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April 21, 2015: Google Mobile Ranking Affects Hotels

Google Mobile Ranking Algorithm takes effect today.

You have heard it called “Mobilegeddon” and the “Mobile Ranking Showdown” and even “SEO-Pocalypse”.

Everywhere, the sky is falling as the “Chicken Little of SEO” appears in Google’s latest Mobile Ranking update.

What does it mean for your hotel website?

Why will this affect your hotel search engine rankings?

It should come as no surprise (to anyone with a website) that Google would eventually penalize website owners who are not up to date with the latest technologies, and here’s why:

  • Google’s mantra “Do No Evil” means they are looking out for the site visitor’s best interest. Is it in your best interest to find a website that you cannot see with your Mobile device? Of course not!
  • If you do not have a mobile website or are not in the process of designing one, you are missing out on more than one fourth of the global population (2 Billion Consumers Worldwide) according to eMarketer:

emarketer_MJBlog

  • If you look at the Global Digital Snapshot, there’s more to mobile rankings than just your website. Social media plays a huge part in driving site traffic. If your website is not responsive or designed for mobile, you are losing your chances to increase direct bookings, keep your current market base as well as gain overall market share.

was_MJBlog

What should you do if your hotel website is not mobile?

  • Create a responsive or mobile website. While there is no guarantee that it will help your Search Engine Rankings, you have to update your website to include the larger audience or you will be left in the dust.  This is no longer an option, but a MUST HAVE in the digital world of today.
  • Include social media marketing in your current strategy. Gone are the days when Social Media was an option.  Your guests want to hear from you and they want to be able to get instant responses (or as close to it as possible).
  • Remember that SEO is paramount. After all, you don’t forget how you found this article. SEO is essential to the implementation of your new mobile website design and higher search engine rankings.

While no one can guarantee you high search engine rankings, you will be guaranteeing that your competitors with mobile-friendly website will have the upper hand in at least one way. Don’t fall behind the standard when it can be prevented. Follow the above steps and contact us today. Lodging Interactive will help you stay in touch with your current guests and help you garner new ones as the digital marketing landscape changes.

Panda & Penguin – What’s the difference and why does it matter?

Panda v Penguin

SEO Manager Mary Jo Caruso explains Google’s Panda & Penguin algorithms, their differences, why they matter and how they impact your hotel’s website.

Do you remember when you were in school and the teacher would give you catchy phrases to learn different grammar and spelling rules such as, “i before e, except after c”?  Well, there is no “catchy” phrase for Panda & Penguin, but hopefully, you will understand the difference and a way to remember them soon:

Panda 4.1 was rolled out on in September 2014 and Google rolled out a new Penguin update in October 2014. This is the first Penguin update in over a year.

What does that mean? What’s the difference between Panda & Penguin? How does this affect my hotel?

Differentiating between Panda and Penguin

Pandas originate in China – which is a very large land mass. When you think of Panda, think of your content – the largest pieces of your website.

Penguins travel together and you will often see them waddling in videos and images. Think of Penguin as the individual links to and from your website.

So now that you know the difference between them, let’s dive into how they help or hurt your hotel.

Hotel Content Marketing & Panda

You’ve just written a fantastic piece of content for your hotel website. You’re excited to get it out to your audience and just know it will help increase your bookings, get more newsletter signups or add value to your hotel brand.

Think of your hotel content as a first edition novel. While many editions can be published over time, they become less valuable than the original. Let’s take a closer look at Panda penalties and how that affects your content.

Google crawls your site and sees you have:

  • New Content – check
  • Websites linking to it – check
  • Is it unique?  Can it be found on thousands of other websites? Is it valuable to your audience or industry?

All of these factors contribute to whether Panda rewards or penalizes you in the search engines results.

Hotel Link Building & Penguin

The same thing can be said for your hotel link building efforts. Did you buy text links because you thought they were the “quick and easy” way to rank in the search engines?  Do you link to sites that are considered quality websites? What type of sites link back to yours?  Are they only directory or article sites? Some people (misguidedly) think having a high number of back links automatically boosts your search engine rankings.  It’s not about quantity, but quality. You don’t want this to happen to your link building efforts.

Panda & Penguin – How They Affect Your Hotel Search Engine Rankings

By now, you have probably figured out that creating unique, entertaining content and getting the content linked by valuable sources plays a significant part in your hotel search engine ranking results (SERPs).  Think about the following two questions when creating and sharing new content on your site:

  • Is my content really unique and engaging?
  • Will quality websites want to link to or share my content?

These are the two questions Google asks (along with a million other algorithm questions) when they look at your website and determine if you will be affected adversely by Panda (content) or Penguin (link) updates. If you have been patient and done a good job in both your content and your link building efforts, you might just find your reward in higher search engine rankings over time.

For more on how your hotel or brand can incorporate unique, quality content on your websites, contact Lodging Interactive.