Posted on December 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

4 Ways Google is Changing the Web this Coming New Year

With 2017 just around the corner, it’s no surprise that many are already planning their New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Google, too, is proposing some big changes for the web going forward in the near future. These 4 changes won’t just change the way we view the web – they will heavily influence both use and development going forward. Read on to see what these changes are – and how you can avoid being on Google’s naughty list this winter.


Google will punish non-secure websites

The first change is perhaps the biggest – the news that Google will start punishing all HTTP sites that collect information, regardless of security. It’s no surprise that they’re making this change – the internet giant has recently started a big push to adopt the HTTPS standard across the whole web. With a staggering 50% of all users now using Chrome as their primary browser, Google definitely has some weight in impacting the internet at it’s core. HTTPS has it’s own merits as well – for example, asynchronous loading of images makes loading websites with heavy imagery substantially faster than it’s HTTP counterpart.

Differentiation is simple: Any site that doesn’t have an SSL certificate (meaning still HTTP-based) will be flagged as “insecure” and given a ranking punishment as a result. For websites that are already on HTTPS and possess an SSL certificate this won’t be a problem. However, any site that doesn’t will automatically be flagged as of the next new Chrome distribution (coming January 2017).

So what’s the solution? For those sites that don’t already have it, acquiring an SSL certificate has never been easier. We can easily install an SSL certificate on your website, making sure that you and your assets are ready for the shift to HTTPS, complying with Google’s new standards for the web. Not only will this make your website faster and rank higher, it will ensure that you can rest easy knowing that your server is both secure and future-proof.

Secure your site today! – Contact us now!


Google hates pop-up ads, like everyone else…

Google is about to deal a significant blow to some of the most annoying ads on desktop and mobile – Pop-up and interstitials. In short, this is a continuing effort by Google to emphasize meaningful content over fluff, as many of the more intrusive advertisement types take up more space and time than the actual content on a website.

So what kind of advertisements are still okay? Well, Google is a bit vague on that – for one, they mention that any reasonable-sized banner advertisement is still A-OK in their books, same with advertisements that simply exist in a small space on the page, separate from the content. Verification pop-ups, like age or country checks, are still good in Google’s books as well.

What websites DO have to watch out for now, though, are those that employ some of the more intrusive advertisements – Pop-ups where the user has to hunt for a tiny exit button, or full-width screen-obscuring pop-ups with a timer. In short, any advertisement that prevents the user from accessing the content within the page is a no-go for Google. Great for us, but time will tell if this has a longer, more meaningful impact on advertising on the web.

Not sure how your website stands? Let us help!


Google continues to emphasize mobile-friendly websites

This one is a bit of an ongoing thing: Google first starting boosting the rankings of mobile-friendly sites in 2015, but new studies show that this is more important than ever. Almost half of all users are visiting websites through the use of a mobile device, such as a smartphone, but a data release by DoubleClick, a Google entity/subsidiary, shows that much of the web still isn’t optimized for mobile use.

According to their study (based on 10,000+ mobile web sites), the average load time for mobile was 19 seconds long. In contrast, a much-touted sweet spot is in the area of roughly 2-4 seconds, an utterly abysmal difference comparison coming along almost two years past Google’s push.

Why is this important? The study found that 53% of all mobile site visits were cancelled by the user if the site too more than 3 seconds to load. That means the average site takes roughly 6 times more time to load than people have an attention span for – absolutely huge for retaining and converting users! It also came to the conclusion that mobile websites close to the sweet spot make roughly double in ad-revenue compared to their slower peers.

Get in touch – Tailor your website to mobile visitors!

Google experiments with lengthier search results

One of the more involved aspects of the web is the ever-continuing pursuit of SEO and site rankings. To that end, Google themselves have been experimenting with allowing lengthier search result descriptions for some sites, with some sites recently being allowed 100 character search previews.

Unlike the other points, however, this one is more experimental – it might come to pass that Google never fully implements this. What’s more important is the fact that Google lengthening the search preview means that they believe it is an area that matters – and that’s important given the amount of emphasis that is given to a site in Google’s search results. Finding out what area to place importance in is a constant area of development with the SEO sphere, and when Google experiments, the world watches.

If you haven’t heard of this experiment before – don’t fret. Unique Web Development prides itself on keeping up with the latest trends and the most pressing news so that we can better put these cutting-edge practises to work the minute they appear.

Act fast! Avoid Google’s penalties – We can help!