Weekly SEO news: 30 November 2021
Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter. Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google drops deadline for mobile-first indexing

In a new blog post, Google announced that they dropped the deadline for mobile-first indexing:

"In the meantime, after analyzing the sites that are not yet indexed mobile-first, we've determined that some of these sites are still not ready to be shifted over due to various, unexpected challenges that they're facing. Because of these difficulties, we've decided to leave the timeline open for the last steps of mobile-first indexing. [..]

We currently don't have a specific final date for the move to mobile-first indexing and want to be thoughtful about the remaining bigger steps in that direction."

Mobile-first: not yet

How to prepare your website for mobile-first indexing

With mobile-first indexing, Google will only get the information from the mobile version of your website. If your content cannot be found in the mobile version of your website, Google will ignore it. Mobile SEO is important. Here are some things that you should check:

1. Check the robots meta tags on your mobile pages

Your mobile pages should use the same robots meta tags and your desktop pages. If you mobile pages use noindex or nofollow in the robots meta tag, Google might not be able to index these pages.

2. Check lazy loading web page elements

Google says that you should avoid lazy-loading your primary content based on user interactions (like swiping, clicking, or typing) because Google's web crawler won't trigger these user interactions.

3. Check your robots.txt file

Some websites block mobile URLs in the robots.txt file. If you want to be listed in Google's search results, your robots.txt file should not block your mobile pages. If you block your .css files in your robots.txt file, Google will not be able to render your pages correctly. That can have a negative impact on your Google rankings. You also shouldn't block images.

4. Make sure the content is the same on desktop and mobile

If the mobile version of your website has less content than the desktop version of your website, you should update the mobile version so that it's primary content is the same as on the desktop website. Remember that Google will only use the content of the mobile pages. Use the same clear and meaningful headings on your mobile pages as on your desktop pages.

5. Check images and videos

The resolution of the images on your mobile pages should not be too low and the images should not be too small. Do not use small thumbnails instead of regular images. Google considers thumbnail images low quality. Use meaningful image alt attributes that describe the contents of the images.

How to check your mobile website

The web has evolved from desktop to mobile. Without a good mobile website, you won't succeed. Google recommends responsive website design, i.e. one website that dynamically adjusts the design based on the device that is used to view a page.

You can check the mobile version of your website with the website audit tool in SEOprofiler. SEOprofiler offers many different mobile SEO tools that help you to improve the mobile rankings of your website:

Check your mobile website now

2. Internet marketing news of the week

John Mueller John Mueller: Cross-language canonical is not great

"Cross-language canonical is not great. One idea could be to just do hreflang on the homepage, and not do it for the actual content. That would help guide the branded queries to the right version, and assuming the rest are long-tail, they're probably clearer on language anyway."

The Page Experience Update was a subtle update & won't make or break a site

"The Page Experience Update was a subtle update & won't make or break a site. If you saw a significant drop, it's not from having a slower site. It's easy to sink a lot of time/money into making a faster site, but there could be bigger problems."

John MuellerGoogle: sites can be stuck in algorithm penalty limbo for several years

"Google's John Mueller said in this past Friday's hangout that in rare situations some sites can get stuck in some sort of algorithmic penalty limbo or black hole state and not be able to recover because Google stopped updating that algorithm. He said this can lead to some sites not being able to recover for several years."

John Mueller: Google's cache is not representative of what's indexed

"The cache is not necessarily representative of what's indexed, it's not meant to be used for diagnosing indexing."

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Google: Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy.
  • Bing webmaster guidelines violation message.
  • Google Search Console still missing data.
  • Google: 'as featured on' links are normal links.
  • John Mueller: you can use the same theme on multiple sites.

3. Previous articles