Google issues new mobile friendly warnings

A month after Google boosted the mobile-friendly algorithm, Google have changed the way in which they inform site owners if their website is not optimised for mobile users.

When a site owner searches for their own website on their mobile phone, if it’s not optimised, the result for the site will include a small notice above the meta description saying, “Your page is not mobile-friendly”. The message a hyperlink, and when clicked, will take users through a Google help page with more information about mobile-friendliness. For all other users searching for the website, no such message will be displayed.

Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that the feature is an experiment to see how mobile friendliness can be boosted across the internet.

Sites penalised for free product review links

In the first week of April, Google issued penalties to websites found to be hosting “unnatural outbound links”. Issued by the Google manual actions team, the penalties are aimed at websites linking to other sites with the aim of manipulating Google rankings.

Several days after issuing the penalties, it emerged that the unnatural link building in question was specifically in relation to free product reviews featured by bloggers, in exchange for links.

Following Google’s guidelines issued several weeks earlier advising bloggers to disclose free product and ‘nofollow’ their links, Google has now acted on its warning, and sent out manual actions to those sites that did not comply.

Google sent 4 million messages about search spam last year

Google has announced it’s latest development in it’s bid to clean up search results.

Over 2015, Google explained that they noticed a 180% increase in websites being hacked since 2014, as well as the number of websites with sparse, low quality content increasing. In order to counter this, Google unveiled their hack spam algorithm late last year. By sending out 4.3 million manual notices to website owners and webmasters, Google were able to clean up “the vast majority” of the issues stated.

Google saw a 33% increase in the total number of sites going through the reconsideration process, which shows the importance of verifying your website in the Google Search Console, which allows you to receive alerts when Google finds issues with your website.
Additionally, Google received over 400,000 spam reports submitted by users, and was able to act on a whopping 65% of them, thanks to over 200 Hangouts aired to help webmasters.