Tom Williams brings you the latest in search engine optimisation news, including Google’s mobile-first index recommendations, more rumours circulating Search algorithm updates and the accuracy of Google’s monitoring tools.

Google’s Mobile-First Index Recommendations

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As we await the release of Google’s mobile-first index, the search engine giant has announced some tips for going ‘responsive’ with our websites in preparation.

Check them out:

  1. Get your responsive site ready.

  2. Configure 301 redirects on the old mobile URLs to point to the responsive versions (the new pages). These redirects need to be done on a per-URL basis, individually from each mobile URL to the responsive URL.

  3. Remove any mobile-URL specific configuration your site might have, such as conditional redirects or a Vary HTTP header.

  4. As a good practice, set up rel=canonical on the responsive URLs pointing to themselves (self-referential canonicals).

Google recommends switching to responsive before this new release.

This is part of Google’s overall plans to make user experiences quicker, smoother and more efficient.

More Rumours Circulating Search Algorithm Updates

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After the latest chatter died down, Barry Schwartz saw a ‘spike’ again with more rumours circulating a Google Search algorithm update.

Here is some feedback from members of the SEO community:

My site has lost about 30 to 40% of its Google traffic today


Site utterly tanked today and is now ranking/bouncing all over creation. Anyone seeing other weirdness today? Strange bird…


Seeing a lot of movement. Wonder if it’s related to the update/pullback over the weekend. Could be in for a big one overnight into tomorrow.

According to Barry Schwartz, most of the automated tracking tools are flaring up again.

Have you noticed any recent fluctuations?

The Accuracy Of Google’s Monitoring Tools

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Let’s go back to the recent Brighton SEO conference.

Google’s Gary Illyes said: “the third party SEO or search ranking algorithm monitoring tools tend to get the weather right most of the time.”

According to Barry Schwartz, Google has been battling with these monitoring tools for a long time, which makes this quote from Gary very interesting.

Read more about this “controversial” topic.

Click Data For Rankings Revisited

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In our previous SEO News Roundup, we mentioned that Google uses click data for rankings.

The Head of Google Brain announced it and numerous attendees of the Canada event recorded the audio.

To reach for further clarity, Barry Schwartz took to the Google hangout on 19th September and put John Mueller on the spot.

(Q) To be 100% clear, Google is not using click data, behavioral data, pogosticking, that type of stuff directly in their search ranking algorithm for ranking websites in their search results?

Here is John’s response:

As far as I know, we don’t use that.

It looks as though Google doesn’t use click data for rankings, although it will still conduct experiments and analyse how its users react to these.

More SEO News and Advice

Read last week’s SEO News Roundup: Picking Google’s Brain – Using Click Data For Rankings

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About the author:

Tom joined ClickThrough in 2011. Since then, he has developed an expertise in the technical side of search engine optimisation. He’s Google Analytics-qualified, and in his current role as digital and technical Executive, carries out monthly SEO activities and provides technical consultancy for several of the company’s largest accounts.