This week: The mobile-first index might not be so mobile after all, Bing Ads has a couple of new features, and buying links is a waste of money.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Mobile-First Index Likely Not Coming Until 2018
If you’re worried that Google’s mobile-first index might push your rank down a little bit (or a lot), you can rest easy for at least a few more months.
It looks like Google won’t release the mobile-first index until 2018.
This past week at the SMX Advanced conference, Google’s Gary Illyes said that the search giant doesn’t have a definite timeline for launch yet.
“We have some ideas for when this will launch,” he said, “but it’s probably many quarters away. Our engineers’ timeline was initially end of 2017. Right now, we think more 2018.”
Google: We Might ‘Smear’ Desktop Signals Into Mobile-First Index
Speaking of Google’s mobile-first index, it might not be strictly “mobile” after all.
This past week at the SMX mobile-first panel, Gary Illyes said that Google might “smear” some desktop signals into the mobile-first index.
That means the search algorithm might use desktop signals as well as mobile signals to determine rank.
The reason for the “smear” is because mobile sites tend to have fewer links than their desktop counterparts. So if Google only crawls mobile sites, it might miss some links.
Bing Ads Adds In-Market and Custom Audiences Targeting
Bing Ads is piloting two new features that can help you reach people your target market.
The first feature is In-Market Audiences. That’s a way to find people who have a purchase intent in your niche. Bing determines the intent based on user signals across Bing, MSN, and other Microsoft services.
Here’s what Bing has to say about that feature: “Say you’re a travel site looking to target searchers who are ready to book a summer vacation. Bing Ads looks for people who are clicking on ads related to hotels and flights, searching for relevant vacation terms, or checking out hotel reviews, for example, and predicts whether these users are ready to buy. Users identified as likely to purchase are included in the Travel & Tourism/Accommodations In-Market Audience, which you can associate to your ads.”
As of now, there are 14 In-Market audiences. Bing says that more are coming this summer.
Bing Ads is also adding Custom Audiences. Those are remarketing lists generated from data you’ve collected on your site.
You can build Custom Audiences from info such as purchase history, subscriber type, customer referrals, and time since last purchase.
Google: Buying Links Is a Waste of Money
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) June 13, 2017
This past week at the SMX Advanced conference, Gary Illyes said that buying links is “literally throwing money out the window.”
He also said that Google is much better at ignoring paid/manipulated links than it was in the past.
Google Is Rewriting Its Page Speed Algorithm for Mobile
Good news if you can’t reach a perfect 100 mobile score on Google’s PageSpeed Insights: Google is rewriting the algorithm.
— Greg Gifford (@GregGifford) June 13, 2017
Hopefully, the company will rewrite it to strike the right balance between user experience and speed. Some webmasters want a really nice design, but unfortunately that design can often lead to render-blocking resources that affect site speed.
When Google does complete its revised algorithm, Gary Illyes said that the company will be “loud” about announcing it.