On Monday the Google Webmaster Central blog announced yet another update to their search engine results page (SERP) that sends a strong message to any website without responsive design. If your website requires browser technologies that are not supported by the varying mobile devices of searchers Google will display your listing on their SERP with a “warning”. This warning tells searchers that the site they are considering clicking on (yours?) may not work on their smartphone and/or tablet. See the image below. Not very awesome right? Imagine what will happen to your click-through rate when your listing on Google is delivered to mobile users in this manner.
Don’t take a sledgehammer to your writing yet (image: weekofart.com)
At the end of 2013 I posted an article titled Bold SEO Predictions for 2014. Well it seems I have a penchant for fortune telling because within a few days of that release item #3, which stated that Google Authorship would start to get strict, began to come true. As we enter the third week of the new year it is now even more obvious that this move from Google has taken full effect. Webmasters from all corners of the world are reporting a partial loss of their beloved Authorship. “Partial” you ask? Yes. You see, up until a few weeks ago you either had Google Authorship connected to your content or you didn’t. Authorship as we knew it was evident when our Google+ profile photo and full name accompanied a search result link on Google’s search engine results page (SERP). Not only have studies shown that a higher click-thru-rate (CTR) accompanied results with “trustworthy” authors connected to the articles, it simply provided online content editors/writers with a sense that they were on the right track. Remember how good it felt the first time you saw your picture up there next to an article on Google Page One? But now, hoards of authors have lost their little photo, leaving only their name. Not all is lost, but it sure is a bummer, leaving many to wonder what happened and what, if anything, can they do about it?
What You Need to Know About the Google Authorship Update
Last week Matt Cutts announced the impending Google algorithm update Penguin 2.0. As usual, I waited the week to respond here while SEO’s frantically flooded online forums for days as if reporting on the arrival of Godzilla on their mainland metropolis. Now that the initial panic has subsided I figured it time to chime in on Penguin 2.0.
In simple form, Penguin is a Google web spam algorithm update that seeks to uncover “blackhat” SEO practices. While Google stresses that there is nothing to worry about for anyone managing a website under their guidelines of providing the best possible user experience, Matt Cutts is quoted as saying that an “eventful summer” is coming for those that do not. If you’re so much as exchanging conversations in blackhat forums you may indeed expect the arrival of Godzilla on your shores. For the rest of us doing the right thing, we’ll be riding the wave towards better Page Rank.
Are you in for an Eventful Summer? Find out by reviewing Penguin 2.0: