Should You Fear Google’s New Mobile-First Index?
22/03/17 Google's Algorithm Updates

Should You Fear Google’s New Mobile-First Index?

Google’s changes always shoot your stress through the roof, don’t they? Will you, an honest business owner doing your best to follow their rules, suddenly find 25% of your business gone overnight?

It happens. Though Google seems to be getting better at wrongly punishing solid websites.

You remember “Mobilegeddon,” don’t you? Google announced the change would “significantly impact” its search results. SEOs freaked because:

Google almost never discusses algorithm changes before they happen
They used the specific phrase “significantly impact”

After all the dust settled from the update, Moz found the number of mobile-friendly web pages in Google’s search results increased just 2%.

In other words, no big deal.

But What about the Mobile-First Index?

Well, you don’t have to worry too much. Google’s Paul Haahr and Gary Illyes have both publicly said they expect minimal search results changes with the mobile-first index. So, no need to have a heart attack. Save yourself some stress. Panic over other business challenges you have.

What is the Mobile-First Index Anyway?

At this point, Google’s got a bit of a problem. It sees more mobile searches than desktop ones. But, prior to the mobile-first index (which it’s rolling out now), it only ranked your site based on the desktop version.

Google does an amazing job of meeting searcher demands. So, they’re working at meeting this change in behavior.

The mobile-first index is a separate index from the desktop one. Google treats a mobile-first version of a web page as the primary version to index ahead of the desktop one. You also get a slight rankings boost for having a mobile-friendly (aka “responsive”) website.

Most searchers will get mobile-first search results. And eventually, the desktop-only search results will go completely away.

What Should You Do, If Anything?

Fortunately, you don’t have to panic about unexpected costs in this case. If you’re my client, I’ve made your website “responsive,” so it offers a fluid user experience on both desktops and mobile devices. Since that’s the case, you don’t have to do anything.

On an ongoing basis, it’s important to check and make sure your website displays properly on your smartphone and tablet PC. It should be easy to press buttons so users can take actions. Your site should load in a couple seconds. Simple things like that.

Some companies have a desktop and mobile version with different content. They’ll have to make some back-end SEO changes with structured data to avoid a rankings loss.

But you? You’ll be fine. No need to worry about the mobile-first index at all!

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02/03/17 Google's Algorithm Updates #

All You Need to Know about Google’s Intrusive Pop-Ups Penalty

How do you feel about the pop-ups that ask you to subscribe to email newsletters you encounter on many websites?

Do you want to punch the website’s owners? Or, do you just click the “X” in the upper right corner and go on with your day?

Well, Google’s sensitive to the fact that many users can’t stand pop ups. On the other hand, many websites continue to use them (even after the introduction of this penalty) because they do help build email lists quite well.

Anyway, Google’s publicly said this about intrusive popups:

“To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

And this is kind of a big deal because email lists do an awesome job of engaging and selling across all industries (consumer and business-to-business).

What Does This Mean at a Practical Level?

Google calls intrusive popups “intrusive interstitials.” They use this term to refer to those popups that block your entire screen before you can take an action. That could include a popup to join an email list or a banner ad that suddenly hits you before you can go to the next level in a game.

Searchers, and Google, do not like ads that disrupt their browsing experience. They want one click to get to your content. They don’t want to click on your listing and then click down a popup or two to get to what they want. That frustrates them.

There’s a Simple Alternative

Fortunately, this change simply forces you to use content to guide your visitors through your buying process. Web searchers and Google don’t mind that at all, as long as you’re not pushy and obnoxious about getting people to buy.

And list-building? Yep, you can still do it. You simply embed the email sign-up form in various places throughout your website (at the top of the pages, after the end of blog posts, and in sidebars are key areas).

The cool thing about building an email list is that it protects you from rankings changes. Once you have people on your list, Google can’t do a thing to remove people off them. Only you can influence whether they stay or go. And people on your list already love you. So it’s much easier to sell something to them than people who come from search.

Google’s intrusive pop-ups penalty? It’s not a surprise at all. And you don’t have to worry about it a bit.

More articles are found here.

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Website Owners Rejoice! Google Penguin Real-Time Is a Big Win
10/11/16 Google's Algorithm Updates

Website Owners Rejoice! Google Penguin Real-Time Is a Big Win

Google’s really getting some things right with Penguin 4.0 Real-Time. Learn why, and what it does, in this post. Did you know that it’s been more than 700 days since the last update to Google Penguin? At the time in 2012, the first Penguin update was earth-shattering event for SEOs and webmasters. Now, Penguin’s changes will come much faster and with practically no warning.

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Google Possum is Live… Now What?
10/11/16 Google's Algorithm Updates

Google Possum is Live… Now What?

Google released the biggest local search update since Pigeon in 2014. What’s it do? How do you need to react? Google’s made everyone hate cute’n’friendly animals like penguins, pandas, and pigeons. Okay, so maybe pigeons don’t belong in that category. But, you get the point. By the way, do you ever get angry at Google when you see a penguin, panda, or pigeon? Just curious. Now, you have to add possums to the category of animals Google has demonized…

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10/11/16 Google's Algorithm Updates

Why Google Decimated the Local 3-Pack & How to Protect Yourself

Google made a major change to the Local 3-Pack. Why? What should you do about this, if anything? Some SEOs awoke to a nasty surprise on Friday, September 2. Others shouted in jubilation! What happened this time? Google made an update to the Local 3-Pack. You’ve seen it many times before. It looks like this:

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