Every fortnight, the Croud SEO team collates 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.
Timing for bringing page experience to Google Search
Google has announced that its new Page Experience update will be launching next May, which introduces a new set of ranking factors called Core Web Vitals. This gives webmasters six months to prepare in terms of page load times, mobile-friendly experience, Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), intrusive interstitials and content repositions (in regards to how a page loads). The update will also include visual indicators of user experience on search engine results pages (SERPs), in the form of icons on labels.
What to evaluate ahead of Google’s Page Experience update
Search Engine Land (SEL) recently released a guide on what to focus on before the upcoming Google Page Experience update. This includes evaluating poor performing pages, not just in terms of speed, but also in terms of engagement. The guide also suggests assessing the accelerated mobile pages (AMP) alternative and the impacts visual indicators will have to click-through-rate (CTR).
Google investigating missing manual actions
Google is investigating widespread reports of missing manual actions from Search Console. If this has occurred on any sites, this is likely a bug and the manual action has not been removed (so don’t celebrate!).
Google migrates the disavow link tool to new Search Console
Google recently announced that they’ve migrated the old disavow link tool to the new Search Console. The tool now lets users download a disavow file as a text file, and the upload file error reports are no longer limited to ten errors.
Hijacked Google My Business listings on the rise
There appears to be a growing number of fraudulent Google My Business (GMB) listings, with the hijacked profiles being used to sell leads to other businesses. This mostly affects small businesses, as this can have a negative impact on their sales, as well as their reputation.
Is your website at risk for an ADA accessibility lawsuit?
With page experience set to become a ranking factor in May 2021, it’s worth exploring whether or not a site meets the various accessibility guidelines within the US – some of which are enshrined in law under the American Disability Act (ADA). SEL reviews which sectors are most at risk of lawsuits, as well as what issues need to be resolved to ensure ADA compliance.
More from Google on passage indexing vs featured snippets
In a recent interview, Google’s Search Developer Advocate, Martin Splitt, offers more insight on the differences between passage indexing and featured snippets, and provides clear examples to differentiate the two. As of lately, passage indexing has been a hot topic of discussion, so it’s worth giving the interview a watch – particularly at the 6:34 mark for this explanation.
Google Search Ranking algorithm update November 17th & 18th?
There has been some evidence of position fluctuations across Google, potentially indicating an algorithm update. Whilst it doesn’t appear to be at a great scale, it is still important to bear this in mind for any reporting across the period of 17th and 18th November, as some webmasters have reported large impacts.