Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of SEO news! This week, Google wants to help us prepare for the big mobile-friendly algorithm upgrade next month, which is unusual for them. With that said, let’s dive in!
Google Answers Some Questions About Its Upcoming Mobile Algorithm – There’s plenty of buzz going around regarding Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly update coming April 21st, but a lot of people still have questions about it. Thankfully, Google folks took time in a recent Hangout to answer just a few of them. What we now know is that the rollout is planned to take between a few days to a week. Secondly, we know that this algorithm will see your site as either mobile-friendly or not, there’s no in-between or gradients here. This actually gives us quite a bit to work with. Google encourages users to check if their site is mobile-friendly with their testing tool, and we’ll know that for a week, results could be all over the darned place. Stay tuned as we find out more.
Google Adds Mobile-Friendly Reminders To Webmaster Blogs – In a further push to get websites mobile-friendly in the run up to the April 21st algorithm roll-out, Google has added a new little banner to their Webmaster blogs. Now you’ll be prompted to visit their mobile-friendly testing tool, as mentioned above, to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Google is pretty in-your-face about this sort of thing, so they must be taking it super seriously. I wonder if they’ll eventually place these kinds of banners in the SERPs as well.
- Google Wants To Improve Local Business Data – Google recently launched a program called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. This new tool encourages business users to improve and complete their online presences via an easy-to-use portal called Get Your Business Online. Users can search for their businesses and find whether their information is complete or not, then fill in all the missing pieces. If a business doesn’t have a website, Google is actually offering a free domain for a year via a partnership with Startlogic. Overall, this sounds like a win-win, as businesses increase their online visibility, and Google gains more data to mine.
- FTC Report Details How Google “Harms Customers And Innovation” – According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, a leaked copy of an FTC report detailing Google’s handling of its own search monopoly has found that the search giant has taken actions that “[have] resulted-and will result-in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.” This includes boosting the rankings of its own properties, taking content from Yelp and Amazon for use in its own search results, and threatening to remove rivals when they complained about Google using their data for their own purposes. Honestly, how this surprises anyone, I have no idea.
- Watch Out, Facebook Messenger Is Going To Be Everywhere! – Facebook recently presented an updated and more integrated version of its Messenger app that will now allow embedding within business and Ecommerce orders and apps. To go even further, companies will be able to integrate Messenger directly into their communications, allowing users to use the app to communicate directly with the companies they interact with. For example, if you order something from a company that uses Messenger, you can use Messenger to keep track of your order and follow up with the company all in one place. This is wacky, but convenient for users, so it’ll be interesting to see if people jump on this.