Google is still the most popular search engine. Consider how often you use it every day. “Googling” has become part of our vocabulary. Its algorithm changes hundreds of times in a year. Being aware of the major changes can help with planning or adjusting content and SEO strategies. Are you staying up-to-date with the latest changes in Google SEO? If you haven’t incorporated these changes it’s time to. This following checklist will help keep you on track:
Revised Google Search Console guidelines
Your website must be mobile-friendly.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly it will impact your ranking. Responsive sites benefited from an update that boosted search results to sites that were mobile-friendly. Make sure your site complies.
Your website should be accessible for all users
There are many people who surf the Web differently due to disabilities. Image titles and alt descriptions enable someone who is legally blind to know what those images are. Making sure that your site can be crawled efficiently and viewed by everyone is important.
Read more about the Search Console guidelines.
Your website needs to be secure, preferably with SSL.
Okay, this one made me groan a little, too. Google wants sites to be secure. In August of 2016 it announced: “Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP sites that transmit passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.”
It’s beneficial to visitors and the owner of the website. Your visitors have a safe, secure experience. And as an owner, an SSL certificate confirms you are the legitimate and verified owner of your website.
Implement clear navigation structure, and make sure text links are clearly links.
I’ve addressed navigation and links as a usability issue, but they are important in ranking as well. Links should be found with little effort. All pages should be reachable.
Have a sitemap.
Sitemaps have been important for many years and every site should have one. It’s a list of all the content on your site. It’s specific structure enables easy indexing of your site by search engines.
Changes in Google SEO
Google is continually trying to improve search results. Their updates can be hard to keep up with. Fortunately, Google slowly rolls out major updates. Giving webmasters time to correct before issuing a penalty.
Get your website up to speed with the changes in Google SEO. Be assured that more are always on the horizon. These changes make the Web more secure, mobile-friendly, and accessible to all.