Latest Google SEO Update 2016
What's new in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ?
It’s the time for summer and all you can think about are beaches, hill stations and cold beverages. However there are lots of new changes in SEO. The search space has been engaged in an algorithm updates race. So lets have a look at Latest Google SEO Update 2015 and What's new in SEO?
Mobilegeddon SEO Update:
On April 21st 2015 Google hit mobile search with its long awaited Google Mobile-Friendly Update. The experts from Google pointed that Mobilegeddon was even larger than Penguin or Panda. According to a recent study twice as many non-mobile friendly pages lost rankings as gained after the Mobile Update. If you have not yet re-optimized your website to meet mobile-friendly guidelines, you’d better start working on it before you take that vacation.
I will be sharing the Mobile SEO Issues Checklist you will need to check your website pages for in order to gain the rankings.
Mobile SEO Issues Checklist:
MAKE YOUR SITE MOBILE-FRIENDLY
Today, it is not enough to have a well-built and optimized desktop-oriented website. It is a well known fact that the average amount of mobile traffic in 2015 is from 30% to 50% (depending on the website niche). The fact that your website rankings can benefit from mobile optimization is very challenging. You definitely don’t want your website visitors to take flight at the first sign that your mobile website lacks user-friendliness. This can prevent you from benefiting from a large portion of highly-converting mobile traffic.
What makes the mobile version of a site different from the desktop?
Here is the list of the most common mobile usability issues you should fix on each of your important landing pages in order to meet mobile-friendly search standards.
Common issues with NON-User-Friendly Mobile Design Website
1. You chose a wrong mobile website configuration option
On the way to the perfect display of your site on mobile devices you should optimize your content so it stays looking great on any type of device screen.How to fix
Though Google doesn't take into account responsive design, it highly recommends that you use a responsive design option as this is the most cost-effective and simple technique to adjust your website content to the screen size of different devices and keep both desktop and mobile content on the same URL for a better user experience. Responsive design with adaptive logic is a great way to dynamically specify the form of content in order to maximize the usability (reading content without reordering and resizing) for mobile users. This is one of the dynamic serving design options. Read about all the pros and cons of all mobile site configuration options, such as responsiveness, dynamic serving, mobile site version, mobile app or Wordpress responsive themes and decide what option would be the best solution for you.
2. Your mobile site uses an illegible font type
Don’t wreck your user's nerves and don’t strain their eyes by unreadable and tiny text size. The small font size may increase the bounce rate of your mobile site.
How to fix
Google recommends that you use a 16 CSS pixel font size. Use proper media query settings to make your fonts easy-to-read and adjustable for any device screen. Find more details on legible font sizes provided by Google.
3. Your mobile site has a lack of intuitive navigation
An intuitive navigation is critical for a good user experience. It should serve as the starting and the end point for users. No matter how deep they dive into your site, limit your navigation funnel to 2-3 clicks in order to deliver them to the needed page. Your mobile site navigation should meet the main mobile user experience principal.
How to fix
Your top navigation menu should contain a 3-bar icon with a limited number of drop-down pages to link. The search option magnifying glass icon, back button and a quick home page link in the form of a logo in the upper left corner of the page are default requirements. Here are some of the best practices that will help you improve the navigation on your mobile site.
4. Some of your pages are too slow
A large number of unoptimized images, bulky codes, flash usage and external media embedding are the most common reasons for a slow page response.
How to fix
Test your page speed score and eliminate all the issues that may decrease the quality of your user's experience on your mobile site.
5. Some of the CSS, JS elements and images are blocked from crawling because of the robots.txt. file configuration
Blocking CSS, JS, images and wireframes from your robots.txt file is now considered a bad SEO practice. If the areas are inaccessible for Googlebot they will not be indexed properly. As a result you will lose additional rankings for these lost content pieces.
How to fix
Google updates its crawler in order to render CSS and JS files included to your content. Be sure not to block bots from them. In order to diagnose and resolve the pages which embed the blocked resources, Google has recently added the Blocked Resources Report to its Google Webmaster Tools usability issues block.
6. Mobile content is not properly adjusted to the size of a view port
By forcing users to scroll your mobile content horizontally or zoom it out, you provide a poor user experience. It is most probably because of a failed meta view port tag configuration.
How to fix
Make sure you use a meta view port tag in the head of each page’s code. The meta view port value (width=device-width) placed within the tag will automatically instruct the page to fit any device screen’s width so the content is rendered with appropriate dimensions and scaling.
7. Your mobile content “tap targets” are poorly optimized
There are some above-the-fold content areas (buttons, ads, forms, links) on your mobile site that call for interaction with users. Users may be hugely irritated by being taken to a wrong URL destination because of tap targets are displayed too close to each other.
How to fix
The tap targets should be large enough (48 CSS pixels or 7 mm) to meet mobile-friendly standards and should have enough room (32 CSS pixels or 5 mm) around to avoid frustrating the user experience. Read more about optimal tap target recommendations for a better user experience.
8. Your content is filled with poorly optimized images
Image usage in mobile search is crucial. Since images are among the most popular forms of content on the web, they cover a lot of space on websites. The fact that you may have non-optimized images that are not compressed and properly sized may damage your image search rankings and organic search rankings.
How to fix
Make sure you follow the image optimization best practices from Google in order to reduce their size and keep them in high quality on any device type.
9. Your website is weighted by unfriendly Flash content
The problem with Flash content is that it is impossible to index it organically. Mobile devices can’t render it at all. Moreover, Flash can cause multiple violations of modern search engine standards, including mobile usability and search indexing.
How to fix
It is recommended that you avoid building or embedding any Flash-based objects into your mobile site content.
10. Your mobile site has too many non-optimized and time-consuming redirects
The mobile usability and page speed score of your site can be negatively affected by excessive usage of redirects. The worst scenario of using multiple redirect chains is the high bounce rate of your website. There are 3 types of redirects:
Canonical redirects –
mysite.com >> www.mysite.com
Secure page redirects –
http://www.mysite.com >> https://www.mysite.com
Mobile version redirects –
http://www.mysite.com >> http://m.example.com
How to fix
Time-consuming redirect lag times between user-agent and web server may add extra seconds to load a page. For the best mobile user experience, we recommend that you get rid of all the redirects. You will be very lucky if a user that landed on your site has good patience and a good temper. Learn more about mobile redirect optimization here.
Design and SEO recommendations for being mobile-friendly after the apocalypse
1. Use a “Desktop (PC) site” (instead of “Full site”) link in the code of mobile pages of your site to provide users with optional access to a desktop version, because it may contain more
information and provide a better user experience for those who choose this option.
2. Conduct detailed mobile-focused keyword research using the Mobile Trends Data from the Google Keyword Planner in combination with the Top Mobile Search Queries report of your Google Webmaster Tools account.
3. Segment your targeted terms into 2 categories (desktop and mobile) and start tracking your mobile vs desktop rankings in order to take note of any fluctuations. Do side-by-side monitoring of your competitive mobile rankings. As soon as you notice any positive or negative changes, update your mobile optimization strategy to over perform your competition in mobile search.
4. Keep calls-to-actions centered and at the front. Test them on various types of mobile devices. Ideally, the screen should not be zoomed in so the mobile user could have a full view of a lengthy call-to-action button.
5. Make click-to-call buttons (for Skype or phone numbers) visible and easy-to-tap on your mobile site. This may increase your conversion rate.
6. Since Google no longer shows the actual page URL on mobile search results but provides searchers with breadcrumb-like URLs it would be a good SEO practice to structure your displayed page URLs with the help of schema.org to make them clean and descriptive.
7. Compression of images can minimize the size of uploaded files, which makes the page easier and its speed optimal.
In addition to all this noise, Google has confirmed that it is now official that there are more searches on mobile devices than on desktops. This is big news and, if you want to dominate on Google search, then the mobile search optimization strategy is in your first-rate priority do-to list.
Search Queries Update
On May 6th 2015, Google officially updated and renamed the Search Queries report in its Webmaster Tools. Now, in your Webmaster Tools you can find the Search Analytics report with more accurate data and filtering options.
Webmaster Tool Rebrand
On May 20th 2015, Google Webmaster Tools was rebranded into Google Search Console. Google decided to changes the ten year old name of the tool to a more universal because it is used not only by webmasters but also by website owners, SEO experts, marketing specialists, designers, web developers etc.