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.
How AI is powering a more helpful Google
At the recent Search On event, Google demonstrated how it’s using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve Search, which includes the process of detailing an additional ranking factor that considers passages from pages. This means Google can now index the webpage, as well as individual passages from pages (however, these are not indexed separately). According to Google, “by better understanding the relevancy of specific passages, not just the overall page, we can find that needle-in-a-haystack information you’re looking for.” This will affect seven percent of all search queries across all languages. Although this feature has not yet been fully rolled out, it is expected to go live later this year.
99% of Google’s indexing issues fully resolved
Google has announced that, outside of some minor cases, indexing issues regarding mobile-indexing and canonicalisation have been resolved. They estimate that in two weeks the remaining one percent of minor cases will be resolved.
Google Search gets deeper into the ‘real-world’ with Busyness, Duplex and AR in Maps
At the Search On event, Google made some announcements regarding how it will be making Search more sophisticated and user friendly. The company announced how it will be bringing more of the real world into Search. Google will be using Duplex to ensure up-to-date business information and real-time inventory at local retailers; live ‘busyness’ to help users decide whether and when to visit a place locally; and augmented reality (AR) to present users with Google My Business (GMB) profiles when pointing their smartphones at a physical storefront.
Google: BERT now used on almost every English query
Google also stated at the Search On event that it is using Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) in almost every English based query Search, up from 10% when they first announced their use of the algorithm for Search in October 2019. It’s important to note that search engine optimisers (SEOs) cannot optimise for BERT directly. It’s designed to help the algorithm better understand page content and improve relevancy of search results.
Site explorer: SEO-explore your site
Bing has announced that it is relaunching its Site Explorer with a completely new version of the tool. This will help SEOs and webmasters improve search performance on Bing by giving information on clicks, impressions, errors, warnings and indexing issues.
Google search quality guidelines update breaks down dictionary and encyclopedia results and more
Google has published another update to its Search Quality Raters guidelines documents, introducing seven new pages since its last update in December 2019. This latest update shows how dictionary and encyclopedia results are rated. Whilst these don’t impact results directly, they can give feedback that helps improve algorithms and help others understand what Google is looking for in a quality webpage.
Google Search Console temporarily drops request indexing feature
Via Twitter, Google has recently stated that it has disabled the “Request Indexing” feature of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) Inspection Tool. This may be tied to indexing bugs that Google has been fixing over the past few weeks. It’s important to bear this in mind if this was a tool you were planning to use to push content to Google.
Introducing the new Google Analytics
Google Analytics 4, the latest version of Google’s web analytics platform, is now available. This update includes features that focus on predictive insights, deeper integration with Google Ads, cross-device measurements, granular data controls and codeless event tracking. Part of the reason behind the release of the new Google Analytics is the expectation of a cookie-less future, where machine learning will fill in the gaps left by data privacy.