2018 Week 15 SEO News Recap

Google is officially testing ‘more results’ button to load more search results

Google is officially testing a “more results” button in the mobile search results interface. Instead of having to click to the next page of the Google search results, a searcher can click the “more results” button, and additional search results will load below the current results. Danny Sullivan of Google confirmed on Twitter that this test has been running for the past few days. It seems to be visible to many, if not all, searchers when searching Google on their smartphones.

 

Google “Interesting Finds” Shows AMP Pages & More

Google is testing a feature called “Interesting finds” which shows AMP pages in a two by two grid around a query. For example, if you search on Google mobile for [when is mothers day], towards the bottom of the search results will be a section named “Interesting finds.” Those are AMP pages, with top carousel markup, so the images look good and the content loads fast on click. It does look like not all of those results are powered by AMP, but it does seem most are.

 

Google Adds “Mentioned on Wikipedia” Carousels in Search Results

Google has often shown carousels in the search results for both mobile and desktop for all kinds of searches.  Google has added a new version for searches with a “mentioned on Wikipedia” carousel. Searchers, and site owners, have often complained about Google’s carousels not having data from where the information is taken from.  So Google adding the source with “mentioned on Wikipedia” is pretty significant. The carousel appears on both mobile and desktop.

2018 Week 14 SEO News Recap

Google: Adding New Pages Can Devalue Current Pages

Many people believe “more is better” when it comes to adding new pages on a site, without thinking about how it could impact the pages already on the site.  John Mueller addressed this in the recent Reddit AMA and specifically mentioned that sometimes adding additional pages might not be the best approach, depending on the motivation, as it can affect overall value.  This is something Google doesn’t usually address directly, aside from the quality aspect of adding pages and ensuring that any pages are high quality and add value to the overall site.  They don’t usually talk about its role in diluting or reducing the value of what is already there.

 

Google goo.gl URL Shortener Shutting Down On March 30, 2019

Google announced that they are shutting down, closing, their URL shortener service on March 30, 2019. Google first launched it in December 2009, and less than ten years later Google is going to shut it down.

 

Google patent on related entities and what it means for SEO

With the recently granted Google patent “Related entities” the Author believe this patent is being applied to SEO and it gives us significant insight into how Google identifies entities and the related entities people are searching for. The article looks at some interesting details to get a general understanding of the patent and its intent. Understanding how Google associates entities will help us grasp and use the connections to SEO.

2018 Week 13 SEO News Recap

Rolling out mobile-first indexing

Google announced that after a year and a half of careful experimentation and testing, they’ve started migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing. To recap, their crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that they’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help their, primarily mobile, users find what they’re looking for.

 

Reverse Engineering YouTube Search

To better understand how the YouTube Search algorithm works, this study looked at 3.8 million data points across 100,000 videos and 75,000 channels. Using a keyword sample that contained a variety of named entities and questions, they checked rankings for the first 20 results and fetched a wide array of data through the YouTube API, scraping, and additional analysis. The results should provide ample insights into the more nuanced behavior of Youtubes ranking algorithm.

 

Google XML sitemap auth bypass – Black Hat SEO Bug Bounty

Google provides an open URL where you can ‘ping’ an XML sitemap which they will fetch and parse – this file can contain indexation directives. Tom Anthony discovered that for any site that has an open redirect it is possible to ping a sitemap that you (the attacker) are hosting in such a way that Google will trust the evil sitemap as belonging to the victim site. He tested this using hreflang directives in a sitemap to almost immediately be in the top results for money terms in the US, by making the sitemap file look like it belonged to a large UK ecommerce site.

2018 Week 12 SEO News Recap

Google’s John Mueller Reveals New Details About Mobile-First Index

Contrary to what has been stated in the past, Google does intend to notify webmasters via Search Console when a site has been moved to the mobile-first index. Google has already started moving sites to the new index, so presumably the messaging is still being worked on because no one has been notified yet. However, you can look for an increase in activity from the mobile version of Googlebot or a noticeable drop-off in desktop traffic, which may confirm whether your site has been moved.

New Google My Business Dashboard Slowly Rolling Out

A big benefit of this update is that the arbitrary limits on the number of listings in an account seem to have been removed and the speed issues apparently will be gone. These changes are in a long line of upgrades to the Google My Business Dashboard since the dis-integration with Plus as Google has moved towards a single, integrated experience in the Dashboard that is the same regardless of whether you are an agency, a single location or a brand that does bulk uploads.

 

GoogleBot Won’t Be Upgraded To Latest Chrome Version For Some Time

As you know, GoogleBot uses Chrome version 41 to crawl the web, which means it doesn’t see everything the latest version of Chrome sees when crawling the web. Ashley Berman Hale posted on Twitter that John Mueller from Google said at SMX Munich that it will be a while before that gets updated. He said maybe by the end of this year or early next year. John said it requires a big update and that takes time.

2018 Week 11 SEO News Recap

Google confirms core search ranking algorithm update

Google has confirmed that they ran a “broad core algorithm update” last week that has impacted the appearance and rankings of some websites in the search results. Google posted on Twitter that Google does these types of updates “several times per year” and there is nothing a site can do specifically to “fix” their ranking after the core update runs. “Some sites may note drops or gains,” Google explained and said if a page drops, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with that page, it is just how Google changed their ranking models that now benefits “pages that were previously under-rewarded.”

 

In-Depth Look at Google’s New Zero Result Search Results

Google is now showing zero search results for some types of specific use cases.  Zero results search results pages are search results where there is simply an answer in the answer box /  featured snippet style, with zero organic search results on the page. For example, if you do a search for “time” or time with a time zone, Google may show a results page that has no organic results, but instead an answer box that simply shows the current time.

 

Google Tests People Also Search For Feature On Cursor Hover?

Google may be testing a feature in the search results where the people also search for box not only shows up when you click back from the web site, into the search results again but also when you hover your mouse cursor over the snippet.

2018 Week 10 SEO News Recap

Standardizing lessons learned from AMP

Based on what has been learned from AMP, Google now feels ready to take the next step and work to support more instant-loading content not based on AMP technology in areas of Google Search designed for this, like the Top Stories carousel. This content will need to follow a set of future web standards and meet a set of objective performance and user experience criteria to be eligible.

 

Distrust of the Symantec PKI: Immediate action needed by site operators

Google previously announced plans to deprecate Chrome’s trust in the Symantec certificate authority (including Symantec-owned brands like Thawte, VeriSign, Equifax, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL). This post outlines how site operators can determine if they’re affected by this deprecation, and if so, what needs to be done and by when. Failure to replace these certificates will result in site breakage in upcoming versions of major browsers, including Chrome.

 

Google Tests Answers In People Also Ask Box Results

Google is testing a new addition to the people also ask functionality. The change involves the people also ask box not just showing other questions, people are also asking, but the answers to those questions right in the box itself.