July 2017 Newsletter

**** The 4specs Perspective

What is next with search engines?

Last month's newsletter was about "Getting Specified." The subtext of that newsletter and underlying much of the 4specs philosophy and newsletters is - Relationships are more important in commercial and institutional construction than the Google ranking for the manufacturer's website.

Many web design decisions are driven with the focus on high rankings in search engines and not on usefulness to the design team. Few web designers understand what the specifer and architect team wants on their website and fail appreciate the influence relationships have in the product selection and decision process.

I see the Google vision as "when you search you are:"

The multi-year process of design, specification, bidding and construction across multiple companies and multiple states is outside the search engine's vision.

I see examples of websites reacting to what is believed to be Google's ranking criteria. I have had requests for link removal, including advertisers, due to "bad linking" fears with Google. I do not remove websites with information and referrals of interest to our architect and specifier users.

Several years ago Google suggested that https or secure websites would receive a small undefined ranking priority. Many websites converted to secure sites for the potential bump. 4specs changed to a secure website 2 years ago and quickly learned that secure websites do not send a referrer and quickly converted back. The target website has no way to determine how the secure-site visitor found their website. Our advertiser cannot track from their side the effectiveness of their ad campaign on 4specs.

The majority of Google searches are now done on smart phones - I have read 60% of searches are on smart phones. Recently, Google says it will change the website ranking from the desktop version currently used to the mobile phone database. In my opinion, mobile searches are not very useful for construction product research and decisions.

I picked a recent Wednesday and reviewed our server logs and Google Analytics for that day. Google Analytics showed:

From the 4specs server logs:

The 4specs focus is on the design side of the decision process. Your product's buying decisions may be made by owners, users, contractors and others that may use an iPhone to search. You may need to focus on mobile and secure sites (if they can purchase online) for these users. This type of analysis takes time and thought.

Feedback, comments and suggestions always appreciated.



Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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