09 Sep 2016

Shrinking 6-Packs and Automated Tools: Weekly Forum Update

seochat-wmw-cre8asite-threadwatch-roundup-768x576Welcome to another episode of SEO News!

As always, I’m your host Mark Roberts.

Sorry – I’m just practicing my newscaster voice because our communities have a TON of newsy discussions this week!

Big changes and announcements from Google and Facebook take the fore, with a background discussion about automated tools that really shouldn’t be missed.

Facebook Wants Advertisers to Improve Their Sites for Mobile Users

Sounds familiar, right? First Google and now Facebook are really focused on making sure the web is mobile friendly. On September 1st, Facebook announced that it will enable pre-fetching of content in its in-app browser before users tap a link.

They’ve also got some tips for making your website Facebook mobile friendly, which includes

“minimizing landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners…compressing files to decrease mobile rendering time…removing render-blocking JavaScript…”

and a few others. Get the full discussion on WebmasterWorld!

Remember When There Was a Local 6-Pack? Us Too…

First there was the 6-pack, then there was the 3-pack…now some users in Germany are seeing tests of a 2-pack! The local pack, usually located below a local map set into the SERPs, keeps shrinking and shrinking.

An article from The SEM Post reports that

“There have been huge fluctuations in the local pack results over the past couple of days,”

which makes it hard to say if these 2-pack sightings are just a test or a sign of things to come.

A Smashing Discussion About Automated Tools!

This one’s a real gem – users on Cre8asiteforums sat down to talk about automated tools recently, and the discussion that evolved is an extremely generous one.

Some of the smartest members of our community poured their brains and hearts out, and you absolutely should take a look. It started with a question about how easy or difficult it is to create a customized, automated tool. Spreadsheets, for example, can be used to push and pull data. EGOL writes that

“Affiliates have been doing this with product data feeds since the late 1990s…”

Grumpus has a series of fantastic posts that put programming and automated tools into perspective with the history of computer development, too.

Google to Downrank Pages With Intrusive Interstitials

So you’re visiting a website when all of a sudden…POP! There’s a huge, page-filling ad on the screen. What a pain, right? Well, Google thinks it’s a pain too!

That’s why mobile pages that include these intrusive interstitials will soon be subject to a downgrade in SERPs rankings. WebmasterWorld user bwnbwn sums it up nicely:

“About friggin time, way overdue.”

But other users wonder why only mobile interstitials are being punished. Obviously, Google has been in love with mobile users lately…but desktop interstitials are annoying too!

Is Google Using Your Visitor Data Against You?

On Threadwatch, a user has highlighted an interesting discussion about how Google uses data collected from webmasters.

“…are products like Google Analytics and Chrome really useful, or are they just sabotaging you from the inside?”

The discussion arose from the ashes of a thread about zombie traffic. To solve the zombie problem, some WebmasterWorld lurkers suggested disabling their Analytics tracking codes and removing AdSense.

Some of them claimed to have seen a reduction in zombies afterwards and came to believe that Google was purposely throwing bad traffic their way. But correlation doesn’t equate to causation, as we all know…so what’s the real story?

Google Tests “Shop the Look” For Mobile

That’s a trendy name, eh? And it emulates a trendy platform – this is Google’s attempt to become a little more Pinterest-like.

“If you search for ‘cocktail attire,’ you could see an image of a popular fashion blogger wearing a black cocktail dress, heels and sunglasses. You can shop those exact…products featured in the image by tapping through…”

So kind of like buyable Pins. WebmasterWorld user Webwork says that this may hurt affiliates:

“The lives of independent affiliate marketers just got a bit harder…once again.”

Martinibuster writes that

“Google’s a company with two personalities. The Google I admire is visionary, doing sensible and (in hindsight) rational innovations…Then there’s the other Google that follows the competition by creating imitations…that eventually fail and get the plug pulled.”

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