Hey y’all, welcome to another Smattering of SEO news, the only digest of SEO news you really, truly, absolutely need. This week, a buncha stuff happened, like the mobile-first index experiment beginning. WHEEEE. Check it all out below!
- Study: Possum Update Affected 64% Of Local Search Results – In a study conducted with Bright Local, Search Engine Land columnist Joy Hawkins dove deep into the data of over 1,300 businesses and 14,000 keywords to dissect the affect Google’s recent Possum update had on search results. They found that – while about 35% of keywords didn’t move – around 9% had their businesses appear in Local Finder when they weren’t there previously, 11% of keywords moved up three or more positions, and so on. Overall, around 64% of all tracked keywords were affected in some way. Y’all should read the full article, it’s fascinating reading.
- Google: HTTPS Usage Steadily Increasing – Google has added a new HTTPS Usage portion to their most recent transparency report, and it has some fun information. For example, at the beginning of the report around April of 2015, some 44% of ChromeOS users loaded pages with HTTPS, but as of October it’s up to 68%. Interestingly, those on Linux spend more time browsing HTTPS sites than any other group. It’s interesting reading, so go check it out.
- Google Starts Mobile-First Indexing “Experiment” – Google has begun rolling out an experimental version of its mobile-first index (which will eventually roll out to everyone). This means Google will use the signals on your mobile site before the desktop site to determine the site’s value and authority. Thankfully, a mobile site isn’t NECESSARY to gain good rankings, as they’ll use your desktop site to determine your site’s value if as mobile version isn’t available. Whether this will change, we’ve no idea, but this seems like a prime time to get on having a mobile version of your site, don’t you think?
- Content Behind Tabs to Have “Full Weight” Once Again – Remember a while back when folks at Google (I don’t recall whom and don’t feel like looking it up) said that content behind tabs wasn’t weighed as heavily as fully visible content? Well viva la mobile, because now, if content is behind a tab to preserve a mobile user experience, it now has “full weight,” according to Google’s Gary Illyes, so tab away my friends.
- Column: Apply Content To The Entire Sales Funnel – Over on Search Engine Land, columnist Joe Goers has written a fascinating article in which he takes those who create content only for the “bottom of the funnel” to task for a variety of excuses, such as “it’ll never rank” or “those pages don’t convert.” He reminds readers that websites are meant for users, not sales teams, and that useful content should be created with a top-down approach. I personally fully agree, which is why I’m including it. 😉
- Interview: Better To Create Content Than Build Links – That’s one of the key takeaways in an interview Search Engine Journal did with Jim Boykin of Internet Marketing Ninjas regarding the recent Penguin update. Other takeaways include my favorite: of the sites that used to rank in the top thirty results seven years ago, 89% of them no longer rank at all, either via penalties like Penguin or disappearing entirely. That’s just dang amazing.