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.
Google December 2020 core update rolling out
Google recently announced that it will be rolling out a new core algorithm update, creatively named the December 2020 Core Update. It’s important to bear this in mind if you begin to see noticeable ranking fluctuations across the December period, as the update may have had an impact. The last update in May 2020 had a broad impact, taking several weeks to fully roll out. Whilst Google states there aren’t any specific actions that can help with recovery from a negative impact, they have provided some advice and questions to consider.
Core Web Vitals & Page Experience FAQs
Google has published an FAQ regarding its Core Web Vitals and Page Experience update, which is pegged to roll out in May 2021. The FAQ shares that page experience will only be a signal for ranking within mobile search, and accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are likely to meet the recommended Web Vitals threshold. Additionally, it notes that Core Web Vitals measure the end-user experience, and won’t take into account technologies and architecture used in delivering that experience.
Online shopping hits new records over the holiday weekend
The shift towards ecommerce reached new levels in the US this Black Friday, with a 22% increase in year-over-year online sales. The total revenue from online shopping amounted to $9 billion, and 40% of these sales came through smartphones. This growth was seen across small businesses as well, who saw a 500% increase in revenue compared to a typical October day.
The problem with the ‘structured content’ mindset
Search Engine Land argues that as Google becomes better at understanding content, search engine optimisation (SEO) experts need to think beyond structuring pages according to SEO tool metrics, and focus on real readability metrics instead. SEO tools won’t generally focus on writing metrics; this means that content can score high for classical readability metrics but poorly for SEO tool metrics, leading to poor performing content overall.
Google featured snippets with data overlay links to other sites
Google appears to be testing multiple contextual links within a single featured snippet. This results in the single snippet not only including a link to the content’s publisher, but also displaying other links on phrases that Google thinks need further explanation.
New and improved crawl stats for your site
Google has announced it is launching a new version of its crawl stats report, which features the total number of requests grouped by response code, file type, purpose and Googlebot type. It will also provide detailed host status information, example uniform resource locators (URLs) where site requests have occurred, and a detailed summary for properties with multiple hosts and support for domain properties.
Yes, anchor text is a Google ranking factor
In an interview with Google’s John Mueller, he stated that anchor text was used by Google as a ranking factor. The anchor text helps the search engine rank a page for what it indicates about the page.