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June 2018: SEO news and Google updates

4-MINUTE READ 9th July 2018

June 2018 was a very busy month in the world of Google updates. The search giant announced that it would retire its AdWords and DoubleClick brands, and released some clarification about the recent roll-out of its mobile-first index. It was also revealed that click depth matters more than URL structure when it comes to SEO, and that the new Speed Update will work on a “gradual scale”.

If you would like to know more about what all of this means and how your business could be affected, read on to find out more.

Google to retire the AdWords and DoubleClick brands

Google has announced that, in an effort to streamline its offerings, it will retire the AdWords and DoubleClick brands. Their flagship advertising products will then be reorganised and given new names that reflect their current capabilities. On top of this, Google will introduce new solutions to further simplify its advertising services. There will be three main brands: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager.

These changes are primarily to do with how the tools are branded, which means the services themselves aren’t going to change too much. But, Search Engine Land has an in-depth guide into what you can expect, which is well worth reading so you’re prepared for these developments.

Google makes some clarifications about mobile-first index

In our SEO news bulletin for May 2018, we reported that Google had started to send mobile-first index notifications to webmasters. And, earlier this month, the search engine clarified a few points about this in a Twitter thread:

“With Mobile-first indexing, we index the mobile version. When we recognise separate mobile URLs, we’ll show the mobile URL to mobile users, and the desktop URL to desktop users – the indexed content will be the mobile version in both cases.

“The total number of crawled URLs/day generally won’t change, but the balance will shift from mostly-desktop to mostly-mobile crawls. During a switch-over to mobile-first indexing we may temporarily crawl more as we re-index everything.

“The mobile speed update in July is independent of mobile-first indexing. Fast sites are awesome for users, especially on mobile, since devices & connections there tend to be slower than with desktops.”

For webmasters who are unsure of how the switch to mobile-first index affects them, this should certainly clear things up. It’s all about creating the best possible user experience for searchers. And, it’s now incredibly important that your site works well on both desktop and mobile, so potential customers will get the best possible impression of your business, whatever device they might be using.

Google announced that click depth matters more than URL structure

In a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout, John Mueller explained that Google weights pages based on how many clicks it takes to travel to them from the homepage, rather than the URL structure.

So, the number of slashes in a URL doesn’t really matter: if it only takes one click to get to a page from the homepage, Google will consider that more important. As a result, it would be given more weight in the search results.

This is something website owners need to consider when designing their navigation. If there are pages that you want to rank well, don’t let them get buried — even if the URLs are structured within multiple folders, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to access your most important pages. Not only will this improve the user experience, but Google will be taking note, too.

Google revealed the new Speed Update will work on a “gradual scale”

Back in January, we reported that Google would be using page speed as a mobile ranking factor from July 2018. And, as this is fast approaching, the search engine has been trying to clarify what the changes will mean for webmasters and businesses.

In a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout, John Mueller explained that the upcoming Speed Update is different to the one that occurred in April 2010, because it doesn’t just measure and penalise pages that are too slow. Instead, it will work on a “gradual scale”. So, making small improvements to the speed of your website can help your rankings.

If your website is slower than you would like, it’s well worth looking into it — even tiny changes could help you to climb Google’s SERPs when the Speed Update is finally implemented.

You can now consider yourself up to speed with all of the latest Google and SEO news for June 2018. If you would like more frequent updates, make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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