Changes to Google SERP Rankings

10 November, 2016 | SEO

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What’s Changing?

Pop-ups and Overlays

This could involve websites that show large obtrusive interstitials, which pop up and obscure the main content of the page. This could be when the user is looking through the website, or immediately after it is accessed. The changes don’t affect pop ups about cookies, age warnings or pop up ads that take up a smaller, reasonable amount of space on the page. The aim of these new guidelines is to help improve mobile search experience, as pop up ads can be especially obtrusive on a smaller screen, meaning that users are unable to easily access the information they are looking for.

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HTTP vs HTTPS

These changes are also going to affect websites that are using HTTP instead of the more secure HTTPS. HTTPS is often used to provide a secure, end-to-end encryption between the user and the website, to make sure that no one can intercept data like passwords, card details and details submitted in forms. Web pages that use HTTP instead of HTTPS are more likely to be ranked lower, as Google is now planning to use this as a ranking signal, and are planning to strengthen this over time.

This doesn’t just affect the search ranking however, as Google have announced that they are going to start displaying a warning symbol alongside websites that don’t use HTTPS, alerting users that the page is “not secure” if they collect details from a user’s cards or passwords. This is part of a long-term plan to mark these pages as “not secure”, eventually moving to a red warning, which Google believe will have more of an effect on the user.

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Mobile-friendly search results

In addition to these changes, Google has announced that they will no longer be displaying the “mobile friendly” tag in mobile search to keep search results uncluttered. This is because most results when searching on mobile will already meet these criteria. This won’t affect the decrease in ranking for websites that are not mobile friendly, however.
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How can we help?

At EDGE, we understand how important it is to make sure that your website reaches its full potential. Why not get in touch with us to discuss your website today?
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