No matter how much the rest of the digital marketing landscape evolves, Google’s domination over search remains constant. As of last month, the company accounted for a whopping 90.20% of all mobile searches and 72.21% of those made on desktop.
Google’s unparalleled success owes much to their continuing commitment to improving the platform and offering only the best and most relevant information for the millions of people that use it everyday. Frequent tweaks and algorithm updates are a part of this dedication, and easy to lose track of in the midst of all the other marketing news noise. So what are Google’s most important latest changes? And how do they impact your hotel’s search marketing strategy moving forward?
Mobile Speed Matters
Google has slowly but surely been altering its algorithm to improve user experience over the last decade or so with page speed on desktop announced as a ranking factor in 2010. As of July 9 2018, that algorithm now accounts for page speed on mobile devices, too. Under the change, websites with pages which lag and load slowly on mobile may be penalised and pushed down the rankings, according to Google.
You can check that your property’s website speed is up to par on mobile by using Google’s free PageSpeed Insights report, which will give you practical recommendations to boost speed if needed.
HTTPS Warnings In Place
As part of an overall shift towards greater site security, Google started displaying pop-up warnings to users visiting non-HTTPS pages last month. This new alert, coupled with the fact that Google started indexing HTTPS pages over non HTTPS at the start of the year means that leaving your hotel’s website with an unsecure HTTP connection is likely to amount to a pretty drastic loss in rankings and traffic.
Don’t take a hit – make sure your website has a secure HTTPS connection and take a look at Google Search Console to keep an eye out for any other potential issues which may be impacting the security of your site.
There’s Even More Data To Analyse
With the advent of GDPR in Europe, Google have made several changes to the way they handle data, and most notably, how long they hold onto it for. The company has altered their data retention controls to ensure there is no longer an option to store analytics data past 50 months (the tool previously tracked data for the complete history of a website.)
However, as of recently Google Search Console, the search analytics API and Google Data Studio now allow tracking of up to 16 months of search analytics data (it previously only extended to the previous 90 days), giving marketers plenty of search rankings and performance stats to sink their teeth into.
Keeping up to date with Google changes is essential to make sure your hotel website maintains its rankings in the SERPs and continues to drive a steady flow of traffic to your pages ready to book.
Do you follow Google updates regularly? Let us know in the comments below!