If you’ve got access to the Google search console, you probably would have noticed some emails in your inbox recently around mobile-first indexing. In addition to that, there’s some big news regarding Amazon’s advertising platform and the revenue it’s generating, and another big update in the browsing and shopping habits of customers on mobile devices. This is search engine news coming up right after this.
Hey there, guys. Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.co.uk here, and my job is to teach you all about search engine marketing. If that’s up your street, you should consider subscribing to my channel.
Today is another edition of search engine news. I’m going to start off with our main story around mobile first indexing. Loads and loads of people over Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn have been saying from the emails they’re getting from the Google search console that their site has been included into the mobile first index. First of all, what is the mobile first index? It’s exactly what it says on the tin. It means Google are going to start to see websites from a mobile perspective in the first instance. So, when Google crawls your site and tries to understand it, interpret the content on your site, the layout, the usability, they’re going to look at it from a mobile point of view first.
They’re going to start indexing sites based on the mobile point of view, hence the name mobile first indexing. It seems in recent times, Google have pushed the button and started to massively ramp up the number of websites included on the mobile index. As I said in the intro, I’m pretty sure if you’ve got access to the Google search console, you will probably have seen one of those emails coming through saying you’ve been included onto the mobile first index. Again, it goes back to Google’s whole mantra recently, in fact, not even recently, I guess in the last 10 years, and that is to push the direction of mobile, mobile being the future and the future is, of course, now. So, whenever you build anything online, think of mobile first.
Interestingly enough, staying with mobile devices, there’s been a massive shift in how people are making purchases online. For the first time ever, mobile accounts for over 50% of online shopping transactions, globally. That means then back in 2015, remember there was that announcement where for the first time ever, mobile devices had more searches taking place than on desktop devices on Google. Now, we’ve got even further than that, and people are actually spending more money via their mobile devices than they would with a desktop device, which is massive.
Now, personally speaking, I much prefer to make purchases on a desktop than a mobile device but maybe perhaps it’s more about me than anything else, and that maybe I need to get with the times, although I do make small purchases with my Amazon account, with the one click to ‘Buy now’, with that button that’s so dangerous that could get you in a lot of trouble with your bank balance. I do use that on my mobile device, but if I make a major purchase like a laptop or like a holiday or something, I’d much rather use a desktop device.
But apparently, a lot of people are comfortable buying big products or big-ticket items on mobile devices, which is quite interesting in reality because personally, I wouldn’t make big purchases on a mobile device.
Now, I did mention Amazon a second ago, and there’s more news concerning them because according to eMarketer, Amazon will become the third biggest online advertising platform after Google and Facebook. They will overtake Oath And Microsoft to get there within the next year. This is massive because of course, you’ve got the Facebook and Google duopoly of online advertising and where people spend their money and their ad dollars online to get business.
Now, in that third place, Microsoft who have, being as a product and AI for Earth Network, they’re huge heavy hitters in the world of online advertising. For Amazon, within the next year, potentially, to overtake them and get into that third place position on online advertising is massive. Amazon’s platform is growing. You think about the actual product itself of Amazon, you’ve got the development side of things, you’ve got obviously the shopping and eCommerce side of things. Now, they’re adding advertising, so another revenue stream. That they’re going to grow at this speed is massive.
Amazon seems to be growing at a phenomenal rate. If you have a product that you can promote on Amazon, then it makes sense to get started now because you know what’s going to happen, don’t you? When products mature like Google Adwords or Google Earth, should I say, they’d eventually- costs start to go up. So get in while less people are advertising on the platform because there is a good chance Amazon might get to the same level as Facebook and Google in the future.
Going back to search engines again, there’s been a slight shift in the algorithm on Google. Now, of course, back in August the 1st, there was a massive update on the algorithm, and it was named ‘Medic’ because of the impact it had on the medical and health industries, ‘Your Money, Your Life’ websites. That was the main purpose of the algorithm, to get those sites in line and look at the quality of those sites. Well, that’s what people think. Anyway, Google didn’t officially obviously say this but from other feedback, that’s what the algorithm did.
Now, on the 19th of September, there’s been another slight algorithm tweak. We can see by looking at some of these graphs you’re seeing on your screen now, there was definitely some activity around the 19th of September where Google were looking at the algorithm. There were a lot of shifts and flux on the search results page. In reality, a lot of the people in the SEO community noticed this, they logged it. There’s no real pattern as to who was affected or who wasn’t affected. It’s kind of more chatter, but at the end of the day, it makes sense to stay on top of these things because these small tweaks you see, over time, could be showing signals of the direction Google could be taking their algorithm. So, again, not massive shifts. Some people were affected, but have a look at your web traffic around the 19th and onwards. Let me know in the comments what you’ve been seeing because I think I’ll be quite interested to know.
Finally, a bit of an update from Google’s John Mueller, who was taking questions on an online webinar. He actually said that Google doesn’t really care if you have a few spammy backlinks. Now, as an SEO, you are well aware that you ordered the links going to your website. If there’s anything in there spammy or that you think could reel massive impact against your website negatively, then you look to disavow that link and make sure that your backlink profile is clean.
However, what John argues is that, in actual fact, Google expects a percentage. He didn’t really go into much detail as to how many, but there is an expectation that there will be some bad links for web sites, especially, if they’ve got a large backlink profile and the domain’s been around for years and years. So, it’s okay to have a few bad links. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll start to look at your back profiling, if you do notice anything suspicious, you do make a note of it, and you do want to try and eliminate Google from seeing that as part of your backlink profile. But according to the word from the horse’s mouth of Google, you don’t actually need to do that.
There’s an expectation there will be an element of spam in your backlink profile. In fact, his exact words were, “If a website’s been around for a very long time, it’ll have links from all kinds of crazy places.” So in my opinion, that sounds like it’s okay. You can have a few bad links. If they sneak through, it’s not going to be the end of your site.
That completes this week’s roundup of search engine news. If you liked this video, please leave a like below. Let me know in the comments if any of the stories I’ve discussed this week have impacted you personally. Hopefully, people in the comments can help you out as well as I can. More important than that, don’t forget to subscribe. Check out the other content on my channel, and I’ll see you guys on my next video.