Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of SEO News! Since I missed last week, this week you’ll be getting TWO weeks worth of news highlights, including learning machines, HTTP2, and much more! Check it out!
- Google’s Fetch And Render Tool Now Ranks Blocked Resources By Severity – The Fetch and Render Tool found in Google’s Search Console has always been a handy tool to diagnose spiderability issues, especially since blocked resources are becoming more and more important to avoid. Thankfully, the tool has recently taken a page from Google’s Page Speed tool and begun to rank issues based on severity, which will make it a lot easier to determine what needs fixing first.
- Messages Being Sent To Webmasters With Mismatched SSL/TLC Certificates – HTTPS secure browsing has become more and more important to Google, and one of the most common issues we see with HTTPS implementations is certificates that are for the wrong domain. Google is now sending messages via Search Console reminding webmasters to update their certificates so they’re fully HTTPS compliant, which is nice if you ask me.
- Google’s TensorFlow Machine Learning System Goes Open Source – Google has released what Matt Cutts – remember him? – called Google’s “secret sauce” into the wild. TensorFlow is Google’s machine learning system that they use in all sorts of their products, such as: Google Now, Google Maps, and much more. By releasing this tool, Google hopes to expand the capabilities of machine learning even further, so it’ll be fascinating to see what comes of this. Sadly for us SEO types, I don’t think we can reverse engineer this in order to learn how to rank our sites more highly.
- Search Console Data Finally Getting Caught Up – Recently it was discovered that data in Google Search Console has been delayed back to earlier this month, around the third or so. Thankfully webmasters are reporting that the data is finally beginning to appear. Google’s John Mueller said this is a known issue and that the folks at Google are working on it, so hopefully it’ll be back up to snuff soon.
- HTTP2 Googlebot Support Coming Hopefully By Year’s End – In a hangout with John Mueller, he said he hoped Googlebot support for HTTP2 – the next iteration of HTTP – will be coming by year’s end. As of right now, Google can’t crawl HTTP2 sites, so it makes sense that as it becomes more widely adopted, Google will have to alter their Googlebot in order to adapt with this growth. More on this as it develops.
- Google Launches Mobile App Interstitial Devaluation – Google announced that as of 11/3/15, they’ve begun to devalue sites that force app interstitials upon users. These sites will no longer be considered mobile-friendly, and Google will see them as less valuable. Google suggests that, if you want to push an app on users, to find more user-friendly ways to do it such as banners.
- Don’t Just Build Apps for A Ranking Boost, Says Google – In something of a contradiction to the actions mentioned in the last post, Google has been talking about ranking sites more highly if they have an accompanying mobile app to go with it. This is clearly due to the fact that apps can help with the user experience if they’re built well. Apparently, however, folks have been making what are called “dummy apps” that offer no inherent user experience improvement in order to cash in on the app indexing API benefits. Google’s Michael Fink, at SMX Israel, basically said, “Don’t do that.” Apps should only work to improve the user experience, he stresses.
- Google Cracks Down Further On Aggressive Mobile Redirects – Lots of mobile-focused news this week, huh? This one comes to us via Google Webmaster Central Blog post in which they talk about how they’re becoming more aggressive with what they call “sneaky mobile redirects,” which take users to places they didn’t intend to go. If these are detected, sites will be hit with manual actions. The blog post gives quite a lot of detail as to how to avoid this, so go check it out.
- Google Says Next Penguin Update Will Drop Before End of Year – Google’s Gary Illyes recently posted on Twitter that he expected the next version of Penguin to drop in 2015, which means they have two months left to make this happen. This will also likely be the real-time version they’ve been talking about for a while now. This could make for a tumultuous holiday season, so stay tuned!
- SEO Pros Share #SEOHorrorStories On Twitter For Halloween – Around Halloween last week, the hashtag #SEOHorrorStories became popular on Twitter as SEO pros used the hashtag to share some of their best horror stories. The tag began with Search Engine’s Land Aleyda Solis, and took off from there. A ton of SEO pros got in on the act, even Google’s own Analytics Twitter account as well as Matt Cutts himself. It’s pretty funny, so head over to Twitter to read all the horror stories.