2017 Week 44 SEO News Recap

Google ignores country domain and delivers search results on detected location

Google is doing away with using the country code element of its domain name to decide which version of its search results to serve users, and will instead serve the user results based on detected location. This means that regardless of whether a user searches from google.com, google.co.uk, or google.com.au, for instance, it will only return one set of results based on where the search engine believes the user is located.

Google: When to Remove & When to Improve Low Quality Content

The question is about low quality content and the best approach to it, and John Mueller from Google did say that it can sometimes be confusing with seemingly differences of opinions about what to do with it. Gary Illyes from Google has always been a strong advocate for improving content, but often also says that some content is not worth improving, such as hacked content or spun content.  He also recently said that removing low quality content won’t suddenly result in a ranking boost for the rest of the site.

New Google Mobile Rounded Interface Rolling Out

The new Google mobile interface is rolling out now. It seems that most people say they see the new rounded or curved mobile search results layout. Yesterday morning Google was testing it again, but I think it was the early stages of the rollout. Google has been testing this design for a while now and it seems like it is rolling out.

Bonus: Do Google Posts impact ranking? A case study

2017 Week 43 SEO News Recap

Google will reportedly share some revenue with news publishers

Google is reportedly gearing up to share revenue with news publishers. The plan is to combine Google’s treasure trove of personal data with machine learning algorithms to help news publications grow and maintain its subscriber base. For each new subscriber Google brings to the table, the company will reportedly take up to a 30 percent finder’s fee.

Google’s mobile-first index has rolled out for some sites & will be implemented very slowly

Gary Illyes from Google would not give us any timelines, but the rollout of the mobile-first index is going well, and a blog post about the process should be out soon. It is unclear how many sites have already switched over to the mobile-first indexing process.

Google Search Console Beta Launch Should Give Us A Years Worth Of Data

Google has been promising more than 90 days worth of data in the Google Search Console, since 2013 and they have been teasing us with it ever since. At SMX East, Gary Illyes said he would like to see the new longer termed stored data go live with the release of the new Google Search Console. He didn’t want to give timelines on anything but said he thinks we would get the year worth of data when the beta is launched.

2017 Week 42 SEO News Recap

Google Shares Details About the Technology Behind Googlebot

Crawling and indexing has been a hot topic over the last few years. As soon as Google launched Google Panda, people rushed to their server logs and crawling stats and began fixing their index bloat. With this exponential growth of technical SEO, we need to get more and more technical. That being said, we still don’t know how exactly Google crawls our websites.

Google Has Started The Mobile First Indexing, For Some Sites At Least

It has been just shy a year since Google first announced their mobile first index initiative, where they would crawl the web from a mobile perspective first. Well, it seems Google has started, at least on a really limited basis, to start indexing some sites from a mobile first view. John Mueller from Google, after a bit of arm twisting, somewhat confirmed it yesterday in a webmaster hangout.

How Links in Headers, Footers, Content, and Navigation Can Impact SEO

Which link is more valuable: the one in your nav, or the one in the content of your page? Now, how about if one of those in-content links is an image, and one is text? Not all links are created equal, and getting familiar with the details will help you build a stronger linking structure.

2017 Week 41 SEO News Recap

Google: Dynamics of Top Three Ranking Factors & Link Effectiveness in Rankings

There has been a great deal of discussion over the top three ranking factors ever since it was confirmed that links, content and RankBrain were the top three.  And there has been some more information about those factors and the various weights they may have. At State of Search this week, Gary Illyes was asked the top three ranking factors and how they are weighted differently on a per query basis.

Google Date Bylines In Search Results Snippets Penalty

Often you will see dates in the search results snippets when blog or news related content shows up in the organic Google search results. Did you know you can lose the ability to show those date bylines if you try to trick Google by faking the date to make it look more recent that the actual date/time it was published?

What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?

The HTTP/2 protocol was published in 2015 with the aim of creating a faster, more secure Internet. Adoption has been gradual and is ongoing, but there are clear benefits for marketers who make the upgrade. So what exactly is HTTP/2 and how does it affect SEO?

2017 Week 40 SEO News Recap

New in AMP: Position observers, fluid ads and improved analytics for video & beyond

The AMP project saw a number of updates recently including: flexible, scroll bound animations; responsive sidebar layout, native video, improved ID tracking, fluid ads and extension tracking.

Driving the future of digital subscriptions

Flexible Sampling will now replace First Click Free. Publishers are in the best position to determine what level of free sampling works best for them. So as of this week, Google is ending the First Click Free policy, which required publishers to provide a minimum of three free articles per day via Google Search and Google News before people were shown a paywall. Longer term, Google is building a suite of products and services to help news publishers reach new audiences, drive subscriptions and grow revenue.

Google Testing Mobile First Index In The Wild

Google’s John Mueller confirmed yesterday in a hangout that Google is indeed testing the mobile first index in the live search results. He did not explain what percentage of searchers are seeing these live test results but I have to imagine it is really small. With this test, Google is not only looking to see how much it impacts the searchers and current rankings but they are also building new classifiers for debugging purposes.

2017 Week 39 SEO News Recap

Apple switches from Bing to Google for Siri web search results on iOS and Spotlight on Mac

Apple is switching the default provider of its web searches from Siri, Search inside iOS (formerly called Spotlight) and Spotlight on the Mac. So, for instance, if Siri falls back to a web search on iOS when you ask it a question, you’re now going to get Google results instead of Bing.

More Google Algorithm & Search Results Shuffling

Barry Schwartz always see people complaining about changes in Google but when it reaches certain levels, that is when he decides to cover it. The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread saw a spike in complaints from webmasters and SEOs about ranking shuffles and the automated tracking tools also show huge changes.

Bing Testing Google-Like Ads Tag in Search Results

Bing is running another test to make their “Ads” tag look nearly identical to the way Google marks up their own paid results in the search results. While the new version they are testing is much more noticeable to alert a searcher that they are ads.  And they still aren’t quite as noticeable as Google’s own version which is green in color.

Bonus: Why Search Marketers Must Embrace Javascript Now