RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AT GOOGLE
The fundamentals of SEO haven’t changed in a while – fantastic content and great links are still central to an effective SEO campaign. However, there are other developments in SEO and marketing that you need to stay on top of.
Google Goes Mobile….Again
In September 2016 Google announced the AMP project. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is essentially a second version of your website that uses stripped down HTML to deliver mobile friendly pages with almost instant loading speeds. These stripped down pages are going to be cached separately by Google to deliver instant search results to mobile and tablet devices.
If your website is already responsive then don’t panic as it will be a long time before AMP becomes the norm. However, if mobile is important to your business now is the perfect time to start developing, testing and tweaking an AMP page. Bear in mind that because AMP is using stripped down HTML there is less functionality than your main website. Additionally you will need to make sure your AMP web pages canonicalize correctly to their desktop counterparts.
If the AMP project is successful then we can expect Google to prioritise AMP pages over their counterparts – with Google pushing this is almost guaranteed. This gives all website owners a good opportunity to get ahead of the crowd.
Read more about Google’s AMP project here
Websites not using encryption will be less successful in the SERP’s. Google has stated publically that it wants all websites to use security encryption and will prioritise encrypted websites over non-encrypted ones. Google Chrome has now started displaying unsecured site with a red bar against sites not using https – something that will put many internet browsers off of your brand.
SSL’s come in two major forms – free and paid. Free SSL’s are domain verified and use the same level of encryption as most paid SSL’s. Paid SSL’s offer the same level of protection but are verified by business and personal verifications. They also usually offer indemnity insurance for your business. This indemnity cover protects your business if your website becomes compromised causing damage (usually criminal fraud) to users.
You can install a free SSL on your website using this link here
Micro Data Matters
Micro data is vital for ecommerce and local search alike and has a significant impact on SERP results. We’ve discussed micro-data for local search in this previous post but you should be exploring micro-data in much more depth. Micro data and rich cards are incredibly important to the ways websites should be coded.
Google has already incorporated micro-data mark ups for recipes, articles, events and a variety of other information so that they can instantly fulfil searchers queries – without the need for them clicking through search results.
Google has already started rolling out rich cards – most notably with recipes. These sort search results by rating, images and information. You can read more about rich cards here. We can expect this feature to be rolled out in a wide variety of content niches as
Google tries to improve user experience.
If you manage to achieve rich snippet search results except a lot more traffic. It isn’t uncommon for a website page to outrank the position 1 result with micro-data.
There’s lots of coding work to be implemented on your website at the moment to make sure your on-page SEO really stays ahead of the game. As Google increases its own search engine functionality sites not implementing these features will soon be left behind!