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Google Asks For Photo Of Business Hours

Ben Fisher noticed and posted on Twitter that if you try to edit a business’s hours in Google search under the local knowledge panel, it will ask you to submit a photo or scan of the business hours. Google asks you to “take a close-up photo that clearly shows the hours for Google to scan.” Google said that adding “a photo to help us verify your suggestion.” Google also said the the photos can be used publicly under your name.
Here is a screen shot, again, this only shows when you edit a listing through Google search, not in Google My Business:

In Google My Business, since you are verified, you do not need to upload any photo evidence:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Bing Crawl Consumption Not Showing Return On Investment

Joost de Valk, the founder of Yoast, posted some interesting data on Twitter yesterday around crawlers and how much they consume of their site, how active they are and if there is any return on investment. The big one is that Bing crawled ~84,000 URLs on Yoast.com over the past 30 days and only returned about 3,200 visitors to their site in that time period. And this is with Yoast ranking well in Bing.
Joost said not only that, Bing is consistently crawls more 404s than all the other engines, and seems to keep doing so. “404s are often not cached. This is costing lots and lots of server time, electricity etc,” he said.
Bing on the Yoast servers consumed 10 GB of data in that 30 day time period. All for only 3,200 visitors.

Our logs show @bing consistently crawls more 404s than all the other engines, and seems to keep doing so. 404s are often not cached. This is costing lots and lots of server time, electricity etc.On our servers, it consumed 10 GB of data in those 30 days.
— Joost de Valk (@jdevalk) May 30, 2018
Then Joost goes into SEO tools and how much data they consume. Calling out ahrefs as a pretty bad one.

In terms of “getting something back” there’s one thing that’s worse than search engines with a small market share. It’s link research [email protected] consumed 5GB of data from our servers, hitting approximately 2,000 URLS/day. @moz was way nicer, with only 250MB.
— Joost de Valk (@jdevalk) May 30, 2018
He then goes on to say that Yoast is one web site and not even a big web site. Thus how much are these search engines and SEO tools consuming across all of the web? How much damage are these spiders causing to the world’s “green efforts.”

Even *if* @Google is making sure all the electricity *they* use is green, they’re not buying green electricity for all the sites they hit. Nor are all those other bandwidth consuming bots.
— Joost de Valk (@jdevalk) May 30, 2018
Anyway, check out the Twitter thread, it is super interesting.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

Google: Crawl Budget Optimization Is Overrated

Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that he believes that crawl budget optimization is overrated in his mind. He said for most sites, it doesn’t make a difference and that it only can help really massive sites.
John wrote “IMO crawl-budget is over-rated.” “Most sites never need to worry about this. It’s an interesting topic, and if you’re crawling the web or running a multi-billion-URL site, it’s important, but for the average site owner less so,” he added.
In fact, Google told us that for their own properties, they don’t care about crawl budget. So this comes as no surprise.
Here is John’s tweet:

IMO crawl-budget is over-rated. Most sites never need to worry about this. It’s an interesting topic, and if you’re crawling the web or running a multi-billion-URL site, it’s important, but for the average site owner less so.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) May 30, 2018
This statement may have put a dagger through some SEOs hearts.
Here is more from John on this topic:

I think it’s worth being clear about it all though. Removing 25 useless pages is great for a leaner site, and can help users from getting lost there, but it’s not a crawl-budget question. Would people only do it for a SEO bonus? How can we help you to help them?
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) May 30, 2018

Ultimately y’all are the experienced experts, you’ve seen what works & what doesn’t. I trust you to recognize when fixing 5 small things is critical vs when it’s just busy-work.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) May 30, 2018
Forum discussion at Twitter.

Web Less Mobile Friendly in 2018 than 2017 by @martinibuster

A comparison of mobile speed metrics of the Internet from 2017 to 2018 reveals that websites are less mobile friendly today than they were a year ago. This is bad for the Internet. But it can be good news for you.
HTTPArchive is a sister project of Archive.org. Archive.org takes snapshots of almost the entire Internet and keeps a permanent record of it. HTTPArchive records the performance statistics of those websites.
Responsive is Not Always Mobile Friendly
Google has been warning web publishers of their mobile friendly index and publishers have raced to make their sites mobile friendly. While anecdotally it may seem that most sites are responsive and render in mobile devices, the surprising fact is that most sites are less mobile friendly.
First Contentful Paint
First Contentful Paint is the metric that measures how many seconds pass from the time a user navigates to a page until the main content is available to be consumed by the site visitor.
According to HTTPArchive.org, the median average number of seconds it takes before a user can use a mobile site is 5.9 seconds. That represents an increase of 22.9%.
Time to Consistently Interactive
This metric measures how long it takes from the moment a site visitor navigates to a web page until the page is fully useable and interactive. The amount of time the average site visitor needs to wait is 14.6 seconds. This represents a 20.7% increase over 2017.
This metric reveals the surprising amount of time mobile sites visitors need to wait for a single web page. While the next web pages may take less time to download, there will be less visitors to visit those other pages. Many visitors abandon a web page if it fails to download fast enough. View metric here.
Why are Mobile Friendly Sites Less Mobile Friendly?
To answer this question you have to review the data in detail. Here’s a quick breakdown:
JavaScript Weight The average weight of JavaScript files increased by 50.1%
CSS Weight The average weight of a CSS file has increased by 36.8%
HTML Weight The average weight of the HTML needed to create a web page increased by 117.5%
Font Weight The average weight of the font downloads has increased by 18.3%
Image Weight The average weight of images, measured in bytes, increased by 13.9%
Across every important metric, web pages are less mobile friendly in 2018 than in 2017. And this could be good news for you.
Why these Metrics Matter
According to Google:

…it was found that sites loading within 5 seconds had 70% longer sessions, 35% lower bounce rates, and 25% higher ad viewability than sites taking nearly four times longer at 19 seconds.

Additionally, the speed of a site affects earnings and sales. Here’s what Google’s data has shown:

“Slow sites have a negative impact on revenue, and the opposite is also true.
For Mobify, Every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000. Additionally, a 100ms decrease in checkout page load speed amounted to a 1.55% increase in session-based conversion, which in turn yielded an average annual revenue increase of nearly $530,000.”

Takeaway: Poor Performing Competition Can be Your Strength
One of my rules for competition analysis is to identify competitor weaknesses and consider making those your strength. Whether you are a big brand or a nimble mom and pop, improving your page speed is a useful way to improve sales and possibly improve your rankings.
Resources to Help Improve Earnings and Speed Metrics
Read the full State of the Web Report here.
How to verify if your site is ready for Google’s mobile first index 
Google’s updated support page that explains the basics of mobile friendliness
A free online course about mobile friendliness that is linked from Google’s support page.
Images by Shutterstock, Modified by AuthorImage Graphs by HttpArchive.org, Modified by Author

Google Search Tests New Tab Bar Navigation

Reena Jha from India shared with me on Twitter a new search interface being tested by Google, maybe only in India, I do not know. The new interface puts the navigation in tabs in the footer of the page. This replaces the hamburger menu on the side top of the page and includes a tab for home, upcoming, search, recent and then more options.
Here is a screen shot:

See the footer above, that is the new part of the user interface.
Here are more screen shots from Reena:

Pretty interesting, going back from the hamburger menu back to the footer tabs.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

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