3 big google changes

Whenever Facebook changes its algorithm, we all sit up and take notice (and wonder what the heck we’re going to do now because it’s a complete mystery), but when Google makes changes, it’s time to take action.

Google recently announced three big changes that affect you and your business. Fortunately, they’ve also told us exactly what we need to do in order to comply with these changes. That was nice of them.

Why is Google such a big deal? Because Google is Gmail, YouTube, and the biggest search engine that your clients use to find you. (And YouTube is the second biggest search engine.)

Why the updates? The world is changing and Google knows it. They’re actually doing you a favor by implementing these changes, because when you take action to optimize your business to fit Google’s rules, your potential clients will have an easier time accessing your website and reading your emails.

Here are the changes and what you need to do about them.

Hangouts on Air

You may have seen this big scary announcement in your Facebook Groups about Google Hangouts on Air. It looks like it’s going away, but here’s the scoop. You can still use Google Hangouts on Air for your webinars. It just won’t be connected to Google+ anymore.

What to do about it

Now you’ll simply access Hangouts on Air directly from YouTube. And now they’re called YouTube Live Events. I made this video to show you how to make it happen.

Email addresses

As of July 1 of this year, you must use a business email address in order to send newsletters (or any kind of business-related correspondence, including course materials!) to Gmail users. And since 1 billion people use Gmail, you have to use your business email address to send to anyone, Gmail or not.

What that means is instead of using coachterra@gmail.com, I have to use my @terramilo.com email address because it’s associated with my verified domain. If I don’t, my email newsletter service (like Mailchimp) won’t send the newsletter.

They made this change to try to reduce the number of spam emails people receive. Everyone and their cat can get a mybusiness@gmail.com address, but only the owner of a website can get a verified domain address. So only businesses can send email to your Gmail inbox.

What to do about it

Get a business email address that is attached to your domain. There are some hoops to jump through, but it’s not impossible.

I recommend signing up for Google for Work. It costs less than $5 per month, and it’s pretty easy to set up. And it gives you access to Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, and even YouTube, all with the same login!

If you bought your domain through GoDaddy, they’ve made it super simple. (I started to make a video for you, but it actually happens so fast and easily, no video necessary. You enter your name and URL, tell Google you got your domain through GoDaddy, click a button and they just make it happen.)

If you don’t use GoDaddy, it’s a little trickier, but you can call your domain provider and ask them to help you. Basically, you have to tell Google that you own the domain, and they have to check to make sure that’s true.

Don’t skip this, guys. It’s important. You really won’t be able to send emails to people without taking action here. (And you’ll feel super pro having a business email address!)

Pop-ups and Welcome Mats

Ok, we all hate pop-ups because they’re annoying, but they really don’t work well on mobile, so Google hates them too, and they’re doing something about it. If your site uses pop-ups or a welcome mat and it doesn’t work well on mobile, you’ll want to turn those features off asap!

(A welcome mat is when the website asks for your name and email before you can see the actual website. It’s the shiny new thing.)

What to do about it

This is a simple solution, depending on how your pop-ups are set up. Here’s what I suggest:

  • setting your pop-ups to be “exit intent” pop-ups or
  • only popping up after someone has scrolled down your page, and
  • definitely disabling them on mobile.

All you need to do is make sure your pop-ups don’t display on mobile sites. I love the Convert Plug plugin for this reason. I simply check a box! Mine looks like this:

hide on mobile

Take Action Now

The first thing you can do is check your pop-ups. Make sure they don’t display on mobile devices. Go do that now.

Then, grab that business email address and host your first webinar using YouTube Live Events!

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