Google’s Page Speed Update does not impact indexing

Google’s Page Speed Update won’t impact how Google indexes your mobile or desktop content; it will only affect how the mobile pages are ranked in the Google mobile search results. To be clear, indexing and ranking are two separate things, as Google explains clearly in the How Search Works portal.
We are covering this again because there appears to be some confusion around the Page Speed Update and whether it will impact indexing. Both John Mueller and Gary Illyes of Google chimed in to explain that this specific algorithm will have no impact on indexing.
Here are those tweets:

The mobile speed update affects only ranking in mobile search results; it’s independent of the indexing.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) January 31, 2018

Why would indexing be related to speed? (I’m kinda confused how this was connected, wonder if we need to update something on our side to make it clearer)
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) January 31, 2018

Slow pages can get into the index.

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Google confirms mid-December search ranking algorithm update

Google has confirmed what many in the search industry have seen over the past week, an update to their algorithm that is significantly shifting rankings in the SERPs. A google spokesperson told Search Engine Land “We released several minor improvements during this timeframe, part of our regular and routine efforts to improve relevancy.”
Our own Barry Schwartz analyzed his Search Engine Roundtable survey of 100 webmasters and concluded that this update is related to keyword permutations and sites utilizing doorway pages. You can read his full analysis here.
Early signs point to mobile & schema
I reached out to a few of the SEO tool vendors that do large scale tracking of ranking fluctuations to get their sense of where this update may be targeted.
Ilya Onskul, the Product Owner of SEMrush Sensor gave this analysis:
“SEMrush Sensor follows all the changes that occur on Google SERPs in 6 countries for both mobile and desktop separately. On top of the general

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‘Ask Me Anything’ with Google’s Gary Illyes at SMX East

At last week’s SMX East conference, Google’s webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes took questions from the dual moderators — Barry Schwartz and Michelle Robbins — as well as from the audience in a session called “Ask Me Anything.”
In this post, I will cover that question-and-answer dialogue, though what you’ll see below are paraphrases rather than exact quotes. I have grouped the questions and used section headers to help improve the flow and readability.
Off-site signals
Barry: You’ve been saying recently that Google looks at other offsite signals, in addition to links, and some of this sounded like Google is doing some form of sentiment analysis.
Gary: I did not say that Google did sentiment analysis, but others assumed that was what I meant. What I was attempting to explain is that how people perceive your site will affect your business, but will not necessarily affect how Google ranks your site. Mentions on third-party sites, however, might help you, because Google

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August 22, 2017: The day the ‘Hawk’ Google local algorithm update swooped in

I recently reported on an algorithm update impacting the local results that happened on August 22, 2017. This was a strictly-local update, from what I can tell so far, which means that it had no impact on the non-local organic results.
What changed?
The update, which I have dubbed “Hawk,” was a change to the way the local filter works. To get some history here, Google actively filters out listings from the local results that are similar to other listings that rank already. Basically, Google picks the most relevant listing of the bunch and filters the rest. It’s very similar to what they do organically with duplicate content. (Note: Google is typically loath to confirm algorithm updates, usually only saying that it rolls out several updates every day, so these observations are based on an analysis of how local results have changed rather than on any official announcement or acknowledgment.)
The filter has existed for a long time to help ensure that

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Meet the fake news of the online marketing world (that Google loves!): Review sites

A recent visit to revealed some amazing “facts” about online marketing vendors. Did you know, for example, that:

One of iProspect’s biggest clients is Circuit City (which went bankrupt in 2008)?
iCrossing’s annual revenue is between $1 million and $3 million?
Geary LSF (which closed in early 2016) currently has 93 employees and revenue of more than $10M. Oh, and they are the #59 best SEO agency in the US as of July 2017.
My company, 3Q Digital, also has revenue between $1 million and $3 million (wrong), has three founders (all of which founded an agency we acquired and only one of which has ever been part of my agency), is located in an office we haven’t rented for four years and is apparently the #7 best mobile marketing company in Australia (if only we had an Australian client).
An agency in Lehi, Utah, is ranked #1 in the US for search engine optimization, local SEO, remarketing, Facebook advertising, LinkedIn

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EU slaps Google with $2.7 billion antitrust fine

Expected for months, the antitrust penalty was supposed to be closer to $1 billion. However, today the EU leveled a much larger 2.4 billion euro ($2.7 billion) fine against Google for alleged abuse of its market power in vertical (shopping) search.
Though the fine is not a surprise, the amount is. In the climax of a decade-long antitrust saga that at one time was close to settlement, Google is being punished for allegedly “favoring its own content” in shopping search results.
Google has vehemently denied that its practices harm competition or consumers. Instead, Google has argued that its results are beneficial and match evolving consumer demands:
Google has always worked to improve its services, creating new ways to provide better answers and show more useful ads. We’ve taken seriously the concerns in the European Commission’s Statement of Objections (SO) that our innovations are anti-competitive. The response we filed today shows why we believe those allegations are incorrect, and why we believe that Google increases choice for European

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Weathering the Google storms

A good friend of mine and truly the best SEO expert I have had the privilege working with, Gregory Gromov, once referred to the Google algorithm updates and tests as “Google storms.” The coined phrase made all the sense in the world. Per Gregory, a solid SEO program provides the ballast to weather the storm, but if a storm hits and flips you over… well, it is time to right the ship.
A Google algorithm update is actually a rare opportunity. While in some cases it may appear to be more of a nightmare than a dream come true, understanding how to capitalize on the event is key to succeeding in SEO — and as your program matures, you will look forward to the updates.
The following is a process I have used for years to evaluate Google updates at a site level to glean new opportunities for improvement and to determine what is already working. This is a

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SMX West: Solving SEO Issues in Google’s Post-Update World

How do we deal with huge and sudden changes in organic search traffic now that Google no longer posts major updates to its algorithms? Since many updates that formerly would have been assigned a name (like Penguin or Panda), or even a name and an incremental number (Panda 3.0) are now part of Google’s core algorithm, how can we know when an update is responsible for a traffic or ranking change? And even if we do know, what can we do with that knowledge?
Kristine Schachinger and Glenn Gabe answered those questions and more in “Solving SEO Issues In Google’s Post-Update World,” a session at SMX West 2017. The following is a summary of their presentations.
Busting Google’s black box
Presenter: Kristine Schachinger, @schachin

Some SEOs and webmasters may find themselves wishing for the days of Matt Cutts. Cutts was a Google engineer and the head of Google’s webspam team. More importantly to marketers, Matt was the “face” of Google search, regularly

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Fred’s losers: Sistrix analysis says ad-heavy, thin-content sites hit worst

Sistrix, an SEO toolset data collection company, published their analysis of the Google Fred update after reviewing “nearly 300 domains.” Their analysis describes the sites and pages that were hit like this:
“…advertisement, outdated, thin and scraped content, as well as incomprehensible articles made up of 300 word ‘SEO texts’ pumped to the brim with main keyword mentions and void of any useful information or a sense of readability.”
They have confirmed our analysis of Fred, where we said low value content sites were hit by this update.
Juan Gonzalez from Sistrix analyzed 300 website domains on Google Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, all of which lost Google search results visibility after March 13, 2017. Juan said that “nearly all losers were very advertisement heavy, especially banner ads, many of which were AdSense campaigns … Another thing that we often noticed was that those sites offered little or poor quality content, which had no value for

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Google: Our search leads won’t let us talk about the Fred update

Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, said at SMX West today that the Google search leads have decided not to talk about the Fred update that touched down on March 7, 2017. Google would not confirm this last algorithm update, but this statement about Google not talking about it may be a confirmation by itself.
Illyes went on to add that this update targets specific techniques that are well-documented within the Google webmaster guidelines. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t go on to explain which guidelines specifically were targeted by this Fred update.
In our own analysis, we said Fred targeted low-value content that focused on revenue generation techniques.
This is the closest we got to an official confirmation from a Google representative on the March 7, 2017, Google update named Fred.
The post Google: Our search leads won’t let us talk about the Fred update appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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