Hello everyone, we’re back with the latest Search Marketing Round-up for August 2016. It’s been a news-worthy month, so let’s jump right into the key developments which you can’t afford to miss!
Google has updated it’s schema guidelines for local business reviews
During August, Google updated it’s Schema guidelines for local business reviews. Google has added some additional new rules from the previous version of the local business review schema guidelines; and has also disallowed a few practices which had previously been acceptable.
An example is that Google has stated businesses should only use Schema markup for reviews, “that have been directly produced by your site.” This means that you should not include use Schema markup for third-party reviews on your website, otherwise it will be a violation of Google’s new guidelines.
Google is encouraging more and more reviews to be submitted to improve the local search results. However, with the new updated guidelines, you’d be wise to refer to them and ensure that your business is following them. You can read the revised Google local business review Schema guidelines here.
The Google intrusive interstitials mobile penalty coming January 10th 2017 (It applies at page level)
Google has announced they will be adding an algorithmic penalty to help users easily access content on mobile. This new algorithm will launch on January 10, 2017, and it demote mobile pages that have “intrusive” interstitials that interfere with the user’s experience. Google has offered some examples of techniques which can make content less accessible to a user on mobile:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
Barry Schwartz covered in his post on Search Engine Roundtable that this new algorithm would in fact be replacing the app interstitials ad penalty which launched in September 2015.
Gary Illyes stated on Twitter that, “the algorithm affects individual pages, not whole sites.” This means that the interstitial mobile penalty will be on a page-by-page basis – rather than penalising an entire website.
Google are removing the ‘mobile-friendly’ label from the SERPs
It’s been two years since Google added the mobile-friendly label in the SERPs to help users find pages where the content was optimised and readable without zooming on a mobile device.
Google has stated that since then, the ecosystem has evolved and that a recent study found that 85% of pages are now mobile-friendly.
In order to keep the search results uncluttered, Google have announced they will be removing the ‘mobile-friendly’ label. However, mobile-friendly criteria will still continue to be an important ranking signal.
Google have started to support HSTS, which can be used to help migration from HTTP to HTTPS.
Despite this being a round-up of August, we thought to include the announcement from Google on July 29th that the www.google.com domain is implementing HTTP Strict Transport Security – HSTS for short.
This automatically means that users who may have accidentally navigated to an secure HTTP URL are converted to the secure HTTPS URL. Google states that encripting data in transit helps to keep user data secure, and they’ll continue to extend it to more domains and Google products in the coming months.
Google reports that the Google index status in the Search Console report is broken
On August 22nd, Gary Illyes confirmed that the Google Search Console’s Index Status report is broken. Webmasters were noticing that the report has not been growing in number as they make more webpages available for indexation. The Sitemap report index count and the Index Status report metrics were not aligned, which signaled an error with the reports.
There is not yet an estimated time in which this report will be fixed, so in the interim, you can rely on the Sitemap index report in Google Search Console.
John E Lincoln reveals the 4 daily habits of the most successful SEOs
John E Lincoln wrote a post on Search Engine Land which condensed the four key daily habits of successful SEOs. You can check out the four key habits below:
- They study all of the latest SEO news & strategy ‘like crazy’.
- They review what is providing success using analytics and ranking tools.
- They act instead of simply talking or developing strategy.
- They are constantly seeking to improve their skills and websites.
So there you have it, check out John E Lincoln’s recommendations on Search Engine Land for further details.
Thanks again for reading The Search Marketing Roundup – Best of August 2016. We hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on the latest SEO news and trends. As ever, please let us know your thoughts on anything we’ve covered, or let us know if we’ve missed anything!