Trending February 2024 # Google Page Experience Update Starts Rolling Out On Desktop # Suggested March 2024 # Top 6 Popular

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Google’s Page Experience algorithm update for desktop search results is now rolling out “slowly,” the company confirms.

The update is scheduled to finish rolling out by the end of March.

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) February 22, 2023

Advance notice was given back in November 2023 that the Page Experience update, first rolled out to mobile search results, will be applied to desktop search by February 2023.

Here it is, right on schedule.

There are some key differences between how Page Experience is applied to mobile compared to desktop.

See the next section for more information on the factors included in the desktop update, and what this means for your website.

Google Page Experience Update For Desktop Search

Google’s Page Experience update for desktop search is an extension of the algorithm that launched in mobile search in the summer of 2023.

For the most part, Page Experience on desktop includes the same ranking signals as the mobile update.

“This means the same three Core Web Vitals metrics: LCP, FID, and CLS, and their associated thresholds will apply for desktop ranking. Other aspects of page experience signals, such as HTTPS security and absence of intrusive interstitials, will remain the same as well.”

Mobile-friendliness, which is a signal built into page experience for mobile search, will not apply to desktop.

What Does This Update Mean For Your Website?

Factors that weren’t previously assessed for your website in desktop search results will now be taken into consideration by Google.

If your website scores well for these factors on mobile, it’s likely it will perform similarly as well on desktop.

Given that mobile-friendliness isn’t a factor for the Page Experience desktop update, your site could potentially benefit from a ranking boost in desktop search even if it isn’t optimized for mobile (as long as other criteria is met).

If your site has separate desktop and mobile URLs, the desktop signal is based on the URLs that desktop users see.

Google Search Console has a new report dedicated to evaluating Page Experience criteria on the desktop versions of webpages.

You can utilize this report to get an idea of how your site may be impacted by the update when it finishes rolling out at the end of next month.

The desktop report can be accessed from the Page Experience tab in Search Console, directly underneath the mobile report.

It looks identical to the mobile report, with the exception of the Mobile Usability section.

See an example in the screenshot below:

Be mindful that you shouldn’t jump to conclusions regarding the impact of this update until it has finished rolling out at the end of March.

If you notice changes in your desktop search rankings between now and the end of March, they may not be directly related to the Page Experience update.

For more guidance regarding the Page Experience update, see:

Featured Image: ThomasAFink/Shutterstock

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Asus Rog Phone 2 Update: Android 10 Update Starts Rolling Out!

With the launch of the ROG Phone, Asus broke new ground in the world of smartphone gaming. Not everyone is a fan of Asus’ beefy gaming machine, but that hasn’t stopped the company from bringing a second iteration.

The ROG Phone 2 has been launched in China for 5,999 yuan (~$873), which is the same as the ROG 1’s launch price. The device will be made available, globally, in September.

In this section, we’ll talk security updates, bug fixes, Android OS upgrades and everything in between. So, without further ado, let’s dig in.

Latest News

March 9, 2023: Android 10 finally makes its way to the ROG Phone II. Asus has started rolling out the latest version of Android to its gaming smartphone. Here’s the complete changelog:

November 21, 2023: Asus has started rolling out a sizeable software update for the ROG Phone II. The update, which carries software version 16.0631.1910.44, fixes a bunch of issues regarding phone navigation, Air Triggers, Wi-Fi Hotspot, car Bluetooth, and more.

Check out the complete changelog to see all the fixes and improvements.

Fixed the abnormal vibration sound issue when certain notifications arrived

Fixed the issue where occasionally the Back gesture did not work

Fixed the issue where occasionally in-screen fingerprint icon would not disappear

Fixed the issue where hotspot icon still appeared in the status bar after WiFi hotspot had been turned off

Fixed the issue where the phone occasionally could not connect to car’s Bluetooth

Fixed the issue where user could not set up AirTriggers buttons when the system language was in Hebrew

Fixed the issue where in some regions there was no Google Assistant option in AirTriggers squeeze gesture settings

Fixed the issue where occasionally Kunai GamePad did not work

Fixed the issue where making a phone call accidentally triggered AirTriggers squeeze function

November 08, 2023: As anticipated, Asus is bringing Android 10 to ROG Phone II and has opened the beta registration portal to the smartphone’s enthusiasts. There aren’t many requirements, per se, to test Android 10 beta, but users are required to be active on ZenTalk and provide valuable feedback. To get yourself registered for the ROG Phone II Android 10 beta program, follow this link and fill out the application form.

November 07, 2023: Asus has started rolling out a software update for its ROG Phone II. The OTA, which carries software version WW1910.35, brings all new AirTrigger gestures, adds game cover customization, fixes navigation bar problem, updates the security patch to October 2023, and more.

As it’s Asus’ greatest smartphone on the market, the ROG Phone 2 is expected to get the Android 10 update. Asus has been pretty sloppy with its updates lately, so, we are expecting the OEM to release the update by the end of Q3 2023.

Last year, when Asus released the first ROG device, most users expected the company to provide lightning-quick updates due to the phone’s unchallenged, flagship status. The phone shipped with Android 8.1 Oreo, just around the time when Android Pie popped up around the block. Months went by, but the Taiwanese giant never got around to publishing the update. The original ROG users are still waiting for the update, which, according to Asus will go live by end of September 2023.

The Asus ROG Phone 2 will be the first device to pack the Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, so, its performance should arguably be the best on the market. However, if you are in for a device that’s guaranteed to get lightning-fast updates, you’d be better off looking for alternatives.

The OnePlus 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10 are a couple of great alternatives. Both come with top-of-the-line specs and are guaranteed to get a couple of major OS upgrades. In terms of speed, OnePlus beats Samsung by a margin, as there are no highly-modified skins involved. However, judging by the quality of the two devices, you can’t go wrong with either.

RELATED → Asus ROG Phone 1 update

Release Date Software Version — Changelog

Mar 09, 2023 Installs Android 10

Aug 15, 2023 NA — Always On Display setting is back

You have already seen how sloppy Asus has been with updates lately, and that isn’t expected to change much with the introduction of ROG Phone 2. Asus implements a heavy skin on top of the vanilla Android build that Google releases, which itself is quite time-consuming.

Also, the Taiwanese giant is usually more concerned with updating its Zenfone lineup ahead of ROG, which could prevail with the ROG Phone 2, as well.

In contrast, devices like OnePlus 7 Pro, Galaxy S10, Huawei P30 Pro, etc. shall be getting stable (beta could arrive early) Android 10 update by November 2023, January 2023, and December 2023 respectively. If you talk about dedicated gaming phones though, we won’t be surprised if Razer is able to update the Razer Phone 2 to Android 10 before Asus rolls out the 10 update for ROG Phone 2.

Page Speed And Google June

Google’s John Mueller was asked if the June and July core algorithm updates were related to page speed. John Mueller offered an overview of core updates then noted how things can be related to speed.

Multiple Google Updates in June and July 2023

The June Core Algorithm Update rolled out in June 2023. But there was also a Page Experience Update that was released as well as a the June 2023 Spam Algorithm Update.

Attributing ranking fluctuations to specific website changes or links during a core algorithm update can be sketchy because some ranking drops might not have anything to do with website changes and be totally coincidental.

Any ranking fluctuations in June 2023 will be even more difficult to attribute to any one kind of website change, given how many changes were made in the algorithm that month.

Google’s John Mueller Considers the Question

Were the Core Algorithm Updates Related to Page Speed?

The person asking the question seemed to be seeking confirmation of observations that many people had that page speed seemed to be a common quality in sites that gained rankings during the June and July 2023 algorithm updates.

This is the question:

“I read online that people said that they’ve seen an uplift after the June core update.

They’ve also seen one for July as well.

For us it wasn’t the same.

What could have reverted in July? Could it be related to speed?”

Speed and Core Algorithm Updates Were Separate

John Mueller first noted how page speed and the core algorithm updates were separate.

John Mueller responded:

“Speed…As far as I know, these were essentially separate and unique updates that we did.

So we call them both core updates because they affect the core of our ranking systems.

But that doesn’t mean that they affect the same core parts of the ranking system.

So from that point of view, it’s not the case that if you see a change …during one of these updates you will always see a change during the other one as well.

So from there, I wouldn’t assume that they have to be related.”

Could Page Speed Affect Ranking Changes in June and July 2023?

Mueller next affirmed that speed might be a reason for some ranking changes.

John explained the connection between ranking changes and page speed:

“…Could it be related to speed?

Things can definitely be related to speed because the whole Page Experience Update is something that I think started rolling out in June.

So in July you might still see some changes there.

But the core update itself isn’t something that I think is related to the page experience update.

That’s kind of a separate thing.”

Multiple Summer 2023 Updates

In May 2023 Google released an updated version of Keras-based TF-Ranking, a platform for researching and developing new learning to rank (LTR) models and get them into production quickly.

That was followed in June and July with multiple spam and algorithm updates. Are they related? Google doesn’t know.

But the pace of algorithm releases has quickened to notably this summer.

Because Google released multiple updates in June and July 2023, it might be difficult to isolate specific changes and attribute ranking fluctuations to the core algorithm update.

Google’s John Mueller however emphasized that speed could definitely be related.

Citation Were Jun and July Core Updates Related to Page Speed?

Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 30:10 minute mark:

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Starts Receiving Miui 9 Stable Update

Earlier, Xiaomi officially announced MIUI 9 Global ROM along with a new series of smartphones including Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite in an event on November 2 in India. The company, at the launch event, announced that MIUI 9 Global stable update will start rolling out to first Mi Mix 2, Mi Max 2 and Redmi Note 4 starting November 3.

MIUI 9 New features

During the announcement, Xiaomi showcased four major features of the MIUI 9 including notifications shades, split screen, icon animation, and smart photo editing tool. The MIUI 9 brings changes in the notifications shade and users will now have many shades of notifications. Moreover, the notifications will also be bundled as per the apps and users will be able to interact with notifications within the shade.

The Chinese company also introduced some features specifically for Indian users such as IRCTC text messages will now be received in a card format and Indian festivals will be included on the Mi Calendar app. Some other highlights of MIUI 9 include a Smart Assistant that will be accessed by swiping up the home screen, a smart app launcher that will suggest apps to launch based on the screen and image search feature which will help users search photos based on the keywords.

MIUI 9 features especially for Indian users

The Chinese firm also introduced some MIUI 9 features that specially crafted for Indian users. It includes IRCTC text messages will be received in a card format, Indian festivals will be included on the Mi Calendar app and an India-exclusive theme with a custom icon set.

Improvements and Optimizations

Apart from bringing new features, Xiaomi has also made improvements and optimizations in the existing features. The new update has improved the silent mode which will now be triggered by the volume button. It also improves the stability for the messaging start page.

Fixes

The company also addressed the issues with the new MIUI 9 that have been reported by some Mi users. For instance, it fixes an issue where home screen loaded too slow with Android 7.1 update. Next, some users faced that messages with one-time passwords disappeared and time in messaging didn’t change when the system was switched to 12-hour format, the MIUI 9 brings fixes to that.

Moreover, for the music player, there were issues like music stayed in the notification shade even after exiting the app and sometimes music player stopped working on the lock screen after 10-15 minutes. The update brings fixes to that as well. Apart from that, there was an issue where brightness reached maximum level while viewing photos, it is now fixed too. Also, the fingerprint sensor on Redmi Note 4 works faster now.

The MIUI 9 stable update on Redmi Note is an OTA update and will shortly be pushed out to all devices. Still, those, who have not received the update yet and want to try it at earliest can get the Stable MIUI 9 OTA ZIP file from here to flash the ROM manually.

Page Segmentation And The Effects On Link Building

The major search engines, in an effort to refine the quality of search results, are looking more closely at how a target page is organized. The indexer will parse the page’s layout and identify what it thinks are the most important blocks, and give those blocks preference in the index.

This smart idea by Yahoo, Google and Microsoft may have profound implications for webmasters — and the outcomes may not be so stellar for webmasters caught unprepared.

The Chaos of Link Building

Traditional link building remains a chaotic affair. Webmasters develop what they believe is compelling content and hope that people will create links to their work product, just as they make links to useful material on other sites. These links help influence search-engine rankings; the more that well-trafficked sites link to a specific page, the higher the page’s rankings generally become.

Keyword density plays a part, too. The more keyword-rich a page is, generally speaking, the more likely it will rise in the search results, and then become a page that others choose to link to. Of course, there are various, ever-changing permutations of the search algorithms to prevent people from gaming the system, but in general, links are built from content that people find, determine to be useful, and share with others from their own sites.

The Importance of Page Segmentation

Not all links are created equal, however. Links provide varying degrees of benefit to the destination site. In the past, the major concern was cross-linking pages on the same site, but the search engines are deploying new strategies for ranking the significance of a link based on where it falls on a given page.

A Look at Current Search Engine Trends

Search providers are exploring ways to scan the visual content of how a page is organized to find Web content structure. Microsoft, for example, has patented VIPS – a vision-based page segmentation algorithm, which its chief researchers claim “presents an automatic top-down, tag-free independent approach to detect Web structure. It simulates how a user understands Web layout structure based on his visual perception.”

Yahoo filed a patent application in 2008 for a search algorithm that also looks to visual cues instead of the HTML structure of a page to discern the semantic content of a page. Google received a patent for a method of identifying visual gaps on a page, with the original filing dating to 2006.

The upshot: The relative importance of terms within a page becomes a function of its perceived significance given its position within the visual presentation, irrespective of the HTML structure of the document. Search engines are likely weighting links based on their prominence and location within the page’s semantic presentation.

Page Design Strategies

If the object of the game is link maximization to influence page rankings, then the smart money says webmasters ought to structure content based on search engines’ relative rankings of different segments of the page.

Patent applications from Microsoft, Yahoo and Google suggest that search engines are providing relatively higher scores to links in sections that the indexer interprets as having the most semantic value given the page’s visual structure. Therefore, including links in-line within articles and blog posts may be more useful than simply including them as a “references” section, or as a list of links in a side column or widget.

Links from footers and navigational headers are likewise probably of lower value. In addition, links in areas like filler text may have their value significantly degraded when search engines evaluate whether they’re housed in places that contain duplicated content on a site or on the Web.

Place links in higher-profile segments of the page, and structure a site to avoid putting relevant information in a place that could be interpreted, given its physical placement on a page, as less important. For example, a law firm’s site should not include its primary areas of practice in an “about us” sidebar, three-quarters of the way down a side column on the home page, with no significant mention of it elsewhere on the site.

HTML5 to the Rescue

One great thing about HTML5 is you don’t have to rely on a search engine’s discretion of what is part of a template and what is part of the content area if you declare it in your code. The following HTML5 tags are ideal for template specifications:

Improving search rankings isn’t as easy as it used to be. Designing sites with an eye toward how the algorithms work, even if the benefit is mathematically marginal, is better than relying on a search engine’s best judgment.

Google Announces Spam Update Part 2

Google SearchLiaison announced on Twitter that the second part of Google’s spam update is under way. Similarly to the first spam update this update will conclude on the same day that is announced.

According to the announcement:

“The second part of our spam update has has begun today, and it will also conclude later today, unless we share otherwise.”

Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted that it is directly related to previous update and similar in nature.

“It’s all part of the same thing, just a second part.”

Yes. It’s all part of the same thing, just a second part.

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) June 28, 2023

Spam Fighting and AI

Google SearchLiaison linked to their announcement from April 2023 (How we fought Search Spam on Google in 2023) where it was revealed that Google used AI to fight spam and has been doing so since 2023.

According to the announcement of the Spam AI:

“By combining our deep knowledge of spam with AI, last year we were able to build our very own spam-fighting AI that is incredibly effective at catching both known and new spam trends.

For example, we have reduced sites with auto-generated and scraped content by more than 80% compared to a couple of years ago.”

Among the spam types addressed in that announcement is spam generated by hacked websites.

Google said it’s not a problem they can solve by themselves and appealed to publishers to take measures to keep their site software up to date to prevent hacking events from happening.

Google linked to their webmaster guidelines which lists the following types of spam that publishers should avoid.

Spam to Avoid Becoming Involved With

This is a partial list of the kind of spam that concerns Google:

Autogenerated content

Link schemes

Unoriginal content

Cloaking

Hidden text or links

Doorway pages

Scraped content

Abusing structured data

Link Schemes a Lucrative and Popular

Link schemes are a highly popular form of manipulating Google’s search results. There’s a huge business in developing ways to trick websites into linking to websites.

It’s debatable if Google’s AI can identify these kinds of link schemes, some of which were developed by so-called white hats…

Fake Alumni Trick

For example, I know that some link builders send outreach emails to universities and pretend to be alumni asking for a link to their latest venture.

Informational Site Trick

This is another “white hat” link building scheme designed to trick universities and non-profit sites by creating an informational site on a .org domain in order to represent it as being a non-commercial website providing information related to a topic of interest.

Once all the links are attained the link builder places a cross-domain rel canonical on the pages that collected links to tell Google to send all the link equity to the commercial site.

All the links that were given to the fake non-commercial site are now going to a commercial website.

Broken PDF Link Scheme

I know about this link scheme because a popular white hat link builder sent me an outreach email attempting to get me to link to their page.

The way it works is that first the link builders identify popular United States government or non-profit PDF files or web pages that have been moved to a different URL.

Next the link builder will create a fake non-commercial website on a dot org domain and represent it as the new home of whatever information was formerly hosted on the government or non-profit web page.

They then contact all the websites that are linking to the old URL (that is now a broken link) and ask them to update the link to the “new home” of those documents and information.

Once the sites are linking to the new URLs on their fake dot org site they then redirect all the links to the client site.

Niche Edit

Some link builders do something called a niche edit where they will add a link to an existing web page.

But niche edits earned a bad reputation in 2023 because some of the links were associated with hacked sites.

Several years ago in 2023 Buzzfeed reported on a link scheme involving “niche edit” links where Russian hackers were selling links from sites they had compromised.

It turned out that the web pages being edited to add a link were actually hacked sites that were being used to sell links from.

Content spammers are using AI tools to rewrite popular content.

There are many link and content schemes. It’s not surprising that Google would turn to sophisticated AI to try to get on top of it.

Why Two Google Spam Updates?

Google did not say why there are two spam updates and provided no more information other than to say that these two updates, released one week apart and lasting a single day, were related.

They didn’t indicate if the updates were AI related or involved a new technology.

Citations

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