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

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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 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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Matt Cutts: Don’t Stitch Copied Content from Multiple Sites

While many marketers and site owners understand the importance of quality, original content in their marketing plans, there are still those who are testing the boundaries of what that actually means. In a recent Google Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts talked about the line between spam content and original content, once again.

The question was: Can you copy small portions of content from multiple websites and combine it to create one new web page, and compete in Google with that?

Matt Cutts - Stiching Content

“I fear you may be heading for heartbreak,” Cutts replied in the video. He added that if this is something you’re considering, you should really be asking yourself why you’re doing it in the first place. For example, are you trying to automate?

Cutts began explaining the practice in question by talking about Yahoo’s distaste for it in days past. Yahoo referred to this tactic as “stitching” and “they really considered that spam,” said Cutts. Continue reading

Google Webmaster Tools Give Users More Link Data

Google Webmaster ToolsGoogle’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts kicked off SES San Francisco this morning by announcing a change to the way Google Webmaster Tools serves backlinks to users. Now, instead of getting a huge list of backlinks in alphabetical order, they are giving a better representation of all the backlinks.

“If I download my backlinks in Webmaster Tools, my list ends at H. If you are Amazon or eBay, you get 000000a.com to 000000c.com,” Cutts said.

When Google is serving 100,000 backlinks in Webmaster Tools, it wasn’t that useful to users when they could get so many results from a single domain, and there was no way to sort them. Continue reading