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November Google Webmaster Report

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Barry digs in with recent reports and findings...

 

November 2017 Google Webmaster Report
I'd say the past month was a time where Google ramped up their testing of the mobile first index. In fact, they already rolled it out for a few sites they said. So we have a lot more around that below. We did see some algorithm updates and fluctuations, none of which Google confirmed, although they did say they plan on confirming some in the future.

 

 

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The past couple of weeks have been extremely volatile for the SERPs that I watch. Huge ups, huge downs. Bigger than I have seen in a long time.

 

<rant about mobile>

Honestly, most people have converted their websites to some format of mobile... I think that a lot of this has been done blindly and in haste... lots of people just slapt this up.

 

- how do you do it for SEO when you don't know what Google is lookin' at?

- how do you do it to make a pleasing website experience?

- how do you do it maximize visitor engagement?

- how do you do it to maximize ad revenue?

- how do you do it to maximize sales?

- how do you do it for speed yet maintain features and functions?

 

Really, does anybody understand it. Lots of people talk a good talk but we know how people bullshit. They are fguessing at it. Lots of people have sites that might have [should have] pages in a number of different formats.

 

I am still trying to understand these things for desktop and I have been experimenting with it for a long time - and I have enough traffic that I get experimental results quickly... but experimenting is complex and costly if you are only looking at desktop... now you have to get the same code to render properly in two browsers on an infinite number of screen sizes.

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The past couple of weeks have been extremely volatile for the SERPs that I watch. Huge ups, huge downs. Bigger than I have seen in a long time.

 

<rant about mobile>

Honestly, most people have converted their websites to some format of mobile... I think that a lot of this has been done blindly and in haste... lots of people just slapt this up.

 

- how do you do it for SEO when you don't know what Google is lookin' at?

- how do you do it to make a pleasing website experience?

- how do you do it maximize visitor engagement?

- how do you do it to maximize ad revenue?

- how do you do it to maximize sales?

- how do you do it for speed yet maintain features and functions?

 

Really, does anybody understand it. Lots of people talk a good talk but we know how people bullshit. They are fguessing at it. Lots of people have sites that might have [should have] pages in a number of different formats.

 

I am still trying to understand these things for desktop and I have been experimenting with it for a long time - and I have enough traffic that I get experimental results quickly... but experimenting is complex and costly if you are only looking at desktop... now you have to get the same code to render properly in two browsers on an infinite number of screen sizes.

 

 

Good points. And we are as clueless as you in terms of all those aspects (save advertising on site)

 

Lots of testing in the future

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- how do you do it for SEO when you don't know what Google is lookin' at?
I don't give a rat's rear what Google is looking at. Except for the pages I don't want them to index.
I care about what (converting) human visitors are looking at. And guess what? Google does it's thing whatever that might be and seems to like what they see anyway.
SEO is one of:
* not putting up/removing barriers to SE bot crawl and current rendering ability.
* a recovery program for folks who screwed up SEO-ing their site.

- how do you do it to make a pleasing website experience?
Make it whatever will get your target audience(s) to:
* come;
* stay a while;
* convert;
* recommend;
* return.

- how do you do it maximize visitor engagement?
* ask/hypothesise;
* test;
* analyse;
* rinse, repeat;
* implement.

- how do you do it to maximize ad revenue?
Sell direct and don't sell what/how everyone else is selling.
Outline of doing it my way: Direct ad sales, differently

- how do you do it to maximize sales?
eCom I don't do. I have opinions but little experience.

- how do you do it for speed yet maintain features and functions?
Strip, compress, cache, eliminate/minimise third party calls, progressive enhancement/lazy load, etc.
Less sharing of server, possibly going dedicated.
Consider HTTP/2. Note: it optimises very differently from HTTP1.1.
If primarily US consider simply hosting geo-centrally.
Investigate plus/minus of CDN (not necessarily a good solution).

Really, does anybody understand it. Lots of people talk a good talk but we know how people bullshit. They are fguessing at it.
I fguess - although I mostly call it an educated hypothesise :) - and then I test.
I'm rather like Google in that regard: always testing. A web business is actually quite a complex intermeshed set of components; we like to separate into components for ease of discussion but changing one, i.e. SEO, without considering another, i.e. UX, is soon problematic. Too many specialists running around without strategic oversight make a mess.

Note: so-called SEOes running around doing stuff other than actual SEO in the name of SEO make a catastrophic mess:

SEOes rush in where fools fear to tread

Like most small businesses webdevs wear too many hats, have too much on their plates, have too little time. I simply keep working towards making 'things' qualitatively better and leave the quantitative commodification race to the bottom to everyone else. Plus play with 'stuff', because: why not? it's fun!

Best mobile advice I have to share:
Always stress test your site on older phone such as iPhone 4 and an Android equivalent, i.e. Galaxy Nexus, HTC One, Droid Razr Maxx, over a marginal/intermittent 3G connection. If you can offer a decent usable site experience to a visitor on that basis... it is easy to forget that not everyone has either the latest device or the best connection. Even in big well connected cities there are tunnels, parking garages, subways, elevators et al.

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Really, does anybody understand it.

 

I'm so glad my customers are over fifty while using either laptop or desktop. It just fell into my lap without thinking otherwise.

IE: Professional photos (I have a big room scene gallery planned), sincere consultations. Nobody/ME beating their chest.

 

My actual free traffic has declined almost 30% recently. Possible redirect issue. Hoping to get it back.

Sales strong, I am spending near $ 1,000 month on ad words. Quite frankly few convert with adwords. I seem to get more with content traffic.

 

Just felt like talking.I gave up thinking about Google thanks to some wise folks here.

 

Be the best you can be.

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Outline of doing it my way: Direct ad sales, differently

 

Followed the link above to a post iamlost made on webmasterworld.... and kept reading some of his posts from earlier this year.

 

He keeps saying he is semi-retired.... that means.... details here if the quote below is not satisfying.

 

Hmmm... 50 hrs/wk. A decade ago it was over twice that. Glad I'm semi-retired. :)

 

Something to think about when you are competing with people in other countries or when people start copying your widgets... (more detail here)

 

 

Being a craftsperson in a commodity market is always a painful difficult experience.

 

 

Enjoyed those above and many more.... Thanks!

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Search will not last 10 years more. The only thing that will survive is building things that people can't live with out, and make things easier. Search is not that, it is just a click. Booking.com is used because it is useful but when that is skinned by google it will be over for them. Products have longevity. A hotel will be around a lot longer that an ota. Consider that the biggest two otas hold just 12% of the travel market. That is 12% with all they do. That is 78% of innovation that has not been discovered or made useful to people.

 

Glyn.

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I'm so glad my customers are over fifty while using either laptop or desktop. It just fell into my lap without thinking otherwise.

IE: Professional photos (I have a big room scene gallery planned), sincere consultations. Nobody/ME beating their chest.

 

My actual free traffic has declined almost 30% recently. Possible redirect issue. Hoping to get it back.

Sales strong, I am spending near $ 1,000 month on ad words. Quite frankly few convert with adwords. I seem to get more with content traffic.

 

Just felt like talking.I gave up thinking about Google thanks to some wise folks here.

 

Be the best you can be.

30% drop from when to when? Each of our sites is up marginally on organic google traffic from the previous 60 days. So marginal it doesn't matter. But nothing dropped like a rock.

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