Weekly SEO news: 31 March 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

In a Q&A session on Google+, Mary and Michael from Google's webmaster relations team revealed more information about Google's new mobile ranking algorithm.

In the news: mobile search queries growth is modest, Google breaks its own SEO rules, Bing does not offer mobile-only campaigns anymore, and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official information about Google’s new mobile algorithm

In a Q&A session on Google+, Mary and Michael from Google's webmaster relations team revealed more information about Google's new mobile ranking algorithm.

Google mobile ranking algorithm

What is Google's new mobile algorithm?

Google is going to introduce an addition to the ranking algorithm that influences the position of your web pages in Google's mobile search results.

The change only affects the rankings that your web pages have if the user searches on a mobile phone. The regular search results are not affected by the new algorithm.

What did Google say in the Q&A session?
  • Google's mobile ranking algorithm will start rolling out on 21 April 2015. The global rollout will take a few days.
  • A web page is either mobile-friendly or not. It's not possible that a web page is a bit mobile-friendly.
  • The mobile testing tool (see below) can show different results than Google Webmaster Tools (which can be delayed based on crawl-time).
  • The mobile ranking algorithm works on a page-by-page basis.
How to check if your website is mobile-friendly

It is important to make sure that your web pages are mobile-friendly. Fortunately, Google has a tool for this that is available here. Just enter the URL of your website and click the "Analyze" button.

If your website fails the test then you have to adjust the design of your web pages. Instead of creating a separate website for mobile devices, you could use responsive design for your web pages. If you use WordPress, there are many themes that support responsive design.

Being mobile-friendly is not enough

A website that currently does not have high rankings won't get high rankings just because it is mobile-friendly. There are many more things that Google wants to find on your web pages. Check your website with the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to make sure that Google can index all pages of your website.

In addition, use the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler to make sure that Google shows your web pages for the right keywords. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
They fooled us all: why Google may no longer announce major algorithm updates

"Two reasons for fewer Google algo update announcements: 1. Google wants to change SEO behavior, 2. Google wants to switch to constant, imperceptible updates. [...]

Just last month, SERP-trackers and webmasters noticed some major shifts in search results, but Google has yet to officially confirm the update. Are those relatively minor updates unannounced because they’re not worth the PR effort, or because Google didn’t intend for us to notice?"


GoogleMobile search queries 29 percent of total but growth modest

"Interestingly, tablet search is growing faster than smartphone search. Perhaps because (at least larger) tablets are closer to PCs than smartphones. Also growth is necessarily going to be larger from a smaller user/usage base. But the comparatively modest year over year growth of smartphone search must be of concern to Google, unless the company is seeing something quite different internally."


Five ways Google breaks its own SEO rules

"Here are five examples where Google has violated its own webmaster policies and guidelines in the recent past and even now as you read this post: keyword rich anchors, site credit footer links, above the fold, content scraping, guest blog posting."


BingBing may remove pagination to additional result pages

"For some search queries, Bing is going to remove the pagination to additional result pages. If Bing is confident that the results on page one are the most relevant results, you will see the following at the bottom of the first results page."


Bing Ads: no more mobile-only campaigns

"We’ll take further steps to unify device targeting by combining smartphone campaigns with PC/tablet-targeted campaigns. Once this change is rolled out, we will be in full structural alignment between how ad campaigns are managed in Google’s AdWords and in Bing Ads — barring any changes in Google’s AdWords. [...]

During the migration, any PC/tablet-only campaigns will have smartphone targeting added, and smartphone-only campaigns will have PC/tablet targeting added. This means that you will automatically begin to reach consumers across all screens, wherever they are accessing the Yahoo Bing Network."


Search engine newslets

  • The privacy debate: Duck Duck Go vs Google.
  • A year of DuckDuckGo.
  • Does Google sniff your Gmail to discover URLs?
  • Shopping campaigns: how does Bing really stack up to Google?
  • As Google soars, a mobile home park feels heat.
  • Google Now card for nearby photos from friends.
3. Recommended resources

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  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
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4. Previous articles
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