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Welcome to "Keeping Up With Google" - your go-to source to keep tabs on the recent happening of the world’s largest search engine! This month’s edition will discuss the Google updates of July and the first week of August.
This includes shedding light on what happens to the FAQs and how-to tags, how it impacts the Search Console reports, and site name updates. We also touched upon the details of holiday ads season updates for e-commerce owners and advertisers.
If you are a digital marketer, advertiser, business owner or someone invested in learning significant updates about Google, we are here to condense the information to help you stay on top of your game.
So, let's dive in and explore the latest happenings on Google!
Google Algorithm updates
Google often releases updates and features to help businesses make the most ROI out of their content and provide value to their audience. In that line, here are the top activities that happened in July and August.
August: FAQs and How-to update
The Google team has recently announced that it is reducing the appearance of How-to and FAQ-rich results in the SERP. In the blog published on August 8th, Google explained, "To provide a cleaner and more consistent search experience, we're changing how some rich result types are shown in Google's search results."
Further, they stated that FAQs would only be shown for “well-known, authoritative government and health websites” They also highlighted that this would be decided based on the eligibility of the sites.
Despite this new update, they mentioned that users “do not have to remove their structured data proactively…”
In contrast to FAQs, how-to results will not be entirely restricted from appearing in the search results. However, these rich results will only be shown for desktop users rather than for users on mobile devices.
If you’re driving most of your target audience via FAQs and How-to, this might impact your SEO performance. Moreover, after this update, users have reported that the Google search console does not yet record the CTR of these How-to and FAQ links.
Search Console Update
To address this misalignment, Google replied, “For both of these items, you may also notice this change in the Search Console reporting for your website. In particular, this will be visible in the metrics shown for FAQ and How-To search appearances in the performance report and the number of impressions reported in the appropriate enhancement reports.”
With that sorted, it might take time for Google Search Console to align the numbers to provide accurate reports to the users.
The volatility remains the same.
Since the March update rollout, websites have been facing dips and hikes in their performance now and then. Third-party Google tracking tools like Semrush, SERPmetrics, Mozcast, and many other popular platforms show high volatility for both desktop and mobile.
Since April, search engine volatility hasn’t shown any significant improvement. Hence, users are looking for an official update from Google to address this situation.
Recently, Google users have noticed a new ad format promoting local businesses relevant to search queries. This local campaign feature aims to help advertisers appear in front of their audience via Google Maps, SERP results, YouTube, and different platforms.
With this advancement, local businesses can run effective campaigns within their budget and make use of different formats and content to garner the viewer's attention.
Moreover, as the holiday season approaches, Google aims to make it easier for e-commerce brands and online sellers to reach a new customer base.
With the help of Google AI, you can now set your pickup later annotations, improve the way you appeal to your ideal customers, and grow both offline and online stores. These features were launched at the right time, leaving room for trial and error for e-commerce business owners and advertisers.
July: Sitename update
Google recently rolled out the site name feature for all devices in English, French, German, and Japanese. At times, users may not be able to use their preferred site name. In that case, you can use your domain or subdomain name as a site name. However, this development is still early, and Google addresses different obstacles that arise while using the site name feature.
Throughout the month, marketers and the Google team initiated discussions about SEO and ranking factors on Twitter. One of the standard replies that frequently sparked under every ranking-related tweet was the point of producing people-first content.
These days, many marketers and brands are competing for high search volume keywords and posting topics that help them rank higher. Google recommends prioritizing audience demands and needs to ensure your websites rank higher in the long run.
Another significant conversation in the forums was the overuse of keywords to rank higher. Even though keyword stuffing is an old-school trick to appeal to Google bots, many think it has become irrelevant for the current period.
However, this point by John Mueller made marketers and other content professionals wonder if keyword density ( not stuffing ) is worth considering as a ranking factor.
Since the broad core update, users have faced different struggles in improving their website performance. The update has rewarded a few websites, while others still need help to get back on track with SEO.
Twitter users are constantly engaged in active discussions to find answers to their queries that arise with every update. Even the new update regarding FAQs and How-to tags has left users wondering how to grab a featured snippet.
Moreover, events have yet to be lined up for this month with the recent wrap-up of Search Central Live that took place in Tokyo and Jakarta. However, watch the Keeping Up with Google series to get regular updates.