Gary Illyes kicked off the day at Friends of Search 2017 in Amsterdam (Twitter #fos17). As usual when Google speaks out publically on SEO topics they tend to never give out any specifics but they do tell you the big topics and what you should be focusing on.
If you have been following the SEO developments recently, nothing of what Gary said should come as news to you, however, what he stressed is still high priority and many have not taken advantage of these new releases to improve their SEO and search performance. So here were the main points he reinforced.
The day kicked off with Gary illyes talking about the mobile first index and why it’s one of the most important topics on the short term Google search agenda. The majority of google users now search from mobile devices and this trend is continuing towards more mobile usage.
Gary then turned to AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and why they are “awesome” – which is how he referred to them. These are pages that can live in parallel with your current page and load almost instantaneously when index in Google and clicked on from the SERPs. AMP is not yet supported by mobile first index. But Gary said it’s coming soon.
He spoke briefly about PWA (progressive web apps) and how they can significantly help businesses improve their mobile proposition. He said there will be improvements to PWA this year. What exactly we will need to wait and see.
He then turned to security with the importance of HTTPS. Google is very bullish on security for very good reason. Privacy and security will be big topics over the coming years and Google is pushing for a more secure web.
We then went into Q&A and here were the main questions from the 400 people audience:
Gary said that SEO is not dead and that we will still have jobs for the next few years at least. So that’s good news 🙂
He said to use 301 redirects where appropriate… pretty generic answer. but yeah… that’s google 🙂
He said that there are at least 2 launches daily to their search algorithm and they do not communicate the specifics but instead advise people on what they should be thinking about. So basically giving hints to webmasters and not actionable things they need to do.
Garry was very vague in his answers as usual.
Regarding voice, Gary did say that content writers need to focus on making their language sound natural to cater for the increase in voice search queries.
Hint from Gary: think about reading your content out loud and placing a recording of that content on your pages…. interesting expertement?