Gary at PubCon Austin

Google keeps doing experiments & brings about 1000 or more updates in its search algorithm to provide better results to users. Though every SEO & webmaster would love to know what these updates are, but Google never reveals these things.

But in some events & conferences, Googlers reveal few of these changes & help us to know what is their future strategies so that webmasters would get a sound knowledge on what they should focus more.

So webmasters, here is a good news for you!

In a recent webmaster’s conference (PubCon), Gary Illyes, the webmaster’s trend analyst of Google, has revealed some important information for webmasters & here they are;

Google to move more sites to Mobile-first soon

Google is planning to move a lot of websites to mobile-first-indexing over the next few weeks. So, webmasters should make their sites mobile ready as Google will index the mobile version of the website first.

And with mobile-first-indexing, your mobile version will also be the deciding factor for desktop ranking.

Increase in traffic due to AMP

At PubCon, Gary said that there is going to be 10% increase in website traffic due to AMP. AMP helps to create mobile optimized content for better UX. So, for more traffic webmasters should focus on AMP.

AMP to play a role in Mobile First Index If It is Canonical

Gary informed at PubCon that if the AMP page is your canonical, then AMP will play a role in mobile first index. It means if you’ve a AMP version of your page, then use canonical tag else Google won’t consider the AMP version in mobile first index.

Crawl budget doesn’t matter for small sites

According to Google, there is no need to worry about crawl budget for small websites. But, if your website has millions of URLs then you should.

In recent times, we’ve lots of posts on optimizing a site for better crawl budget and many webmasters have expressed their concern about it even if their sites are not that big. So, it is really a great relief for them.

But again, whether a site is small or big, one has to follow best practices all the time.

Low ranking for footer content

Webmasters now have to think twice before placing their content in footer as footer content will not rank well.

Well, it is not a big revelation as most webmasters & SEOs take enough care to place the most important content in the top. But if Google is saying so in a big event means this must be happening in good numbers.

Link building is still alive

Gary stated that links and mentions from trustworthy websites are used for majoring quality. It means webmasters should try to get links from high quality trustworthy sites.

Link used to be the core of their algorithm and is still one of the top three ranking factors.

But mention seems to be a new entrant. It is worth to mention here that whether you get a link or a mention from a site; the context, relevancy and quality of the content from which you are getting it matter the most.

Order of content matters Or Not

The main content matters the most.

So, keep that same for both desktop & mobile versions. And place the important part in the top.

When we talk about content quality, the order doesn’t matter much as long as the same content is there for both desktop & mobile.

BUT again it is not that you push the important part of the content to the footer.

Content hierarchy is important for users and so is for Google and a little re-order is not a big issue as long as you keep the important content towards the top.

Again in the new era of mobile first indexing, all you have to remember is your content hierarchy in mobile version, as this the version that Google will consider for indexing & ranking for all devices.

Google on E-A-T

E-A-T stands for Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness. As per Gary, EAT is based on links and mentions from authoritative sites. So, if high quality sites like Washington Post mentions a website, then that’s good. Webmasters should work on their content and various things to get mentions and link backs from such authoritative sites.

Importance of structured data

We know that structured data is a way to present important & specific information such that search engines like Google can assess, understand, store & process the same to create rich snippets. Many webmasters these days are using structured data for their sites. Gary has also reminded again to add structured data for pages in this recent PubCon.

If you think, structured data is a ranking factor or will be one in near future, then please don’t. But the best thing about it is, a result with rich snippets in SERP has more probability of getting more clicks than a result without it. Now I know, you’ll definitely go for it.:)

Full weight for content behind tabs & accordions

According to Google, with mobile first index, full weight would be given to content hidden with Javascript, placed behind tabs, accordions etc.

Till date, as far as I remember, there has not been such a clear statement on these things. SEOs have been arguing both for & against this practice as no one was clear how search engines would consider the content behind such tabs or scripts. Now this is a big relief for all; specifically, for ecommerce sites.

Google loves structured data

A bunch of new things like badges on image search, jobs, restaurants, movies etc. launched by Google rely on structured data. Also, more new things from Google are in planning phase which also rely on structured data. So, webmasters make sure you use structured data on your pages.

Google loves structured data as users love rich snippets in SERPs. Now, you don’t have other options but have to go for this.

Just don’t spam it as Google has already a penalty for such practices.

A Lot of crawling with mobile first

According to Google, webmasters will see a lot of crawling when sites get switched to mobile first index because the mobile crawler acts like a hyperactive child.

So, these are some of the important information for webmasters from this recent PubCon.

Finally, we want to say a big thanks to Marie Haynes, Matt Siltala and Melissa Fach for sharing such valuable information with all of us.

Diptimayee Mohanty
About Diptimayee Mohanty:

She is the founder & director of SUVAANCE Internet Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd. From mere interest to full time career, she delved into the world of digital marketing in later part of last decade and has been contributing excellent articles on Google algorithm changes, patents, SEO strategies, tools & software for marketing and analysis. You can find & contact her at :

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