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Google news: updated search quality rating guidelines, mobile speed and why is it crucial to have a valid SSL certificate with #AskEkaterina

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Ekaterina Vasileva is our resident SEO expert, and Ask Ekaterina is the stamp of her boundless wisdom. Got a question about SEO, Google or search marketing? Why not #AskEkaterina? Follow Kat on Twitter - @AskEkaterina - and LinkedIn for all the latest and greatest developments in the search marketing world.

During the last few months, Google has rolled out several important updates that search marketers and businesses need to pay close attention to. Here’s a bite-sized roundup of what’s new and why it is important.


  1. Google has recently updated their search quality rating guidelines – this 164-page document is regularly refined but in order to stay up to date with what’s going on, you should definitely pay attention to any changes.

    What’s new?
    Those whose job it is to rate content on the websites will now be focusing more on the actual reputation of the content's authors and publishers than ever before. Google will rate higher content that is written by more reputable authors and will want to see more detailed bios (and good social media profiles!) for those authors. This means that better-rated creators' pieces will usually rank higher than those with a bad reputation.

    Why are they doing it?
    In the age of fake news, it’s apparent that we need to be able to trust the sources that we’re reading. These guidelines won’t just apply to written content but also to videos and social posts. 

    Why should I care? 
    Managing your online presence is becoming increasingly important. Together with this push for quality content, Google is always looking to improve user experience and will want to see websites that are not written just for the crawlers. They want to make it more organic and authentic for their users, so it only makes sense to publish great content from reputable sources.


  1. Mobile page speed is a ranking factor ­­– this shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. Page speed has officially become a factor for mobile ranking, which comes as part of the further development of AMP – or Accelerated Mobile Pages – in a bid from Google to solidify their hegemony over the search results that can only come from happy searchers.

    The dubbed ‘speed update’ will affect only the slowest pages for a small percentage of search queries and will come incrementally.

    There are a number of changes you can implement on your website to ensure that it is fast enough on mobile – such as minifying your code, using a CDN (like Cloudflare), optimise CSS and JS. It all depends on your configuration. (Speak to Team Bigwave if you want any of these terms clarifying).


  1. Google Chrome's latest update includes showing directly into the address bar that your HTTP website is not secure. This replaces the mere ‘i’ in a circle next to the website’s address. It is to ensure that your visitors can trust your website with their information and payment details.

    It has always been important to have a properly implemented SSL certificate, but now it is imperative. According to the GlobalSign survey, at least 85% of web users will avoid buying from unsecured websites. This speaks for itself. 




Google Medic update: What happened? - August 1st saw SEO specialists scratching their head. Google released a statement that they’ve rolled out a core algorithm update that they’ve described as a ‘global update’:

We're not entirely sure what this change entails, however we’ve analysed a number of websites and it appears that this update may have been focused on YMYL websites – Your Money, Your Life. In other words, health and medical-related websites and financial/e-commerce websites.

The findings are really interesting – according to Google, there’s nothing you can do to ‘fix’ your website if you’ve found your website falling down the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). However, in my opinion, creating great content that serves the searcher’s intent is still crucial and even more so for such authoritative websites. 

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