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Search Recap: Mobile First Index Testing, Beta Search Console Updates Plus More

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11th December 2017 in

With 2018 on the horizon, it’s important to stay informed about the latest search news and updates so you can prepare your search strategy for the new year.

As Bonfire’s SEO Manager, I’m highlighting the impact of Google’s mobile-first index testing, the latest SEO ranking factors report, plus much more to help keep you in the loop.

These are the top four updates:

  1. Google’s Mobile First Indexing has begun…

With the continued rise of mobile searches over desktop searches, Google has begun a small test of their mobile first index, where they are indexing and ranking search listings based on the mobile version of a website’s content.

Both desktop and mobile users will be impacted by this change, which means you may need to adjust your mobile website to maintain your current rankings.

To ensure Google consumes the right content and ranks your site accordingly, make sure all content and links on your mobile site are close enough to the desktop version. This is especially important for websites that use a separate “m.” subdomain, where the content can be dramatically different to the desktop website.

If you do not have a mobile site, Google will crawl your desktop version instead.

Find out more about the implications here.

  1. Increased data range on the horizon with Google’s ‘beta’ Search Console…

Accessing only 90 days’ worth of Google’s Search Console data could soon be a thing of the past.

Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, announced they’re working on expanding the data range to a full year in the new ‘beta’ version.

With access to data covering longer periods of time, you will be able to better optimise your SEO campaigns.

Learn more about the news here, and other benefits of the new ‘beta’ version in my previous blog here.

  1. Another “SEO ranking factors” report has been released…

SEO tool company, SEMrush, has released their annual Google SEO Ranking Factors report.

According to the study, out of the 17 factors measured the top five factors that impact SEO rankings are:

  • Direct website traffic
  • User behaviour (e.g. bounce rate, time on site, pages per session etc.)
  • Backlink factors
  • Branded keywords
  • HTTPS domains

Discover more about the report findings here.

  1. Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates continue…

Google have confirmed that updates to the Panda and Penguin algorithms are ongoing.

Due to the frequency, the algorithm changes most likely will occur without any announcements from Google.

This means SEOs and webmasters will need to continue to be vigilant in identifying and correcting any issues that may occur as a result, read more here.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the brightest minds.


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