Google’s rules change. Are you ready?

Google’s rule change this month has many businesses worried. But what does this mean and how does it impact your business?

When we work with new clients two of the first things we look at are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and usability. Why? Because they are two of the techniques that with less investment bring better results to a website. SEO generates free traffic (and when well executed, quality traffic) and usability helps to improve site experience and make your customers achieve their goals (for example more sales). Organic traffic is the visits to the site generated by the results in Google’s natural search. For example, when you search for Lisbon, you will find the official website of the city ( How does Google decide that it is this site and not another that should appear first? By the relevance it thinks it has for that specific search. This “index” of importance is calculated by a set of thousands of rules (algorithm) that analyze the site, from how the programming is done to how many and what kind of sites have links to your site.

Search engine optimization (or SEO as it is commonly known) is the set of techniques to improve rankings in certain search engines (Google being clearly the most relevant).

The main change that Google will have these days to its algorithm is the importance it gives to mobile. More specifically if your site is mobile friendly, that is, that according to the device and screen size the site adapts in a coherent and friendly way. Mobile is increasingly relevant as it is the access that most people always have available and Google wants to make sure it is done well on the sites it recommends.

How can you make sure your website is mobile friendly? One of the easiest ways is to use the website that Google has made available for this purpose (search for “Google mobile friendly test tool“). What if it is not? Then you need to develop a mobile version or make your site responsive. Several of the companies we work with have been making this change in an accelerated way so as not to suffer the impact. It might be a good time to consider it too. The consequence of not respecting these rules is to greatly lower your positioning in Google results and thus lose the much desired (and cheap) organic traffic.

While the full scope of these measures is unknown, it is expected that they will reach much further than just the mobile version. The last major change of this scale happened in 2008 and many sites were heavily penalized and took a long time to regain their previous positions. It might also be a good time to check if your digital team or your marketing agency has the situation under control. In particular, pay close attention to the tricks that are often used to deceive search engines (blackhat techniques) that may have bad results in the coming months.

Pay attention to the next few weeks, review your positioning. It is a time of change for digital strategies, but it can also be a time of opportunity to do the right SEO of your page and with that maybe even overtake the competition.

David Bernardo
David Bernardo
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