This week: Google added a new feature to mobile search results, CDNs are safer than many SEOs think, and guess what’s missing from the mobile-first index?
Here’s what happened this week in SEO.
Google: Mobile-First Index Isn’t Live Yet
Google is still experimenting with the index. It won’t go live until the company provides a recommendations list for webmasters.
Also, Google bigwigs Kazushi Nagayama and Gary Illyes confirmed on Twitter this past week that the mobile-first index hasn’t rolled out.
@KazushiNagayama we're missing the memos like a boss ¯_(ツ)_/¯
— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) December 27, 2016
Google: CDNs Are Safe and Won’t Hurt Rankings
Some SEOs prefer to stay away from content delivery networks (CDNs). That’s because they’re worried that the CDN might be in an IP range that gets too much spam.
This past week, Google’s John Mueller said that, for the most part, they don’t need to worry about it.
Here’s what he said specifically:
So I haven’t personally seen any site that had any problems with using a common CDN where there lots of spammy sites.
Yeah I wouldn’t see that (Amazon, CloudFront, etc) as being a problem.
So usually the the same IP problem is really a situation where we’re talking about like ten thousands of kind of really spammy websites on one IP address and then you have like you’re one normal website on there as well. Where maybe someone from the webspam team would say well this whole server is just pure spam, we’re just going to like treat the whole servers being pure spam. But that’s like a real exceptional situation. I haven’t seen any false positives in that regard. But if you’re looking at a common CDN, then none of that really applies because you have it this kind of natural mix of like some good some bad sites on the same CDN.
Google: Hang on to Your Default CMS Robots.txt Setting
If you’re using a content management system (CMS) that’s prepackaged with a default robots.txt file, you should probably leave it alone.
That’s according to Google’s own John Mueller, who said in a Google Webmaster Help thread that the out-of-the-box configuration for CMS software is probably correct.
Here’s what he wrote:
For the most part, unless you’re aware of something specific that you need to change, I’d recommend leaving the robots.txt file to the default that your website’s content management system has. If you’re curious about how the robots.txt file works, you might want to take a look at https://developers.google.com/webmasters/control-crawl-index/docs/robots_txt too.
The Mobile-First Index Won’t Measure Page Speed
You might think that Google’s new mobile-first index will measure site speed. That doesn’t appear to be the case.
In a Google+ hangout this week, John Mueller said that “at the moment,” the index doesn’t take speed into account.
When asked if that’s going to change in the future, Mueller responded: “I don’t think we’d be able to do that from the beginning. That’s a good point though. Maybe we should clarify that somewhere…. But for the most part in the same way that we use speed for desktop i don’t see us doing that in the beginning. That’s something we would like to do in the long run but not in the beginning.”
Google Adds Recipe Suggestions to Mobile Search Results
Google recently added recipe suggestions to mobile search results.
If you use a mobile device to search for “French Toast,” you’ll see a carousel at the top that shows recipes from sites like Food Network.
Tap on a recipe idea and Google will take you to a full page of recipe cards. You can use that page to narrow down your search.
As of now, the recipe suggestions only appear on U.S. mobile searches.