It’s Mobilegeddon hot in here: Google strengthens its mobile-friendly ranking signal

If you have a mobile-friendly website, stand down. This news is not for you.

mobilegeddon2-ss-1920-800x450If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, my goodness what the hell are you doing!?? Have you not had enough warnings already? Stop reading this right now and go get a responsive website immediately you maniac!

So for anyone else reading this news – probably one person: my boss, the editor-in-chief of ClickZ (hi Graham!) – here’s a quick update to one of the biggest changes in the way Google ranks your website made in the last few years.

According to an announcement yesterday, from the beginning of May 2016, Google will increases the effectiveness of its ‘mobile friendly’ ranking signal. Continue reading

Should you audit your disavow file?

In October 2013, Google gave us the Disavow tool.

This allowed webmasters to instruct Google not to count the link metrics that flowed either through certain links or from certain domains.

If you’ve had a manual penalty or have been dealing with Google’s Penguin algorithm, you’ve probably filed a disavow file.

Disavow Links

For the last two years, I have reviewed a large number of disavow files, which often harm sites’ rankings. In some cases, I have suggested auditing the disavow file to determine whether it should be modified and resubmitted.

Here are some possible scenarios in which a site owner may make the decision to thoroughly review their disavow file.

Have you relied on link auditing software to make disavow decisions?

Some link auditing tools can be quite helpful when it comes to organizing your links. But it is vitally important that you take this well-organized list and manually review the disavow suggestions the tool has made.

I have seen far too many businesses blindly take the report generated from one of these tools and submit it directly to Google. Usually when this happens, a large number of unnatural links go undetected and are not disavowed.

Viewing the backlink profile for a site that had relied on an automated tool for disavow decisions recently, I discovered unnatural links from 965 new domains that had not been disavowed. It’s no wonder this site was still struggling with Penguin.

However another problem that I have seen, is that these automated tools will often flag really good links for removal. In one case, an automated tool flagged some valid press mentions – from BBC News, The Guardian, and other great news sources – as unnatural links.

It’s important to remember that the disavow suggestions made by these tools are suggestions, therefore, they need to be reviewed manually.

As such, if you have relied on an automated tool to make disavow decisions, it may be worthwhile to review your disavow file and see if you have accidentally disavowed some good domains. If you have, you can remove those lines from your disavow file and resubmit it.

Google should eventually start to count the link equity from these good sources again. However, it may take a while for the links to start helping again.

Were you super aggressive while removing links for a manual action?

If you’ve ever tried to remove a manual unnatural links penalty from your site, you know that Google can be pretty strict when it comes to giving you that beautiful “spam action revoked” message.

After each failed attempt at reconsideration, site owners often trim away at their links, eventually becoming so desperate that they end up getting rid of almost all them. In many cases, there were some unnecessary disavow decisions.

Auditing a disavow file after an overly aggressive link pruning can be tough. You certainly don’t want to try to game the system and reavow links that are unnatural. But if you feel that you have disavowed links that were actually valid, it may be worthwhile to have another look at your link profile.

A word of caution: If you decide to reavow links, be careful. It may be a good idea to have an impartial party review your reavow decisions to make sure that these links really are decent ones.

Did you hire an inexperienced person to do your link audit?

Sadly this is a very common experience. Knowing which links to disavow can be difficult to determine. No one can accurately predict exactly which links Google wants to see disavowed.

Some decisions are easy, especially when the link is outright spam, but sometimes it can be hard to decide whether to disavow a link or not.

I’ve seen cases where, while performing a link audit, the SEO company decided to disavow every link that was anchored with a keyword.

The issue with this is that not all keyword-anchored links are unnatural. If a major news publication wrote about your company and legitimately linked to you using your keyword as the link anchor, this is a good thing.

Additionally, I’ve witnessed people disavow every single directory link pointing to the site. While directories certainly can be a source of unnatural links, there are many directories that are valid citations and good links. Removing or disavowing links from good directories can destroy your rankings, both in the organic rankings and in the local pack.

I’ve even had cases where small business owners blindly trust an SEO company to do a link audit, only to have that company disavow every single link pointing to their client’s site.

Final thoughts:

My intention in writing this article is not to advise people to try to game Google by reavowing links that were self-made for SEO purposes.

Instead, I would urge you to review your disavow file to see if perhaps you have been too aggressive in disavow decisions. You may find that reavowing some decent links that were disavowed in error eventually results in a positive difference in your rankings.

What do you think? Have you disavowed links in error? What are your experiences and thoughts on reavowing links? Let us know in the comments below.

For more information visit:- http://searchenginewatch.com

Google launched “Trash Can” Which Recovers your Deleted Analytics

A new recovery feature for Google Analytics means that users will never again have to worry about deleting data or accounts. Today, Google launched “Trash Can,” which allows users to undo deletes in Google Analytics.

Trash Can is a safety net that saves information each time users delete a view, property, or account from Google Analytics. To use Trash Can, Analytics users simply select an account from the Administration tab and click the Trash Can icon. Then a list of deleted information appears, and users simply check off the information they want reclaimed and hit restore to return the document to its previous state.

google-trash-can

The only catch is that Trash Can only stores information for 35 days. After that, it gets deleted permanently.

While the feature hasn’t officially launched for Google Analytics, information is being stored in Trash Can as of today. When the product does appear in Analytics accounts, all deleted information should appear in the Trash Can folder.

Trash Can is a direct response to user feedback, according to a Google rep. “We heard from a lot of users that had mistakenly deleted their accounts, properties, and views. Especially in a multi-user environment, mistakes like this happen too often. Trash Can gives users a safety net, a chance to recover things before being deleted forever.”

Google to Shut Down Orkut Social Network on September

orkut social network

Google has called time on its social media service Orkut, claiming that success in other areas of the business have made its existence irrelevant.

Google’s engineering director Paulo Golgher said the administration would close on September 30, as the organization decides to concentrate on its more mainstream, and more beneficial, business ranges.

“Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell,” he said. “We’ll be focusing our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.”

Google has given clients a three-month period to fare profile information utilizing its Google Takeout administration, however no all the more new Orkut profiles could be made.

“We are preserving an archive of all public communities, which will be available online starting 30 September 2014. If you don’t want your posts or name to be included in the community archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account,” Golgher added. “It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service.”

Google consistently shuts its services in ‘spring cleans’ of its projects and tools as it looks to guarantee it doesn’t squander an excessive amount of time and assets on fizzled thoughts.

Orkut was seen as the first attempt by Google to enter the social media market, but it failed to generate much enthusiasm, although it did prove popular in Brazil.

For More Information Visit:- http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2353148/Google-to-Close-Orkut-Social-Netwok

Did Google Panda 4.0 Go After Press Release Sites?

Nine days ago when Google released Panda 4.0 – which aims to filter out “thin” content from top rankings – we focused our attention on the big Winners & Losers charts, Since then, some have noted that press releases may have also been hit big time.

Using SearchMetrics, I looked at the top Press Release sites and checked if they lost any SEO visibility on a large scale since Panda 4.0 hit, and PRWeb.com, PR Newswire, BusinessWire and PRLog all seem to have lost significant rankings in Google.

PRNewsWire.com seems to have shown a significant drop in SEO visibility, dropping ~63% after Panda 4.0 was released:

prnewswire-panda4

PRWeb.com, another major press release distribution web site, also saw a huge drop, ~71%: Continue reading

Google Webmaster Tools Has Announced a New “Index Status” Feature

Google Webmaster Tools has advertised another “Index Status” offer now tracks a site’s listed Urls for every convention (HTTP and HTTPS), and in addition for checked subdirectories.

“This makes it easy for you to monitor different sections of your site,” Google’s announcement said. “For example, the following URLs each show their own data in Webmaster Tools Index Status report, provided they are verified separately:”

Google Webmaster Tool Indexing Data

The announcement highlighted the change in the reports if you have a website on HTTPS, or if some content is indexed under different subdomains. The reports will have an annotation, and look something like this: Continue reading

Google’s New Search Layout

Google Search LayoutThe new Google search layout users began seeing a couple weeks ago on a limited basis has now gone live to all users.

Google’s new layout, which changes the font and removes underlines from links, as well as displays the AdWords ads at the top differently, has definitely been getting poor reviews as it rolled out to everybody.

The headlines are larger the description text seems to be slightly lighter and they have adjusted the fonts with the wider typeface.

For AdWords ads, gone is the light yellow in the background that we have long associated as being advertising space for many years now. The new style doesn’t have any shaded background, instead it has a tiny yellow “Ad” marker next to the green URL. There is also an underline separating the ads from the organic search results.

Beyond the cosmetic change, the new search layout is affecting SEO in a pretty pronounced way. Titles that were optimized to the maximum 70 allowable characters for SEO purposes will now find the same headlines truncated in Google’s new results, giving everyone about 59-60 characters to work with. This means you might have a lot of work ahead of you trying to rework titles so they don’t appear poorly truncated in the search results, which could impact click-throughs to your site.

The first time many user saw the changes, many users thought they actually had their search hijacked or were falling victim to Google spoofing, because the search results looked completely different. And the reviews definitely aren’t good across the board, judging from all the comments by very upset searchers, something that actually made the switch to another search engine strictly because of the new look.

To me, it looks like a throwback to how search engine results looked 10 to 15 years ago, such as on Webcrawler or Hotbot, not something that has been refreshed for 2014. And I do agree with many people who say the new font makes it much harder to read and scan when on a desktop.

Google’s logic behind the new change was that they make the changes for mobile and tablets, and they carry out over several the design changes to desktop users. Google said they feel this creates improved readability and a much cleaner look. And they had an end goal of creating a consistent user experience across multiple devices (desktop, mobile tablet):

Towards the end of last year we launched some pretty big design improvements for Search on mobile and tablet devices (mobile first! :-). Today we’ve carried over several of those changes to the desktop experience.

We’ve increased the size of result titles, removed the underlines, and evened out all the line heights. This improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look. We’ve also brought over our new ad labels from mobile, making the multi-device experience more consistent.

Improving consistency in design across platforms makes it easier for people to use Google Search across devices and it makes it easier for us to develop and ship improvements across the board.

Will we see any changes reverted back? Hard to say, but Google doesn’t too often revert back on their changes once they’ve jumped in and made them.

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