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Google Changes Could Affect Small Businesses

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April 10, 2015—Google announced in late February that the way in which sites make it to the top of their search engine results would be changing—and it could have a big effect on small businesses. The dates of those changes are quickly approaching.

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal,” the Google statement said. “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

“Up until this point, websites have been primarily judged on keywords and content, while the means in which a website can be accessed hasn’t been as important,” said James Judge, president of Judge Public Relations, a full-service public relations and marketing. “With this shift, if a website is not properly prepared, there will be a significant impact to small businesses and the traffic they are used to seeing.”

In order for websites to receive a higher ranking after the scheduled changes to Google’s search engine algorithms, they must be optimized for mobile traffic.

“In some industries, up to 80 percent of searches start on an iPad, iPhone or Android device, and according to recent studies, as much as 40 percent of all web traffic in North America is mobile, so it only makes sense for them to adjust their search engine results accordingly,” said Kyle Klement, a Google AdWords certified marketing consultant in St. Petersburg, Fla. 

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