If you hit the snooze button at all last year, you may have missed an alarm for one of the huge updates from Google that hit the digital marketing stratosphere — hard. Businesses that didn’t keep up with crucial 2015 changes felt the pain.

But there’s still time to wake up and do something about the latest SEO developments. Grab a cup of coffee and see what you missed and how The Web Guys can get you ready for 2016.

Mobilegeddon: Go Mobile or Get Left Behind

2015 Google Mobilegeddon

From asking for driving directions to shopping for shoes, almost anything can be accomplished using a smartphone or tablet. Google took note of the continued growth of mobile searches and made a significant change to its search algorithm. As of April 21, mobile friendliness became a search-ranking factor, ensuring users receive high-quality results when using mobile devices. Don’t worry you haven’t gotten on the mobile trend yet. Our Web design team can revamp your website to make it responsive.

Google’s Local Pack: Three is the Magic Number

Google Local Pack

Early August brought another change to Google’s algorithm: the downsizing of the desktop local search results. The “local pack” that once showed the top seven business listings for a targeted area now only displays three featured results. Considering the search engine’s preference toward mobile, it’s no surprise the interface was also redesigned to be more consistent with local searches on mobile.

Google+: Collections and Communities Take the Forefront

Google+ 2015 Changes

In November, Google launched a simplified interface for the Google+ social network. At the same time, the free-for-all format switched to target users’ interests via Collections and group interaction via Communities. The removal of star ratings and reviews from business pages got a lot of attention, but customers can still write a review through Google Maps, making listings on the platform more important than ever. As part of The Web Guys’ ongoing services, our Client Success team manages reviews and optimizes business information online.

Content Marketing: Original is Key

An ongoing trend for 2015 (and one that will most likely remain relevant for the foreseeable future) is the power of unique content. Google’s algorithm evaluates hundreds of factors including content quality to rank search results, but it’s important to remember that the search giant isn’t your real audience. Crafting content that is useful to potential customers should be the primary objective. After all, what good is a high ranking if no one visits your site?

Although these are just a few highlights from the past year, it’s clear that the already-complex digital marketing landscape will continue to evolve. If the pace of change makes you want to crawl back into bed, let The Web Guys handle the twists and turns 2016 is sure to deliver. Contact us at (317) 805-4933 to get started today.