It’s that time again for another SEO and social update around our performance, the search and social industry, and key articles. Our overall SEO performance for the month of July remained positive. We did see one major spike in our data around the 8th of July through the 12th. The spike correlates with the announced speed update for mobile search results.
The update now makes speed a ranking factor, specifically for mobile search results. Google’s John Mueller clarified even more via Twitter stating “To clarify on the mobile speed update: a) this only affects the slowest sites, b) those can incrementally improve (though ideally you’d significantly improve the speed…), c) we’re still aiming for this month. If your site is reasonably fast, tweaking won’t change things.”.
Our best guess for now at what he means by ‘site is reasonably fast’ is anything loading in eight or more seconds will most likely see a slight decline in rank on mobile devices. Looking over the customers who did see a drop, we found rankings were sporadic during the initial rollout, so almost all of the dropped ranks were mis-crawls or changes in SERP intent.
What does this mean?
This means getting your site to load fast, especially on mobile devices should now be a priority. Securing your site and business as a great and quick experience for mobile users will be key to keeping strong rankings in the future. If you have been putting off updating the mobile version or making it faster, now is the time to resolve any outstanding site needs.
Our team got a chance to go to Seattle and attend MozCon 2018. The conference was great and had tons of great speakers and information. While there was nothing groundbreaking, there was a lot of great information and validation. Some of the topics and information directly related to our methodology and further validated that how we provide SEO is still great, if not ahead of its time. Here are some quick highlights I gathered that pertain to various aspects of the search realm:
State of Search
- Fewer clicks per organic search on Google.
- 40% clicked on organic desktop SERPs
- 60% on organic mobile SERPs
- 20 times more clicks on organic vs PPC results
- Search is not transactional. It is longevity, scientific, and art.
- One core issue with SEO is not supporting and building the business (audience, site structure, psychology, branding, native advertising).
- Top ranking local businesses average 39 reviews.
Problem with Data
- Data is not perfect, especially when pulled from third-party tools (Moz, SEMRush, etc.).
- Metrics are guesstimates derived from imperfect data, they are good indicators, but should not dictate work.
- Most case-studies are flawed or biased, always check the testing parameters and use your best judgment.
- Audience targeting starts with different search devices (wearables for luxury, etc.)
- SEO is about building user experience and creating various placement entities (GMB, Blogs, App, etc.).
- Customer-centric content is not a want, it’s a must.
- Find one big topic/problem and then fit those inside of channels.
- Increased focus around mobile, though the conference didn’t introduce anything new and reiterated what was said in SMX Advanced: Be mobile friendly, create conversational content, and be fast.
- Make pages concise when necessary and make them in depth if the SERP calls for it.
- Consider suggesting/editing business name if it’s marked as spam, which can move people out of ranking. This was a tip suggested helping in competitive geos.
- All search is now localized in some way whether that is a region or city.
- Top map result has been correlated with top organic SERP 40% of the time.
- Some localized terms are geared for aggregate sources and would be a waste for a local business to rank for. This is found by reviewing SERPs and seeing who is ranking (local businesses vs aggregators/directories).
Validation of our Tactics
- Monthly reporting calls were highlighted a few times as ways to help keep clients and help with SEO.
- Getting into ROI without having actual ROI is grounds to cause a fight with your client. A few speakers noted the pitfalls with data and trying to estimate ROI.
- Unless you are pulling rankings by page you are getting bad ranking data.
- New Review Checking Tool – Maybe not a key article to start but a cool new tool that can help spot fake/bad reviews. (Source)
- Mobile First Indexing, Still Deploying – Google has noted that the mobile first index is still rolling out which will continue to be a slow process. (Source)
- Updated Referral Source for Images – Google has been working to make things more transparent when it comes to views and visits from Google Images. (Source)
- HTTPS Label for Chrome – Chrome now labels a site as secured (HTTPS) or not (HTTP). (Source)
- Query & Keywords in GMB Insights – Google My Business will be adding a new section to better show how local keywords and queries resulted in GMB traffic. (Source)
- Facebook Messenger Bug – Facebook had a bug that reportedly allowed some previously-blocked users on Messenger to become unblocked. (Source)
- Instagram Will Grow Facebook – Social is ever-evolving with a new study comes new insights into how facebook will grow via Instagram. (Source)
- Twitter Reducing Followers – Twitter announced they will be removing approximately 2 million profiles from follower counts. (Source)
- Reddit Redesign – Reddit has been working on a redesign to allow better experience for users and advertisers. (Source)