Weekly SEO Recap: AMPing up to SSL all the Penguins

This was very much the “week after” for us. Yoast SEO 3.0.4 saw the light, but other than that most of us are still recovering. It was also a week full with tiny little nuggets of newsy niceness. From SSL on WikiPedia to AMP to Penguin. Let’s dive in!

Joost's weekly SEO recap

SSL all the things

This is a pet topic of mine and will be for a few more years to come. We all care about privacy, but not everyone realises that saying that means you also have to make some choices. In particular, we should all make the choice to use HTTPS for all our sites. I wrote about that in January 2014 and my thinking didn’t really change.

This week Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia gave an interview (via The SEM Post). Some of the key quotes highlight why HTTPS is so important. With HTTPS, you can’t block specific pages on a site, only the entire site. Jimmy Wales tells the story of Wikipedia in China:

Around the time of the Beijing Olympics Wikipedia was opened up, the Chinese had a period of liberalisation of the internet, and they opened up and they allowed access to almost all of Wikipedia. But they were filtering certain pages, they were filtering about the usual suspects: things that are sensitive issues in China. So the Tiananmen Square incident; the artist Ai Weiwei; there’s a religious cult called Falun Gong; anything to do with Taiwanese independence -these are the kinds of things they were filtering, just those pages.

Now that Wikipedia moved to HTTPS, that makes that impossible for the Chinese government:

With https, the only thing that the Chinese authorities can see today is if you’re talking to Wikipedia or not, they can’t see which pages you’re joining, which means they no longer have the ability to filter on a page-by-page basis, so they can’t block just Tiananmen Square. They now have a very stark choice: the entire country of China can do without Wikipedia, or they can accept all of Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, that means that right now, all of Wikipedia is blocked in China. But it also means that they can’t profile people based on which pages they’ve visited anymore. I hope that this situation improves in China, but I also hope you understand just one more very solid reason to move to an all HTTPS web.

Google AMPing up on AMP

Gary Ilyes of Google has been talking about AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) a lot, and in a blog post, Google gave us something to chew on:

Google will begin sending traffic to your AMP pages in Google Search early next year, and we plan to share more concrete specifics on timing very soon.

What that means? Good question. I don’t know any more than you do at this point. I still don’t like AMP much, so I hope it won’t mean they’ll force us all into it.

In other mobile search news, Google has told us that you really shouldn’t use spammy (mobile) networks. What a surprise.

Google Penguin is coming

Google Penguin always seems to be “coming”. It’s almost like winter. But now we know that the next Google Penguin update will be a true update, not just a data refresh, and it’ll be real time. And it’s coming. Really. Apparently still in 2015 too, according to Google’s Gary Ilyes. But he’s been wrong before.

That’s it, see you next week!

joost signature