Every fortnight the Croud SEO team collate the latest news from relevant sources around the web so you don’t have to. Read through the top SEO news stories for this week below and follow us on Twitter or sign up to our newsletter.
Status update on the Google indexing bugs
Search Engine Land (SEL) gives an update on the current status of the Google indexing bugs that have been reported over the past couple of weeks. The mobile-indexing bug, which was causing failures to select any Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to index, is 99% resolved and has impacted 0.2% of all results. The canonical bug caused the URL inspector to show a URL as a duplicate and select canonicals different from it; fortunately, this has now been 55% resolved, impacting 0.02% of results. It’s important to be aware of these issues for any reporting where significant changes have been seen.
‘People Also Ask’ boxes: tips for ranking, optimizing and tracking
The ‘People Also Ask’ box has become increasingly prevalent across the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), reaching 49% of all searches. SEL looks at how to take advantage of this widespread feature to improve search performance; this includes a brief overview of the feature, how it has evolved, how to make it work for a site, how to get answers in the feature, and how to monitor its performance.
Google testing new ‘call history’ feature for Google My Business
Google appears to be testing a new ‘call history’ feature on Google My Business (GMB) with a small test group. It aims to let users review and respond to any missed calls that have come through Google Search and Maps, which are triggered by clicking the ‘call’ button on a business profile.
A new home for Web Stories on Discover
Google announced that it is introducing Web Stories (previously Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Stories) to Google Discover, which will open opportunities to improve search traffic for publishers. The changes introduce a visual carousel, similar to Facebook and Instagram’s stories feature, to Discover. This can be set up via Google AMP documentation and WordPress plugins.
Google My Business and reviews gain in 2020 Local Ranking Factors survey
SEL reviews the recent survey of local Search Engine Optimisations (SEOs) regarding local ranking factors. Key takeaways include that reviews and GMB to the Local Pack has increased in importance over time, whilst on-page signals, local links and citations have decreased in importance. However, this shifts when looking at local search results, where links and on-page play a strong role, whilst reviews and GMB have little influence. There is also a disparity between what drives clicks and what drives conversions; for the Local Pack, a higher ranking may drive increased clicks, but higher ratings will drive more conversions.
Google’s Gary Illyes explains what Caffeine does
In a recent podcast, Google’s Gary Illyes explained the functionality of their indexing system, Caffeine. It’s quite an involved process, from Googlebot crawl to indexation, but worth reviewing or listening to the full description, particularly when it comes to the importance of header tags.