The end of the financial year can be a chaotic time of year for any business owner or marketer. Take a quick break to catch up on the latest search news and changes with this month’s Search Recap blog.
From the recent European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rollouts implications for Australian businesses to the change in criteria for Google’s first round of Mobile-First Indexing notifications for Australian domains, I’ve shortlisted the key updates and how they impact your business below.
1. GDPR applies to Australian businesses
Thought the recent GDPR that rolled out on last month only applied to businesses within the European Union (EU)? Think again. Australian businesses that have an establishment in the EU or offer goods and services or monitor the behaviour of individuals in the EU are affected. Businesses found to not be compliant with the GDPR are liable to a fine of $30 million or 4% of global revenue. Is your business compliant? Learn more here.
2. Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Matches Content, Not Mobile Friendliness
Google is sending email notifications to website owners to confirm their change from desktop to mobile-first indexing. Those opposed to the change – due to possible loss of links, costs involved in changing to a mobile-friendly site, etc. – have speculated that a way to avoid it would be to have a site that is not mobile-friendly. However, Google is changing sites to mobile-first indexing using matching desktop and mobile site content as the criteria. Not updating your site to be mobile-friendly or mobile responsive for that matter only serves to harm your SERP ranking on mobile devices. Find out more about the change here.
3. Updated website content doesn’t need a new URL
Time to update the content on a page on your website? You’ll be happy to hear that Google recommends you replace the content on the existing URL instead of putting new content on a new URL and redirecting from the old URL. Discover more about the change here.
4. Subdomains versus Subdirectories
The debate over whether subdomains or subdirectories are more beneficial for SEO continues. Recently, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller advised that either works for Google but indicated a preference towards using subdomains and emphasised the importance of using the same type of hierarchy throughout a website. Still unsure which one is right for your site? Learn more here.
5. Google Confirms PDFs are not mobile-friendly
Wondered why you must pinch and zoom to properly view PDF documents on mobile devices? Google has advised that PDF documents are not mobile-friendly, as a result, they aren’t optimised for mobile devices. Find out more here.
6. Google Rolls Out First Round Mobile-First Index Notifications for Australian Domains
Last month, Google finally began sending out the mobile-first index email notifications for Australian (.au) domains. Google stated they were in the process of migrating websites that followed best practice for mobile-indexing. If you haven’t already, discover how to prepare your website here.