Google is issuing notices, through Google Search Console, to sites with mobile-first indexing issues. Google communicates issues it faces while moving the sites over to mobile-first indexing through emails. These emails also say, “Google expects to apply mobile-first indexing to all websites in the next six to twelve months.” Have a look at the screenshot that says, “mobile-first indexing issues detected.”
In a recent announcement, Google has now confirmed that it will completely switch over to mobile-first indexing for all websites by September this year.
Mobile-first indexing was first introduced by Google in November 2016 and by December 2018, half of the sites in Google’s search results were from mobile-first indexing. It means that Google crawls websites from the eyes of a mobile-browser and uses that mobile version indexing and ranking.
The prime reason why Google sends these emails to sites that are not yet moved to mobile-first indexing is to advise them on what needs to be done in order to become mobile-first indexing ready.
Our take on this:
When you receive any such notice, you should read it and take needed action. Failing to do so might impact the indexing and ranking of your web pages in Google. As always, if you need any assistance with making your website mobile-ready, we are ready to help!
There was some discussion on Twitter last month about an update in the Help Center that suggested that the description field in Google My Business played a part in helping you rank better.
We tested it ourselves and found that the description field has ZERO impact on your ranking in the 3-Pack. And this is how it should be; because if Google makes ranking a cakewalk, the results would be nothing short of mediocre, and that would be bad for both Google and its users.
The document said the following:
We got in touch with Google to bring misleading information to light, and a day later, the part at the top was removed. The removed excerpt was:
“Think about the words customers would type to find your business, and make sure that your listing actually includes those keywords within it.”
The new and updated text read:
Our take on this:
Although the information is still unclear and misleading, we are sure Google will keep updating to give a clear understanding that using a ton of keywords is not the way to improve rankings.
What is Scraped Content?
Scraped Content is the content that is copied from other places on the web and pasted on a particular website as if it belongs to the site owner. For well over 15 years, scraping has been predominantly active.
Heart of the Matter
Recently, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst – John Mueller said on Twitter that he wouldn’t lose sleep over people scraping copyrighted content. He wrote, “there’s a lot of scraped content out there which has minimal visibility, it’s not always worth losing sleep over it.”
John tweeted the following:
Many times when websites publish their articles, it is scraped almost within seconds. Such scraping is automated scraping, the rest use it for articles and newsletters, days later. Scrapping happens, and it is normal. People do copy and paste.
Back in 2011, Matt Cutts shared a video on Stolen Content Outranking You. Later in 2013, we understood that if you get penalized, then it is possible that Google may rank the stolen content above your original work.
Bing Webmaster Tools, which were often reported to be slow and outdated, just got a serious upgrade. The new and improved Bing Webmaster Tools portal, which was earlier released to a select group of users, was set to be made accessible to all users by the first week of March 2020.
The Idea Behind This New Development
According to Bing’s blog post, the backend datastore has been updated to improve data extraction and the user experience has been redesigned in an effort to make it more intuitive and user-friendly. Moreover, it states that the portal’s responsive design offers users the flexibility to access it across devices.
In their words, “The refreshed portal is being built with key principles of keeping the design Cleaner and Responsive with Faster and more Accessible tools.”
Key Features of the Upgraded Webmaster Tools Portal
The new portal is said to have 3 key features:
Now would be the best time to get familiar with the new portal. It is being said that it will only be a few weeks before they start deprecating the functionality from the old portal. Users that use webmaster APIs to get data programmatically, can continue doing so as the Webmaster APIs will remain as-is.
Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing? Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.
Google has slowly started sending out this email to Google+ page owners which has left quite a few business owners worried.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
The character limit is 750, so make it crisp and engaging. Learn more about it here.
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December is when every business owner out there is busy getting the biggest pie from the holiday cake. So it’s very rare that you see any buzz in SEO forums. But this time, we witnessed something different. Many people were online, sharing their experiences. Just like an unexpected tornado caught them off guard, and took away everything they had. Well maybe it became way too more dramatic, but we would like to inform you that Google has made changes to their core ranking algorithms. And as a result, may websites witnessed a drop in traffic as massive as 35%!
Moz reported high volatility in search results through Mozcast as can be seen below.
A non seasonal site owner, who hardly witnesses any fluctuations witnessed a drop of 30%! However, they were not alone and this was not due to any glitch. Many other users started sharing their trauma on webmaster forums. After a thorough research, we found out that Google did make changes to their core ranking algorithms and later on they confirmed the same. The statement Google sent was “we released several minor improvements during this timeframe, part of our regular and routine efforts to improve relevancy.”
We decided to do some number crunching ourselves. Our dataset of 4000+ websites and 350,000+ keywords (local and national) makes it easy for us to get a birds-eye view of how our client campaigns are performing.
Not surprisingly, we were happy to find that this update didn’t have any negative impact on our client campaigns. Most probably, the SEO deliverables which we offer saved our clients from this update. This is another example of how our strategies future-proof your business.
So if your organic leads were affected, especially around December 13th or 14th, open Google Analytics and check whether your site was hit by MACCABEES or not. If you were hit by this update OR want to make sure you’re not going to be a likely victim, we can help. Just connect with us and let our professional SEOs to do the work for you.
December is considered a pretty slow month from the SEO point of view. But This December was different. There was a lot of buzz in the SEO forums because Google dropped a big algorithm change without warning (as it always does). Many SEO experts are calling it the Maccabees update which targeted keyword permutations as well as hit some celebrity websites.
But not every update from Google was shocking. Since 2013, Google promised to add a year plus of data to search console from quite some time, which they actually delivered. Here’s a screenshot of how the new Google Search Console will look.
So, all in all, we can say that it was pretty busy December for Google just like the rest of us.
Recently Google published their quality guidelines mainly for Google Assistant and Voice Search Results. As per the guidelines; better the quality of the voice search apter will be the responses generated.
Here’s what Google wrote —
"In the past we have received requests to see our evaluation guidelines from academics who are researching improvements in voice interactions, question answering and voice-guided exploration. To facilitate their evaluations, we are publishing some of the first Google Assistant guidelines. It is our hope that making these guidelines public will help the research community build and evaluate their own systems."
Google will be evaluating these dimensions for rating voice search responses.
The full and short PDF is available as a download over here.
It seems like Google is testing a new feature, as some users have witnessed an image from the landing page, right next to the description area of the text ad.
Google spokesperson gave a generic statement regarding this — "We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now."
So they neither denied nor accepted it. Google has tested many imaged ad formats over the years, and none made it to the mainstream. But we are seeing a lot of images right next to the text ads lately, so this time, they might fully role out this feature.
Last years Google launched large format mobile ads exclusively for automotive makers. It allowed the automotive company to entice the customers by showing the carousel of images of car models. Because the looks of cars play an important role, this update was considered useful for the car makers. Google might launch similar ad formats for other industries too, in near future.
We will keep you posted.
Facebook constantly keeps updating its news feed algorithm to improve user experience and to serve them with relevant and engaging content. Marketers should be always aware about these new updates, as they can sometimes cause problems to them.
Recently, Facebook released three updates that can reduce marketers organic reach. The updates are about the type of content Facebook prefers to serve its users. Businesses who want to make the most of their Facebook presence, need to pay attention to these updates.
It gives preference to videos that has intent or repeat viewership
Videos are one of the most popular mode of marketing on Facebook. But as per Facebook’s last news feed algorithm update, it will give preference to the videos which people are searching for or returning to Facebook to watch.
The preference depends on two factors:
It devalues engagement bait content
According to the latest news feed update, posts like “Share with a friend…” or “Like this if…” will be devalued and few people will only be able to view such posts.
Facebook has decided not to promote such spammy tactics to attract engagement, it has created a machine learning model to detect distinct types of engagement bait and it will take action against people or pages who upload such posts.
Here are few examples of engagement bait:
It devalues links to low-quality websites
With increasing spam and junk on the internet, Facebook will ensure that users don’t have to encounter such things by devaluing links that provide poor web experience.
Facebook has reviewed thousands of different pages linked to Facebook and has prepared a list of common characteristics that shows the web page has low-value.
Tips to ensure this update doesn’t affect the organic search of your website:
For months, webmasters around the world have been dreading the day when Google would officially launch a new algorithm that would penalize non-mobile friendly websites. Well folks, that day is nearing a bit closer.
On April 21st, Google will officially expand its use of using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. It will not matter if your website is based in the United States, Italy, or Russia – your website will be affected.
There are a few things to note before you panic. Here are three things worth noting:
• Scrambling to update your entire site is not necessary – mobile friendliness is determined at page level not site level
• Tablets will not be affected
What should I choose – Responsive Or a Mobile Website?
Let’s start with their similarities. Both will optimize your site for better readability on smaller screens, offer simpler navigation, and load much quicker. Your website will also show as mobile friendly in search results when your potential customers search for you (see Fig A below).
That however, is where similarities end. A mobile site is just a copy of your website and it resides on the server. When the server detects a mobile device it furnishes the mobile version instead of the desktop version. A responsive website is not a copy. It is your actual website that automatically adjusts the webpage to the screen size and orientation. This saves you the hassle of having to manage two different website versions. A separate mobile website could be a management nightmare especially if you have a lot of pages.
With a mobile site, you must set up a different URL (i.e. xyz.com/mobile or m.xyz.com) whereas a responsive design lets you keep everything the same and only needs some changes in your code.
Link equity will not count towards a mobile design but it will with a responsive design. This is because a responsive design embeds new code on the backend and again because the mobile site requires a new domain.
If a new phone emerges on the market, you may need to re-code the mobile design. A responsive design will automatically adjust to screen settings.
On April 21st, if your websites are not mobile friendly, this may severely affect your Google rankings. A lower ranking (or no ranking) can hurt your lead generation prospects and dramatically impact your lead pipeline. In some cases, the losses from ranking decrease can be in thousands of dollars and lead to being put out of business.
So, what next?
Ideally you would want your website to be a responsive website rather than having a separate mobile version of your site. But if you have a mobile version, you should be safe but it is advisable to get it converted to a responsive design due to reasons mentioned above. If your website isn’t responsive, take action today by following the steps below:
1) Test and see if your website is mobile ready. Click the button below to see if your site is mobile friendly.
2) If your website failed the test or if it is not mobile friendly, contact your webmaster immediately and ask him/her to start converting your website into a responsive format.
If you need help converting your site, call us at 847-220-9541 or simply click the FREE WEBSITE ANALYSIS button below. We’ll be happy to give you a Free Analysis and recommend the right approach.
Below are some websites that our web team converted into a mobile friendly design.
In the last few weeks we’ve read numerous articles from people around the country via Facebook and Twitter voicing their opinion about where internet marketing is going so we thought our two cents can be thrown into the mix.
For several years we at eBizUniverse have been helping small to medium sized businesses put their name on the map (i.e. Google, Yahoo!, Yelp, etc) so that people searching for their product can more easily locate the product(s) and place an order. Our most popular requested service is converting outdated HTML/CSS websites to a fully responsive WordPress platform making it easier and quicker than ever to launch a brand new website. We’ve found that in the last few years this demand has shifted more towards mobile optimization. Why is that? Because more and more people are using their mobile device to view websites, conduct research, and order products.
Another shifting trend is the advancement of social media platforms to do everything like contact friends without speaking, post what you ate for lunch or your plans that night, and the ability to upload product ads to market your business. Postal service marketing is all but dead due to high costs, and e-mail marketing is dying because of the ever present spam threat. So, why not utilize a platform that millions of Americans use multiple times per day and connect with people within seconds instead of hoping an e-mail or letter is opened?
Last but certainly not least, the evolution of social video. Ever hear of Instavid, Snapchat, or Hyperlapse? Don’t worry, if you haven’t, you will. You have heard what a blog is and who a blogger is, right?. But do you know what a vlog is? Or a micro-vlogger? Both of these trends are growing exponentially as these apps are attracting high school and college students each week. We know 160 characters is nowhere near leaving us, but for some a video selfie might catch someone’s attention quicker.
As we progress into the latter days of January, take a second to see what you could improve on regarding internet marketing. Chances are pretty high that our talented staff can help you succeed in the digital world. If you’re still unsure, give us a call today and speak with an eBizRepresentative – let us know what your goals are and how you’d want to achieve those goals in your mind.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
SEO has always been a constantly changing system of how to get sites ranked highest. A lot has changed in the SEO world in the last 10 months, and in this article, we’re going to give you a quick overview of Google changes, as well as other more general SEO changes, and how they affect the ranking of sites.
Google is now giving sites that use Secure Socket Layer protection a bit of a ranking boost. For now, it’s only a very lightweight ranking signal, and is trumped highly by overall quality of content. However, this is a ranking signal that may gain more ranking weight in the future, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
The steady succession of Panda updates rolled out by Google have done a great job of preventing low quality sites from gaining a high rank position. In the Panda 4.0 update, which affects an additional 7.5% of site queries, Google is doing everything in its power to ensure that content quality reigns supreme.
Over the course of the Panda updates, low quality content sites with nothing or very little to offer were systematically eliminated. Also, the Panda 4.0/4.1 updates put an emphasis on the inclusion of mobile optimization and friendliness.
When inputting keywords and phrases into the Google search engine, until just recently you’d be inundated with facial snapshots of the documents author. Many people reported being actually “put off” by the facial snapshots, and wanted something done about it.
Google “stepped up to the plate” and eliminated the facial snapshots entirely, so that now only the authors name is shown next to the article hyperlink. This eliminated a lot of “queezy” feelings Google users had about using the Google search engine in particular.
Additionally, through yet another update, any authorship details whatsoever have now been eliminated as well. Now when you do a Google search, you’ll no longer see authorship markup details attached to the SERP links.
This algorithm update affects local search positions and rankings. Local searches are especially popular with Google, and through the Pigeon update(s), Google comes closer to offering more highly refined, more highly targeted, and more accurate local search experiences.
Distance and location ranking parameters have been improved through this update.
Google is always looking for ways to improve user experience with their search engine. With the “Top Heavy” Algorithm update, sites heavy with ads within the top fold of the page will have their ranking positions penalized.
Also, if advertisements are deemed by the Google algorithm to be “too distracting”, this will also take away from the overall ranking of the site.
Social media has continued to gain popularity as a way to add ranking potential to sites. Through using social media ranking signals such as Facebook and LinkedIn promotion, sites can use the high PR ranking of Facebook to get their sites higher in the SERP’s.
Nearly everyone out there now has a smartphone that’s capable of browsing the web. SEO has thusly started to include mobile optimization strategies as part of the overall makeup of general SEO ranking. This is new for 2014, and throughout the new year of 2015, we’ll be seeing a MAJOR increase in using mobile ranking signals as a way to stay high in the SERPS. Definitely stay tuned to this new change and plan to adopt strategies that implement this new SEO change.
This is a highly popular way of gaining links to your site. Through link baiting strategies, a webmaster puts out a high quality piece of content, and thereby uses this as “bait” to get other webmasters to link to it.
The higher quality the content used as “link bait”, the better the chances of gaining more quality links to your site and achieving a higher SERP position.
Optimizing your site in accordance with long tail keyword dynamics is VERY popular. Ranking for a high competition single keyword is exceedingly difficult to rank for. Thusly, webmasters are optimizing their sites for long tail keyword searches that are not only easier to rank for, but also offer more targeted results that result in higher conversion rates too.