Monday Morning SEO Recap (January 2nd – January 8th)

Understanding Google’s Intrusive Interstitials Mobile Penalty

Google’s mobile interstitial ad penalty has taken effect. The time leading to the penalty being implemented Google spent a tremendous amount of time answering any arising questions on the issue, especially with regards to factors that can lead to triggering the penalty.

Kristine Schachinger through Twitter asked Google’s John Mueller the extent to which Google is tracking mobile interstitials. In this regard, Mueller answered that Google would implement penalties for mobile interstitials that appear on landing pages from the search engine results page. With this in mind, Google is not concerned about the appearance and nature of the mobile interstitials thereafter.

Therefore, if you have implemented mobile interstitials on other pages, you will be fine. However, if you have implemented them on the SERP to a landing page, you need to take remedying steps to avoid penalties.

Google is Displaying More Rich Cards – In Over 10% Of The SERPs

According to Rank Ranger, Google has increased the frequency of rich cards usage since the new year. In this regard, the Google tracking tool company said that Google on average displays 10.3% results with rich cards. This is up from the 7.9%. Their graph showing the growing influence of rich cards are below.

Explaining The Drop In Google Link Counts In The Search Console

It has not escaped unnoticed that there have been some discrepancies with the Link To Your Site section within the Google Search Console. That was the case with one webmaster, whose link report had experienced a significant drop in links (about a 50% drop).

He later raised his concern with John Mueller who advised him to ignore the drop in links and not to be wound up. Mueller attributed the drop to data updates on their end, saying, “That sounds more like data changes on our side, I’d ignore it.”

Google Search Console has been undergoing infrastructure upgrades, thus causing the results to be a tad off during the upgrade period. Do not fret if this the case.

Mobile First Index And Speed

Google’s John Mueller recently clarified that upon the release of mobile first index launch, the search engine would not consider page speed as a ranking factor. This is a contrast to the prevailing situation with regards to desktop pages. Google considers the load speed of a web page as a ranking factor since it crawls the websites as a desktop user agent.

However, with the release of the mobile first index, the search company will crawl web pages for mobile sites as a mobile user agent. Some had assumed that with the release of the mobile first index, Google would switch from the desktop load speed to the mobile load speed. However, during a Google hangout, Mueller said at the 20:50 mark that they will probably not take the load speed into account.

In the hangout, John Mueller answered several questions about the question of load speed. One question that was asked was whether the mobile site speed would affect desktop ranking. Mueller answered that at the moment they do not take speed into account for mobile. He went on to say that is something that they will figure how best to implement but as things stand, they do not use mobile speed as a factor.

Another concern on the same topic was whether the ranking would flip and if that is the case will Google moderate. Mueller acknowledged that this is an issue that will have to be clarified. He further explained that from the onset Google would not be able to use page speed as a ranking factor. However, Mueller said that using the load speed as a ranking factor is something they would love to do, and therefore, they will be looking at how best to go about in the long run.

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