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Welcome to a new reality - DeepCrawl Webinar 2018


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My webinar with DeepCrawl talking about mobile-friendliness, assessing keyword targeting on mobile, finding content inconsistencies across devices and much, much more!

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Welcome to a new reality - DeepCrawl Webinar 2018

  1. 1. Bastian Grimm, Peak Ace AG | @basgr Crawling, indexing & ranking in the age of a mobile first world Welcome to a new reality!
  2. 2. Why all the fuss?
  3. 3. 3 @peakaceag Mobile first indexing challenges #1 Source: Gary Illyes @ SMX Advanced Seattle 2017 Google never had to swap over an entire index to something new, this is completely new and doing that without experimentation is not possible. And sites should not be hurt, therefore large scale indexing experiments will be conducted.”
  4. 4. 4 @peakaceag Mobile first indexing challenges #2 Source: Gary Illyes @ SMX Advanced Seattle 2017 Figuring out for 18-year-old desktop signals: How can this be used for the mobile web? E.g. the link graph/PR is different and totally messed up; how can Google make this work?”
  5. 5. 5 @peakaceag Mobile first indexing is about Google preferring and organising cross-device content in a way that it can be easily queried from and displayed on a lot of different devices. CrawlingIndexing RankingMobile What is mobile first indexing anyways?
  6. 6. 6 @peakaceag Mobile is dominating – 60 % of searches are non-desktop Mobile search usage surpassed desktop in 2015 already; Hitwise reported in 08/2016 that nearly 60 percent of searches now happen on mobile devices. Source: Hitwise ( & SearchEngineLand ( Share of online searches initiated on a mobile device, by industry:
  7. 7. 7 @peakaceag Lots of different “experiences“ depending on intent:
  8. 8. 8 @peakaceag Mobile search results for “Game of Thrones” (US) Source: Google US, Mobile SERP on iPhone6 – 24/08/2017 Looking for those organic results? Well… good luck!
  9. 9. 9 @peakaceag Even questions are answered directly on (mobile) Chrome Via Twitter:
  10. 10. In the future, your rankings will be based on your mobile website entirely. From desktop to mobile
  11. 11. 11 @peakaceag Google announced mobile first indexing in 11/2016 It feels like even Google doesn’t know how and when some things will work.
  12. 12. What do we know?
  13. 13. 13 @peakaceag Google confirmed: there will still only be one index! Source:
  14. 14. 14 @peakaceag What about desktop-only sites? How to deal with common mobile site patterns such as tab switches, carousels, etc.? Source: SMX Advanced 2017, Seattle For desktop-only sites, indexing stays the same, however crawling will be done using a mobile UA: “We will index mobile content, only if you don’t have anything we will index desktop content – no one will fall out!”. Can I use accordion tabs, hidden tabs, etc. on my mobile site? Google is going to assign them the same value as non-hidden content. Illyes said, Google is going to ensure, that “hidden content is not valued less on a mobile site”. + - + Lorem Ipsum dolor Lorem Ipsum dolor Lorem Ipsum dolor Lorem Ipsum dolor Lorem Ipsum dolor Lorem Ipsum dolor
  15. 15. 15 @peakaceag Site- & content-parity is absolutely crucial! Make sure desktop & mobile are in sync; content, annotations, etc. Source: SMX Advanced 2017, Seattle What if the mobile site has less content compared to the desktop site? Ranking will be based on “shorter“ content! (Basically, you need to ensure that whatever you want to rank for will be present on mobile). Mobile ranking factors (including mobile friendliness testing) will generally remain unchanged.
  16. 16. 16 @peakaceag Early on we saw crazy stuff! 4,500 visibility on desktop! Mobile subdomain started to rank for desktop queries… real-world testing with live sites!
  17. 17. 17 @peakaceag Some stuff is entirely useless… F.e. desktop site-links pointing to mobile; great use case! (only after MFI announcement)
  18. 18. 18 @peakaceag I asked about notifications for switched-sites in 2017: Source: Gary Illyes @ International Search Summit 2017, Barcelona I don’t believe we will be giving you any type of notification once you have been switched to mobile first indexing.
  19. 19. 19 @peakaceag Thankfully someone apparently listened: Source:
  20. 20. 20 @peakaceag What is “mobile“ anyways? iPhone, iPad or even bigger? What is the standard desktop resolution?
  21. 21. Consider: When rendering, Google requests (nearly) everything that belongs to a site (JavaScript, CSS, etc.). Before we get into that:
  22. 22. …of all sites are using JavaScript; this is ultimately why Google started to render sites instead of just crawling them! 93.7 %
  23. 23. 23 @peakaceag View source is dead. Dead as a doornail.
  24. 24. 24 @peakaceag Interested in JavaScript framework compatibility for SEO? Check out Bartosz‘ massive research on crawlability and indexability! Read more:
  25. 25. With rendering there is no one-size-fits-all solution… Rendering: which resolution?
  26. 26. 26 @peakaceag 1024 x 768 only! Why is that important now? Watch your responsive breakpoints, portrait vs. landscape, etc. – basically everything that’s important to you needs to be rendered properly!
  27. 27. 27 @peakaceag GSC Fetch & Render is limited to 10,000 pixels in height Source:
  28. 28. 28 @peakaceag Rendering seems to be more important than ever! Rankings tanked when GSC Fetch & Render wasn‘t able to render the page properly.
  29. 29. 29 @peakaceag Google currently uses Chrome 41 to render your site Keep in mind: this version was released in March 2015 – it’s ancient! Source:
  30. 30. 30 @peakaceag Bonus > GSC fetch & render (almost) everyone you like Simply use a 100 % iFrame to see how Google will render any given website
  31. 31. Resolution isn‘t that important
  32. 32. 32 @peakaceag The average consumer uses five devices! You can’t build and maintain dedicated sites for everything, e.g. one for iPad or even different pages for all the mobile phone screen resolutions. Source: & 90 % of all users start a task on one device and finish it on another.
  33. 33. Also from an SEO standpoint, this has various advantages: Proper Responsive
  34. 34. 34 @peakaceag What does proper responsive mean? #1 <picture> ▪ First and foremost: Different ways of showing content per resolution (device). Design the smallest viewport first, then work your way up. Also, consider landscape vs portrait. ▪ Images: Best possible size, resolution & format. The new <picture> element is a perfect starting point, but there are lots more solutions. Also, consider fluid images (they adapt to the container they are in).
  35. 35. 35 @peakaceag What does proper responsive mean? #2 ▪ Critical rendering path optimisation: Optimise for time to first meaningful paint. Reduce round trips; off-load JS and inline CSS – for each resolution/breakpoint. ▪ Conditional loading of components: Only request what's needed when visible. Combine with pre-fetching and pre-rendering (only with high resolutions).
  36. 36. 36 @peakaceag What does proper responsive mean? #3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <title>Page Title</title> </head> <body> <h1>Heading</h1> <p>Paragraph</p> </body> </html> ▪ Optimise paint and re-paint, especially for small resolutions/breakpoints. CSS media queries can help a lot. ▪ Keep your DOM clean (hiding elements is only half the truth).
  37. 37. Fast loading time plays an important role in overall user experience! Performance = user experience!
  38. 38. 38 @peakaceag Revisited: PageSpeed (load time) is a ranking factor Surprise, surprise; now also on mobile! Source: &
  39. 39. 39 @peakaceag Google loves site speed and keeps pushing for faster sites
  40. 40. 40 @peakaceag Please don’t forget your desktop now; both are relevant! Especially for responsive sites this can be a massive challenge! Source: With the mobile first index, will desktop rankings use mobile page speed instead of desktop page speed? No […] as mentioned […], while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.
  41. 41. 41 @peakaceag Make sure to get the basics right! All slides on SlideShare: Use my checklist on SlideShare to double check: ▪ Optimize images: reduce overhead for JPGs & PNGs (metadata, etc.), request proper sized images and try new formats. ▪ Implement effective caching and compression. ▪ Whenever possible, use asynchronous requests. ▪ Decrease size of CSS and JavaScript files (minify). ▪ Use a content distribution network (CDN) / an asset server (as well as cookie-less domains) to optimize parallel requests. ▪ Lean mark-up (no comments, use inline CSS / JS only where necessary or useful) ▪ Consider (DNS) pre-fetching & pre-rendering if feasible. ▪ Watch (& optimize) for TTFB, don’t forget you back-end architecture / systems (e.g. DB, webserver etc.).
  42. 42. 10 tips to prepare your website:
  43. 43. 43 @peakaceag #1 Understand your mobile setup and its pros & cons! What are you using and why? Is the configuration done properly? x x x x Responsive Web Design Dynamic Serving Independent Mobile Site Don´t block images, CSS & JS resources Include the vary: user agent HTTP header Identify & serve the relevant web version to the right user agent Implement rel alternate & canonical tags between mobile & desktop URLs. Implement 301-redirects between mobile & desktop to refer the user agent to the relevant web version Responsive Web Design Dynamic Serving Independent Mobile Site
  44. 44. 44 @peakaceag #2 Are you targeting the right keywords on mobile? Check search demand based on device split and adjust accordingly Selling (transactional) Buying (transactional) VS
  45. 45. 45 @peakaceag #3 Are you sure your site really is mobile friendly? Easy test: verify yourself using built-in Chrome DevTools (Ctrl+Shift+I)!
  46. 46. 46 @peakaceag Test multiple URLs at once Check it out:
  47. 47. 47 @peakaceag #4 Make sure to not prevent access by using interstitials! Or any other time of overlay/pop-up that has negative effects on UX! Source: Examples of interstitials that make content less accessible intrusive popup intrusive standalone interstitial intrusive standalone interstitial interstitial for cookie usage interstitial for age verification banner that uses a reasonable amount of screen space Examples of interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal, if used responsibly
  48. 48. 48 @peakaceag #5 Did you check all GSC reports properly? Of course the mobile usability report – but what about rich cards, these are also mobile?
  49. 49. 49 @peakaceag #6 Check GSC fetch & render for mobile as well Pay close attention: identical content, anything missing, blocked resources?
  50. 50. 50 @peakaceag #7 Do a full site health check and focus on mobile issues DeepCrawl has in-depth reporting on everything mobile
  51. 51. 51 @peakaceag #8 Simulate Googlebot for smartphones with JS rendering ScreamingFrog can do that easily; again, pay close attention to rendered output
  52. 52. 52 @peakaceag #9 Get all the content to your mobile site Is your markup available on mobile; indexation rules, canonical tags, etc.? Usually, rel-canonicals, structured data, hreflang, other annotations and even images are missing! Copy everything you want to rank for over to mobile (for now)!”
  53. 53. #10 Don‘t f*ing panic!
  54. 54. 54 @peakaceag Questions? Always looking for talent! Check out Bastian Grimm Thanks for tuning in!