After a tease in October, Google announced the impending launch of their Mobile-first indexing update in November 2016. But even this late into the first half of 2017, the update has not been officially launched. Now that Android has overtaken MS Windows as the single most popular operating system in the world, this delay seems even more puzzling. Did Google jump the gun? The short answer – No. The long answer can be started by stating that Google intends to give webmasters, digital marketers, and SEO and SMO experts more time to prepare for the inevitable mobile indexing launch. Google is already experimenting with their changes and will be releasing their update sooner rather than later.
Google’s November announcement created a buzz that led to some rumours in the industry. Most marketing professionals could not get their heads around the fact that they would have to account for two separate indexes. Thankfully for marketers, this is primarily a problem for webmasters, and not a difficult one. However, if you still do not have a responsive or a mobile-friendly website, time is running out. What were you waiting for anyway?
Webmasters do have their work cut out over the coming months. They will need to keep their eyes peeled to find out about the latest updates and then implement them. Now, a new report from Google has tasked them with additional responsibility. The Webspam Report 2016 has highlighted a number of vulnerabilities that still affect websites, and how a webmaster ought to tackle them. The solutions for many of the problems have been around for several years. Any competent webmaster can take care of them even on a day off.
The web spam report also brings some shady marketing practices into light. Consider the following example. A user searches for something on both a computer and on a mobile device. The same URLs show up at the same locations. But while the URL on a computer browser opens the page normally, the smartphone link redirects to an unrelated URL. What is unfortunate about this is that a lot of websites are doing this intentionally. Unscrupulous CMOs have been known to force their teams to redirect mobile users to advertising content. The situation is bad enough that many smartphone users consider this to be normal behaviour. In a country like India, more users access websites on their phone than on a computer, which few people have access to. With limited tech literacy, it is easy to fool a visitor into thinking that such redirects are the norm.
It must be noted that redirects that improve the mobile user’s experience are a good thing and actually valued by Google. They even provide ways to help you achieve this. However, shady redirects need to stop. Taking advantage of mobile users is outright shameful, no matter how effective it is. Marketers may think that such scripts or elements will not be detected by Google’s automated indexing process but what they do not know is that Google also tracks them manually. According to the report, over 9 million messages were sent to webmasters notifying them about web spam. In addition, over 10 thousand sites faced manual action when they were found to lack quality standards.
The problem is somewhat magnified in some regions like India. Indian companies usually do not like to spend any resources for their online assets. This archaic mentality has led to many businesses to opt for marketing practices that are somewhat less than honourable. Most of it is simply due to a lack of awareness. The “anything goes” ideology has certainly not helped. But sustained and truly successful campaigns demand a new, modern approach. As any social media management company will point out, good interactions are driven by content that respects and values the reader. This can help you achieve the results you want without having to resort to expensive traditional marketing methods. The icing on the cake is that you are unlikely to offend Google and other search engine guidelines. Good content means that brand recognition is much faster and your customers will like you more for it.
It is not entirely impossible to manage your own content, generating and creating a quality campaign, or even promoting your website. However, the services of a competent content writing firm in India can help you create campaigns that are true to the ethos of your customers and reflect the soul of the land. This is not something you will find in any recommended guidelines from Google, Bing, or any other major search engine. The ability to speak to the customer while addressing their cultural identity is a big deal in the Indian market and should not be ignored. Good content writing companies in India can provide you with user-centric content that you can use for your website and your social media campaigns. Many social media management companies also provide high-quality content writing services. Any business would do well to get complete end-to-end services from a single content and social media management partner.
There is one more factor that businesses need to consider. Many quick and easy online marketing methods now qualify as web spam. Such tools may even save you money, at least for now. But in the long run, the consequences can be disastrous. It is entirely up to marketers and business owners to change their approach. Adopting user-focused content as the core of your marketing campaigns is the only real recourse to ensure long-term success.