Category: SEO

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A mobile tablet running faster with Google AMP.

Google AMP: The Need for (Mobile) Speed


A little over one year ago, Google unveiled Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): an open-source framework hoping to give users a better mobile experience.

The AMP project was created to help publishers deliver high-quality content on an increasingly mobile web. While everyone understands that ads are necessary for online publications to make money, slow-loading mobile pages were frustrating users and actually losing publishers their readership.

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A photo of Penguins

Major Update to Google Penguin


When Google announced Penguin 4.0, the SEO world went nuts.

For those unfamiliar, Penguin is part of Google’s algorithm that fights web spam. Any site caught using manipulative link practices (e.g. using link farms to accumulate backlinks from keyword-rich anchor text) to influence their organic search ranking will be penalized by Google.

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The effect of website speed on SEO

Google Hints Mobile SEO Changes


Search Engine Land reported that Google “hopes to add mobile-specific page speed as a factor and not rely on the desktop version” when it updates its mobile-friendly algorithm.

Site speed has been a ranking factor since 2010, but Google still depends on page speed results from the desktop version of your site for both mobile and non-mobile rankings. This has always struck me as odd, since Google’s tool for measuring website performance provides results for both the desktop and mobile version of your site.

(For those who don’t know, Google has separate algorithms for its desktop (non-mobile) and mobile search results. To answer your follow-up question: no, Google does not consider tablets to be mobile devices.)

It’s no secret that Google’s primary focus for the past 5+ years has been mobile usability. Google does not crawl Flash websites since Flash isn’t compatible with most smartphones. It forced webmasters to adopt responsive design (or mobile-optimized pages, like m. sites) via “Mobilegeddon” to improve site readability on phones.

Since Google still dominates the search industry, these actions have undoubtedly increased mobile internet usage. It’s estimated that nearly 40% of all web pages will be served on mobile devices in 2016; Google’s mobile-first policies are a big reason why. These same policies enacted by Ask or AOL (which combine for less than 0.5% of the search market) wouldn’t make a dent in mobile web traffic. Same for Bing and Yahoo! (#2 and #3 in search market share, respectively). It took a powerhouse like Google to change how webmasters build websites.

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Google issues penalties for suspicious websites

More Google Penalties for Untrustworthy Sites


Google was busy earlier this week, announcing penalties for sites with “unnatural outbound links” as well as sites with deceptive download buttons.

Neither penalty should come as a surprise to webmasters. Webmasters with suspicious outbound links received notices from Google, saying the search engine would discount any of the distrusted links in its algorithm. A follow-up from Google concluded the penalties were in relation to free product reviews. Specifically, bloggers exchanging backlinks in return for free products, without disclosing that the link was provided in return for the free item (or without adding a nofollow tag to the link).

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