What Makes a Quality Search Experience?

The user experience is of the utmost importance to Google. All the fancy, old ways of trying to trick Google through keywording and the use of content farms don’t work anymore. Google now ranks websites on the user experience and how user friendly the website comes across. The actual content of the website matters the most.

The user experience is subjective, especially when purchasing an item on a commerce site. For example, let’s say users type the keyword phrase “ballet slippers” in a Google search. When your site pops up in the search and they click on it, each user has a different need. For example, one user may be a mother who is searching for affordable ballet slippers for her child. But your site only has adult slippers, so the mother bounces back to Google quickly. Another example is a user who is looking for discounted, adult slippers, but you only carry top-of-the-line, expensive slippers. Again, the user bounces off your site. This proves that everyone has different needs; therefore, how does Google determine a quality search experience?

As SearchEngineLand.com says, the determining element is this: “You should treat the percentage of people that are satisfied with their visit to your page—and how that compares with the percent satisfaction people have with pages competing with you in the SERPs—as a ranking factor.” Basically, Google’s main priority is money. That probably doesn’t shock you. Imagine this: if Google keeps sending users to a commerce website they don’t like and they never buy, Google isn’t making money. Anything that impacts usage and revenue is vital for Google and its dominance on the web, hence why it puts so much emphasis on it. Google tracks when a user has a short click to a website, or when the user stays on the site for a second and bounces back to the Google search. Vice-versa, Google also tracks when a user stays on a page and doesn’t return to the search. Additionally, design is a major determining factor as well. The website design must show trust, privacy when purchasing or submitting information, and product specification.

At Qseeker.com, we are happy to help your website move up in the search engine rankings, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

Google App Indexing

Google is all about being “mobile friendly” these days. Ever since it rolled out this update, website developers and owners have been scrambling to make their sites mobile friendly. For a site to be mobile friendly means it must adhere to the standards of being used on a smartphone. This algorithm scared many in the tech community, but it was necessary, because most people now use their smartphones to look up everything. When Google rolled out the mobile-friendly algorithm, everyone thought, “whew, we’re done!” but that wasn’t so. Google had a plan all along, and the mobile-friendly element was only half of the rollout. Therefore, enter: app indexing.

Google announced: “We will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.” Google defines app indexing like so: “App Indexing lets Google index apps just like websites. Deep links to your Android app appear in Google Search results, letting users get to your native mobile experience quickly, landing exactly on the right content within your app.” In other words, if you do a Google search on a smartphone, the search results won’t include just web pages, but also relevant content that is within an app.

For instance, let’s say you’re doing a Google search on your Android smartphone. The most relevant content for your movie query is located in the IMDb app. Therefore, it will provide the link to the IMDB website and app. As Google once declared, “Sometimes the best answer is in an app.”

This idea of app indexing brings up some questions for the future. What happens to a company that doesn’t have an Android app? Will it be punished in regard to search results, especially if it’s a small company? And how will Google index other elements in the future? These are all questions to consider when building an app or website.

At Qseeker.com, we are happy to help your website be more accessible in Google’s new feature, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

Now On Tap, Google

What’s on tap for Google? Glad you asked. No, it’s not the craft beer Google employees gulp down during happy hour. It’s the Google Now On Tap feature on the Android smartphone. Here’s how it works: Tap and hold the phone’s Home button and that will bring up Google Now Cards, no matter if you’re using your mobile browser or in an app. Google provides specific examples. Example one is let’s say you’re reading an email with movie title X in it. If you tap and hold the Home button that will bring up the Google Now Card about the movie. Links would include the movie’s IMDB profile, YouTube video or trailer, and more.

Another example is let’s say your friend wants to meet you at a restaurant. He texts you the info with the restaurant name within the text. You would tap and hold the Home button, and that would bring up review sites of the restaurant, such as OpenTable. In other words, when you tap and hold the Home button, you, the user, are telling Google you need help with something. Interestingly enough, Google also reports that if you tap on a picture, information will be brought up. However, it’s unclear whether this can be done straight from the photo or via the Home button.

And if you don’t want to access the Google Now Cards, you can also say “Okay Google” to ask a question from your phone as well. The thought behind Now On Tap has three elements: understanding context, providing answers, and helping users take action. Time will tell if users like Now On Tap, which will be released on the Android system later this year.

At Qseeker, we are happy to help your website be more accessible in Google’s new feature, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

Mobilegeddon, Does It Exist?

Mobilegeddon is upon us. What does that mean? Well, if your website is not considered mobile-friendly by Google, you are, allegedly, going to be negatively affected in search engine rankings. In other words, if your website isn’t user friendly on a smart phone, beware: your site may be lost in Google-space. This update rolled out a couple weeks ago, and it’s up for debate whether webmasters are seeing a drastic change.

In certain areas, yes, webmasters are saying they are seeing the change if the website isn’t mobile friendly. Others are saying no, they haven’t seen a change as of yet. Either way, it is confirmed that Google did roll out this update, though it may take some time to see results. For example, a website that is not viewed by Google as mobile-friendly may not be affected as of yet. However, as the rollout continues, it may affect the website greatly. To tell if your website is mobile friendly, use the Mobile- Friendly Test Tool. Plug in the website’s URL and you will see if you need to make your website mobile friendly.

Experts say you may not see a day-to-day change of Google results, but you may see a huge difference from week to week. They recommend to keep checking back to see how your website fares in the Google rankings. If you know your website is definitely not mobile friendly, that is an issue you may want to tackle immediately. How do you go about doing so? Your options are to contact your web developer and have her fix it. Or you can fix it yourself. For example, if you have a WordPress website, it’s often a matter of updating to a mobile-friendly theme. Though keep in mind with WordPress, when changing the theme, though the pages and posts may be seen in the backend, they may disappear in the front end.

At Qseeker, we are happy to discuss the options of making your website mobile friendly, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

The Lessons from Google’s Employee 59

I just finished the book by Douglas Edwards. I Feel Lucky The Confessions of Google’s Employee Number 59. The Lesson for me that stood out in Doug’s book is that you need to pay attention to quality and opportunity. It is both an irreverant and thoughtful look at the early days of Google up until it went public. Doug worked in marketing at Google and was one of the few non-engineers back when Google was a start-up until it became public. His book accounts how oftentimes he was swimming upstream against the tide of Google (really Larry Page) and then Marissa Mayer. Granted you only get to  hear his side of the story and not that it is unflattering of other Googlers, it just seems that they were so smart and driven to create the best product and were the most ambitious that nothing really could stop them. Doug recounts that with admiration. Also you get the real feeling that it is Larry Page that was the visionary behind Google (without taking anything away from Sergei Brin.) Those in the SEO space will get an interesting behind the scenes look at Matt Cutts and some of his adventures in search quality. It’s a great read and there was a great quote that really sums up the secret to Google.  “If we can’t win on quality we don’t deserve to win at all.” – Larry Page

“The Untold Story of Larry Page’s Incredible Comeback.” by Nicholas Carson from Business Insider

Great article by Nicholas Carson on Larry Page and how he returned as CEO of Google.

Are You Feeling Lucky?

By nature we are all curious creatures. From a young age we find ourselves asking “Why?” as we attempt to make sense of the world around us.  A great question may leave us pondering the universe; it may puzzle or enchant us.  In law, it can be powerful tool when it comes to a cross-examination, a deposition, or even an initial interaction. But did you know that as of this past September, asking the right questions can improve your business like never before?

Well, you better believe it. Because on September 26th, 2013, on the eve of its Quinceañera, Google launched a new search algorithm called the Hummingbird. Named for the speed and accuracy of the small bird, the Hummingbird is meant to be ‘a more human way to interact with users and provide a more direct answer’ (according to Wikipedia).

The new algorithm, which impacts the results of 90% of searches, relies heavily on questions and conversational topics, unlike the old model which focused on keywords. How this works is Google looks at your search as a combination of words, allowing it to process your query like never before.

As one Entrepreneur article suggests, the goal is to provide results that actually answer the question at hand. It seems that the days of trial and error may finally be behind us. If you want something from Google, all you have to do is ask. 

So how can understanding Google’s Hummingbird model improve the online visibility for your law practice?

One of the best ways to improve online visibility for your law practice is to ask all of the right questions! This means optimize your website, start a blog, and set up a Q&A section that your clients can use as a point of reference. Once you start updating regularly and cross-promoting on social media, you will see the difference it makes.

Not only does actively posting strong, original content help your website pop up in search engines, but doing so empowers your client to get informed before your preliminary phone conversation.  It’s a win-win situation.

If you are determined to be one step ahead of your competition, take advantage of your communication skills, set up a compelling blog with original content, and use the new Google Hummingbird model to ensure that you’re the lawyer everybody’s asking about.

And if you don’t have time to do it, then it’s a good thing you’ve found the experts that do. Qlegal will tailor a strategy with your individual needs in mind to help you capitalize on the many clients already searching for you and your services today.

For SEO, blog, website, and marketing inquiries you can also email Lia Gurin directly at lia.gurin@qlegal.com

Google Knows the Waze to Success

WazeWaze  is a free navigation app that utilizes a community of users to update real-time road and traffic information.  Close to 50 million drivers using the community-based Waze app provide updates, which help commuters avoid traffic, construction, accidents and detours – ultimately assisting in a faster commute for all Waze users.  With an element of social media, you can also connect with friends, coordinating meet-ups and arrival times.

Recently, a bidding war for the navigation app has ensued and was reportedly won by Google.  The deal has been in the works for months and it was originally reported that Facebook was also attempting to purchase the Israel-based startup.  While it has not been finalized, Google will reportedly pay 1.3 billion for the acquisition.  Read More.

Using Google+ to Increase Your Web Presence

Since its launch in 2011, Google+ has very quickly become the new social networking juggernaut and a key part of any social media marketing plan.  As of the 4th quarter of 2012, Google+ had over 343 million users and has become the second most popular social network after Facebook.  With the numbers rising so quickly and it’s convenient integration with Google-based applications like Gmail and YouTube, Google+ could give Facebook a run for its money.  For businesses especially, Google+ is essential because it plays a huge role in search engine optimization (SEO).  At the end of the day, it comes down to the simple fact that a Google+ page can make your business show up higher in Google search results.

When creating a Google+ page for your business, one of the first things to consider is one of the simplest.  A Google+ business page allows you the space to provide an “Introduction” to you company’s services on your “About” page. While this may seem pretty straightforward, it also presents a unique opportunity to increase your web presence and improve your SEO. Including relevant SEO keywords in your Introduction will also boost your presence in Google search results. By including links to a variety of content on your company’s website, you can guide followers to key features, directing potential customers and clients to all that you have to offer.

Google+ also offers you the opportunity to connect with other Google+ users who may be beneficial to your business. While you can also organize your own connections in various circles, it is also important to engage with circles within your industry – staying apprised to the latest trends and joining relevant conversations.  This virtual networking can do wonders for increasing your online visibility and promoting your brand and the quality of your circles.

One of the main things that sets Google+ apart from the rest of the social media pack is “Google+ Authorship.”  Through the use of this feature, which attributes web content to its source and an authentic tie to a legitimate Google account, you can become seen as a knowledgeable and trusted resource on your field.  It’s easy to use and offers additional SEO benefits while also promoting your brand.  With an author photograph next to your content, your business will become highly visible in a sea of search results.  Google+ Authorship increases brand awareness while putting a face to the company name.