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January 2017

New Google Rules

I'm sure many of us can relate to the playground bully.

You're happily swinging away when someone much larger than you decides they want your swing. You could stand your ground, but we know how that plays out.

Think of Google as the very large kid on the playground. You want to play there? Well then, you follow their rules. They have their own browser (Chrome) and it is the search engine. Google averages 3.5 billion searches every day.

Google has instituted 2 new rules.

The first you can thank the porn industry for. 12% of all internet sites are porn related. To "protect" users from fraudulent sites, Google is requiring all websites have a basic SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. The purpose of this certificate is to provide an extra layer between your computer and any site. It changes http:// to https://. It provides that little lock you see on some websites. 

Without this certificate, anyone visiting your website will get a warning that this site may be unsafe. That will drastically reduce the number of people going to your site.

This rules is already in effect. If you're not sure you really need to bother with this. Head over to the Chrome browser and put your website in the search bar. That is how you're site will appear to potential clients.

My recommendation is to have your host provider install this certificate. It should run you anywhere from $10-30 a year. DO NOT USE cheaper third party software. 

And don't forget to to have your provider do a 301 redirect as well. The certificate is meaningless with a 301 redirect. If you don't know what it is, then don't attempt on your own.

The second is only important if you have a pop-up on your site. A pop-up encourages people to sign up for your newsletter. If they consider your pop up intrusive, then they will blacklist your site for mobile applications. Pop-up dimensions can appear much larger on mobile devices. If you are uncertain if your pop-up is annoying Google, visit your website from your phone. If it appears quickly or takes up the screen, then its intrusive and you need to fix that. If you don't know how, contact your pop-up provider.

Google is the search engine of choice by billions of users. Don't reduce the likelihood of potential clients even finding your site. These are pretty easy changes to make. If you think this is beyond your capabilities, then let your website hosting company do it for you.