The week of September 15, 2017 was another busy one in search and SEO with stories ranging from SERP layout changes, ranking signals confirmed and a ton more. As always though – if you think we missed anything let us know in the comments below.
Google Appealing $2.9 Billion EU Fine
No big surprise, Google is appealing the £2.1 billion ($2.9 billion US) fine from the EU. The fine is based on the assertion that Google unfairly promotes it’s shopping service at the top of the search results.
Google Uses Click Data For Rankings
Kind of. Mike Kilinski got on tape Google’s Nick Frost confirming that pogosticking is part of Google Brain’s algorithm and contrary to what Google has asserted in the past. I discussed various application/considerations of this in a response to a question on Moz here for anyone interested.
Bing Reducing Link Value?
James Murray of Bing was overheard in an interview stating the links may decrease in importance. You may have heard this as “will” as was reported but the operative is “may” meaning that they’re looking into replacement signals. The truth is that over time links will likely decrease in weight across both Google and Bing but not today.
Links As Important As Ever
Of course I had to place this story from last week right below the final sentence of the previous one. Stone Template Consulting released their latest report on the value of links continues to show a very strong correlation between links and rankings. So yes … links are still important.
Mobile results appear to be displaying a carousel for images without descriptive text, just scrollable images.
Google Has Reach, Amazon Has Loyalty
In a study from Kenshoo they found that consumers tend to use Amazon as their starting point for shopping but Google as the starting point for product discovery. Therein is the big issue for Google – people go to Google to find out what they want to buy and then to Amazon to buy it. This is the battleground for Google.
Moving From m. To Responsive
Google has put out a short guide outlining the considerations site owners need to take when moving from adaptive (m.) to responsive mobile experiences. This is a hot topic with the push towards the mobile-first index. The piece only contains very basic advice that would apply universally but a good reference point to sent to clients unaware of what’s involved or who need a quick view of what’s going on.
Bing Supports Fact Checking
Bing has finally followed Google’s lead and added a fact checking label to the search results. The label is based on the ClaimReview schema and has a number of criteria for being displayed. Obviously this is important with all the “satire” sites posing and being shared as news and we’re all glad to see this added.
Bing To Crawl progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Microsoft revealed at the Microsoft Edge Web Summit that Bing will begin crawling the web for PWAs and will “auti-ingest quality PWAs” into the Windows store. This is a big big area and I’m now reminded I need to learn a lot more about them. Here’s what Emily Grossman of MobileMoxie had to say about it:
Boom 👇👇👇 https://t.co/HIIfz9F38S
— Emily Grossman @🇩🇪 (@goutaste) September 13, 2017
Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable covered the discovery that Google is testing a small map icon in the local panel results. I personally love the idea and as an SEO it’s yet another change in a fast-moving space. If you’re in travel or local in any way hang on to your hats.
Ginny Marvin covered my favorite story of the week in PPC over on Search Engine Land – the launch of dashboards within AdWords. The dashboards are collaborative and shareable allowing manager to quickly share the information their clients are interested in seeing cleanly within the very AdWords interface they work in.
And in my favorite story out of social Matt Southern covered the discovery that a feature is being tested on Instagram to share Stories directly to Facebook. Matt brings up a few very good questions related to this subject making it a great and very quick read for any social media marketers.
Twitter To Add Tweetstorming
And going from my favorite idea in social to my least favorite, Twitter is testing a new tweetstorm feature that would allow users to cross over the 140 character limit and would auto add 1/x, 2/x, 3/x … to each Tweet. So rather than giving us more characters they’ll just annoy us by making it easy for people to post their essays and fill our Twitter streams. I get the idea but the character limit is part of what makes Twitter useful. Methinks this will not last long.
Facebook Instant Videos
Facebook is testing a new feature that would see videos downloading in the background when a user is on WiFi and storing those videos for future use in cases where the user is either offline or on a data connection and the video would incur costs. A good idea and I look forward to it’s rollout.
Google has put up some teasers indicating that their new Pixel phone will be revealed on October 4th. It looks as though it’s set ot address a number of issues that plague smartphone users but we’ll see how it delivers.
Eric Enge wrote a great piece for Search Engine land on the rise of personal assistants. In it he discusses where these assistants will be, how people will use them and touches on what their impact will be. This is an incredibly important area of search and a highly recommended read.
Google Tag manager guru Simo Ahava covered the addition of YouTube Video triggers in GTM. I’d missed the announcement and was very pleased by what it does and how it can be used. If you host YouTube videos on your site and care what people are doing with them this is a must read.
In last week’s Whiteboard Friday Rand covered some core principles of internal link equity passing and how you can use it to maximize your ranking opportunities. It’s a good piece that covers the basics well serving both and an intro and a reminder depending on your skill level.