Google & Google Products are Down today

Google and Google Products are Down (December 14, 2020)

Work is at a standstill again as Google servers are shut down. This includes all of Google Apps and Product including Gmail, Drive, Google Meet, Google Analytics,  including

Yes, is true. SKYNET has been hacked that’s our theory anyway.

The Twitter universe joins in

Google mobile first indexing 2020

Google Mobile First Indexing 2020 >> What Google crawls & How to rank successfully on page 1

Google’s John Mueller explains What is mobile Indexing and How to Ace it.

How does Google Mobile-first indexing work in 2020?

Google recently rolled out mobile-first indexing for all websites and also mentioned it was a big algorithm update where it would influence your rankings on google. What this really means is the google bots will first crawl the mobile version of the website and test/ verify if it works and renders properly. It will crawl all your links and code for the meta bit also the touch ports and rendering on the mobile screen. Once it passes this test, it will be considered in for indexing. Data and metrics from the mobile experience will have more dominance in the algorithm and user behavior, while ranking websites on google.

At the Webmaster talk, John Mueller shared a couple of key insights and how businesses need to adapt to Google’s mobile-first indexing. The foundation, simplified answer to what you need to do for Google mobile first indexing in 2020:

  1. Keep your mobile/desktop rendering simple.
  2. If the content doesn’t load on the mobile version of the site, it’s not going to get indexed.

John answers a lot of questions in the talk and here’s what he said for questions on how google treats mobile first indexing in 2020

“With regards to the different versions on different pages, the thing to keep in mind is with mobile first indexing, we will be indexing the mobile version of the page.
So if the mobile version of your page does not use normal URLs for navigation, then we will have trouble indexing your mobile site because we won’t be able to access those non-URLs to get to your content.
So if the whole navigation on the mobile site is really purely JavaScript-based, you’re swapping out different layers on a page, it stays on the same URL, there are no actual links on this page, then we would probably have a lot of trouble being able to crawl and index that site.
And probably we would not shift that site to mobile first indexing at the moment. But at some point we’re going to make the decision and say well, we need to shift everyone over.
And that will mean we’ll shift your site over as well, even if it’s not ready yet for mobile first indexing.
And if really all of the content on your mobile site is not accessible through normal URLs, then we will drop that from the index.

So that content won’t be shown in the search results at all.

And with mobile first indexing it doesn’t mean that it’ll be dropped for mobile users. It’ll be dropped for desktop users as well.
So if that content is not accessible on mobile, we will not be able to index it.”

The solution, The approach to Google Mobile Indexing 2020:

“So it gets really complicated.
My recommendation for this kind of situation is to try to simplify things as much as possible for your website.
And instead of having three different variations of the same page, find a way that you can use some kind of responsive design so that you either just have two versions, maybe kind of like desktop/mobile combined and the AMP version.
Or maybe there is even a way to move to a pure AMP framework where you essentially use AMP for the whole website.
Because AMP is a responsive web framework, so you could theoretically do that for a lot of things as well.”

Google mobile first indexing 2020 >> Our 2 cents:

It makes complete sense. Google has always put the user first. If over  80% of the traffic is accounted by smartphones, the websites will need to load and function seamlessly on smartphones. I’m not saying desktop is dead – but think about it, why would Google rank a great desktop site that doesn’t render/open on mobile when the audience is on mobile devices.

Now throw in another core algorithm the google released recently, called BERT, that places a lot of importance on user intent coupled with the bounce rate/ drop off analytics data and you understand why mobile indexing is so very important.

What is extremely clear is that mobile-first index is going to be harsh for sites that do not adequately test the mobile versions of their websites or ensure that all their URLs get indexed and picked up by the Google bots.

You need to get the mobile site done correctly to ensure you rank on google now.

Finally, designers will have to stop designing desktop first sites and then adapting to half-decent mobile designs. And instead, start to actually design mobile-first sites.

Here’s the complete talk.

If you need help with your business or brand or want to ensure you’re using best practices to rank on page of google or just need a website SEO site audit report , drop us an email and we’ll get back to you  🙂

Google Featured Snippets 2020: All you need to know

What are featured snippets?

Defined by google: Featured snippets are special boxes where the format of regular listings is reversed, showing the descriptive snippet first. Earlier known and Rank 0.

Defined by Backlinko: Featured Snippets are short selections of text appearing at the top of Google’s search results that are designed to answer a searcher’s query. The content that appears inside of a Featured Snippet is automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index.

Defined by Talking To Bots: Featured Snippets are short selections of text and or images that appear on top of Google’s search results page that answer the searcher’s query. These are placed before Rank 1 of listings and hence called Rank 0.

What do featured snippets look like?

featured snippet
Image pulled from knowledge graph for Rich Snippet Result
Rich snippet paragraph pulled from a website
PAA (People also asked) Snippet, but not a featured snippet

How can I mark specific pages to rank for featured snippets?

You can’t
Once you index your website on google, google pretty much has the right to crawl and show results from any and all indexed pages as a part of their user experience and or algorithm update testing.

*While performance-driven SEO’s will have an opinion on the PAA (People also ask) and Rich snippets addition to the search results page as it reduces the clicks to websites. We explore the reports and numbers from other sites to better understand what Google is really upto.

How can I opt-out of featured snippets?

This is straight from Google webmaster support blog:

Block both featured and regular search snippets

  • The nosnippet tag blocks all snippets (featured snippets and regular snippets) for the tagged page.
  • Text marked by the data-nosnippet tag won’t appear in featured snippets (or regular snippets either).
  • If both nosnippet and data-nosnippet appear in a page, nosnippet takes priority, and snippets won’t be shown for the page.

Block featured snippets only

Those who wish to retain snippets in regularly-formatted search results but not appear in featured snippets should experiment with setting the max-snippet tag to lower lengths. Featured snippets will only appear if enough text can be shown to generate a useful featured snippet.

Keep lowering the value if pages continue to show for featured snippets. In general, the shorter your max-snippet tag setting, the less likely the page will appear as a featured snippet.

Google does not provide an exact minimum length required to appear as a featured snippet. This is because the minimum length is variable based on a number of factors, including—but not limited to—the information in the snippet, the language, and the platform (mobile device, app, or desktop).

How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets ?

While there is no checklist to rank for featured snippets/ rank o. If one purely thinks from a user point of view and the results Google will want to display to keep the user on google, there’s a real simple formula – dive deeper into insight and what the real intent is behind that search term or keyword.

Taking off from a quote by Matt Cutt’s that is second nature to all SEO’s, “Think about what a user is going to type” The answer to ranking for featured snippets / unlocking google, is really answering: “Think what the user wants to see” – Pushkarraj Mehta

We tested this out with a couple of websites and here are a few findings.

How to Rank for Featured Snippets/ Rank 0

1. Use Headings
2. Structure content for “Why”, “What” and “How” related questions.
3. Use listings and Bullets
4. Optimize questions for direct search queries
5. Ensure pages load lightning fast

Why Should you optimize for Featured Snippets?

Simple: Better Click-Through Rates (CTRs)

Hubspot did a superb detailed report and found ranking on snippets increased their CTR. Here’s a snippet of it 🙂

  • The x-axis relates to the monthly search volume for the search queries measured.
  • The y-axis shows the click-through rate (CTR) of the ranking HubSpot URL from within Google (i.e. how many people clicked on our search result versus the rest of the results in the search results page for a query).
  • The blue line plots the CTR from the SERPs for HubSpot URLs when we do not appear in the Featured Snippet, broken down by query search volume (x-axis).
  • The orange line plots the CTR from the SERPs for HubSpot URLs when we do appear in the Featured Snippet, broken down by query search volume (x-axis).

By and large, we get much more clicks through to our content when we appear in the Featured Snippet, but this becomes increasingly important as the search volume for a query increases.

What happens when a user clicks a featured snippet?

Clicking a featured snippet takes the user directly to the featured snippet text on the source web page. This happens automatically. There’s no markup needed by webmasters to enable a featured snippet. If a browser doesn’t support the underlying technology needed, or if our systems can’t confidently determine exactly where within a page to direct a click, clicking a featured snippet will take a user to the top of the source web page.

What are the different types of Featured Snippets?

There are various types of featured snippets you can optimize for. The most common ones are:
1. Paragraph snippets
2. List snippets
3. Table snippets &
4. Image snippets

SEJ:  Search Engine journal beautifully explains the different types of snippets and how to optimize for them in 2020 >> Click here

Google Featured Snippets 2020:
The June Update

Scroll To Text Fragment
This feature allows a user or author to link to a specific portion of a page, using a text snippet provided in the URL. When the page is loaded, the browser highlights the text and scrolls it into view. For example, the URL: [ islands, birds can contribute as much as 60% of a cat’s diet] This loads the page for Cat, highlights the specified text, and scrolls directly to it.

Navigating to a URL today will load the page scrolled to the top. On pages that provide element ids on appropriate section headings, users and other pages can link directly to those elements by providing the id in the “URL hash”. For example, navigating to will load the page for Cat, scrolled to the “Senses” section. However, the URL hash relies on authors annotating their page and correctly guessing all points that might be interesting to a user. This feature will allow the link-creator to specify which portion of the page is interesting, without relying on author annotations.
Basically, better tracking for clicks from featured snippets.

Clients we’ve helped rank on featured Snippets or Rank 0.

If you’re looking for a consultant/ agency to help you dominate google, give us a shout. Here’s some of our work.

1. Client: Wedevelopment

pros and cons of self redevelopment | rich snippets | pushkarraj mehta, TTB.001
Desktop >> Featured Snippet (Rank 0): Pro and Cons of self redevelopment
Desktop >> Rank #1: What is self redevelopment
Mobile >> Featured Snippet (Rank 0): Pro and Cons of self redevelopment. (We used AMP here)
Mobile >> Rank #1: What is self redevelopment (We used AMP here)

2. Client: DY Works

best design thinkers in mumbai - pushkarraj mehta
Desktop >> Featured Snippet (Rank 0): Best design thinkers in Mumbai
Desktop >> Rank #1: Workshops Page on website
Mobile >> Featured Snippet (Rank 0): Best design thinkers in Mumbai (Non AMP page)
Mobile >> Rank #1: Workshops Page on website (Non AMP page)

This campaign won the award for ‘Best use of SEO in a campaign’ at the Kamizaze B2B Business Summit and optimized for Voice search as well.

For all SEO related questions/ drop a comment or get in touch

Google’s May 2020 core update

Google’s May 2020 core update & Impact India on Business.

Google’s May 2020 core update

May the 4th be with you – was what was playing on every Search engine marketeers brian, on LOOP.  When google generally announces an algorithm update, it usually has all the SEO gurus, SEO Ninjas, SEO masters glued in to their search console and analytics data to avoid a trip to the cardiac unit.

Search Engine Land, compiled a report of several data companies that track Google’s search results to send us impressions of this update and they all agree, this is one of the largest Google core updates in a long time.

At TTB, we verified the data for the Indian the market, and India shows the same results – we’re a week or 2 late but wanted to ensure our research for India centric. The only reason for doing this is most reports that arise from Search Engine Land and Moz are more US, UK centric. In the truest sense, going #VocalforLocal for the Google’s May 2020 core update.

Initial Thoughts on the Google May 2020 core update

The Google May 2020 core update/ Google algorithm update started to roll out on Monday, May 4th. Like all core updates, this was a global update and was not specific to any region, language or category of web sites. It is a classic “broad core update” that Google releases every few months or so. While we had BERT come in a change things up for a bit, the May 2020 update was triggered by
1. Change in search patterns due to Corona Virus
2. The change in searches from mobile back to desktop because of the Work from home situation
3. To battle amazon and instagram shopping experience.
4. Australia’s and France’s stand on news publications.

That my take on this anyway:)

Here’s what thought leaders had to say:

1. Rank Ranger:

Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger called the May update “an absolute monster.” “The January update was a very big update yet this one slightly edges it out,” he added. The company shared this chart comparing the May to January 2020 core updates in terms of rankings volatility for the terms it monitors.


Google’s May 2020 core update_ Top 3 results, Top 5, Top 10 results on Google

What the graph means: In all cases, the May update shuffled the Google results more than the January update.

January 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 35%
May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 38%

January 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 55%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 63%

January 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 84%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 93%

Oberstein added that the Google May 2020 core update is different than previous core updates because “this update appears to be far more uniform across the niches I looked at than your typical core update.” Here are two charts he shared illustrating the May core update’s impact on page one results across a number of industry verticals in RankRanger’s data set.

Google’s May 2020 core update_ Travel, Retail, Finance - Top 3 results, Top 5, Top 10 results on Google

May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 31%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 56%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 91%

May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 37%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 61%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 83%

May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 47%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 72%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 97%

May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 38%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 63%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 94%

Google’s May 2020 core update_ Top 3 results on google

May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 7%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 17%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitility: 25%

May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 10%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 20%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitality: 29%

May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 11%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 24%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitility: 36%

May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 11%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 18%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitility: 31%

2. SEMRush

Yulia Ibragimova, Olga Andrienko and the SEMRush team prepared a lot of data on this update. SEMRush said that this update was bigger than the January core update as well. They said, “the May update is stronger and influencers more SERPs and positions.” The SEMRush sensor tracking tool is showing a score of 9.4, whereas the January update was closer to 8. So this was a big update relative to other core updates.

Google’s May 2020 core update_ SEM Rush industries impacted

SEMRush data showed the industries most impacted were travel, real estate, health, pets & animals, and people & society. Here is the chart of breakdown volatility by industry from SEMRush:

Google’s May 2020 core update_ SEM Rush industries impacted List

SEMRush also shared the winners and losers of this update. The winners were,,,,,,,, and The losers were,,,,,,,, and

3. The SEO community:

The SEO community in both the online discussion forums and on social media around the Google May 2020 core update have been extremely vocal about this and some people claimed to have lost over 90% of their Google organic traffic, while others did well from this update.

The community is split into two:

  1. SEO’s that are frustrated with Google and the constant effort of the search engine to keep users on Google and not take them to the website with PAA/ Knowledge graphs and
  2. 2. SEO’s that want to take over the PAA listings and use is as a tool for branding/ building credibility.Which side are you on?

What to do if your website is hit by the Google May 2020 Update:

Google has given advice on what to consider if you are negatively impacted by a core update in the past. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages. However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update.

Why we care:

It is often hard to isolate what you need to do to reverse any algorithmic hit your site may have seen. When it comes to Google core updates, it is even harder to do so. If this data and previous experience and advice has shown us is that these core updates are broad, wide and cover a lot of overall quality issues. The data above has reinforced this to be true. So if your site was hit by a core update, it is often recommended to step back from it all, take a wider view of your overall web site and see what you can do to improve the site overall.

Here’s the summary of the Google MAY 2020 core update: The TLDR (Too long didn’t read) version

  1. Perhaps the biggest and most volatile Google update yet.
  2. Industries most impacted were travel, health care, real estate, pets and people and society.
  3. PAA and knowledge graph continue to keep users for more clicks on google resulting in a lower CTR to site
  4. Voice search will get more efficient as Google rewrites Meta descriptions with AI ML and BERT logic
  5. Overall CTRs will drop as google is scraping website content and keeping users on – Youtube plays as a light-box and PAA dominate SERP’s – you click on one and it opens related PAA’s

Pushkarraj Mehta, Founder TalkingToBots gets featured on Your Story for DIVEIndia

It brings us great joy to let you know our founder, Pushkarraj Mehta – gets featured on yourstory for his work on DIVEIndia.

Highlights from the article:

Based in the Andaman islands, scuba diving centre Dive India is working on its online presence to attract divers from across the world.

“Being a remote location, with most of our audience only finding us through online research – Google and Google products have played a pivotal role to help reach out to our audience. We partnered with Pushkarraj Mehta (, our digital marketing consultant, in November 2015 to lay down a solid foundation for SEO and to drive traffic to the website with Google ads to help achieve our online goals. We turn up in the top three searches for anyone wanting to learn and or scuba dive in the Andamans.”

“We’ve increased our website lead conversions by an average 230 percent year over year and increased our website traffic by 400 percent by reducing advertising spends by 25 percent.”

Click here to read the entire story here.

Top 5 Tips to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly

How to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly

So, How do you make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly?
Here’s the Top 5 Tips to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly


Lets do this!
You’ve figured it out. You have that perfect idea for a service website or blog and want to hire an agency or start the development in house. You are all set to take your idea to market and you have clear understanding of what you customers need. Here’s a list of top 5 things you need to do it right the first time.

1. Lightning Fast Page Speed

Google loves speed, Customers Love speed. No one likes waiting especially for a webpage to load that they are interested in. In the internet of things, every second counts.
When was the last time you stayed on a webpage that took more than 4 seconds to load.
The quicker the mobile experience, the more engagement you’ll receive. To begin with, analyze every image and every piece of JavaScript and CSS, and compress when needed. Compress larger images when possible; every byte counts on mobile when it comes to speed.
Also, utilize your cache for things that load constantly, such as a logo. When you cache a logo, you’ll save precious download time, which increases the overall speed of your app.
A good rule of thumb is to set all static resources’ cache lifetime once a week. As for other third-party resources like widgets and ads, cache lifetime should be set for one day.
Remember also that lightning-fast page speeds on mobile help with conversion and customer satisfaction. The average mobile website load times for bounced sessions were about 2.5 seconds slower than non-bounced sessions, according to Think with Google.


2. Don’t Use Pop-Ups (At all)

Google now penalizes businesses with mobile pop-ups, which was part of the January 2017, algorithm update.
Due to the small size of mobile screens, search engines see these penalties as imperative to provide better UX for users. This should prompt you to limit the use of any pop-ups.
Some pop-ups, like age verification boxes and smaller banners that don’t obscure a large part of the screen, are fine to run. But if a pop-up covers main content or is a standalone one that needs to be dismissed before content is displayed, this will have a drastic effect not only on UX but also on SEO.
Think of how many times you exited a website when this happened. Don’t repeat this same mistake. Design your site to include CTA’s and design your website to include information you’d like to capture through these pop-ups.


3. Design for Big Fingers (Yep, Its a thing!)

Your mobile-first design should have touch screen navigation that is easily scrolled with fingers that are either too big or too small.
Think about the size of a thumb and index finger, and make sure your mobile design caters to all for a smoother UX.The smoother the UX, the more engagement, which means the better the SEO.
Here’s the Google Mobile Test Tool


4. Titles & Meta Descriptions

If you’re an SEO, you know the importance of Titles and Meta descriptions. If you’re on top of your game, you’ve probably considered testing your Meta’s for Mobile searches. If not, Well…..
Last May, Google increased mobile title tags to 78 characters — eight more than the recommended character count for desktop. But you’re better off sticking to 70 characters, considering you don’t want any title truncated on mobile.
Meta descriptions should also be shorter for a truly enhanced mobile experience. Google also kept mobile meta description lengths to around 130 characters but has since increased the amount of meta description text shown on mobile. Regardless, keep things shorter than 130 characters because Google is known to truncate meta descriptions on mobile.
Yoast (A plugin I highly recommend for WordPress sites) has a perfect solution for those struggling with optimal lengths for either mobile or desktop. Yoast has settings for both desktop and mobile when creating titles, URLs, and meta descriptions so you can optimize each.


5. Simple Design With Clear CTAs

Keep it simple and don’t try to add too much content. Make sure you’re not just adding/ stuffing keywords on a page that go against any white-hat SEO practices. You got want to get penalised by google.
Think with the customer in mind and have CTA across your website where your audience is most likely to convert. Also, make sure all your contact forms are designed for mobile. This is a common mistake among many companies — even enterprise-level companies.
Make sure all contact forms use HTML5 input types, which will automatically register the correct keyboard for mobile browsers, which have various on-screen keyboards for various types of data.


Algorithms are constantly changing to provide a better user experience for mobile users and rewarding sites that have an SEO-friendly mobile design.

As mobile continues its natural trend towards more users over desktop, having a mobile-first design with SEO at the forefront is imperative to success.

Should you have any other doubts or want to add to this, please let me know.

Why did my website drop in google rankings?

Why did my website drop in google rankings?

So you just noticed a drop in your website rankings, you’ve lost significant ranking positions and if this gif explains your current state of affairs & exactly how you feel right now,



Here’s your guide to understand what went wrong so you can understand why you experienced the drop in traffic.

  1. Get into your Google Analytics and double check if the tracking code on your website is the same as the one linked to your Analytics account.
  2. Compare your data from previous year reports for a drop in traffic if your product/ service offering is a seasonal offering.
  3. Check your Google console to compare impressions and rankings to verify if you’ve actually dropped rankings.

If you’re on top of your game and you notice a drop in rankings as well. Here’s should you should proceed:

Check if Competitors made significant changes to site

If your competitor has restructured his/her website using the best SEO practices and is now outranking you, you might need to revisit your SEO campaign/ strategy.


Check For Lost Links

Run a quick report and check if you’ve lost any links from third party referral websites pointing to certain page/ pages that has lost their rankings. You should also check if you’ve changed your site URLs that have resulted in a drop in traffic. Fix all broken links on site or referral links to ensure this isn’t the reason why you’ve lost your rankings.


Check for all major google updates pushed recently.

If you’ve previously employed Black-Hat SEO practices or not played by google’s best practices, I’m afraid google has penalised your website and you’re going to need professional help. Get in touch ASAP

If you haven’t been penalised and are none of the above suggestions help answer your question, thank the SEO Gods and shoot me an email. I’ll help you figure this out.

Should I switch over to https?

There is a lot of talk in the SEO world when it comes to switching over to https from http.

While none of the google updates suggest or hint at https as a ranking factor, I am pretty sure https is the way forward.



Moz also suggests and projects that buy the end of 2017, 70% of Page 1 results on google will be https driven.

Today, over 50% of the google’s page 1 results are https compared to a mere 30% in 2016.

While Industry leaders like Amazon, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest are still on the www, we have to keep in mind their brand presence across the board. These Industry leaders have put in years of marketing and advertising dollars to build their brand name, brand awareness and domain authority to maintain their #1 position.

Now i’m not saying the having an https will get on the top of the first page on google. But if done right, it will definitely help outrank the http websites of your competitors. (You can hold me to it.)

While google doesn’t outright say that HTTPS is a ranking factor, it certainly seems to rank websites with https higher.

So, Should I switch over to https?

If you’re a brand/ small business/ e-commerce player taking on the internet, I highly recommend switching over from http to https, ASAP.