Time for another SEO news roundup with June passing us by. This month, as always has been a busy one for the SEO industry and especially Branded3, with the second SearchLeeds conference taking place on the 15th.
Jumping into this month’s roundup, it includes a $2.7 (£1.9) billion fine for Google and a movie about the industry itself.
Google Algorithm update
Over the past few days, Google seems to have been busy updating or tweaking some of its algorithms, which can be seen with Google Algorithm tracking tool, Algoroo.
As usual though, Google doesn’t seem to have confirmed the update, saying the updates are made constantly, which isn’t helpful. People in the industry are still complaining of SERP volatility but nobody has really been able to pinpoint the cause of reason behind the activity.
It’s likely going to fall under quality, as this seems to be Google’s focus of late with every recent update. Google continues to hate on Amazon with another drop after the previous month’s loss of visibility.
In line with Google’s recent updates, we’ve been changing our strategies to focus on quality, which seems to be paying off for some of our clients…
On a mobile subdomain? Go responsive
As we reported last month, the mobile-first index may be quite some time away, but John Mueller hinted that it could be rolled out in stages.
Now Google has given us a bit more information on mobile-first indexing, by saying you’re in the best position if your site is responsive, as when the switch happens, Google will have to fully re-index your m. site, as currently on the desktop index, m. subdomains are just annotated.
The safest thing to do is to go responsive prior to the mobile-first index switch, as this will mean Google doesn’t have to index anything new. Having an m. subdomain probably won’t be the end of the world, but there may be a temporary drop in rankings over the switching period.
Jon Myers gave an interesting talk on this subject at SearchLeeds and highlighted how hard it could be to properly configure m. subdomains when you consider things like canonicalization and hreflang.
You can find his slides here. There was a perfect slide within his deck that summarises the best mobile configuration to be on pretty well…
Google officially stops using DMOZ for SERPs
DMOZ officially shut down on March 17th – RIP – and Google has finally announced that it will no longer be using the data from the open directory project to display in its search results – something it has been doing for over 10 years.
“With DMOZ now closed, we’ve stopped using its listings for snippeting, so it’s a lot more important that webmasters provide good meta descriptions, if adding more content to the page is not an option.” – Google Webmaster Blog
The reason Google used this data is because the quality of the DMOZ snippets was often of a higher quality than webmasters provided in their descriptions, but now you’ve got to fend for yourselves.
The usability push continues
Continually over the past few years Google has been developing tools and other ways of telling us how important usability is.
One of the main continuous pushes has been to improve your site’s page load speed, but one of the common struggles is being able to visualise the importance of improving this speed issue for your clients to ensure they invest the time in improving it.
Google has made steps towards making this process easier with the additions to the Test My Site tool.
This will provide you with an industry comparison, although as usual it doesn’t feature digital marketing… yet… but nonetheless, it could be an important thing to slot into your tech audits!
As usual though, we are a bit ahead of the curve with our site speed calculator, which details the estimated revenue loss per second. Some selfless promotion right there, but it’s not long before Google develops something like this, mark my words.
Building ad blockers into Chrome
To continue improving the user experience of websites, Google has now announced they will be building an adblocker into the Chrome browser to tackle intrusive ads, but making the effort to state it will just be those annoying ads that will be targeted.
You may be sitting there thinking, why would Google potentially risk losing revenue? Well that’s simple, they won’t be losing any revenue.
It’s actually quite a smart marketing tool, and they’re hoping that by combating only the intrusive ads, it will allow for a better experience and lead to fewer people installing ad blockers that block all ads on a webpage, as they will be able to win back some of that ad revenue for the 30% of web users that have an ad blocker.
$2.7 Billion anti-trust fine
You’ve likely heard the news that Google has been fined a reported $2.7bn dollars by the EU due to “anti-competitive” practices in relation to Google Shopping.
This is more so going to affect the paid market, so if you’re interested in reading more about this, our Head of PPC Strategy, Ashley Tabatabai, has written a post on what could be in store for Google Shopping in the future.
In other news
SEO: The Movie
So, that’s a thing now. There’s a movie about how the SEO industry came to be what it is now by Ignite Visibility. It features some big names within the industry, such as Rand Fishkin and Danny Sullivan, and brings a feeling of nostalgia to those who have been in the industry for a long time, as it goes through the evolution of search.
Google adds a fidget spinner – http://searchengineland.com/google-adds-fidget-spinner-basket-easter-eggs-277473
Google For Jobs now live in search results – https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-jobs-now-live-search-results/202986/