In the Know: Major 2017 Google Algorithm Change

We’re now well into 2017, and changes – in every aspect – just keep coming! As a business owner operating from a website, you most likely try and keep up with best practices and implement strategies that can get you traffic and leads. You have embraced responsiveness and your site is functioning perfectly on small devices, including its mobile site speed. Yet, you may feel desperate when you realize another Google algorithm change took place and you have to take action.

Google Algorithm Change: Are You Ready?

When it comes to websites and the wonderful world of SEO, you can only expect one thing . . . change. That much you have mastered, or have an agency that can take care of details for you: keywords, heading tags and the myriad of factors that affect ranking.

2016 has seen its fair share of Google algorithm updates.

2017 brought yet another challenge in January, courtesy of the infamous Search Engine Crew. They are going after “intrusive interstitials” in an effort to improve user-friendliness. Knowing that searching and internet browsing take place more and more on smart phones, Google is making it a priority to take care of mobile users.

What’s the Update

Google has stated that different types of interstitials will ultimately be troublesome:

– Popup ads that cover a site’s main content
– Displaying an interstitial that the visitor actually has to dismiss
– Banners that use too much screen space

Some interstitials will still be ok:

– Cookie usage
– Age verification
– Pop ups that don’t use too much space

The Pros and Cons for You

Search engine algorithms change frequently, and sometimes, with little to no warning. You may have to do some research to learn about these changes, and get around them.

However, these algorithm changes are often for the better, making websites stronger and more user-friendly. So, while they may initially seem like a pain, they can be worth the while and hassle in the long run.

If you rely on popups to prompt visitors to take action, or to retarget users, you need to rethink your traffic management strategy. Switch to content marketing with strong calls-to-action, post on social media, create landing pages… Gather your team and brainstorm, starting with your goals (more subscriptions, purchase, downloads) and explore ways to improve traffic retention without disruption. You don’t have a choice, unless penalties don’t bother you!

Keep Yourself Informed

One way to see it coming better than your competitors is to watch what digital experts publish. Subscribe to newsletters and blogs, like Search Engine Land, so you know when the Google algorithm gets updated. It may send a wrench in your well-oiled cogs, but it will be profitable in the end.