Baidu copies Google AMP and launches MIP (Mobile Instant Pages)

baidu-mip

During the past few months Baidu has been busy with copying Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages Project) and late August they launched MIP, also known as Mobile Instant Pages.

The concept of MIP is basically the same as Google AMP: create an additional page while using only specific HTML markup, hosted JS libraries and a just a predefined set of elements are allowed in combination with local caching. This creates a better user experience due to faster loading content. It is not known yet when Baidu is going to put MIP results into all their search engine result pages: this will probably take another few weeks since they just launched and almost no websites have created MIP pages yet. For some queries, like Olympic Games related keywords, MIP results do show up (link) Another item on the massive to do list next to building AMP pages for many content driven organisations. Example via Dragonmetrics blog:

mip-demo

Why MIP next to AMP?

Censorship: it is likely most users can’t access Google’s servers that host AMP versions.

Documentation and more

– Official (Chinese) guide: MIP Documentation
– Validator: external via NPM package mip-validator 1.2.11 or use the tool within Baidu Webmaster tools Zhanzhang.baidu.com/mip/
– Pages ready? You need to submit then Submit MIP Pages

Quickly merge Excel files, spreadsheets or tabs with VBA

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Sometimes you just need to merge hundreds of Excel files into one. For CSV files you can easily use the Command Prompt, for Excel you’ll need some VBA scripting. Working with many individual files can be time consuming so use below VBA scripts to merge individual XLS-files into one or combine multiple tabs into one sheet. Simply go to the Visual Basic Editor (Alt / Fn + F11), add a new module and run the script. An easy to understand tutorial can be found at The Excel VBA editor.
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http2 hosting – 20x faster loading websites!?

http2 hosting

The biggest change to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol in years (since 1999) has been accepted and finalized earlier this year. Currently is it being implemented by many servers and hosting companies because it can truly save a lot of loading time for the average website. With HTTP/2 a multiplexing feature allows it to make lots of request at the same time so page load will not be blocked by CSS or JS files based on a maximum number of connections a browser can make. If you want to know what changed in comparison to the old HTTP protocol, have a look at the following slidedeck by Daniel Stenberg, network hacker at Mozilla:

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Google and App indexing

Since April this year, Google now shows app install buttons and app deeplinks in the search engine result pages for Android users. They already showed it to users of specific apps but will now add apps if users haven’t installed it yet or are not logged in. Google has already indexed over 30 billion links directly pointing to content within apps and now uses App Indexing as a ranking signal for all Android users. A very logical step, since Google is now officially getting more searches from mobile compared to desktop users (source). Adding direct links to apps will contribute to a more positive user experience for their users.

Read more at State of Digital: Google and App indexing: how can you benefit from it?

Yandex will start using Paid Links as a negative ranking signal!

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Today Yandex’s head of search, Alexander Sadovsky, announced they will start using paid links as a negative ranking signal. Official announcement: Новый этап в борьбе со ссылочным спамом from today. After discounting links in a few specific niches and areas around Moscow last year, they now decide to turn it around and use paid links as a negative signal.

Paid links are still massively used in the Russian search market, after removing links from their algorithm they expected SEO would start using different ways of getting links. Nothing changed at all. 70% of the links in popular, commercial interesting niches, are still consider Paid Links by Yandex. Yandex found the SEO market to be stubborn (what a surprise!), the number of paid links being used in those niches dropped just 16% last year. Links will be back in their main algorithm, but now can have a positive, neutral or negative effect on a website’s performance in the search engine result pages. Yandex is quite confident their machine learning algorithms are good enough to detect paid links at the moment.

The rollout of this updated algorithm will start in May. Personally I really like the research and efforts of the Yandex research department. Comparing to the other major search engines, they publicly try to battle the amount of crappy SEO spam, good job!