Mozcon 2015: Cindy Krum

DISCLAIMER: This post is written as a live blog from Mozcon. There may be typos and grammar to make my high school English teachers weep. Please excuse those … it’s a fast=paced conference with back-to-back sessions and no time for proofing or even proper writing.

Taking the stage after Dr. Pete is Cindy Krum from Mobile Moxie.

She begins by noting the mistrust we as SEO’s have in Google and how surprised we were at their openness.  They loved the press as tons of website owners moved their sites.  Cindy mentions that the changes for mobile are not over, they’re just beginning.

he lists responsive sites as Google’s favorites.  While Google’s never said that (to my knowledge) specifically it’s a far easier structure to understand and I’ve always found it worked better and was more predicable.

Right now Google is considering the desktop site the default canonical.  That means that the desktop is what they rank and pass that ranking to mobile.  Google themselves have announced this.

She talks next about the importance of reinforcing the integrity of the canonical (initial source).  To do this we need to make sure that at all times there is only one piece of content at any given URL.  Fix www and non-www issues.  Make sure all URLs end with a slash or done.  Essentially – make sure everything is uniform.

The big question is: how is mobile SEO different than SEO.

The answer – it’s a lot more technical but it’s a lot less about specific rankings and more about user interaction.  The reason for this is that the rankings are so variable in each situation but if the experience is good the purpose is secured.  Also, ranking signals are significantly affected by desktop rankings.

She discusses something they’re testing now in results wherein when you have a slow connection they adjust the results to not send through all the images, videos or displaying apps.  Essentially they’re making it more useful by completely changing the results and rankings.

Mobilegeddon

The fundamental change was a division of labor between the desktop crawler to understand the semantic relationship to rank the site and the mobile crawler exists only to determine the mobile friendliness and user-friendliness of the site on mobile.

The smartphone crawler doesn’t really understand more than the rendering.  That means you can have different content on the mobile site than on the desktop and cloak on the mobile site.  This is ending and not a reason to jump on black-hat.

If you don’t know if your site is mobile friendly the easiest way to check is to use the site: operator.  If you see URLs that aren’t mobile-friendly then you can use Google mobile friendly test tool to check why.

Another great tool she mentions is Google’s Fetch & Render Tool through Webmaster Tools.

Tips for the future form Cindy is to focus on images and image optimization.  Resizing for mobile is critical and lossless compression is important for both mobile and desktop.  She points out the tool ResponsiveImages.org as a tool recommended to her by a Google employee.

Cindy now moves on to chatting intent.  Web results are being pushed down on a lot of queries as Google tries to answer intent.  Different devices, query types and input type dictates intent and can result in totally different results and layout.

She moves on to chat Schema.  Schema is brutally important on mobile and speaking for myself – very important on desktop as well.  Use it … love it.

She next discussed apps entering mobile results.  She suspects that Google gave us something to do (convert site to mobile) to distract us from the new competitors (apps).

There are two types of results:

Apps themselves
Deep links to “pages” within an app.  You then get the option to go to the app or site.  This may change.  For now to get deep links you need a parallel on your site but that may end.  This is frightening to many.

She also mentions the key again to markup for local, phone numbers, addresses, etc. to reinforce your relevancy for a location.  She also points out sponsored links.

Google is now testing booking hotels through Google search. They will expand into new niches.  As Dr. Pete pointed out earlier – they could well launch into real estate.  The data is already there.

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