If you have not had time to keep up with happenings in SEO this week, then here is an abbreviated version to help bring you up to speed. It includes a request from Google to tighten your site’s security and two thought pieces by your truly and of course, some SERP layout changes.
Despite the fact that Google rolled out its speed update on July 9, 2018, the algorithms in most sectors seem abnormally quiet. Some sectors, like e-commerce, seem to be more impacted by the update than others.
While Google’s John Mueller says that Google can read the information found inside a figure tag. They do not do anything special with that information.
While more than 50 percent of all web traffic happens on a mobile device where over 50 percent of pages take more than 15 seconds to load, many people will not wait longer than three seconds before hitting the back button. Google evaluates more than just landing page speed. One of the factors that they evaluate is speed compared to the possible conversion rate for the page. You can learn more about your pages scores by seeing the newly launched Speed Scorecard and the Impact Calculator.
Google’s Gary Illyes says that it does not matter which page speed test that you use because they all have different strengths and weaknesses. He continues that webmasters should pick one test and continue to use it as they work on their site(s).
Google Posts now gives users the option to add a ‘call now’ button. Viewers already had the option to “book,” “order online,” “buy,” “learn more,” “sign up” and “get offer.”
Sorry – nothing in this section this week that wasn’t covered in the general SEO news section.
Google rolled out its “people also search for” options in organic search in February, and now it is also an option in paid search results. This may be an extremely useful tool when doing keyword research.
Continuing Google’s emphasis on the travel industry, the company has announced new hotel campaigns. Hotels have been extremely happy with the results of other changes made by the company as there has been a 65 percent increase in year-over-year results. Under the new program, those managing hotel marketing campaigns can group hotels by important attributes like brand, optimize for unique bidding dimensions like the length of stay, maximize return-on-investment by maximizing bookings using machine learning and use rich reporting to see how their properties are performing.
Sorry – nothing in this section this week.
John Giannandrea has been named Chief of Machine Learning and AI Strategy, according to his bio published on Apple’s site. Part of his job will be to reinvigorate Siri that has not excited the public like its competition. As co-founder of TellMe and semantic knowledge platform Metaweb, Giannandrea brings broad speech recognition and search experience to the job. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in 2017 that it was clear that the world was moving towards becoming AI-first.
Google has asked all webmasters to add nosniff response headers to their site(s) as it serves as a second line of defense against hackers stealing passwords and other sensitive information through vulnerabilities like Spectre & Meltdown. Furthermore, Google is asking that people make sure that content has the right “Content-Type” response headers. SecurityHeaders.com offers a free scan to see if security information is missing. If you operate a WordPress site there are a number of plugins to assist.
Make your plans to attend Pubcon where I will be speaking on search user intent. Pubcon will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from October 16 to October 18, 2018, so start clearing your calendar and book your hotel room.
Catch my latest piece on how machine learning can impact the world of SEO. In this piece we discuss some of the core principles of machine learning as well as the types that apply to Google’s algorithms, how they’re applied ad how you can use this knowledge to rank better.