Google Algorithm Updates March 2021

Google Algorithm for March 2021

Google started the month with an update to their page speed score and released lots of news during the month. Let’s look at all the various things that happened in the world of SEO during March 2021.

Google Page Speed Updates

While you may have taken steps to improve your page speed, Google changed how they measured it, so everyone got an instant reward. Since Google is now using HTTP/2 protocol to gather page speed, you should be using an HTTP/2 host. If your host is only HTTP/1.x, then you need to find out how to activate the HTTP/2. Once activated, be sure to test it with a tool like Google’s Lighthouse to be sure it is working.

Core Web Values Update

When Google introduced Core Web Values in December 2020, many websites struggled to meet those requirements. Google announced on the last day of March that pages with the best content would still outrank pages with worse content, regardless of the Core Web Value score. It is still a great idea to work towards improving your site’s score.

Evasive Ad Content

Google is extending its Evasive Ad Content policy to include text in domains, subdomains, and logos. It also prohibits using UNICODE characters in ads unless they deem that those characters add value to ad viewers.

URLs Too Similar

Google’s John Mueller says that if the company crawls two pages and discovers that they contain similar content, they assume that all pages with a similar URL structure have duplicated or very similar content. This mainly comes into play with websites containing city names. For example, you may have very similar content on pages listing hotels in a big city and its suburbs. If that is the case, then Mueller suggests that you use rel canonical. Then, Google recognizes that each page is essential and keeps it indexed.

Google’s Rich Result Page Updates

Google made two changes to their rich result pages, impacting your report in the Google Web Console. There are new requirements in job posting structured data. These changes are likely a result of Google releasing its Career Certification Courses. The second change is that the company is now checking FAQ and Q&A structured data below the root level. In both cases, the company will issue warnings and advice on what you need to do to fix the problem.

Site Going Offline

If your site is going offline for a few hours, you should use a 503 server status code. This has been standard practice for a long time, but if you know that your site will be down for several days, then Google says that you should upload a temporary, static version of your important pages. If going offline is unexpected, you can use Google’s Wayback Machine to create these pages.

Property Promotion Ads for Hotels

Google now allows property promotion through their Google Ad Interface. Previously, the company owning the list had to be on Google’s whitelist. These ads are designed to show a property when a user does not have a brand preference but knows the geographical area where they want to stay.

No Limit for Title Tags

Google says that there is no limit to title tags’ length, and they refuse to suggest a length. While most titles are between 50 and 70 characters long because that is what the search engine displays correctly, Google says that title length is not a ranking factor. The company’s recommendation is to use titles that precisely convey what users will find on that page.

If you have questions or need help, then contact us. We are ready to assist you!

5 Signs Your Website Needs Work

If you have been working hard on your website, but you are disappointed in the results that you are seeing, then you may be overlooking some fundamental issues. Taking care of these issues will often help your website rise to the top of the rankings.

Your Website is Not Mobile Friendly

In a recent poll, 80% of users reported using a mobile device last year to search. Of those users, over 40% had completed a purchase on their mobile device. Furthermore, Google has gone to mobile-first indexing, and they automatically rank sites with mobile sites higher than those without one. The bottom line is that if your website is not mobile-friendly, the user will not see your website displayed adequately, resulting in a sale going to your competition. The answer to this problem is that you need a responsive design that automatically redesigns itself, depending on the user’s device.

Your Website Does Not Reflect Your Brand

Each brand is unique, and your website should allow customers to understand what makes you different from your competition. Unless you solve this problem, you may drive your target audience away. Start by ensuring that each page of your website reflects your brand’s voice. Find ways to make your unique selling point stand out. Be consistent by publishing new content regularly in different formats, such as blog posts, videos and podcasts. Promote your content in ways that will connect with your target audience and be willing to change those methods as the internet and people’s opinions change.

Your Website Cannot be Found on Google

If Google is not finding your website, then your target audience may not even know you exist. If you are creating a new website, it can take time for your site to rank well. Otherwise, several issues can cause Google not to find your site. You can identify most of them by looking at Google Analytics or asking an SEO company to review your website. Read the error reports and fix the problems. Be sure that you have not used code to block Google from crawling your site or specific pages. Use an XML map to show Google how your site is organized. If a penalty has hit you, immediately take care of the problem, but you may still have to wait until a significant algorithm update occurs to recover fully.

Your Website Runs Slow

There are many reasons that your website may be running slow. You must take steps to make it run as fast as possible as most customers will not wait longer than two seconds for your site to load before they head to your competitor’s business. Start by making sure that you are using a good host to handle your site at diverse locations. Clean out all the clutter that you have added to your site over the years. Then, enable your site to load some things as the rest of the content loads slower. Make sure that you have optimized all your files so that they will load as fast as possible.

Your Website Has Outdated Technology

Outdated technology causes your site to load slowly, and it may cause your site to be unresponsive. Take a minute to examine each piece of technology and see if there is a better option within your budget. You may discover that you no longer need that item on your website at all in many cases.

Taking care of these five things will help you rank better, which equates to more clients finding you. Then, offer them a reasonable price and outstanding customer service. The result will be a considerable improvement in your website’s conversion rate.

Google Local Services in in Milwaukee – How To Get Listed

Google Local Services – What is It and How Do I Sign Up?

Google is constantly coming up with new ways to display search results (and make money of course). One of their newest products is called “Local Services” and is for service-based businesses only and is another way for your business to show up 1st on google and get more overall exposure.

What is Google Local Services?

Google local services are ads that are catered to specific industries in the service sector such as plumbing, locksmiths, HVAC services, electricians & more. These ads show up towards the top of google searches and display your business, ratings & a link to call your service.

Once the searcher clicks on one of these listings, google asks the user to confirm the job they are looking for and where they are located. If your business fits the job description and the service area, the searcher will be able to view your listing in detail before calling your business.

What makes this service unique is that you pay per qualified lead instead of per click. This unique google product is slowly being released across the U.S. and we are starting to see these pop up in the Milwaukee area. Google also gives you the opportunity to dispute a charge if the lead is a spam lead.

Not only do you pay per lead, but there are no large lists of keywords to manage or A/B testing ad formats. This makes management easy, and if you have a PPC company managing these, much more affordable than traditional CPC ads.

 

Google Local Services show on both desktop and mobile devices.

 

Why Should You Sign Up For Google Local Services in Milwaukee?

Right now, there are not many businesses in Milwaukee using this – the less competition, the more likely you will grab a large portion of the leads looking for this service. We can’t guarantee this, but if you are one of a few businesses in your industry advertising, you may not even need to pay per lead because there are no paid ads ahead of you!!

If you are in the following industries, you can take advantage of these services in the Milwaukee Area: 

  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Auto Service Technician
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Electrician
  • Event Planner
  • Garage Door Pro
  • HVAC Pro
  • House Cleaner
  • Junk Removal Provider
  • Lawn Care Provider
  • Locksmith
  • Mover
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Pet Care Provider
  • Pet Groomer
  • Photographer
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Tree Service Provider
  • Tutor
  • Water Damage Service Provider
  • Window Cleaner
  • Window Service Provider

Not utilizing Google Local Services, and don’t know where to start? We can Help!

 

How Do Google Local Services Ads Work?

After signing up for their service and being approved by Google, you will set a weekly budget and are charged on a per lead basis. The lead cost is set based on the industry your business is in which will vary based on the category and market. Typically, you’ll see leads costing you from $5-$140 per lead. 

Don’t want to pay per lead? This is possible! You can list your business for free with google local services, however, your listing will likely not show at the top of results – they show up below the paid ads and are not displayed as “Google Guaranteed”.

What is “Google Guaranteed”? Upon sign up, Google will screen your business which typically includes license and insurance verification & employee background checks. Once you are approved, you get a green check mark next to your listing saying you’re “Google  Guaranteed”- the ultimate Google stamp of approval. Along with this “Google Guaranteed” stamp, if a customer is not satisfied with work quality, google may refund up to the amount paid for jobs booked through Local Service Ads. Google puts a lifetime cap of $2,000 for this coverage. You can read more about the Google Guarantee HERE

This Sounds Amazing! How Do I Get Started With Google Local Services?

 

You can start the sign-up process here.

You will fill out a form and google will let you know if the service you provide is currently available in the area you are located. If it is, you will then be able to estimate your spend to give you an idea for a weekly budget.

From there,  you create your listing and Local Services Profile.

After that, you will then be asked to provide license and insurance details.

In order to be “Google Guaranteed,” you will need to pass the background checks and have your license and insurance details verified.

 

If you need help signing up, we offer management services! Contact Us to learn more!