2019 Week 39 SEO News Recap

Fresher data in your site’s Search Performance report

Google has announced you can now get fresher data in the Google Search Console performance reports. Google also now lets you export the data using a custom date range. Google said the data is “as recent as less than a day old.” Previously, the data was updated within about three days. Fresh data is replaced with the final data point after a few days and is not yet available via the API.

Google won’t pay French publishers copyright fees, will limit content in search results instead

Last year, the European Parliament passed a new Copyright Directive that was intended to generate licensing revenue for authors and publishers from big internet companies such as Google and Facebook. France was the first country in the EU to implement the new rules domestically. Google now says it will not pay French publishers the expected copyright licensing fees. Instead, the company will show links and “very short” extracts of news content, which don’t run afoul of the law (Article 15, formerly Article 11). The law seeks to capture licensing fees when more than links and a few words are shown by third party news aggregators.

Google Search Console Breadcrumb Report Had Errors

Google recently  launched a new Search Console enhancement report for breadcrumb markup. Well, that report already had a bug with it. Google posted in the data anomalies page “Google fixed an error in Breadcrumb validation (the last crumb in the chain does not, in fact, require an explicit URL target). As a result, you may see a reduction in errors in your Breadcrumbs report going forward.” Google said this happened on September 26, 2019 and currently does not have an end date.

2019 Week 38 SEO News Recap

Making Review Rich Results more helpful

Search results that are enhanced by review rich results can be extremely helpful when searching for products or services. To make them more helpful and meaningful, Google is introducing algorithmic updates to reviews in rich results. This also addresses some of the invalid or misleading implementations webmasters have flagged.

Google Search Console Datasets Schema Enhancements Report A Year Later

Over a year after Google launched the ability for dataset schema to show up in the Google search results, Google has added reporting around it in Google Search Console. The new datasets schema report is now in the enhancements section for sites that have deployed this schema. If you have it enabled in your account, you’ll find it under the Enhancements sections. 

Google tests “in this video” search feature

Google often shows video results in its search results, in fact, Google has a feature to show suggested clips, a method to jump you to the portion of the video that answers your specific query. Now, it appears, Google is testing showing “in this video” – a timeline that shows you what sections of the video talks about subtopics.

2019 Week 37 SEO News Recap

Evolving “nofollow” – new ways to identify the nature of links

Google has announced that the nofollow link attribute (i.e. rel=”nofollow“) will be seen as a “hint” rather than as a directive for ranking purposes. In addition, Google is adding two additional link attributes, in addition to the rel=”nofollow” to provide a bit more context about the content you’re linking to.

Google Updates The Search Quality Raters Guidelines On September 5th

Google has updated the Google search quality raters guidelines handbook on September 5, 2019. That is 16-weeks after it last updated the guidelines and before that, it was about 10-months since Google updated that document. The live guidelines are 167 page PDF right now, which is one page larger than last time. The biggest changes primarily appear in the Your Money, Your Life sites, site reputation and content quality. 

Google now gives more preference to original reporting in search

Google said it has “made ranking updates” to “better recognize and surface original reporting more prominently in Search and ensure it stays there longer.” So original reporting will not just show up higher in the search results but show up for a longer period of time for the relevant query in Google search. “This means readers interested in the latest news can find the story that started it all, and publishers can benefit from having their original reporting more widely seen,” Richard Gingras said.

2019 Week 36 SEO News Recap

Introducing Auto-DNS verification in the new Search Console

Google announced that site owners can now verify their web sites with Google Search Console in a new way, auto-DNS verification. This works with a select number of domain name service providers and can help simplify the process of getting your website verified within Google Search Console.

It’s OK if Structured Data From Desktop Version is Missing from AMP

In a recent Webmaster Hangout, John Mueller’s provided some interesting insight into structured data and content that is visible to the site visitor. The question posed was, “With the desktop version I have structured data but no AMP version. Does it violate Google’s policy because of two different versions?” John noted that, “It doesn’t violate our policies.” and continued with “But we really, really want you to have the AMP version be equivalent to the normal version of your website. So structured data is usually less of a problem but content-wise, navigation-wise, internal linking, all of that should be equivalent on AMP so that when users go to your AMP page they’re not served a stripped-down page that doesn’t serve their needs.”

Switched To Mobile-First Indexing? Google Still Crawls Some Pages As Desktop

Even if your site was switched to mobile-first indexing, it doesn’t mean that Google will only crawl and render your pages using the GoogleBot mobile useragent. Google says they still send out the desktop GoogleBot to those pages to check on things. In fact, JohnMueller from Google said there is like a 2-3:1 split between useragents. He said on Twitter “so when we shift to mobile first indexing for a domain, it’s 2/3rd mobile, 1/3rd desktop.”

2019 Week 35 SEO News Recap

Google testing highlighting content on-site based on the search result clicked

Google confirmed it’s testing a feature that takes the searcher from the search results page to a third-party site, then anchors them to that exact location on the site while highlighting that content. This is something Google originally did on mobile through the AMP cache, and is now being tested on desktop and Chrome browsers.

Google: Web Site Traffic Is Not A Ranking Factor

Google’s official Google Webmaster Twitter account said “traffic to a website isn’t a ranking factor.” This is in response to an SEO asking if it is. This is a popular myth within the novice SEO world and beyond.

Google Removes Some Filters from Image Search Results

Google appears to have removed the ability to filter image search results by “minimum size,” “exact size,” and “full color.” This change was made quietly, as there has been no official word from Google about removing the filters.

2019 Week 34 SEO News Recap

amp-script: AMP ❤ JS

Google announced custom JavaScript can now be added to AMP pages. The amp-script component can be used to enable user interactions, and to share code across AMP-enabled and non-AMP pages. The AMP team said this was one of the most requested features from developers using AMP. It enables web pages delivered via AMP to incorporate more of the interactivity features that JavaScript offers.

What is ‘Google Screened’ and how does it differ from ‘Google Guaranteed’?

Google Screened is currently a test program limited to a few verticals in a few markets: lawyers (estate planning, immigration), financial planners and realtors in San Diego and Houston. Businesses must also possess a star rating on Google of 3.0 or greater to be eligible. There’s no application fee for Local Services advertisers (in the relevant categories and markets). Google Screened businesses must also have a license and pass civil and criminal background checks.

Google UI Bug Drops URLs From Search Results Page

Google looks to have been testing desktop search desktop results as a searcher noticed that for some search result listings, the snippets don’t have URLs showing up. Instead you just see a favicon, a hashtag and an arrow down. This seems to only impact the interface Google is testing with favicons on the desktop results, not the main user interface.