Google algorithm updating in May, how to optimize?

by tnob
28 replies
  • SEO
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I have been reading up on Google rolling out updates to the search algorithm. Most of the UX-related things are no surprise, but what about updating an older website?

My understanding is that rendering speed, mobile-responsivity, and safe browsing are among the top search ranking signals that matter.

How are you dealing with this on your own websites? Is this a priority?
#algorithm #google #optimize #updating
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  • Profile picture of the author JustaWizard
    Overall you want to make sure your site is mobile friendly (google "mobile friendly test"), doesn't try to install malware or the like, is secure (https), doesn't cover main content users want to see (no intrusive interstitials), and is fast. On that last note it's typically images that are the biggest area of needed improvement. The May core web vitals update will probably not be much more than a "tie breaker" according to John Mueller at Google. Hope that helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author tnob
      Overall you want to make sure your site is mobile friendly (google "mobile friendly test"), doesn't try to install malware or the like, is secure (https), doesn't cover main content users want to see (no intrusive interstitials), and is fast. On that last note it's typically images that are the biggest area of needed improvement. The May core web vitals update will probably not be much more than a "tie breaker" according to John Mueller at Google. Hope that helps!
      Thanks JustaWizard! I ran the mobile friendly test on the website in question and the results were:
      "Page is mobile friendly". So I guess that's good!

      Is that test the end all? Or do you still have to dig into those metrics individually? Are there standards to look to?
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      • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
        Originally Posted by tnob View Post

        Thanks JustaWizard! I ran the mobile friendly test on the website in question and the results were:
        "Page is mobile friendly". So I guess that's good!

        Is that test the end all? Or do you still have to dig into those metrics individually? Are there standards to look to?
        Did you intentionally develop "mobile friendly pages"?
        I know we care less how G feels about that so, we didn't bother to optimize site.
        Now that should be a bad news but...the good news, G shows it as "mobile friendly".

        Hmmm... what does it say to you? To me mentioning that is as useless as BS.
        Why? Well G. nearly informs you about what it founds and nothing more and it's
        up to you to do something or nothing about that.



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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by fastreplies View Post

          Did you intentionally develop "mobile friendly pages"?
          I know we care less how G feels about that so, we didn't bother to optimize site.
          Now that should be a bad news but...the good news, G shows it as "mobile friendly".
          There is a couple ways of looking at this... Google, Microsoft, etc actually separate Mobile traffic from desktop traffic. So your site may not be optimized but may rank well on desktop vs "Mobile" It used to be that the search was a bit mixed so you could go into the data and determine percentage of site visitors for each. In the last few years this has become less reliable.

          The reality is, depending on search terms it could be a non optimized site will still list under both conditions.

          It simply is not as big a deal as many make it.

          THAT being said... I work primarily with small local business' and as such, because of how the end user is using mobile vs desktop tech it is a better model to create a separate mobile site vs a responsive desktop site. I do optimize the desktop site for tablet and desktop ( responsive to the 2 sizes vs all devices including phones )

          In my case one has to understand how the end user is using the site. For say a florist or some other business it makes sense to have push call and push directions ( generally a mobile feature, and not a desktop one )

          Doing things to meet the "requirements" of Google etc is one thing, but going a bit deeper and understanding the needs of the end user is something totally different ( UX = Users experience )
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          • Profile picture of the author tnob
            it is a better model to create a separate mobile site vs a responsive desktop site.
            Do you mean separate url's? Or some algorithm that looks at device and then loads different sets of same code?

            Same url for both?
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          • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            There is a couple ways of looking at this... Google, Microsoft, etc actually separate Mobile traffic from desktop traffic. So your site may not be optimized but may rank well on desktop vs "Mobile"
            So, where Am I wrong?

            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            The reality is, depending on search terms it could be a non optimized site will still list under both conditions.
            I don't see how search terms may effect SERP. Please explain.

            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            It simply is not as big a deal as many make it.
            As I can see no one but G. does it

            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            THAT being said... I work primarily with small local business' and as such, because of how the end user is using mobile vs desktop tech it is a better model to create a separate mobile site vs a responsive desktop site. I do optimize the desktop site for tablet and desktop ( responsive to the 2 sizes vs all devices including phones )
            You're doing that not because there is real benefit based on fact that our site
            uses benefit of both conditions with equal reward.

            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            Doing things to meet the "requirements" of Google etc is one thing, but going a bit deeper and understanding the needs of the end user is something totally different ( UX = Users experience )
            Right, and that is why mobile browsers are offering users "desk top" option.

            My objection is, it must be up to individual site owner to chose if mobile version
            is necessarily for his or her site without making owners jumping every time G.
            comes up with new gimmick.



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      • Profile picture of the author reviews2trust
        Originally Posted by tnob View Post

        Thanks JustaWizard! I ran the mobile friendly test on the website in question and the results were:
        "Page is mobile friendly". So I guess that's good!

        Is that test the end all? Or do you still have to dig into those metrics individually? Are there standards to look to?
        A website being mobile-friendly is just the 1st and most important stage as Google will be ranking websites on how they perform on mobile browsers (not desktop). The update in April (Core Web Vitals) concerns multiple aspects of a page's behaviour and many are linked to page load speed.
        You can see what needs doing by running a test using Google's "Pagespeed Insights" tool (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights.
        As "JustaWizard" mentioned, as long as you are better than your competitors (you can test their sites also with that tool), then you win.
        However just because your site is faster and has better core webs vitals you still need to also have better links to your site and also better "Search Signals"
        For me, Search Signals are the 3rd part of SEO after On-Page and Off-page SEO. That is because Google knows these are almost impossible to manipulate.
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        • Profile picture of the author tnob
          However just because your site is faster and has better core webs vitals you still need to also have better links to your site and also better "Search Signals"
          For me, Search Signals are the 3rd part of SEO after On-Page and Off-page SEO. That is because Google knows these are almost impossible to manipulate.
          I figured mobile-friendly was down the list, but didn't know where it ranked. Thanks for the clarity!

          As "JustaWizard" mentioned, as long as you are better than your competitors (you can test their sites also with that tool), then you win.
          I haven't even thought of using the site to test competitors! Nice advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Atif Anis Khan
    Make your website mobile-friendly and tend to go for low pageload time.
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    • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
      Originally Posted by Atif Anis Khan View Post

      Make your website mobile-friendly and tend to go for low pageload time.
      OK, I understand you just C & P @JustaWizard bad "mobile-friendly" advice, but...
      how, in your opinion, "low page-load time" effects SERP and how G. sees your pages
      given that page's speed load of your site depends on quality of server and its load,
      connection speed and bunch of conditions you simply can't control?

      Are you saying that G. staff are morons who don't know what's going outside G. walls
      and that you may have the best optimized site and slowest hosting company and have
      your site crawl slower than snail? How do you imagine G determining whose fault it is?



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      • Profile picture of the author Atif Anis Khan
        I am not saying they are stupid or anything but having low page load time is among one of their ranking factors or to be precise it is their 2nd factor as mentioned back in Sep-Oct in their algorithm update.
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        • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
          Originally Posted by Atif Anis Khan View Post

          I am not saying they are stupid or anything but having low page load time is among one of their ranking factors or to be precise it is their 2nd factor as mentioned back in Sep-Oct in their algorithm update.
          I wish you would carefully read what I've said.
          Of course you are not saying that they are stupid, you are nearly to imply that
          they are because they don't care about factual conditions related to load speed.

          Now, if there is printed proof that speed is "second factor", then why don't you
          point us to your source because this is something surely puzzling. Why now
          after all those years G. all the sudden decided to pay attention to page's speed?

          I maybe wrong but please do us a favor and show where G. is saying that,
          but mostly because @tnob believes that you've opened the window to his
          intellectual capacity, I wish you'll prove me wrong.



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          • Profile picture of the author Atif Anis Khan
            I don't think they never mentioned it before although in my own view, G's staff mention some stuff that they don't look at but in reality it's not what we observe.
            I will share the link once I will find it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cinarcinar
    wow probably i missed smtn , thanks for help also all comment useful.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteCheckerPro
    For page loading speed I think it is enough to be out of RED ZONE. I have seen lots of websites in the yellow zone that rank greatly.
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    • Profile picture of the author tnob
      For page loading speed I think it is enough to be out of RED ZONE. I have seen lots of websites in the yellow zone that rank greatly.
      Thanks SiteCheckerPro!

      How do I check that RED ZONE/yellow zone? When I google around I'm getting lots of ads, is there a free way?
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  • Profile picture of the author Melisasmith
    Yes, It is a priority. Your website should be mobile optimized and have a good loading speed to perform better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Profit Expert
    there are a few tools from google that helps alot : Google insights , google webmaster
    see what wrong and then optimize. Also do UX/UI optimization . Avoid general themes.
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    • Profile picture of the author tnob
      Originally Posted by Profit Expert View Post

      there are a few tools from google that helps alot : Google insights , google webmaster
      see what wrong and then optimize. Also do UX/UI optimization . Avoid general themes.
      Thanks! FYI, Google Webmasters is now called "Google Search Central".
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  • Profile picture of the author Rainer0651
    Originally Posted by tnob View Post

    I have been reading up on Google rolling out updates to the search algorithm. Most of the UX-related things are no surprise, but what about updating an older website?

    My understanding is that rendering speed, mobile-responsivity, and safe browsing are among the top search ranking signals that matter.

    How are you dealing with this on your own websites? Is this a priority?
    I am using a Wordpress theme that gets rid of all the script bloat and API calls and getting 99/100 for mobile and 100/100 for desktop on page speed insights.

    https://developers.google.com/speed/...%2F&tab=mobile

    click the link twice to see the results
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  • Google algorithm wants high page speed on mobile and desktop sites. if you want fully optimize then you can grow your site ranking instantly.
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    • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
      Originally Posted by buysoundcloudlikes125 View Post

      Google algorithm wants high page speed on mobile and desktop sites.
      Is it so?
      Have you ever tried to open page only to have it stuck in G's DoubleClick idle?
      And this is not just one single obstacle browsers have to deal with on its way
      to feed G's Algorithm with what G. according to you wants -- high page speed.

      Originally Posted by buysoundcloudlikes125 View Post

      if you want fully optimize then you can grow your site ranking instantly.
      You wish. I can bet you have more chances to grow hair on your hand's palm
      then grow your site ranking instantly. Too bad you have no idea why not.



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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

    There is a couple ways of looking at this... Google, Microsoft, etc actually separate Mobile traffic from desktop traffic. So your site may not be optimized but may rank well on desktop vs "Mobile"


    So, where Am I wrong?

    Cant say that you are wrong... You ( I am guessing ) built a "Responsive" site so it will be "Mobile Friendly" BUT.. that doesnt mean it actually works well on mobile. having to scroll side to side or important site layouts that use 2 or 3 column layouts and information gets shoved further down the page etc etc starts to decrease mobile usability - and in the end it is USABILITY by the end user that is key.

    Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

    The reality is, depending on search terms it could be a non optimized site will still list under both conditions.


    I don't see how search terms may effect SERP. Please explain.

    Terms that have fewer listings - long tail terms specifically ( usually ) Google will implant "Desktop" listings in its mobile listings and visa versa just because there is a lack of quality to select from.

    Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

    It simply is not as big a deal as many make it.


    As I can see no one but G. does it

    Actually Bing went to mobile desktop separation long before Google did. And its not just Google anyways.. the separation is all over the internet urls with m.url are very much common - way more common than you would think - just not so common in the i'm at home trying to make a buck building a website portion of the market.

    Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

    THAT being said... I work primarily with small local business' and as such, because of how the end user is using mobile vs desktop tech it is a better model to create a separate mobile site vs a responsive desktop site. I do optimize the desktop site for tablet and desktop ( responsive to the 2 sizes vs all devices including phones )


    You're doing that not because there is real benefit based on fact that our site
    uses benefit of both conditions with equal reward.


    Not sure exactly what you mean here.. I do it for some very specific reasons. #1 The way a mobile ( phone ) user uses a site is TOTALLY different than how someone on a tablet or laptop or desktop PC uses one. #2 It comes down to navigation and the overall presentation of the information that matches the platform it is being viewed on.

    As an example... goto you bank website on your phone and then a PC... same information but 2 totally different sites. Same is true with any of the major retailors Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Target, Amazon. These sites ARE NOT using "Responsive" anything - they are directly matching the end use with the site presented. a mobile URL is something like M.insert-site-name-here. Its far more prevalent than you might think

    Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

    Doing things to meet the "requirements" of Google etc is one thing, but going a bit deeper and understanding the needs of the end user is something totally different ( UX = Users experience )


    Right, and that is why mobile browsers are offering users "desk top" option.

    If you really want to get into the specifics here, this option was intended for tablet users because of the larger screen sizes. In terms of UX its a work around to a problem, and not an actual solution.

    My objection is, it must be up to individual site owner to chose if mobile version
    is necessarily for his or her site without making owners jumping every time G.
    comes up with new gimmick.


    And here is the issue.. its really not a G issue, its the actual end users that are dictating this. I just so happened to see the writing on the wall a number of years ago, and followed what the big boys were doing - because they have the dollars and tech and man power to determine if that path is worth the effort. And without question it really is, I have gobs of data that suggest a "Mobile Phone" specific site out performs a "responsive" site that is used my mobile phone users.

    Forget Google in this discussion, like I said, it was Bing that actually created the initial push Google only reacts to data, more specifically Google reacts to percentage of users.

    You are actually arguing a point that the war has already been fought and won. The TRUE industry standard set by online retailors, guys like me that saw the writing on the wall was well in place long before Mobilgeddon. Mobilegeddon wasnt a push by big tech to bully site owners... it was the data of mobile phone users spending more and more time that it was time to set a standard. And lets be real honest here, "Responsive" was a pretty low standard - one that in time, I believe will become more inline with end user use. ( made more specific) Again, the writing is on the wall for everyone to see.

    Forget about Google search, what about ease of use of the end user.. the person you are relying on to call and make an appointment or to buy something. does it not make sense to make that process easy?

    Chances are way better than good that you interact with Mobile specific versions of sites on a daily basis Facebook? Instagram? ( and I am not talking about the "App" - I mean specifically going to these sites on your phone from the browser ) Think about that for a moments.. if its good enough from "Them" why would it not be something you should be doing to increase sites ability to do whatever it is what it does?
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