We’re back with the latest Search Marketing Roundup, summarising all of the key developments in the search industry throughout the month of June 2017.
From Google announcements on new initiatives for employers and job seekers, to possible major algorithm updates, it is clear that June has been a turbulent month in the industry.
Google announces ‘Google for Jobs’
Google has announced ‘Google for Jobs’ at Google I/O which is a new initiative to help job seekers and employers – the main aim is to improve the experience for job seekers on Google Search.
Google gave an example of how the improved SERPs will look once launched. For queries such as “entry level jobs in DC”, there will be job listings previewed in the SERPs. The user would then have the option to expand the preview to view comprehensive details about each listing.
Google stated that this feature will bring numerous benefits to employers and site owners with job content:
- Prominent place in Search results: Job postings will be eligible to be displayed in the new job search feature on Google, including logo, reviews, rating and job details.
- More, motivated applicants: Job seekers will be able to filter based on various criteria such as location, or job title. This means that it is likely there will be more applicants who are looking exactly for that job. (This, in turn, means that applicants should be better matched to the jobs returned in their results, as they are searching in a more exact way.)
- Increased chances of discovery and conversion: Job seekers will have a new way to interact with job postings and click through to an employer or job site’s available job inventory.
The implementation process will involve webmasters having to do the following two steps:
- Mark up all job listings with Job Posting structured data.
- Submit a sitemap (or an RSS or Atom feed) with a <lastmod> date for each listing.
SERP fluctuations increase towards the end of June creating suspicions of major algorithm update
Barry Schwartz suspects that there has been a major algorithm update starting sometime around Sunday, June 25. Google has not technically confirmed it, but John Muller responded with “We make updates all the time”, when asked about the speculation surrounding another major Google algorithm update.
Webmasters should be reviewing their keyword rankings and traffic levels to see how the sites that they manage have been affected.
Google Posts are now live for Google Business users
Google Posts is now available to all small business, and the content published will appear in both Google search and maps results.
You can navigate to your GMB account and click on “Posts” from the left-side of the menu. From here, you can write a post containing up to 300 words, as well an image and an event title.
Users can add call to action buttons such as “Learn more”, “Reserve”, “Buy”, “Get offer” and “Sign up”.
Google Posts will enable businesses to:
- Share current promotions and daily specials that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
- Tell customers about upcoming events at your location.
- Showcase your top products, and highlight new arrivals.
- Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter or learn more about latest. Users can even buy a specific product from your website.
Search Engine Land release 2017 edition of The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors
Search Engine Land have released the 2017 edition of The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. The factors which have increased in importance this year are site speed, direct answers and mobile, whilst factors relating to site identity and personal social sharing have been removed entirely.
Ranking factors with weights increased:
- Am: Mobile – Google is continuing to push to ensure all content is mobile-friendly, whilst 50% of all searches are now conducted on mobile. With Google’s mobile-first index arriving in 2018 as well, it has resulted in the mobile factor increasing by +3.
- As: Speed – Page speed is being continuously emphasised as important by Google, along with a widely implemented AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) format that supports it. There is so much attention given to speed, so it has increased in weight from +1 to +2.
- Ca: Direct Answers – There is a growing number of search queries on Google and Bing which are returning direct answers above the normal organic listings. Generally, SEOs are reporting that there are driving an increase in organic traffic when achieved, and are becoming an increasingly important objective of any SEO strategy. In response to this, they have increased from +1 to +2.
Ranking factors with weights decreased:
- Th: History – Google is downplaying the importance of a site’s history as an important ranking factor.
- Ph: History – A user’s personal search history has been reduced in importance in strong rankings.
As always, please feel free to let us know of key updates that we may have missed in June. We look forward to seeing you again soon!