What do the new Google Search changes mean for your nonprofit website?

Have you been paying attention to the presentation of the search results on Google? If so, you probably noticed that it looks a little different. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is all just design and aesthetics. This will affect how users find your nonprofit website. This will affect your Search Engine Optimization or SEO. A quick review of your website and the search results may highlight some issues that should be addressed.

Here's a screenshot showing the new design...

Is the Favicon on your website up to date and reflecting your brand well?

Google now displays it next to the title of the page in the search results. Ok so what is a “favicon”? It is that tiny graphic that displays in your browser's tab when you are on a website. Why is this important? For the uninitiated (don’t know your nonprofit or have never visited your website) it is the very, very first branding of your organization they will see. 

UPDATE: Google backtracked after getting compaints that it was harder to tell the ads from the organic results. They have removed the favicon but kept the other design changes. 

Does your website have breadcrumbs and are they helpful to the user (and to Google)?

So what is a “breadcrumb” on a website? Here is what Google says:

“A breadcrumb trail on a page indicates the page's position in the site hierarchy. A user can navigate all the way up in the site hierarchy, one level at a time, by starting from the last breadcrumb in the breadcrumb trail.” -- Google

We have always known that Google was focused on understanding the site hierarchy and information architecture. With the latest changes, they have put more focus on the breadcrumb for their end users in the listing display of search results so the user can use it to help decide if they want to click on the listing. They now display the domain and breadcrumb right above the title of the page. It stands out much more now.

Google wants you to use Schema Markup in the code of the website to communicate the breadcrumb trail for each page. If schema markup is not present then Google appears to default to using what is in the URL (stands for uniform resource locator...otherwise known as the page address on the internet) of the page to create the breadcrumb.

So now you should make sure your URLs tell a useful “story” to your end users and Google - that will help both get a fuller and more accurate picture of your content.

Review Your Search Results and Website

I would recommend doing a review of the search results for your website and then review your website to make sure you are putting your best foot forward for that very first impression of your nonprofit organization and to make sure Google search users decide to click on your listing.

Let us know if you need help. We can do a quick assessment and offer some recommendations.

By the way, did you know?

BackOffice Thinking provides ongoing SEO configuration support for your WordPress or Drupal website as an option under our Proactive Support services. Reach out to us with questions or concerns around your organization's SEO setup on your website.

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