12 Aug 2016

AMP Pages, Ads in the Three Pack, and More: Weekly Forum Update

seochat-wmw-cre8asite-threadwatch-roundup-768x576Facebook, AMP Pages, and Google’s 3-Pack are just some of the big news items our users are talking about this week. It’s a diverse bunch of stories, and we like that! Variety is the spice of life, after all.

On WebmasterWorld, we’ll look at Facebook’s new battle against ad-blocking, the anniversary of the World Wide Web, and Google’s new expanded AMP support.

On SEO Chat, users are talking about web hosting and how to juggle mobile and desktop versions of your pages.

And on Cre8asiteforums, users are taking an SEO question and debating it from a UX standpoint. Let’s dive right in!

Facebook Finds a Way ‘Round the Ad Blockers

Facebook is taking a stand on the desktop version of its website. They’ve “flipped a switch” that effectively makes ad-blockers totally useless.

“That’s the beauty of running your own ads,” robzilla says on WebmasterWorld. But bill says that even if the battle has been won, the war isn’t over: “This may work around the common ad blockers of today, but they will adapt… Don’t expect this to be the end of the cat-and-mouse game that people will play to block ads.”

In fact, Adblock Plus – one of the most famous ad blockers – responded to Facebook in a blog post titled “Oh well, looks like Facebook just got all anti-user.” In it, they say

“…why keep wasting our time on cat-and-mouse games…wouldn’t it be better to address users (like all of you!) who have chosen to block traditional ads on their own terms? That is to say, don’t you want to be consulted here?”

The comments there indicate that those who choose to block ads are in it for the long haul.

Google Previews Expanded AMP Support in Entire SERPs

Google is working on expanding its AMP results and AMP viewer in SERPs, and you can see a demo of that and read about reactions to it in this thread.

Users on WebmasterWorld note that the prominence of AMP indicates a new direction for desktop-mobile relations: instead of having just one responsive site, you’ll need to have two versions again for AMP.

“My pages are already extremely fast…S o what would I gain by spending all the time it would take to do it?” asks aristotle.

Some speculate that adopting AMP pages could result in preferential treatment – but as you’ll read in our next item, Google says that’s not the case… yet.

AMP is Awesome, but Doesn’t Cause a Rankings Boost!

John Mueller and the folks at Google put to bed the idea that adopting AMP will improve your rankings this week. According to Mueller, “…there’s currently no ranking difference for AMP URLs.”

That’s not to say that there might be in the future. Google went on to explain that if you have an AMP site as your only mobile site, you’ll see a small boost there – but it’s not unique to AMP, it’s just the same ol’ mobile friendly boost that we already knew about.

The World Wide Web is 25 Years Old!

Users on WebmasterWorld – many of whom have been around since before the WWW was invented! – are celebrating the Web’s anniversary and reminiscing about their first footsteps into it.

“If development is exponential,” writes nomis5, “what will the situation be in another 25 years time – mind boggling.”

Site admin engine writes that the Web is like “a layer on the Internet, the conduit, in the way that e-mail, usenet, etc was a layer…”

Apps and the Internet of Things are like new layers, and more are being created as time goes on – but the Web was the first! Give this thread a read for some great insights into where the Internet came from – and where it’s going!

Juggling Mobile and Desktop Content Without a Rel-Alternate or a Canonical

A user on SEO Chat has a tricky situation in this thread. They’re working on a site that is, in their words,

“VERY technically limited, currently we have 48 individual technical issues that are limiting the site.”

There’s a desktop version and a mobile subdomain which, despite OP’s protests, are not linked yet. Would adding content from the desktop version to the mobile version create duplicate content issues? Chedders writes that

“Google have stated they understand that a mobile version will contain a lot of the same content as the desktop version. So personally I would not hold back…”

Another user, roma64, suggests a responsive design instead of a mobile subdomain. What would you choose?

Ads in the Three Pack

They’re heeeeerrre! A few months ago, one of our Threadwatch users wrote about ads being “spotted in the ‘More Places’ section of local results in Europe.”

Now it’s being reported that they’ve been spotted in the three pack as well! We weren’t able to replicate it ourselves, so it could be a rolling test. Try it for yourself and see what you can see!

Traffic vs Converting Traffic – What’s More Important for Landing Pages?

How do you structure your landing pages? And what are your goals? There are a million different approaches to these kinds of problems. Kim Krause-Berg writes that,

“For marketers, the majority remain glued to the SEO/SEM approach. It’s keywords and content and search engine algorithms…”

but the landing pages they create don’t always pass usability standards. Sometimes they’re a nightmare to read and use!  User bobbb wonders,

“If you have an informational site not attached to a selling site…what is a conversion? Read another article and another?….Clicked an ad if you have ads?…”

EGOL writes that,

“If you are out to make your living from organic traffic then you sure better go after the SEO aproach… and if you fail with that your conversions will fail also – because you got no traffic to convert.”

One goal, as EGOL describes it, is to diversify the ways you can make money from traffic.

Get them clicking on content, try for sales, try for ad clicks, try for impressions, try for it all and see what sticks! What’s your approach?

Choosing a Good Website Hosting Service

What should you keep in mind when picking a hosting service for your website? SEO Chat users are debating the finer points in this thread! User Doodled writes to

“…avoid hosting with long term contracts….check that they actually own their own servers/data centers….set up Pingdom to monitor your site and keep an eye on it to see if your hosting service starts to go down hill.”

ThomasHarvey suggests a personal approach:

“…the best bet is calling them up or talking to them on livechat. If their sales staff are knowledgeable then their technical staff seem to be also to a good standard.”

What do you look for in a hosting company?

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