Effect of Google’s new mobile friendly algorithm

I kept a close eye on the internet traffic to my web sites this month due to reports of Google’s modified ranking that favors sites that are more usable on mobile devices. I don’t really want anyone using a mobile device to attempt to use my web sites and modifying my pages would be of no practical value to the real consumer of such information. Yet, on the other hand, nobody wants to lose Google ranking for any reason. I wondered how much effect Google’s new algorithm would have on this first full month after implementation.



Overall, web traffic was down for me this month. I presume this is mostly attributable to Google and the reason stated. Yet on the last weekend of the month (May 30-31) I had greater traffic than any other weekend in more than a decade of tracking these statistics. The reason for the late surge was that the state CPA association published a link to an article I wrote about a timely tax issue (http://tonynovak.com/article/Changing-role-of-small-business-HRAs.html) .

About 80% to 85% of my web traffic comes from organic Google search. That statistic has remained constant no matter what I do. Yet overall traffic from Google has dropped to about half the level it was prior to 2010. I average about 350 unique visitors on a business day and about half that on weekends.

I still have mixed feelings about “chasing” traffic from Google. No way are my sites with hundreds of pages of text of technical tax and benefits information going to be useful to people using a small mobile screen. I know that high quality timely information will always be in demand and therefore always have value to Google. Yet clearly this type of technical business information is way outside of Google’s mainstream business model.

This is where my understanding and planning ends. I do not have a plan at this point to reconcile these issues.

We probably shouldn’t be saying “online security”

This is an email I sent to a person at my CPA association that handles industry publications.

“May I propose coverage of a hot industry topic that seems to deserve more attention than it is getting:

“Online security”, particularly with regard to the Microsoft Exchange platform and Google Doc platforms used by so many CPA firms for email and document management. The disclosures over the past few months and especially this past week should, IMO, be shocking to the CPA community.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2013/07/16/responding-to-government-legal-demands-for-customer-data.aspx for other references.

In short, it seems clear that a) NSA has cracked the best security systems used by Microsoft and others for industry data, b) U.S. has released bulk data to other country security offices especially Israel) without and c) Microsoft, Google and others want to say more on the topic but are subject to government restrictions that prevent public discussion.

In light of all this news is seems silly for us CPAs to continue using the term “secure” in the same sentence as “online”. As a practical matter, I just think more CPAs should be up to speed on what’s going on and modify our professional and client conversations accordingly.”