Weekly SEO news: 6 January 2015
Welcome to the first issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter in 2015.

In a video on YouTube, Google's John Mueller said that the desktop version of your web pages will influence the position of your web pages in Google's mobile search results.

In the news: Google Webmaster Tools and regular web search are different, Google wants you to report rich snippet spam, sometimes it's better to start a new site, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google: your regular web pages influence your mobile rankings

In a video on YouTube, Google's John Mueller said that the desktop version of your web pages will influence the position of your web pages in Google's mobile search results. A user was afraid that hidden content in the mobile version of his web pages had a negative influence on the rankings:

"We are looking at the desktop version. That's the canonical version so if you have the connection between the two pages, if they're separate pages and we'd be looking at the desktop version and that someone would be using for indexing.

So if it's visible on the desktop version and you're kind of holding it away, simplifying it on the mobile version, then that's absolutely fine.

If we run across situations where we see that people are abusing this that they're kind of [...] showing cartoons on the desktop side and showing adult content on the mobile site then that is something where we might have to reconsider that and see what we are doing there."

Watch the video

What does this mean in detail?

There are two important things:

  1. It's okay to hide content on the mobile version of your web pages. Actually, it is often necessary to hide some parts of a page to improve the usability of the mobile pages.

    For example, some content might be hidden until the visitor of the mobile page clicks on a 'more' button, a panel or another navigational element on the page.

  2. The desktop version of your pages influences the rankings of your mobile pages.

    According to John Mueller, Google will use the desktop version of your web pages to calculate the rankings. If your desktop pages are relevant, this will also have a positive effect on the rankings of your mobile pages.

New Year's resolution: get better Google rankings

Better rankings for the right keywords lead to more website visitors, more customers, and more sales. Do the following to improve the rankings of your web pages:

  1. Find the right keywords that will deliver targeted customers to your website.
  2. Optimize different pages of your website for different keywords that are related to your business.
  3. Improve the links that point to your site. A good backlink profile is important.
  4. Check your web pages for technical errors and other things that can have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages.
  5. Monitor social networks for mentions of your company and products. React to positive and negative comments about your business.

Improving the rankings of your web pages can have an extremely positive impact on your business. Fortunately, the tools in SEOprofiler make it as easy as possible to improve your pages. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

Try SEOprofiler and succeed in 2015

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google's John Mueller: Google Webmaster Tools and web search are different
In an online discussion, Google's John Mueller said that changes in Google's Webmaster Tools do not influence how your web pages are displayed in Google's regular results:

"Adding the alternate versions of your sites helps us to show the right data in Webmaster Tools, but it doesn't change how your site is shown in search. Web-Search functions independently of Webmaster Tools, Webmaster Tools just displays the data from there."

Editor's note: if you want to get information about the things that influence the performance of your web pages in Google's regular search results, use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler.

John MuellerGoogle's John Mueller: send me rich snippet spam

In an online discussion about web spam, Google's John Mueller said that the rich snippet markup was not meant for testimonials. He also said that you can send rich snippet spam to his personal Google+ account:

"If you find more complicated cases that you can't easily fit into that form, feel free to send them to me directly through my Google+ profile."

Editor's note: you can create regular rich snippet code with the rich snippet tool in SEOprofiler.

Google's John Mueller: sometimes it's better to start a new site

In an online discussion, Google's John Mueller told a webmaster with a rather outdated website, that it was better to build a new website:

"While it may be a bit harsh, I'd recommend taking your content and starting over with a new site. There are a lot of things that appear a bit out-dated, and that make it hard for search engines (and users!) to understand your site and your business in a way that works for you & what you're offering. [...] Taking your content and moving it into a modern system will take a bit of work, but it's very likely to have better results. Some of these CMS are either free or very low-cost, and while it can be worthwhile to have an experienced designer help out, you may even be able to do all of that yourself.

Tweaking your existing site is certainly possible, it's not a lost cause, but I really think you'd get much more out of your time if you took the step to rethink what you want to offer, and to put it all on a modern platform. "

Editor's note: use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to find out if your website contains elements that can cause problems with search engines.

Google AdWordsYahoo Directory closes, five days early

"The Yahoo Directory, the core part of how Yahoo itself began in 1994, officially closed today, five days ahead of when Yahoo had said the end would come."

Report: email beats Internet & social media as the most important tool for workers
"The Internet is the cornerstone of technology in the office. Social networks for business are beginning to emerge into corporate usefulness. But Email reigns as the top tool for those in the workplace according to a new study from the Pew Research Center."

Search engine newslets

  • John Mueller in an online discussion: Google can send more than ten requests per second to your site.
  • Online browsing remains strong during Christmas week, but conversions slow.
  • Behind the scenes with the Google doodlers.
  • The most popular Bing homepages of 2014.
  • Fetch as Google bug shows errors for one (the problem is caused by Google).
3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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