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.
GMB usage declines, but poised to become more powerful post-coronavirus
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the usage of GMB has changed with a shift away from physical business searches to online searches, though the queries still remain local. Whilst direction based queries have dropped, call and website queries have been impacted less so. GMB has increasingly become a useful tool for informing customers about the state of business and this has become more prevalent during the lock down.
Google Search Console reports may have changed
Google is reporting that there may be changes within the Search Console reports relating to AMP, mobile usability, speed and rich results. All have been updated to improve performance, but this may cause inconsistencies when viewing the report and comparing different time frames, so it’s worth being aware of.
Getting to great matches in Google Search
Google announced it is launching a new feature within the SERPs that will help rephrase a query to help the user find better results. This will be seen within performance reports as a specific query, if it does, you may need to rethink the strategy for those keywords and see if they are converting on site.
Google not indexing new content again
Google appears to not be indexing fresh content again – they are aware of the issue, but worth bearing in mind if new content is not appearing in the index.
Google testing Question Hub in the U.S. for COVID-related queries
Google is testing a Question Hub in the SERPs for COVID-19 searches within the US. This aims to fill content gaps left by the search engine, whereby users can submit queries manually to inform the search engines they couldn’t find what they were looking for.
How COVID-19 may change the SERP forever
SEL looks at how the pandemic may impact the SERP in the long term. This includes the amount of raw data presented, left hand menu functionality and how user input is ironing out issues with personalisation. These features have the potential to become permanent fixtures to the SERP.
Google trends in COVID-19 times and how to use them in your content strategy
SEW looks at trends in Google during the outbreak and how they can be used to build a content strategy; this includes leveraging increases to terms such as “How to look good on Zoom” and “How to cut your hair” and the like which have seen increases over the period.