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.

Google Punishing Interstitial Pages

How annoying is it when all you want to do is click on a product or link and be led to the right page…but you find yourself faced with an interstitial page? An “interstitial” is set up so the user can perform a certain action, such as downloading an app or signing up for the website. In the broad spectrum of Internet usage, this interstitial tactic has been known to annoy users who only want to be led to the intended piece of content. Then why have them? Businesses agree that these interstitials win out to encourage sign-ups or app downloads, so that’s why they continue to use them. However, Google doesn’t see it that way.

Instead, Google wants to focus on the user experience, and in doing so, it may take interstitial pages into consideration. They are seen as disruptive to users, and that could have a negative effect on Google results. Now that Google is focusing on the mobile-friendly user experience and rolling out an algorithm that will heighten websites with that experience, it is time to assess your website, especially if you are a big business. Major business websites, especially retailers, may potentially suffer from adverse interstitial results in the Google rankings. You must ask yourself these questions: Do you have a lot of interstitial pages? If so, why? How could you possibly lessen these pages if need be? Is there another way for users to download your app or sign up for your website?

What do you do if you find that you have a ton of interstitials? Either you can fix it yourself or you can contact your web developer to fix it. However, if neither of those are options, we at Qseeker are happy to consult with you on your interstitial issue and how it may affect your Google rankings. We understand interstitials, and most importantly, how to achieve a top search ranking in the Google results.

Please contact us at Qseeker.com. We are happy to discuss the options of making your website mobile- friendly according to Google, 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 in regard to interstitials, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm To Roll Out Over a Week

Another fun algorithm from Google, but this one seems long overdue. If your website is not “mobile friendly,” that will drastically affect its ranking in the search engine of Google. It actually makes sense in regard to how users search these days. Many users have abandoned computers and laptops for the convenience of searching on their smartphones. Therefore, if your website is not mobile friendly, or you simply don’t know if it is, it is best to find out. First, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool to see if your website passes the mobile-friendly test. Another great way to find out quickly is to search for your website on Google and see if the gray “Mobile-friendly” label comes up as the first words in your website’s description or summary. If it does, Google recognizes your website as mobile-friendly; if not, you have some problem solving to do.

First of all, let’s discuss the algorithm itself. Why is it so major? Because of the aforementioned smartphone reason listed above and it will be a significantly larger algorithm than both Panda and Penguin…so anyone who knows Google knows that is huge. Your website will be affected for the worst in regard to search rankings if it’s not mobile-friendly, and there’s no way around it. It’s no wonder webmasters are having a collective freakout over this algorithm. You have to be prepared and know a few facts. The first is the algorithm rollout will be on April 21, 2015 and it will take a week to completely roll out. That gives you time to become mobile-friendly. The second major element is there is no “maybe, I’m kinda mobile-friendly.” No. Google has stated your website is either mobile friendly or it’s not. And you will know by the mobile-friendly gray label in the Google search results or by taking the mobile-friendly test.

What do you do if you find that your website is not mobile-friendly? Either you can fix it yourself by way of the Google guides or you can discuss it with your website developer. However, if neither of those are options, we at Qseeker are happy to help make your website mobile-friendly. We understand platform, theme, and most importantly, how to achieve a top search ranking in the Google results.

Please contact us at Qseeker.com. 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.

In the Plex – Short Note on a Great Book

This is another great book about Google. It’s a really well written take on Google from Steven Levy. It’s long and in-depth but reads really well. Levy is an excellent writer. There is some great info on how Google was founded and the challenges, new products and people, and the search engine’s leadership. Steven Levy does a really interesting job at explaining the history and different phases of Google’s growth and development, from the China challenges to social networking. Google is really about smart people and how they have pushed quality to new limits and possibilities.

 

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.