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.
Microsoft now allows anyone to create a brand page on Bing
Microsoft has launched Bing Pages, aimed at enabling businesses and individuals to manage branding on Bing/Outlook. This gives greater control over the equivalent of the knowledge panel results in Google and also allows for social media posts to be promoted for free, as well as designating up to three categories and a target geographic region.
Google handles reconsideration requests in batches
Google John Mueller has said that reconsideration requests are handled in batches, rather than when they receive them; these are usually grouped into categories of language or type.
A new way to find clothes, shoes and more on Search
Google announced it is rolling out ‘Popular Products’ in mobile search. The feature identifies popular products from a merchant and shows them in a single listing, with filters by style, department and size type, with links to the retailer’s websites. From a user perspective it enhances the in product search experience and is likely a response to increased competition from Amazon.
Google rolling out desktop search redesign with black “Ad” label, favicons for organic results
Google has officially announced on Twitter it is updating the desktop search results page this week, which includes favicons for the organic results, black ad labels for the paid listings, as well as repositioning the URL breadcrumbs to above the title. The design has been in use for mobile since May, but with its roll out on desktop may now impact further traffic due potential impacts on CTR.
Google January 2020 Core Update rolling out later today
Google has announced on Twitter it is rolling out a core update on 13th January 2020. This is a routine update which occurs every few months and their advice remains the same: you can’t do anything to recover, except build great content and focus on user experience.
Google rolls out Business Provider plan to replace the Trusted Verifier program
Google has started rolling out their Business Provider program to replace the Trusted Verifier Program for Google My Business outreach. This program specifically excludes agencies, SEOs and re-sellers, instead it aims to onboard “groups or organisations handling large amounts of business data”, like banks, car-dealers, delivery and distribution companies etc.
Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam
Yelp is making a significant effort to cut down spam and review fraud, in particular “review rings” where legitimate forums sites, like Quora, are used to link to other site hidden from search engines selling Yelp reviews. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Tripadvisor and Yelp are littered with fake reviews which is causing consumer trust to slip in these platforms.
2020 Local SEO Success: How to feed, fight, and flip Google
Moz released a guide to improving local SEO success in 2020. This includes introducing more local based content across all formats (text, citations, images, video, social, reviews), being aware of the myriad of pitfalls with Google local such as spam, hijacking, reputation attacks etc. and being prepared to fight Google where possible, and finally trying to transfer customers gained on Google Local away from the platform with email lists, listening to their needs and providing a great experience.