Google Sending Mobile Usability Warnings To Huge Number Of Webmasters

Google sending notifications to webmasters with sites that are not mobile friendly. Is this a sign of a new mobile algorithm coming soon?

Google is sending mass notifications to webmasters who has websites that are not mobile-friendly. These notifications contain the subject “fix mobile usability issues found on…” It then goes on to explain that these sites have critical mobile usability errors on 100% of the pages on the site and thus the pages will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”

These notifications are being sent via Google Webmaster Tools and via email. It is also being sent to sites that are simply not mobile friendly at all and typically, the webmasters know their sites are not mobile friendly. What we have here is Google reminding these webmasters their sites are not mobile-friendly and issuing a warning that the pages won’t rank well in mobile search.

There are clear signs that a new mobile ranking algorithm is about to launch at Google. Google told us they are experimenting with it since November. They also launched a mobile friendly testing tool, mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools, and mobile-friendly labels in the search results.

This seems to go beyond the broken mobile site penalty Google had in 2013. It also seems to go beyond having problems with your mobile-friendly site – where it is targeting this communication to sites that are knowingly not mobile-friendly.

Typically, these are all signs of something big to come on the algorithm side. But we have not been able to get a confirmation from Google on this as of yet, working on it. Will keep you posted.

Jim Lisi

How to Have a Successful Local SEO Campaign in 2015

Another year in search has passed. It’s now 2015 and we have seen some major changes in local ranking factors since 2014, which I also expect to change greatly throughout 2015. For some a new year means a fresh starting point and yet for others it’s a time of reflection to analyze how successful your campaign has been. Whatever boat you’re in, make sure to give increasevisibility.com  a call to discuss strategy.

In this guide we will cover how you can have a successful local SEO campaign in 2015 starting with the basics and getting down to five action items you should focus on now. This is not limited to Google My Business and also includes localized organic results.

Now the question is where do you start?

Since Pigeon has now rolled out to the US, UK, Australia, and Canada it’s important to make sure your strategies are in line with this no matter what part of the world you’re in. A successful local SEO Campaign in 2015 will be much more successful if you put more work into it. Don’t be fooled though. More work by itself isn’t going to get you where you need to be. You need to work smarter towards the goals which are going to fuel your conversions.

For some industries that might mean more localized content, for others it may mean more social interaction in your local area. Whatever it ends up being, the root of it should be the same for most. You need to get more conversions for your website or your client’s website. So with this in mind let’s make sure we’re on the same page as far as our goals are concerned, increasevisibility.com looks forward to speaking with you to get 2015 off with a bang.

Google To Continuously “Optimize” The Penguin Algorithm As It Goes

A Google spokesperson has told us that they will now be updating the Penguin algorithm continuously, by optimizing it as they go. A Google spokesperson sent us the following statement around our recent questions about the holiday Penguin updates.

That last big update is still rolling out — though really there won’t be a particularly distinct end-point to the activity, since Penguin is shifting to more continuous updates. The idea is to keep optimizing as we go now.

That definitely explains all the reports of Penguin changes we’ve been recently been seeing. Which also means that we will likely be covering these updates, even if they are not confirmed by Google, when we feel the change is significant enough to warrant so. If we feel one of these “continuous updates” has resulted in enough of a significant spike in the search results, we will label it as a Penguin update within the 3.x category.

Penguin algorithm updates have historically been processed offline and pushed at a specific point in time. Google would process all the Penguin data offline and then pushed the data live, which would produced change in the search results. Now, Google seems to be saying they will change the algorithm within their live ranking processes.

Live changes to the Penguin algorithm seems to imply no more large data pushes for Penguin.

We will continue to document what we feel are changes to the live Penguin algorithm.

But what this means for sites who were impacted by any of these live changes is unclear. Do their link removal or disavow efforts get processed between each live algorithm change or would that not happen until Penguin 4.0? Again, we are working on getting clearer information from Google around these changes.

Also, why Google feels okay with changing these things now, during the holiday season, is still a bit worrisome for many. On the other hand, we wanted Google to update the Penguin algorithm faster, and it seems like Google is now.

Just to keep you all up to date, we have not seen any changes in Penguin since this Saturday, December 6, 2014:

  • Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 3.1 on November 27, 2014 (confirmed by Google, no impact given, Google considers part of Penguin 3.0)
  • Penguin 3.2 on December 2, 2014 (not confirmed by Google but based on publisher reports)
  • Penguin 3.3 on December 5, 2014 (not confirmed by Google but based on publisher reports)
  • Penguin 3.4 on December 6, 2014 (not confirmed by Google but based on publisher reports)

The Danger of Crossing Algorithms: Uncovering The Cloaked Panda Update During Penguin 3.0

Penguin 3.0 was one of the most anticipated algorithm updates in recent years when it rolled out on October 17, 2014. Penguin hadn’t run for over a year at that point, and there were many webmasters sitting in Penguin limbo waiting for recovery. They had cleaned up their link profiles, disavowed what they could, and were simply waiting for the next update or refresh. Unfortunately, Google was wrestling with the algo internally and over twelve months passed without an update.

So when Pierre Far finally announced Penguin 3.0 a few days later on October 21, a few things stood out. First, this was not a new algorithm like Gary Illyes had explained it would be at SMX East. It was a refresh and underscored the potential problems Google was battling with Penguin (cough, negative SEO).

Second, we were not seeing the impact that we expected. The rollout seemed to begin with a heavier international focus and the overall U.S impact has been underwhelming to say the least. There were definitely many fresh hits globally, but there were a number of websites that should have recovered but didn’t for some reason. And many are still waiting for recovery today.

Third, the rollout would be slow and steady and could take weeks to fully complete. That’s unusual, but makes sense given the microscope Penguin 3.0 was under. And this third point (the extended rollout) is even more important than most people think. Many webmasters are already confused when they get hit during an acute algorithm update (for example, when an algo update rolls out on one day). But the confusion gets exponentially worse when there is an extended rollout.

The more time that goes by between the initial launch and the impact a website experiences, the more questions pop up. Was it Penguin 3.0 or was it something else? Since I work heavily with algorithm updates, I’ve heard similar questions many times over the past several years. And the extended Penguin 3.0 rollout is a great example of why confusion can set in. That’s my focus today.

Confirmed: Google Penguin 3.0 Released Late Friday Night

I am working on getting confirmation from Google but I have never seen the forums light up as much as they are now.

Update & Confirmed: Google Sunday afternoon has confirmed they have done a Penguin update. I am trying to get more details at this moment.

Early reports came from webmasters and SEOs in various online forums and social media. The SEO industry chatter is at an all time high and it all leads to Penguin 3.0 being released.

The Google Penguin algorithm, which has not been updated in over a year, since PenguinWebmasterWorld, Google Webmaster Help, DigitalPoint Forums, Threadwatch andBlackHat World. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks are on fire now with Penguin chatter.

It is unclear if this is a refresh to the Penguin algorithm or a revised algorithm update. Again, I am waiting to get more details from Google on this.

But it seems like 90%+ of SEOs are in agreement that Google refreshed Penguin over the weekend. Will they reverse it? Was it a test? Will it stick? That is the big question.

 

Google: Panda 4.1 Still Rolling Out

Over the weekend, there was a tremendous amount of chatter within the SEO community, including discussion forums, social media and other channels. There were rumors that Google was pushing out a new algorithm, maybe the eagerly anticipated Penguin refresh which is expected really soon or maybe something else?

Google told us just now that the Panda 4.1 release is still rolling out and that may be what SEOs and Webmasters are noticing.

Google launched Panda 4.1 on September 25, 2014 and told us it would be a “slow rollout” that would go into the following week. No one really expected the rollout to continue into this week but it has and the fluctuations and ranking changes you are seeing are likely related to that.

If you saw a huge drop in Google traffic, it may or may not be related to Panda 4.1. Google is constantly making changes and although you may notice a drop on the Panda 4.1 release date, you may have been impacted by other algorithms, user interface changes or manual actions. In addition, you might not notice a change on September 25th but notice one over this past weekend, which could also be related to Panda 4.1.

Google has confirmed with us that Panda 4.1 is still rolling out.

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