Google Has Started Rolling Out Mobile First Index

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Google has slowly started sending out this email to Google+ page owners which has left quite a few business owners worried.

“Hello,

It looks like the Google+ page for [business name] has not been used in a while. To simplify your Google My Business listing, we will be removing this additional page from our system in 30 days.

This change won’t affect your Google My Business listing – you can still be found on Google Search and Maps. You can download a copy of your old content before it’s deleted by visiting this page. Alternatively, you can post or comment on someone else’s post within 30 days to keep your Google+ page active.

Thank you,
Your Google My Business team
Please note, this email address is not monitored.”

First of all, this email from Google is completely legitimate. However, there’s nothing to be worried about.

Let’s get a few things straight:

  • A Google+ page and Google My Business (GMB) listing are separate entities. If your Google+ page is deleted, this will not affect your GMB listing.
  • All reviews you’ve accumulated on your business through Google relate to your GMB listing, not your Google+ page. So if your Google+ page is deleted, your reviews will still be available on GMB.
  • Google has sent out this notice to users of Google+ pages that don’t get used regularly (the page may have been created automatically while creating a Google account once upon a time), so they want to clear up any profiles that have no purpose.
  • Google+ is a social network that gets used very infrequently, and I suspect this is a step in the direction of Google phasing out the platform.
  • Again – don’t freak out: you can easily hang on to your Google+ page if you still use it. All you need to do is post or comment on someone else’s post within 30 days.

Final Thoughts
We’re not surprised that Google has decided to move in this direction. A lot of the functionality that was exclusively available through Google+ is now available through GMB.

  • The ‘social network’ component can now been seen in GMB through the introduction of Google Posts, and perhaps Google Q&A’s (which still have a long way to go).
  • Another component that is currently rolling out to all GMB listings is the ability to add a description, which was available a couple of years ago before Google dropped it’s Google+ support, now they’ve added it again via GMB.

GRADE YOUR WEBSITE

All in all – we’re happy to see Google move in this direction to remove a lot of the clutter.

Here is the screenshot of actual email from Google.


Google is now rolling out “Mobile First Index”. The roll out is limited to sites that follow best practices for mobile first indexing.

Google has already moved a limited number of sites to mobile first indexing, but this time it’s on a much larger scale.

They confirmed that they will be informing webmasters / site owners about the migration via Google Search Console. So if you are a webmaster or site owner, you might receive a message like this:

Google added that the site owners will see significant increase in crawl rate from the smartphone Google bot. Also, they will show the mobile version in search engine results and cached pages once the migration is completed.

What is mobile-first indexing?
Google says it is about how Google crawls your site. Google will only have one index, but how Google crawls and creates the index will be based on a mobile-first experience going forward. Google wrote:

To recap, our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our — primarily mobile — users find what they’re looking for.

Google has a detailed developer document on mobile-first indexing.
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The brand new Google My Business dashboard is here and people are excited about the new features. Many influential marketers got their hands on the new dashboard about a month ago, and now Google is making it available to other people on…a random basis. Here’s a screenshot of the new Dashboard.

The new Google My Business dashboard boasts many improved features such as:

All users regardless of their size will be using the same interface. It means that you will no longer have to switch between the card and list view.

The new dashboard is easy to navigate, allowing you to view and edit your listings within the same window.

You can now find the posts and insights directly on the side navigation panel.

This one is big. Now adding more listings will not affect the loading speed of the page.

Not sure if you have the latest version of the dashboard? Log in to your account and check if there’s a “Black to Classic GMB” option in the left side navigation menu.

GRADE YOUR WEBSITE

 

 

 

 

 

You can now add description of your business directly within Google My Business. It’s not a new feature though. Google removed this feature back in 2016 when they dropped the Google+ support. And now made it available again. This feature offers a hassle free way to keep the information about your business updated and ultimately help the searchers.

Here’s how you can add business description:

  1. Login to Google My business.
  2. Click on the info button on the menu bar.
  3. Click on the add business description
  4. Click on the pencil icon and add info.

The character limit is 750, so make it crisp and engaging. Learn more about it here.

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