New Google Search Console ‘beta’ available to all
Filed under: Reporting > Google Search Console
Google have rolled out a new Search Console platform to all users with existing Search Console properties. The new Search Console, which you can find a link to via your existing property, provides amongst other things, up to 16 months of data about your search traffic (Performance report, choose ‘Full duration’) – where before its release, we’ve only had access to 90 days of data. In addition we can now use additional filters to learn more about the performance of content in organic search.
We expect many more features to be rolled out over the course of the year and for the new platform to eventually replace the old. Until then they’ll exist side-by-side.
Take a look around the reports on your new Search Console.
Google published some new information about featured snippets
Filed under: The SERPs > Featured snippets
Featured snippets are the results that appear at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for certain queries, where Google flip the snippet on its head and lead with the answer, followed by the title and url.
There are two schools of thought about snippets, one side suggest this is Google’s way to stop people leaving their engine (users don’t need to click through if the answer they’re looking for is right there), the other says there’s no better position to target to earn clicks and showcase your brand.
if you don’t know anything about featured snippets, the overview provided by Danny Sullivan (first reference below) is definitely worth a read. The second is an opinion piece on how to rank for featured snippets.
Pagespeed to be a factor in mobile search ranking
Filed under: Website optimisation > Performance
At some stage this year Google will roll out their mobile-first index. To now, their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) have been based on how content is optimised for desktops. Google have decided that since more and more searches are taking place on mobile devices, that the SERPs should be based on how content is optimised for mobile. This development was first talked about towards the end of 2016.
What Google announced last month was that pagespeed – the time it takes for your content to load in the users browser – will definitely be a ranking factor, from July 2018.
Basically this is just a reminder from Google that having a site that performs well on all devices will only help the chances of your content ranking. It makes sense. If Google want to deliver a good experience to its users, the content they decide should rank, has to load quickly.
Check the speed your site loads on desktop and mobile using your page speed insights tool of choice!
New features in Google Analytics
Filed under: Reporting > Google Analytics
At the start of the year Google introduced some new features to its analytics platform. They have decided to promote data related to ‘users’ (the number of people that visit your site within a defined period), above ‘sessions’ (the number of visits within that period) as the more important metric, and as such have enabled to option to reflect this in your reports.
There’s detail about the other new features in the link below.
Have a look at your Google Analytics property to see how users are not reported ahead of sessions, and read the article below for more information about the recent changes.
You can now upload video to your Google My Business profile
Filed under: Local SEO > Google My Business optimisation
In addition to uploading photos to your Google My Business listing, which are accessible via your Knowledge Graph on the SERPs (for your brand search), you can now upload video content.
I’m yet to see an example of this on the SERPs, and (at the time of writing) don’t have video content of my own to upload, but if you do, and it shows on the SERPs, please let me know!
If you have video content you want to promote on your Knowledge Panel, login to your Google My Business profile, click on Photos and upload.
When did your business first open?
Some businesses are being asked, via a prompt on their Google My Business dashboard of the SERPs (below), to add the date their business first opened. There’s speculation as to what will be done with this information, but if you’re looking to promote the length of time you’ve been in business, then it feels like it would make sense to complete this field.
Do a brand search for your business on Google. Assuming you’re logged in, with your Google My Business details, you should see the prompt above on the panel on the left hand side.
Main image by smarko