Weekly SEO news: 10 March 2020
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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. Official: Google mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020

Google announced in their official blog that they are going to use mobile-first indexing for the whole web starting September 2020.

mobile-first indexing for all websites

What is mobile-first indexing?

Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of a website’s content to rank pages. The search results will still be available for both desktop and mobile devices. However, the focus will be on mobile.

The reason for that is that most people search Google using a mobile device. Google began mobile-first indexing in 2016.

When Google switches your website to mobile-first indexing, it will see an increase in Googlebot's crawling, while Google updates its index to your site's mobile version. Depending on the domain, this change can take some time.

What's the impact on your search engine rankings?

Google does not create a separate mobile-first index. They continue to use only one index. The contents of mobile pages will be used with Google’s ranking algorithms. The ranking of your web pages now depend on the content of the mobile version of your web pages.

If you use responsive web design, then the pages for desktop and mobile are the same. In that case, your rankings won’t change at all.

If you have mobile pages that are different from the desktop version of your web pages, your desktop rankings will change based on the content that can be found on your mobile pages.

What do you have to do now?

mobile ready page

1. Use responsive website design

If you have a responsive website or a dynamic serving website where the content and markup is the same on mobile and desktop, you do not have to change anything.

Google recommends responsive website design:

"While we continue to support various ways of making mobile websites, we recommend responsive web design for new websites. We suggest not using separate mobile URLs (often called 'm-dot') because of issues and confusion we've seen over the years, both from search engines and users."

2. Adjust your pages if you do not use responsive website design

If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you should consider making some changes to your site:

  • Serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.
  • Use the robots.txt testing tool to verify that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot.
  • If you have only verified your desktop site in Search Console, add and verify your mobile version.

Mobile SEO tools

The Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler helps you to optimize your web pages for high rankings on Google Mobile. The Ranking Monitor in SEOprofiler can check the rankings of your web pages in Google's mobile search results. The website audit tool checks the mobile version of your web pages:

Optimize your website for mobile

2. Internet marketing news of the week

AnalysisAnalysis of 250 million SERPs finds no-click story more complex than it appears
"No-click search results are much less of a factor where (commercial) queries trigger the appearance of ads. There are significant differences in CTRs for position 1 for branded and non-branded queries. And featured snippets don’t impact CTRs in the aggregate."

1 billion new links in our link analysis tool

"We’re continually updating the link database of our link analysis tool. With our latest monthly update, we’ve added 1 billion new links. The link database currently contains 104 billion links."

GoogleGoogle: nofollow change was a policy change; no action was necessarily taken by Googlers yet

"We are all still trying to figure out if Google took any action with the nofollow link attribute change on March 1, 2020 or not. It seems the answer is not. John Mueller said in a Google webmaster hangout at the 17:22 mark that this is a policy change and as far as he knows, no engineer or anyone at Google has actually done anything differently since the change."

Google's John Mueller: it's okay to link to HTTP pages

"That's fine from an SEO point of view. From a security POV linking directly to the HTTPS version when it exists is better, but sometimes HSTS helps. For embedding (images, iframes), you need to use HTTPS."

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

  • Google My Business: All photos and videos are now reviewed before publication.
  • Google: Only update your pages when you have new things to say.
  • Google cancels event due to concerns around the coronavirus.
  • Cortana reborn: Microsoft's digital assistant becomes less about Alexa, more a productivity app.

3. Previous articles