An interesting hodge-podge of news this week, my friends. From a possible algorithmic update to mobile Chrome being one of the biggest sources of referral traffic, there’s quite a bit to talk about this week. Enjoy!
- Possibly Algorithm Update On 3/27? – According to chatter and SERP volatility tools such as MozCast and SEMRush, there might’ve been some sort of algorithmic update around 3/27. Then again this could just be one of Google’s normal fluctuations, as they’ve claimed to do several updates on a daily basis. If more comes of this, we’ll let you know.
- Mueller Shoots Down Idea That Domain Authority Is A Ranking Signal – In a recent Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Google’s John Mueller was asked, “Does Domain Authority exist?” To which he answered, “Of course it exists, it’s a tool by Moz.” Snideness aside, this seems to debunk what many have surmised for a long time, that Google uses any kind of domain authority number as a ranking signal.
- Google Doesn’t See Text-To-Code Ratio As A Ranking Factor – Shooting down another long-standing theory by some this week, John Mueller also rebuked the notion of some sort of text-to-code ratio as a ranking factor. “We don’t use anything like text to code when it comes to Google search. We especially pick up the visible content on the page and we use that.” said Mueller in a recent Google Hangout.
- Google Does Use Structured Data As A Mild Ranking Signal – In that same Reddit AMA mentioned above, Google John Mueller reiterated that Google does use schema markup as a ranking signal, saying, “we do use [structured data] to understand a page better, it helps us to rank it better where it’s relevant.” He then went on to say that it alone won’t get you to the top of the SERPs, however.
- Mobile Chrome Article Recommendations Now Fourth-Biggest Source Of Referral Traffic – A recent report from Chartbeat reports that Google’s mobile Chrome article recommendations feature is now the fourth-highest source of referral traffic, only behind Twitter, Facebook, and Google’s own search engine. Apparently the number is consistently growing, beginning 2017 at fifteen million visits a month and climbing to 341 million visits by the end of the year. This is also only on Android.
- Fetch & Render Tool Apparently Working Properly Again – For a little while now, Google put a limit on the Fetch and Render tool inside Search Console to help avoid spamming. However, now many are reporting that those limits have been removed, and you can submit links to the tool to your heart’s content.
- Google Maps Now Shows Active Shooter Situations – As I write this, yesterday there was a shooting at YouTube Headquarters in northern California. Apparently, this was also the first time Google Maps appeared to show new functionality highlighting information relating to an active shooting incident. Clicking on the icon in the map will bring up the latest confirmed information about the shooting, though it’s unclear where the information is pulling from, as there’s been no official announcement of this. Hopefully it’s a feature we’ll very rarely see.