|Weekly SEO news: 14 March 2017|
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Google has been very clear: mobile pages are going to be more important than the desktop versions of your web pages. In the near future, Google's index will be a mobile-first index. Are your pages ready for Google's new index? How doe your web pages look like when they are crawled by a mobile bot?
What is Google's mobile-first index?
Some weeks ago, Google announced that web pages will be ranked based on the mobile version of the pages:
"Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user.
This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results."
The mobile version of your website is going to be more important than the desktop version of your website soon. If your website cannot be displayed correctly on mobile devices, your rankings might drop dramatically.
Can there be problems with the mobile version?
Some website owners want to make their mobile pages more streamlined. For that reason, not all the content of the desktop version is included in the mobile version.
When Google uses a new index that is based on the mobile version of your pages, these contents will be lost and your rankings might change dramatically.
How to do a mobile crawl of your website
If you want to make sure that Google can index the mobile version of your web pages correctly, you should do a mobile crawl of your website.
The new website audit tool in SEOprofiler can do this. Just go to the settings page of the website audit tool and select "Googlebot Mobile" as the user-agent:
With that option, the website audit tool will check the mobile version of your web pages. If there are any problems, the website audit tool will find them.
If you want to optimize your pages for the mobile search results, the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler can help you:
Check your website now
The website audit tool in SEOprofiler is an easy way to do a mobile crawl of your website. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:
We’ve seen more chatter and reports of changes from within the 'black hat' SEO community, which generally means that this is a spam algorithm update around links. Last time we reported a link spam-related update was in early February, and that update also was unconfirmed by Google."
The average site in Google’s study took between seven and 11 seconds to load. When you consider that a site that loads in nine seconds on mobile gets a page speed score of about 60, it seems that top-ranked sites are very similar to other sites that don’t rank well when it comes to mobile page speed.
What this means is that at the moment, page speed on mobile is much less important than a number of other signals that determine ranking. You may want to make your pages faster in order to improve conversion rates and customer retention, but it likely won’t help your SEO."
Editor's note: If you want to get the factors that are relevant for SEO, use the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler.
If someone is doing a brand name search, yet the company doesn’t actually state that brand name in content on the site, Google will weight other factors much higher than the content. [...]
Location can also be seen as a ranking factor that could vary, based upon whether the searcher seems to be searching for something geotargeted or location specific (“coffee shops near me” or “coffee shops in Kirkland”) versus a query that doesn’t change much based upon location."
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