Google Reducing Latency in HTTP Referrer; Tips to Avoid Five Common SEO Mistakes

Google Web Search will soon be using a new proposal to reduce latency when a user of Google's SSL-search clicks on a search result with a modern browser such as Chrome. "Starting in April, for browsers with the appropriate support, we will be using the "referrer" meta tag to automatically simplify the referring URL that […]

Google Web Search will soon be using a new proposal to reduce latency when a user of Google's SSL-search clicks on a search result with a modern browser such as Chrome.

"Starting in April, for browsers with the appropriate support, we will be using the "referrer" meta tag to automatically simplify the referring URL that is sent by the browser when visiting a page linked from an organic search result. This results in a faster time to result and more streamlined experience for the user," informs Google.

What does this mean for sites that receive clicks from Google search results?

"You may start to see "origin" referrers--Google's homepages (see the meta referrer specification for further detail)--as a source of organic SSL search traffic. This change will only affect the subset of SSL search referrers which already didn't include the query terms. Non-HTTPS referrals will continue to behave as they do today. Again, the primary motivation for this change is to remove an unneeded redirect so that signed-in users reach their destination faster," explained Google.

Website analytics programs can detect these organic search requests by detecting bare Google host names using SSL (like "https://www.google.co.uk/").

Webmasters will continue see the same data in Webmasters Tools--just as before, you'll receive an aggregated list of the top search queries that drove traffic to their site.

In other Google Webmaster blog post, Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead, shared some tips to help avoid common mistakes webmasters face with regard to search engine optimization (SEO). Google suggests to avoid these common mistakes:

  1. "Having no value proposition: Try not to assume that a site should rank #1 without knowing why it's helpful to searchers (and better than the competition 🙂
  2. Segmented approach: Be wary of setting SEO-related goals without making sure they're aligned with your company's overall objectives and the goals of other departments. For example, in tandem with your work optimizing product pages (and the full user experience once they come to your site), also contribute your expertise to your Marketing team's upcoming campaign. So if Marketing is launching new videos or a more interactive site, be sure that searchers can find their content, too.
  3. Time-consuming workarounds: Avoid implementing a hack rather than researching new features or best practices that could simplify development (e.g., changing the timestamp on an updated URL so it's crawled more quickly instead of easily submitting the URL through Fetch as Googlebot).
  4. Caught in SEO trends: Consider spending less time obsessing about the latest "trick" to boost your rankings and instead focus on the fundamental tasks/efforts that will bring lasting visitors.
  5. Slow iteration: Aim to be agile rather than promote an environment where the infrastructure and/or processes make improving your site, or even testing possible improvements, difficult," said Ohye.

Watch the video or the presentation below to learn more: