Today In SEO & Search News: March 3, 2017

Today In SEO & Search News: March 3, 2017

It’s been another busy period in search. Skipping yesterday’s update to enjoy my 15th wedding anniversary means we have even more to cover today. So let’s get started …

Map Maker Is Closing March 31
We were first informed of graduating of Map Maker to Google Maps back in November however I just got my email reminder from Google and thought I’d remind our valued readers.  Map Maker was a map editing feature/area of Google Maps.  Most people didn’t know about it but it was handy and allowed users to submit or edit locations quickly and easily. A lot of the functions of Map Maker are being moved over to Google Maps directly. This will open it up to a whole lot more people that didn’t know Map Maker existed and likely a lot more spam.  Hopefully Google’s ready for it.

Dwell Time’s Impact On Rankings

Wordstream position impact on CTR over time
Larry Kim wrote a very good piece over on Search Engine Journal on the impact of dwell time and user engagement on rankings.    In the piece he illustrates how changes in the average time on site for organic pages can indicate the approach Google is taking and evidence their success in pulling up only the best content for users and demoting pages that should not be ranking.

Improved Google Location Tracking
Andy Taylor over on Search Engine Land discusses the ability of Google to track users right down to the Zip Code level and what this means for AdWords advertisers. He brings up some very interesting points and uses for this information. One of the point he makes that I love is how powerful Google average household income targeting is when combined with location data.  We all know where the richest people live in our cities and if we can target them more accurately that can yield huge benefits for some sectors.

Twitter Adds new Filters
Danny Goodwin over on Search engine Journal covered the introduction of three new advanced filters on Twitter.  You can now filter:

  • accounts the use the default egg avatar
  • haven’t verified their email address
  • haven’t confirmed their phone number

There are also some new timeline filters and a few changes on Twitter’s end discussed in the article.   Recommended reading if you use Twitter at all.

Google Testing Longer Expanded Text Ads
Ginny Marvin over at Search Engine Land covered the discovery of a second description line in the Expanded Text Ads editing interface by Valeria Celletti.  There’s not information as to what it’s use will be and Google isn’t saying presently but it will be interesting.  If I’m to pull out my crystal ball I’d say it’s to add those second lines to the ads and shove those organic results just a little but further down.  For those who aren’t seeing it yet (like me) here’s what it looks like:

Second description line of text for Expanded Text Ads.

AMP Messing Up Analytics
Danny Sullivan over on Search Engine Land covered a known issue with AMP – that it can cause overcounting of visitors by dividing a single session into multiples.  The article is based on a long and technical piece by Christian Oliveira and summarizes it well. I won’t get into the details here as it’s too big a subject to summarize in a sentence or two but if you’re using AMP or planing to it’s a required read.

Dr. Pete Explains 301, 301 And Canonicals
In today’s Whiteboard Friday Dr. Pete Myers explains the different between 301 redirects, 302s and canonicals and more importantly, what they do for visitors and how they’re different in the eyes of Google. It builds on the comment by John Mueller that 302 redirects pass PageRank and sending SEOs off claiming that a 301 and 302 are the same thing (or as he puts it “cats are dogs!!”).  Definitely a worthwhile watch so here it is:

Google Ad Labels Over Time

Google ad labels over timeGinny Marvin over at Search Engine Land did an interesting piece illustrating how the Google Ad Label (which has undergone a ton of testing recently) has changed over time.  Highly recommended reading if your an organic SEO as the piece also gets into how Google is monetizing their above-the-fold area.

An New Pixel Phone Coming Soon
Over on Engadget they covered the announcement by VP of hardware at Google Rick Osterloh that you can “count on” a Pixel 2 coming this year and that it will stay premium. They point out that the launch is likely on October based on past patterns but not on any statement by Google.

Google Home To Support Multiple Users
The Verge covered some signs that the latest version of Google Home’s app suggests that the company is working on multi-user support.  This is obviously a logical and necessary step for the personal assistants as any use by anyone in my house right now impacts my own account meaning that the data they collect on me on my Google Home is far from accurate.  This will also add security to the system with other users not being able to order items on my account, etc.

And that’s it for the day.  Enjoy your weekend and we’ll be back Monday with another update on all that’s happening in search and SEO.