Google agree with Bing that questions can have more than one answer
Filed under: The SERPs > Featured snippets
Google made an announcement recently on their blog about the launch of multifaceted featured snippets – arguably a response to the similar feature recently introduced on Bing. Featured snippets, which we discussed in the last installment of this series, are the inverted snippets (the answer appears above the page title and url, whereas usually it’s below), that appear above the other organic results on a page.
They’re addressing first what they call nuanced queries where they believe a question asked on their search engine, can have more than one intent. They give the example of garden needs full sun? which incidentally I’ve been unable to replicate! They believe the searchers could be interested in what plants require full sun, or whether their garden is in full sun or not.
As I say I haven’t been able to replicate this with the queries they mentioned in their post – and gave up trying to find my own examples after five minutes of Googling without success! So my suggested action is to keep an eye out for them – and maybe check the featured snippets you rank for, to see if Google have added an additional answer.
Google rewarding pogo-sticking
Filed under: The SERPs > People also search for
Google have changed the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to reward what SEO practitioners refer to as pogo-sticking. This is where the searcher performs a search, clicks on a snippet returned on the SERP, only to decide it was not the content they were looking for, and go back to the SERPs. Pogo-stickers will see something new on the SERPs now, below the result they clicked on, will be other suggestions under the heading People also search for.
People also search for has been around for a while but we’ve not seen it in this position before. It makes total sense to me why Google have done this and should be even more incentive for you to ensure the content you’re creating is ‘awesome’ and delivers on the required intent.
Try out some searches for the queries you’re ranking well for. Click on your content and then the back button.
Google make it harder to download images
Filed under: The SERPs > Image search
I’d wager that you’ve probably not noticed that the view image button has been removed from Google Image search. I’d wager that because it’s far easier to spot something new than notice something that’s been taken away! But taken away it has been. This is a move by Google to appease Getty Images who suggested that it was far too easy for people conducting an image search to download images – many of them being from their catalogue.
Now instead of being able to view an image, the user has to click through to the website, where they can still download the image, but this involves an additional step, which as I understand it has satisfied Getty’s requirements for now.
Short of conducting an image search to see for yourself, there are none!
Google send out a message about high-res favicons
Filed under: Website optimisation > Favicon
Google have emailed some website owners, via their Search Console properties, to say they should increase the resolution of their favicon. A favicon is the small area on the browser tab were the site owner can display their brand. They’ve said the favicon image should be at least 192 pixels square.
If you’ve not got a favicon on your website you should speak to your website developer/designer about creating one and adding it – at the required resolution of course! If you’re anything like me you’ll operate your laptop or desktop with multiple tabs open, so this provides an excellent opportunity to make yours stand out. If you don’t have a favicon these days, you’re in the minority.
If you’ve got a favicon, you should look into whether or not it’s high-res enough – once again, speak to your developer.
The mobile-first index is coming, but we’re still not sure when
Filed under: The SERPs > Mobile-first
A representative from Google announced at a conference last month that ‘a lot’ of sites are due to be moved to its mobile-first index over the next month or so. This in itself doesn’t mean too much, but it serves as a reminder that the mobile-search index is coming and that if you’re not ready for it, you might notice an impact when it finally lands.
They’ve not suggested recently when it’ll come into effect, but this is clearly another indication that they’re testing it further and the launch date is getting closer. The mobile-first index should serve the intents of people searching the web from mobile rather than desktop devices.
There’s much advice from SEOs about how to ensure your site is ready for the mobile-first index. If you have a mobile/responsive website – i.e. your site resizes nicely to the device it’s viewed on – then you’re probably ready as the pages are optimised for all devices. If you don’t have a mobile/responsive or mobile site, whilst Google will crawl your desktop site instead, there are many reasons why now might be the time to look into getting responsive.
If you do have a responsive website, but your site was designed for desktop users primarily, this might be the time to give your content and site architecture a rethink, as we all should be thinking about mobile users first.
This image by TeroVesalainen
You don’t have to ‘like’ tweets you want to read later any more
Filed under: PR/Community Building > Social
You no longer have to like a tweet to bookmark it as something you want to read at another time. Twitter have listened to their users and decided launching a bookmark feature would be a much better solution! I’m guessing this was a response to users wanting to read something at a later today but not wanting to give the tweet a vote, which a like tends to indicate!
If you use Twitter check this out on your feed. Click the share button and you’ll have three options – one will be to Add Tweet to Bookmarks. You can then access your bookmarks via your profile page.
Main image includes part of a photo taken by _Alicja_.