of the most compelling reasons is the fickle, ever-changing nature of search engine optimization (SEO). Google is continually changing its algorithm and ranking factors to create a better user experience. For that reason, an inexperienced, set-it-and-forget approach to SEO is guaranteed to fail. Here are a few of the latest algorithm updates and some of the changes businesses will need to make in response:
Google Penalizes Doorway Pages
Doorway pages “lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination,” according to Google’s Webmaster Tools Help page. Instead of leading users to genuinely helpful information, such as a homepage or a services page — doorway pages are put together with a few high-ranking keywords and ultimately lead to the “meat” or substantial pages of a company’s website. Although Google did not reveal a specific date for this particular algorithm update, Search Engine Land and SEO consultants warn businesses to expect it soon. Remove any doorway pages now to avoid a lasting effect on search engine marketing campaigns.
Mobile Compatibility Is Now A Must
Doorway pages aren’t the only websites under fire. On April 21, Google will begin penalizing pages that are ill-suited for mobile viewing. (This is a big deal, considering that three-quarters of consumers do not go beyond the first page of search results.) This update will rank pages that are mobile-friendly higher on smartphones and tablet PCs. Google admits that the change will have no effect on desktop or laptop search results. The search engine giant will roll out the change with live updates. In other words, if companies adjust their pages after the fact (after April 21), Google will still adjust search rankings accordingly. Regardless, the best course of action is to optimize pages for mobile-viewing immediately if at all possible.
Search drives one-quarter of all purchases, and it’s a $16 billion industry. And Google algorithms and ranking factors change constantly. This can make it difficult for companies to keep up — especially for startup companies and small businesses that devote most of their workforce to the product or service at hand. Professional SEO services can help take the burden of constantly monitoring changes and making adjustments, among other things, off small businesses’ shoulders.
So, is Google being too assertive in all their policies? Or, are they doing the right thing penalizing? Share your thoughts with us!