Weekly SEO news: 24 July 2018
Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter!

Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

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

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Is a fast website really that important? How fast is fast enough?

This month, Google has announced that the page speed update is rolling out for all users. Is page speed really that important? How fast is fast enough?

How fast is fast enough?

Why it is good to have a fast website

A slow-loading website can have a significant impact on your business. The longer a web page needs to load, the more likely it is that visitors will go away before they can see your page.

Google found out that as page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123%. Similarly, as the number of elements—text, titles, images—on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%.

"When it comes to mobile pages, speed and size matter. Marketers must keep people engaged on mobile and focus on building mobile-first experiences."

Best practices

Google recommends several things to make sure that users of mobile devices can view your web pages without problems:

  • A web page should load within 3 seconds.
  • Your web server should send the first byte within 1.3 seconds after a request.
  • The number of files that are needed to display a page (images, external JavaScript files, CSS files, etc.) should be below 50.
  • Mobile pages shouldn't be bigger than 500 KB.

Google found out that the majority of websites are much slower and bigger than that. If your website isn't that fast, you're not the only one. Of course, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't improve your pages.

How to make your web pages faster

The are several things that you can do to make your website faster. Some things are very easy, other things require the help of your web host.

First of all, you should choose a reliable web host with a fast internet connection and fast servers. You can do the following to make your web pages faster:

  • Optimize your images: Optimizing your images is an easy way to make your web pages fast. Most image editing tools a "save optimized version for web" option. Use that option to create smaller images. Further information about image optimization can be found here.
  • Reduce the number of plugins on your website: Check if you really need all plugins and widgets that are used on your web pages. Many just slow down your website without adding value to your site.
  • Optimize the code of your web pages: For example, only use tracking scripts if you really need that data.

There are many other things that you can do. Check the speed of your website here. Google's tool will show you the elements that you have to improve to make your web pages faster.

How fast is fast enough?

You should do everything that is possible to optimize the load time of your web pages. Even if this won't directly influence your website rankings on Google, it will have a direct impact on the user experience.

Unfortunately, it's not always possible to do everything that is recommended by Google's speed check tool. If your website gets an 'average' score, it is usually fast enough. By definition, most websites are average.

If you have a reasonably fast website with relevant content, a faster website with less relevant content will not get better rankings than your site. Google's John Mueller confirmed that Google's speed algorithm only affects the slowest websites.

There's more than website speed

In addition to the speed of a website, there are many more things that you can improve on your website, such as:

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to do all of this. You can create your free SEOprofiler account here:

Optimize your website

2. Internet marketing news of the week

GoogleGoogle: we do not recognize sentiment in search

"Google’s Danny Sullivan said on Twitter that Google search does not recognize sentiment. For that reason, there’s no search operator for that.

Last fall, some people speculated that Google Search paid attention to brand sentiment on social media. Danny Sullivan’s tweet confirms that sentiment doesn’t play into account with Google’s search rankings."

How local languages should influence your search & advertising strategies

"In most cases it can be assumed that the main official language(s) would be the key driver of performance for any search campaign. However, there are certain complexities that marketers should take into consideration when planning for multilingual campaign expansions. [...]

Do not disregard languages just because the number of speakers is small.
Having lots of excellent second-language English users does not mean the local language should be ignored."

GoogleGoogle still has a lot of work to do when it comes to location…

"You can see that Google thinks there could be some local intent to the search (likely because Sam’s has retail locations) so it is showing me the Barcelona pages in the sitelinks. Had it been 100% confident, it likely would have shown the Barcelona URL as the top result (like a store page).

These results are not catastrophes but they could cause some confusion and possible abandonment for less-savvy clickers. They are not what I would call 'good for users.' They do illustrate how tricky location can be for an algorithm."

Google: new referral source URLs for Google Images

"Google announced in their official blog that they are going to roll out a new referrer URL specific to Google Images over the next few months. [...]

The referrer URL is part of the HTTP header, and indicates the last page the user was on and clicked to visit the destination webpage. Most website analytics tools show the referrer URLs so that you know where your website visitors came from."

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

  • Starting today, Google Chrome will mark HTTP websites as 'not secure'.
  • U.S. tech enforcer says will read 'closely' EU statement on Google.
  • Google announces job search for the UK.
  • New in AMP stories: monetization, revamped bookends and metadata.
  • Google is in the process launching a new notification that informs you when your business goes live on Google services, like Search and Maps.
  • Google tests location tab and location scores in hotels’ knowledge panels.
  • Google hit with record $5 billion EU antitrust fine.
  • Bing Ads adds security badge annotations to search results.
  • Google also deprecating ‘Bookmark Manager’ Chrome extension next month.

3. Previous articles