This past week Google announced an algorithm update penalizing specific types of web pages, and the search giant also went out of its way to remind site owners about a mobile usability enhancement that more sites should be taking advantage of.
More details about each of these top stories in this week’s SEO news roundup.
Google Devalues “Doorway Pages” in Search Results
In an effort to improve the quality of its search results, Google has announced it will start to devalue doorway pages.
What are doorway pages? They are pages that are published on a site for no other reason than to rank in search results.
Doorway pages can be seen as a type of spam, because some websites create multiple doorway pages all targeting the same search term, which do not offer any unique value on their own. Not to mention they take away from searchers being able to visit other sites, because doorway pages ultimately drive visitors back to the same place.
If you’re not sure whether or not you have created doorway pages on your site, there’s easy way to narrow that down. Have you ever created a page solely to draw in search traffic, which other users wouldn’t be able to find from anywhere else on your site?
Pages that exist on an island, so to speak, are clear examples of doorway pages. If you’re still not clear on the definition of doorway pages, be sure to check out how Google explains it in its Quality Guidelines.
Google Recommends Users Enable Autocomplete on Forms for Mobile Users
Google recently encouraged site owners to adopt a new autocomplete attribute for forms that was recently introduced to the Chrome browser. This new feature will ultimately make it easier, and faster, for mobile users to fill out forms.
If the filling out of forms is something you’re driving users to do on your site, whether it be a contact form or newsletter sign up, it’s a good idea to have this new autocomplete attribute in place.
The benefit of this new feature is that you can label input element fields with common data types, such as ‘name’ or ‘street-address’. When each field is marked up according to the type of data being entered it in, Chrome will know exactly what to auto-fill-in when a user taps on the field on their mobile device.
It’s also a win-win for users and site owners. According to Google, using autocomplete attributes on forms has been shown to increase the rate of form completions.
There’s no easy way to explain how to implement this new feature, you do need to have a bit of familiarity with website code. Google has set up an example form with all possible input fields, so if you’re comfortable with code just go to this page and view the source, then you’ll see how each field is marked up.
If you’re not comfortable working with code, let your developer know about this new feature and see if it can be implemented on your lead capture forms.
Reminder: Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Launches on April 21st
To keep this fresh in everyone’s mind, we’d like to remind you that a significant algorithm update is coming in just under a month that will affect how non-mobile friendly sites appear in search results.
Wrapping it Up
Google finally decided to devalue doorway pages, which is something many in the SEO community are saying should have been done a long time ago, and a new feature is out that can help boost form fills and create a better experience for mobile users.
If you have any questions about any of this week’s updates, please leave a comment and I will be sure to respond.