Wow you guys, we got actual news this week, and quite a bit of it too! Sure, it’s all Google-related, but that’s really to be expected these days. Enjoy!
- Google Rolls Out Updated Search Console To Everyone – Google recently announced that the new version of its Search Console – which had previously been available just to select beta testers – will now roll out for everyone. New features include “issue tracking functionality” in the Index Coverage report, a revised Search Performance report, and most importantly, an increase to sixteen months of data. No word on when this will be available to everyone, but webmasters will be alerted when it’s available for them.
- Google PageSpeed Test Now Uses Real Data From Chrome Users – Google has made significant changes to its PageSpeed Insights testing tool. The tool now only not only uses real-world data from the Chrome user experience report, but also shows how quickly your site will load based on this data. This gives users and webmasters more insight as to why their site will score highly even if their site is on the slower side.
- Google Algorithmic Shifts Continue Into January – According to chatter from webmasters, as well as data from various SERP volatility tools, Google’s algorithm likely continued to undergo updates/changes into early January, causing many webmasters to see spikes in traffic both positively and negatively. While Google did confirm algorithmic updates in December, no word has been given about more recent updates as of yet.
- Mueller Gives Tips On Optimizing For Voice Search – In a recent Google Hangout, Google’s John Mueller gave some actionable tips on how to better optimize your site for voice search, which is becoming more and more important. Tips include using structured data, voice snippets, and making your content as easy to read and useful as possible. Be sure to check out the Hangout video for all of the tips.
- Assistant Now In More Than 400 Million Devices – Building upon the last story, Google announced that their Assistant is now on over 400 million devices. Of course, most of those are smartphones, followed by tablets and smart TVs. Numbers for their Home set of speakers weren’t given. Since Google has price-matched Amazon for the cost of their Echo speakers, further increases in devices with Assistant seem very likely.
- Google Hopes To Show Publisher URLs Rather Than AMP URLs Later This Year – One of the biggest complaints about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is that the browser bar shows the AMP-based URL rather than the originating article’s URL. Google says they’re making changes to AMP so that, later this year sometime, AMP pages will return the actual published URL of the story in question, which should be a boon for publishers.
- Google My Business Testing Video Uploads – It’s being reported that some Google My Business users now have an option to upload video directly to their profile pages, which was removed some years back. No word yet on whether this is a limited test or something which will be rolled out to all users, but we’ll keep you posted.