What’s New – Google’s Mobile Site Requirements & Ways That Social Media Can Help Your SEO Efforts

Two Thirds of Fortune 100 Companies Do Not Comply With Google’s New Mobile Site Search Engine Rankings:

Compliance with Google’s new mobile site requirements will soon affect your SEO efforts and search engine rankings. A recent study by Pure Oxygen Labs, using proprietary mobile diagnostic tools, evaluated the web sites of the Fortune 100 companies against Google’s best-practice criteria. The goal of the assessment was to determine: 1.) whether a site’s desktop pages redirected smartphone users to a mobile-friendly site, 2.) how mobile redirects are configured, and 3.) whether or not website pages employ responsive design formatting.

Of the 100 websites evaluated, the report found that:

  • 45 percent serve a dedicated mobile site to smartphone searchers, but NONE of the mobile sites comply with Google’s mobile configuration requirements.
  • Only 11 percent employ responsive design techniques.
  • Only 56 percent provide mobile-formatted website content to smartphone searchers.

Once Google’s new mobile guidelines are rolled out – probably in the Fall of this year – most of these sites will face declining rankings due to non-compliance with Google Mobile Guidelines.

Search Engine Rankings

Will Social Media Really Help my Search Engine Rankings?

There are three very distinct ways that social media can help with your SEO efforts.

1. One of Google’s ranking factors takes “freshness” of a topic into consideration. Preliminary studies have shown that social sharing can trigger this ranking factor and give you a boost, temporarily, in the rankings.

2. Internet users are visual beings. Many social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest give you an easy way to share large visual images and infographics.  If you embed links into images that are shared from social sites to blogs or other websites, you can gain valuable, natural back links.

3. Social media sites have been proven to increase the speed at which new pages on your website are indexed.

Social Media is a hot trend, but it is only one determinant of Search Engine Rankings.  Social Media can help to spread that unique, valuable content that everyone is striving to create to boost rankings.

Google Surveys
Google has released its Google Consumer Survey product.  This new product allows webmasters to post customer satisfaction surveys on their websites and collect responses (by inserting a snippet of code) from their website visitors. The pricing is favorable compared to other options that currently exist for surveys. The first 500 responses are free (limited to four questions) and will run until the site has received 500 survey replies.  The count starts over again each month, allowing historical tracking of user’s satisfaction.  Websites can also customize their questions for $0.01 per response or $5.00 for 500 responses.

Bottom Line: Mobile compliance will soon not only contribute to a higher bounce rate on your site, but will cause your rankings to decline.  Tracking user satisfaction using a free survey tool is a great way to let your site users help you to develop that compelling and unique content that every webmaster is seeking in the post-Panda SEO world.  Social Media is one vehicle to spread the word and create link structure and rankings for your site.  More tools will be required to continue to provide a positive user experience on your website. With these challenges comes the opportunity to rise above your online competition.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Development and Online Marketing Firm.

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