Say Goodbye to MOBILE FRIENDLY Lable

Two years ago, Google added a mobile-friendly label to help users find pages where the text and content was readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced.

85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria and show the mobile-friendly label. To keep search results uncluttered, Google will be removing the label, although the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal.

Helping users find the content they’re looking for

Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable without zooming,  There are many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users.

While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.

Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.

To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.

Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

Examples of interstitials that make content less accessible


An example of an intrusive popup

An example of an intrusive standalone interstitial

Another example of an intrusive standalone interstitial

 

By contrast, here are some examples of techniques that, used responsibly, would not be affected by the new signal:

  • Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.

Examples of interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal, if used responsibly


An example of an interstitial for cookie usage

An example of an interstitial for age verification

An example of a banner that uses a reasonable amount of screen space

 

This new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.

Mobile Search – Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMPP)

AmpBlueDemo

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It’s 2016 and it’s hard to believe that browsing the web on a mobile phone can still feel so slow with users abandoning sites that just don’t load quickly. The new Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMPP), is open source initiative to improve the mobile web experience for everyone.

There are now more than 150 million AMP docs in Google index, with over 4 million new ones being added every week.

To know find out how can you benefit from AMPP technology for your website, please contact me.

Checklist for customer service excellence

The essentials – features and functionality that customers expect:

  • Contact information clearly displayed
  • 800 number – preferably on the home page
  • FAQs
  • Real-time inventory that assures shoppers of product availability
  • Stepped checkout to ensure a streamlined order flow
  • Post-order confirmation appears post checkout and is sent via email
  • Features that add to the customer experience
  • Listing customer service hours
  • Standing behind products by offering a 100% guarantee
  • Product photo in the cart, which helps recall while averting returns
  • Recap of cart contents on the thank-you page
  • One-click checkout
  • Ability to sign up for “back in stock” emails
  • Putting return forms online

Areas where impact should be weighed against cost implications

  • Limiting customer service hours
  • Longer shipping times to reduce shipping cost
  • Not sending email when order is shipped!

Go mobile-friendly

What device are you using to read this post?
Of 871 responses, desktop/laptop and mobile phone usage only differed by 28 votes.

 

What do you dislike the most when browsing the web on your mobile device?
Almost half of 570 respondents said their top frustration was waiting for slow pages to load

 

What’s the hardest part about having a mobile-friendly site?
More than half of 490 respondents said it’s not hard to have a mobile-friendly site. However, 1 in 5 said it’s technically challenging.

 

 

Google mobile-friendly update

Today, Google begin globally rolling out the mobile-friendly update to boost the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.

mobile friendly

Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.

April 21st’s mobile-friendly update boosts mobile search rankings for pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.

This update:

  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • Affects search results in all languages globally
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites

While the mobile-friendly change is important, Google still uses a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test.

If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search.

Appeal To Multiple Personas

Your website must appeal to different personality types. Below is a list of the four personality types and the questions they will want answered on your website:

  • Spontaneous
  • Humanistic
  • Methodical
  • Competitive

A person who has a competitive personality is decisive and looks for the bottom line. This personality asks ‘what’ questions. Regarding your hotel, this person will want to know location, comparison to other hotels, and star rating systems.

A person who has a humanistic personality appreciates a hotel with a friendly staff that is helpful and polite. This personality asks ‘who’ questions. He/She wants to feel good about a hotel and values learning about the experience of others who have stayed there.

A person who has a spontaneous personality is impulsive and appreciates a personal touch. This personality asks ‘why’ questions. He/She avoids cold, hard facts and wants to know if the staff will help her, or if there is a restaurant or nightclub. This personality type will be impressed by silky sheets, quality toiletries and special touches.

A person who has a methodical personality likes to see the hard facts and wants to see the information presented in a logical manner. This personality type asks ‘how’ questions. He/She is not impressed with the personal touch and will look for things such as check-out times, prices, and what comes with the room.

Relationship with search engines

seo seo2

By 1997, search engines recognized that webmasters were making efforts to rank well in their search engines, and that some webmasters were even manipulating their rankings in search results by stuffing pages with excessive or irrelevant keywords. Early search engines, such as Altavista and Infoseek, adjusted their algorithms in an effort to prevent webmasters from manipulating rankings. Due to the high marketing value of targeted search results, there is potential for an adversarial relationship between search engines and SEO service providers. In 2005, an annual conference, AIRWeb, Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web, was created to discuss and minimize the damaging effects of aggressive web content providers.

Companies that employ overly aggressive techniques can get their client websites banned from the search results. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported on a company, Traffic Power, which allegedly used high-risk techniques and failed to disclose those risks to its clients.Wired magazine reported that the same company sued blogger and SEO Aaron Wall for writing about the ban. Google’s Matt Cutts later confirmed that Google did in fact ban Traffic Power and some of its clients. Some search engines have also reached out to the SEO industry, and are frequent sponsors and guests at SEO conferences, chats, and seminars.

Major search engines provide information and guidelines to help with site optimization. Google has a Sitemaps program to help webmasters learn if Google is having any problems indexing their website and also provides data on Google traffic to the website. Bing Toolbox provides a way from webmasters to submit a sitemap and web feeds, allowing users to determine the crawl rate, and how many pages have been indexed by their search engine.