23 Sep 2016

Penguin 4.0 is Live! And Other News

seochat-wmw-cre8asite-threadwatch-roundup-768x576Good news Penguin 4.0 is upon us! You may not yet see the  impact until it fully rolls out though, so start checking your rankings!

Along with Penguin news, we’ve got lots of stories about AMP pages. These super-fast mobile pages have been Google’s pet project this year, and they’re more prevalent now than ever before.

Also check out a story about HTTPS, Google Keyword Planner, and the Coalition for Better Ads – all below!

Legacy Crawl Errors Plague Google Search Console – Are You Seeing Them?

What’s a legacy crawl error, you might ask? Basically it’s when a page that hasn’t existed for a while (sometimes months or even years) starts displaying errors in Search Console. They might also show up as being “linked from” pages that don’t exist. Some members of WebmasterWorld have been seeing a ton of these legacy errors lately – and they believe it might have something to do with Penguin.

“I’ve never seen Googlebot go this crazy before. It’s as if it’s performing an exhaustive and historical update of its link graphs,” writes Simon_H.

Massive crawls by Googlebot have happened in the past, and John Mueller has said before that these crawls do not foreshadow a big update. But this time might be different: the crawl errors could be the result of Google doing some massive software and hardware updates in preparation for Penguin.

“…Penguin itself is an immense link graph related application, one that used to take months to calculate,” writes martinibuster.

Penguin is on a massive scale, and preparations to change it could, in martinibuster’s opinion, result in the symptoms WebmasterWorld users have been seeing.

Comments Get AMP’d Up!

Disqus is bringing AMP to comments sections everywhere, and in an unusual way. It seems like you’ll need a separate domain to place the special AMP code on.

Get the details on Threadwatch!

Google Says SERPs Are Officially AMP’d

Getting tired of all the “AMP” puns? Well, you better get used to them because AMP pages are here to stay! Google announced this week that there are “more than 600 million AMP pages in 232 locales and 104 languages.”

Google says that when you search on your phone or mobile device, you’ll find a label to tell you that the page has AMP capabilities.

Much like last year’s “mobile-friendly” label, the label itself has no impact on SERPs rankings…but it might give a boost to your CTR, as it indicates to a viewer that your site will load faster than average.

Does Your HTTPS Site Need a Unique IP Address?

Here’s a thread from WebmasterWorld about accommodating users with old and out-of-date technology. As keyplyr explains, a unique IP is often combined with a domain that has secure hosting enabled.

“While it is possible to use Secure Hosting without a Unique IP, some older browsers which do not support Server Name Indication display a certificate warning when viewing your site (even if your cert is valid).”

So, is it necessary to combine a unique IP with Secure Hosting so that you don’t scare away users on older browsers? User lammert says that

“Recently…I switched all my sites to https only over one IP…cutting [off] the two to ten percent [of] visitors still using outdated technologies. Revenue from the sites hasn’t changed which was for me the assurance that those who don’t invest in their own computer equipment also do not spend much money on the net.”

It’s a matter of user metrics, it appears – and there’s a diversity of opinions in this thread!

Critical Must Know: Chrome to Target HTTP as Non-Secure

Google has been warning for years now that, eventually, they’d be marking sites without HTTPS as “non-secure” in Chrome. According to a post from iamlost on Cre8asiteforums, they’ll finally put their foot down in January 2017.

“…a simple switch to HTTPS/1.1 is likely to get dinged again within a few years with Google/Chrome pushing HTTP/2,” iamlost adds.

“Therefore do appropriate due diligence and decide what to switch to…to best future proof your site and its delivery.” EGOL adds that if you serve HTTP and HTTPS versions simultaneously, make sure your 301 redirects are put in place! Otherwise,

“…if you are not HTTPS and don’t have all of your redirects in place you are going to be embarrassed in front of some of your visitors.”

Coalition of Internet Advertisers Formed to Improve Consumer Experience

It’s the long-awaited Coalition for Better Ads! We’ve highlighted a few discussions about them in the past, such as when they laid out their L.E.A.N. (that’s Light, Encrypted, AdChoice supported, Non-Invasive) guidelines for Online advertising back in May. The coalition contains a variety of different businesses, including

“Facebook and Google, IAB and IAB Europe,” according to WebmasterWorld’s admin, engine.

Users on WebmasterWorld are skeptical, though.

“This is from The Onion, right?” writes user weeks.

User mcneely isn’t convinced, either:

“Sure, this all looks good on the surface – the true test will come when major publishers…make the hard choices, like…building for the visitor-ship or building for the ad companies.”

AdBlockers dominate the Internet these days, and the Coalition for Better Ads appears to be a way that advertisers are trying to fight it – not directly, with hostility, but by taking the rise of AdBlocking as a serious backlash to the state of online advertising. What do you think?

Possible Google Mobile Update Causes Widespread Drop in Rankings

In addition to the rumors about Penguin, Webmasters are currently contending with an update that they don’t completely understand yet.

It’s been called a new “Quality” or “Phantom” update.

“While Google has not commented definitively, many experts are convinced that two different updates took place around the date in question,” writes GrowMap on Threadwatch.

Local rankings were one of the biggest hit: “keyword + city” queries appear to have taken a serious tumble. Get the details here!

Adding Text Descriptions to Classes!

Here’s a cool thread on Cre8asiteforums for all you programmer geeks out there! User glyn is working with a piece of code that renders an icon in a set font. They wonder:

“Is there any way within this class that I can add a text description so if someone mouses over [the icon] they will get a description?”

It’s the kind of thing you see on lots of blogs all over the web – and the users of Cre8asiteforums can show you just how to do it! Check this out if you’ve ever wanted to add custom text descriptions to your icons.

Google Keyword Planner’s New Search Volume

While some of us have been mourning the decline of Keyword Planner for months, others have been out there hustling for information.

When Keyword Planner went “pay to play,” Google started hiding the accurate information it gave about what users are searching for. The more you pay, the more information about keyword search volume that you can see. User knuckles has the bottom-line in this thread:

“I really don’t see how one can research keywords [with Keyword Planner] anymore…your first campaign’s purpose is paying for keyword research.”

ThomasHarvey adds,

“The less the advertisers know, the more Google makes.”

What has your experience with Keyword Planner been like since the changes?

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