Weekly SEO news: 1 March 2016
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google: AMP websites are now live – do you have to react?

Google announced in its blog that AMP pages now appear in mobile search results. What is AMP, who uses it and do you have to adjust your web pages?

accelerated mobile pages

What is AMP?

The AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project is an open-source initiative aiming to improve the performance of the mobile web. It was launched by Google last October.

In simplified terms, AMP strips out most of the elements which cause web pages to load slower on mobile devices. For example, JavaScripts, unneccessary navigational elements, and a lot of traditional ads. HTTPS is mandatory for AMP pages.

On February, 24th, Google announced that AMP pages will be displayed in mobile search results:

AMP example

“Now when you search for a story or topic on Google from a mobile device, webpages created using AMP will appear when relevant in the Top Stories section of the search results page. Any story you choose to read will load blazingly fast—and it’s easy to scroll through the article without it taking forever to load or jumping all around as you read. It’s also easy to quickly flip through the search results just by swiping from one full-page AMP story to the next.

AMP is great for browsing the web on mobile devices, because webpages built with AMP load an average of four times faster and use 10 times less data than equivalent non-AMP pages. In many cases, they’ll load instantly. It’s how reading on the mobile web should be—fast, responsive and fun.”

AMP pages will be highlighted in the mobile search result pages with this marker: AMP marker

Who uses AMP?

At this time, AMP is mainly used by publishing and technology companies. You can view a list of companies here. AMP is mostly targeted towards news articles. The SEOprofiler blog also supports AMP.

Do you have to adjust your web pages?

At this time, AMP is an experiment, albeit a big one. It’s hard to tell whether AMP will be a success or not. Instructions on how to make your web pages AMP ready can be found here. If you use WordPress to create your web pages, this plugin can help you.

AMP is not critical for most websites. There are many other things that are much more important to make sure that your web pages get high rankings on Google. SEOprofiler uses many tools that help you to improve the search engine visibility of your web pages. If you haven’t done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

Try SEOprofiler now

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Research proves positive effects of outgoing links

"The results are clear. Outgoing relevant links to authoritative sites are considered in the algorithms and do have a positive impact on rankings. [...]

The data we accumulated is substantial and one of the challenges we had was to convey it in a way that clearly showed the rate of success. We have decided to do so with two separate graphs for each key phrase."


GoogleChange required? Google does not show ads in the right sidebar any more.

"Google no longer shows text ads in the right sidebar on the search results pages.

This change applies to the desktop search results on Google.com and to the search results pages of Google search partners. It is a worldwide change."


3 reasons not to overreact about losing Google ads in the right rail

"Search results change all the time. This particular change has been in the works for awhile, and it’s likely (if you are already managing search campaigns) you have begun to see the changes take effect in major categories. [...]

Don’t think of this as losing the right rail; think of it as gaining a more efficient ad experience. The lack of clutter and Google’s uncanny ability to match intent with results and an efficient ad-buying interface are the key to Google’s past and continued success."

GoogleGoogle doubles up “people also search for” in search results

"If you aren’t a fan of Google reducing the organic result footprint within their search results, you probably won’t be happy to see this test. Google is testing running two “people also search for” in the search results. [...]

This new format also drops multiple organic listings from that search result too, from 10 organic search results to only 7."


Manual actions on subdomains can affect entire site

"While subdomains should protect those users who are unconnected from other subdomains, if there is a connection between them, or if there is a lot of spam on the domain as a whole, then yes, the entire domain could be affected.

There certainly isn’t an automatic pass given to the rest of a domain just because it is a subdomain.  It also means that webmasters who are using a free website service that hosts individual sites on subdomains or subdirectories will need to ensure that the domain overall isn’t a haven for spammers either."


Search engine newslets

  • Google: no announcement dates on Penguin 4.0 launch.
  • Webmasters: be on the lookout for hreflang implementation notifications from Google.
  • Trademark court’s impossible order: Uber told to change Google search results.
3. Recommended resources

SEOprofiler

SEOprofiler helps you to get high rankings on Google and more customers. It offers all the tools that you need:

  • automatic weekly website audits
  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • AdWords Profiler and Ranking Profiler
  • NEW: Domain Finder tool
  • and much more.

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4. Previous articles
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