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Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of SEO News, hitting the news highlights in the SEO world from the last week. Looks like there was a lot of focus on mobile SEO: from Google’s new ratings guide focusing much more on mobile, to Bing’s new mobile friendliness tool! All this and more below, so check it out!

Google News:

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  • Google Updates Its Quality Rater’s Guide With A Heightened Focus On Mobile – Google has released its latest Quality Rater’s Guide, announced back in October, and it features an unsurprising new focus on mobile site quality. While emphasis has been added on local search and mobile site quality, the biggest addition seems to be a “Needs Met Rating,” which rates mobile sites based on how well they meet the needs of the searcher. The guide goes all the way from “Fully Meets” to “Fails to Meet” with many levels in-between, and covers a wide array of issues to look for. It’s a pretty fascinating read, so be sure to check it out.
  • Google Working To Fix Outdated Search Console Data – A lot of y’all might have noticed that traffic data in Google’s Search Console might’ve stopped on 11/11, and you’re not alone, because it’s affecting everyone. While this happened a few weeks back, and Google said they fixed it, the lack of data is rearing its ugly head again. Google is aware of the issue, thankfully, and is working on a fix which should be implemented by week’s end.
  • Google Launches App Streaming, Strives To Create Web-Like Experience With Apps – One thing that’s been concerning both search engines and search engine marketers are the rise of using apps rather than the browser for visiting specific web properties as well as conducting searches. Google is taking a step to rectify this with a new capability that allows users to effectively “stream” apps without having to install them. Right now, when users of certain apps like The Weather Channel and Chimani, do a search via Google on an Android 5 or 6-enabled phone, you’ll get this new experience. It’s currently a pilot program that if expanded, could drastically change how we use the web, apps, and more. We’ll keep you apprised as to how this goes, but I’m excited about the idea of it all.

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  • Schema Data Not Used In Featured Snippets. Yet. – A little while back, it was reported that schema can help with the creation of featured snippets, at least according to Google’s John Mueller. Recently, however, Google’s Gary Illyes said that Google doesn’t use schema for its featured snippets right now. “Right now” is what a lot of folks are clinging too, and the fact that he needed to correct an earlier statement makes a lot of folks think this is something Google will eventually implement. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.

Other News:mobile1

  • Bing Launches Mobile-Friendliness Tool – Around a year ago or so, Google launched their popular and useful Mobile-Friendly testing tool, which a lot of us folks use regularly to test a site’s…well, mobile-friendliness. Now, Bing – who’ve stated they’re working on their own mobile algorithm – have launched their own mobile testing tool. The tool is slick, but doesn’t seem to offer as detailed info as Google’s tool. Regardless, this could be a good way to back up findings from Google’s tool if, say, a client needs convincing about their site becoming mobile friendly.

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