Each week 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.
Googlebot evergreen rendering in our testing tools
Google has announced that it’s testing tools within Google Search Console or developer portal now use the new evergreen Googlebot for crawling. This means the tools will now show webmasters what Googlebot is seeing today, making them more reliable – previously the tools were using an old version of the Googlebot and not showing exactly what the current Googlebot was seeing.
Pick an idea and make it happen with Google Images
Google has updated the Image Search interface to a new design which includes a new image preview box – this gives more details about the image as well as related images, and sticks to the right allowing the user to scroll through to see more images. This gives more prominence to the image and may affect traffic through Image Search, so it’s worth bearing in mind for reporting purposes.
Local Scroll Pack Now Showing Ads
Google appears to be testing a new design for the local carousel pack that includes less local results and includes an ad – at first glance, it only includes one and a half results. Changes such as this may impact traffic through the local pack, as fewer results are being shown to the user in this design version. This appears to be an experiment so may not be permanent, however.
Finding content marketing opportunities that influence search performance
SEL looks at how to find content marketing opportunities that can improve search performance. This includes looking at the existing content and identifying the top-performing pages to promote, or re-purpose and update to capture other search opportunities, and finding opportunities for content creation through niche analysis and competitor research.
Google Search Console doesn’t show data for featured snippets read by Google Assistant
Google’s John Mueller has explained that voice searches through Google Assistant that are answered verbally do not show up as an impression in Google Search Console. This potentially means that webmasters can miss some queries, query volume and visibility into those terms potential customers/clients are using to find content; if voice becomes more common this may have a greater impact.
Google My Business Insights Study
Research from BrightLocal has indicated a link between Google My Business photo quantity and search performance. The study analysed 581k images across 15k GMB listings and found that those with more photos got more clicks, calls and direction requests, they also received more views on search and maps, as well as increased direct and discovery searches. Though correlation is not causation, there does appear to be a strong link between the two.
Finding fresh, helpful information through featured snippets
Google announced that it will launch a new algorithm aimed at better understanding useful and timely information – this aims to make sure Google answers queries not just accurately but also with the latest information.
What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates
Google has posted information on improving a site’s ranking for future core updates. Whilst it centres around ensuring that the site offers the best content possible, the post includes a list of questions to consider when evaluating the content, such as: is it original? Does it provide insightful analysis or is it interesting beyond the obvious? Does it draw on other sources or does it simply copy or rewrite those sources, instead of being original?