4 min

SEO & Content Marketing Trends: 2/20

Amanda Schack

Google Search Console To Aggregate Data By Google-Selected Canonical

  • Google announced that in March/April 2019, Search Console will transition to assigning search metrics to the Google-selected canonical URL, rather than the URL referred to by Google Search.
  • Google’s objective in this transition is to aggregate all the data related to the same piece of content and ultimately, have the property level data represent the bigger picture.
  • Google also highlights that this change should improve the AMP and Mobile-Friendly reports by showing more data.
  • There will be a shift in the appearance of the data, and in several cases, traffic may drop to zero.

“AMP property traffic will drop to zero in most cases (except for self-canonical pages) you will still be able to filter by device, search appearance (such as AMP), country, and other dimensions without losing important information about your traffic”

  • What should you be thinking about now? Consider how the changes to Search Console will impact your data and modify any of your custom reports before this update rolls out to ensure a seamless transition. Additionally, use the URL inspection tool to learn the Google-selected canonical URL; Google can select a different canonical than the one identified in your HTML.

“8 Billion Voice Assistants by 2023”

  • To put that aggressive projection into perspective, there are currently roughly 7.7 billion people in the world. This projection incorporates an annual compound growth of more than 35%. So where does this confidence come from? And how did Juniper Research possibly calculate this?
  • The estimate relies on the continued expansion and dominance of smartphones, coupled with the penetration of virtual assistants into TV and a range of applications.
  • In late 2018, Amazon announced that its Alexa assistant is now live on 20k devices.
  • At CES 2019, Amazon and Google showcased their voice assistants (Alexa and Google Assistant respectively) on a variety of devices from the kitchen to the bathroom to the car- essentially revealing the smart home and automotive industry as the targets for expansion.
  • Why does it matter? If it wasn’t obvious already, marketers need to have a voice search strategy. Voice search is going to make SEO even more competitive, as Google will simply pick one result to read out loud, and thus, eliminate the step where the user is presented with numerous SERP results before clicking one. The expansion of voice assistants creates significantly more content marketing opportunities, but marketers should learn how to navigate these opportunities across the different devices. Some starting suggestions for voice search are to keep in mind intent and offer content that is more conversational in nature as well as to adapt content to the various interfaces and devices. 
Number of items purchased with smart speaker

Source: NPR/Edison Research (2018)

New Feature: Access & Reply To Google Maps Reviews On Your Desktop

  • Previously, in order to comment on a review, a business owner was required to open up the mobile app or access the GMB center. On February 12, Google released a feature that allows business owners to reply to reviews directly from the Google Maps listing on their desktop.
  • The process is easy! The business owner must have a GMB verified listing. From there simply access Google Maps-> search and find your business->click reviews, and there you have it, now you can reply.
  • Why does this matter? Reviews provide authentic content and reassurance on the quality of the products or services. According to a study by Social Toaster, “70% of consumers will check UGC reviews or rating before deciding to buy a product and at least 41% of them will read four to seven UGC to gain information on your product.” With the consumer emphasis and reliance on reviews, it is extremely important to respond to reviews and keep consumers engaged. This update gives you more access to monitor reviews and respond to each review promptly.
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