On Tuesday, April 21, Google is making a major update to its mobile search algorithm that will change the order in which websites are ranked when users search for something from their phone. The algorithm will start favoring mobile-friendly websites (ones with large text, easy-to-click links, and that resize to fit whatever screen they're viewed on) and ranking them higher in search. Websites that aren't mobile-friendly will get demoted. About 60% of online traffic now comes from mobile and Google wants users to have a good experience whenever they click on a mobile link. The company announced its impending changes back in February, giving webmasters nearly two months and plenty of information to make the changes necessary to keep their sites from disappearing from mobile search results. But the update is still expected to cause a major ranking shake-up. It has even been nicknamed "Mobile-geddon" because of how "apocalyptic" it could be for millions of websites, Itai Sadan, CEO of website building company Duda, told Business Insider. "I think the people who are at risk are those who don’t know about it," Sadan says. To him, that mostly means small businesses. "Come April 21, a lot of small businesses are going to be really surprised that the number of visitors to their websites has dropped significantly. This is going to affect millions of sites on the web," he says. Businesses that depend on people finding them through localized search — like, if someone typed "coffee shops in Sunnyside, Queens," into Google on their phone — could see a decrease in foot traffic as a result of this update, Sadan says. "Google has always been about relevancy, and content is king," he says. "But that's changing. Yes, they're saying content is still extremely important, but user experience is just as important. It's not sufficient to have all the right content — if people come to your site and the content is there but it's not readable, that's not good." It's not only small businesses that are going to be affected by mobile-geddon though. Marketing company Somo released a study last week that found that a bunch of big brands, like American Apparel's brand site, The Daily Mail, and Ryanair, will all get punished when the change takes place, unless they update their sites before Tuesday.
Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — will give you a minor ranking boost. Google says this gives websites a small ranking benefit, only counting as a “very lightweight signal” within the overall ranking algorithm. In fact, Google said this carries “less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” Based on their tests, Google says it has an impact on “fewer than 1% of global queries” but said they “may decide to strengthen” the signal because they want to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.” Google also said based on their tests for the past few months, the HTTPS signal showed “positive results” in terms of relevancy and ranking in Google’s search results. As you may remember, at SMX West, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, said he’d love to make SSL a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Well, less than five months after that announcement, and while he is on an extended leave, Google is making it a reality.
Should you be concerned when switching from your HTTP to HTTPS site for SEO purposes? Not so much. Google has been telling webmasters it is safe to do so for years. But you need to take the proper steps to ensure your traffic doesn’t suffer. That means make sure to communicate to Google that you moved your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Google promises to release more documentation in the future, but for now has provided the following tips: Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate Use 2048-bit key certificates Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains Check out our site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag. Google has also updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them. One last thing: You will want to make sure to track your HTTP to HTTPS migration carefully in your analytics software and within Google Webmaster Tools.Quelle: Search engine land