Weekly SEO news: 21 March 2017
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Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google prefers HTTPS sites - Are your site security settings correct?

Some time ago, Google announced that they planned to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. Later, Google said they they started indexing HTTPS pages by default.

check your website security

The importance of having a secure website

Google made it clear that secure websites are important for them:

"At Google, user security has always been a top priority. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to promote a more secure web and to provide a better browsing experience for users. [...]

We also started giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs in search results last year. Browsing the web should be a private experience between the user and the website, and must not be subject to eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, or data modification.

This is why we’ve been strongly promoting HTTPS everywhere."

If your website does not use HTTPS, Google does not rank it as well as it could. Even if it did not affect your search engine rankings, a secure website is a good thing. Consumers prefer secure websites that they can trust.

How to check the security settings of your website

Checking the security settings of your website is easy if you have a SEOprofiler account. Among many other important things, the Website Audit tool in SEOprofiler also checks the security settings of your server:

website security analysis

You get a detailed check of the security settings of your website, as well as tips on how to improve these settings.

The Website Audit tool in SEOprofiler checks many things that can influence the position of your web pages in search engines. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now and check the security settings of your website as well as many other factors:

Try the audit tool now

2. Internet marketing news of the week

GoogleGoogle: You can rank for medium competitive keywords without links 

"We've seen Googlers say time and time again that you can rank without links because Google will look at the content but most SEOs know that without links, you cannot rank for anything somewhat competitive. [...]

So someone asked [Google's Gary Illyes], is it possible to rank for a 'medium competitive' keyword phrase without any links. And get this, the domain is only one month old. Gary said, it is possible, but I guess he means, anything is possible?"

Google: 404s are not a signal of low quality

"404s are not a bad thing, they are a normal thing. Of course, you don't want to return a 404 for a page that should exist, but a normal 404 is, um, normal. [...]

40x status codes are not a sign of a low quality site, it just means there are certain URLs on your site that do not exist and that is okay."

Editor's note: Your website visitors should not see 404 pages when they browse your website. Use the website audit tool to avoid disappointed customers. The website audit tool also helps you to remove errors that can lead to rankings problems.

GoogleDoes Google use Chrome to discover new URLs for crawling?

"The results are pretty simple: Googlebot never came to visit either page in the test. [...]

However, bear in mind that this test was specific to testing if they used Chrome to discover new URLs. [...] This does not mean that Google does not use Chrome data in other ways, such as to collect aggregate user behavior data, or other metrics."

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

  • Google AdWords launches location extensions.
  • Judge OKs warrant to reveal who searched a crime victim’s name on Google.
  • Guardian pulls ads from Google after they were placed next to extremist material.
  • Does Google patrol the black hat forums & communities? 
  • Google can randomly share your search history with friends through its new messaging app.

3. Previous articles