2019 Week 51 SEO News Recap

Personal results in the Google app are all but gone

Google holds an astonishing amount of your personal data, and until recently, the company helped you easily access some of it through its Search app on Android. You could use the preinstalled search engine to find text messages, contacts, calendar events, email conversations, your web history, and more. The functionality even integrated with some third-party apps such as Todoist. However, it looks like the personal search results are now all but gone from the Google app.

Google: We Try To Understand Comment Sections But It Is Primary Content

Google’s John Mueller said in a webmaster hangout that Google does try to understand the blog comments section of a page but at the same time would still categorize that section as primary content. It is interesting to hear that Google considers comments as part of the primary content, unlike navigation, footer, etc but at the same time does try to understand that you do have a comments section that your staff did not actively write.

France fines Google 150 million euros for opaque advertising rules

France’s competition watchdog fined Google 150 million euros ($167 million) on Friday for abusing its power over the treatment of advertisers, saying it applied opaque rules and changed them at will. It is the first penalty imposed by the French antitrust watchdog against the U.S. tech company in a number of clashes with French authorities, and as Google faces a growing number of investigations into its business practices on both sides of the Atlantic. Google said it would appeal the decision.

2019 Week 50 SEO News Recap

Announcing future user-agents for Bingbot

Bing announced that it “will start the transition to a new bingbot user-agent” as it continues to roll out the evergreen BingBot. Evergreen BingBot, the version of BingBot that is able to crawl the web like a modern browser, is currently in use but will be used to “cover all the sites” over the “coming months.” With that, Bing will begin using a new user agent to convey which version of BingBot is crawling your website.

Google showing product availability markup in image search results

Google is displaying the availability of products on image search results page. Powered by product Schema markup, the availability of products displayed in the image results is clearly denoted in green (for in-stock items) and red (for out-of-stock items). This can help users filter through results at a glance and makes image search more “shoppable.”

Google Search Console Showing Errors For Incorrectly Tagging URL With RDFa or Microdata

Google has started to show errors specifically with the rich results when implemented using RDFa or microdata that incorrectly tag a URL where a text value is expected are now shown as an error in the rich result report. This started on December 3, 2019 and will continue as it goes forward.

2019 Week 49 SEO News Recap

Google confirms Nov. 2019 Local Search Update

Google has now confirmed the numerous reports of a local search update that began in early November. The update is related to Google “making use of neural matching as part of the process of generating local search results,” Google said via the @SearchLiason twitter account. The name, “Nov. 2019 Local Search Update” follows the naming convention Google began using last year for Google core search algorithm updates.

Google: We Ignore Links From Sites Where Links Are Unlikely To Be Natural

Google’s John Mueller was asked about links from from “theglobe.net and related spammy domains” and if they should be disavowed or something. John responded “We already ignore links from sites like that, where there are unlikely to be natural links. No need to disavow.”

Google Quality Rater Guidelines Update: New Introduction, Rater Bias & Political Affiliations

Google has released a brand new version of the Quality Rater Guidelines, the third one this year.  The changes aren’t as extensive as the previous two releases were this year, but the new updates can be an interesting signal as to where Google is planning to take the algo, and this update is no different.

2019 Week 48 SEO News Recap

Launch: Job types for services

Google launched a new feature in Google My Business for job types for services. Services businesses in the US can choose from suggested types of services (for example, plumbers may see “Install faucet” or “Repair toilet” as services to add). If the type of service isn’t listed, they can add their own custom services. These standardized job types make it easier for customers to find the services they need, and help merchants generate more relevant leads for the services they offer.

Google Tests More Spacious Search Result Snippets

Sergey Alakov spotted Google testing a taller, more spacious, Google mobile search results user interface. There is simply more vertical space between the search results.

How to use Schema to create a Google Action

Google recently announced that publishers can now create Google Actions from web content using schema markup. For brands, Google Actions can be a great way to get more mileage out of your SEO strategy and offer another opportunity to reach searchers organically. Optimizing for newer SEO features like Google Actions and rich results are becoming increasingly critical when it comes to pleasing the algorithm. While the option isn’t available for every content type, this new capability is a big deal for less technical users looking to, ahem, get in on the Actions.

2019 Week 47 SEO News Recap

New reporting for Products Results in Search Console

Google recently announced that in addition to schema.org markup, product data feeds submitted through Google Merchant Center and Google Manufacturer Center will be used to enrich Google Search shopping journeys. Google is now announcing a new Search Appearance in the Search Console Performance report, which captures search stats for Product rich results on Google Search.

Google Warns Of Chrome Mixed Content Change & Impact On Rankings?

Google posted on Twitter that Chrome is making changes to how it handles mixed content and you should be on top of it for your users. Also mixed content can break your HTTPS security, but as we know, the HTTPS ranking boost is not dependent on HTTPS being valid right now and neither is rendering said Google. Google wrote “The Chrome mixed content change, does it affect your site’s Googlebot rendering? Probably not!” Then Google went on to share a bunch of things you should be concerned about and tips to address it for your web site. 

Google Is Better at Indexing JavaScript But Delays Are Still An Issue

With Googlebot running on the most recent version of Chrome and JavaScript content being indexed faster than ever, it’s apparent that Google is getting better at indexing JavaScript. It feels like SEO professionals are finally reaching the happy ending to a long and complicated movie. Unfortunately, this movie has a twist: JavaScript indexing delays are still a massive issue.

2019 Week 46 SEO News Recap

Google Video Structured Data Help Document Gets A Big Update

Lizzi Harvey from Google announced on Twitter that the video structured data doc got a big refresh. I took a quick look and yes, it is so much better. Google added More screenshots, how to mark timestamps on YouTube videos, how monitor your video performance with Search Console, the live badge docs are now merged with main video docs and so much more.

Google Answers November Update Question

In a Webmaster Hangout, a publisher asked Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, what to do about their 40% decline in traffic due to Google’s update. John offered advice on what they should focus on, as well as what not to focus on.

Google Warns: Don’t Build Your Business Around Google Discover Traffic

Gary Illyes from Google commented on how some publishers are getting insane traffic from Google Discover, the feature where Google shows articles from publishers on its Google.com home page. Gary said on Twitter “I just hope people realize that this may go away overnight and they don’t build their whole business model around it.”