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.
E-commerce explodes: 45% growth in Q2
Whilst the world has seen years of economic growth disappear as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce has seen huge growth in the US, with e-commerce retail growing from 11.8% of total retail in Q1 to 16.1% in Q2. If this growth continues, omni-channel retailers will need to be prepared to see customers go online first before heading to the stores. Thus, they should ensure content and product landing pages are on site to capitalise on non-brand queries, as well as build and optimise Google My Business (GMB) profiles.
Google has added to the functionality of the related activity cards for shopping, job and recipe-related searches. Google will now show products the user has been researching even if the products were just featured in an article, rather than on product landing pages. The cards will display price and review ratings, allowing users to compare products from within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Why machine learning and understanding searcher intent is so important to search
Search Engine Land (SEL) released an article discussing why machine learning is so important to search, and concluded that optimisation is far more complex in the age of machine learning. A few tips SEL recommends on how to optimise for this includes understanding that ranking factors are constantly evolving, optimising for intent over keywords and writing for the users, not the search engines.
Identify and fix Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Signed Exchange errors in Search Console
Google has announced that Search Console can now be used to identify and fix AMP Signed Exchange errors. This should help webmasters debug any issues relating to pages and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) with AMP complications.
Google has announced the release of Search Console Insights, a new way to view data that is specifically tailored for content creators and publishers. It uses both Search Console and Google Analytics data in a single view, informing users on how to improve their content.
SEL details how to optimise the Google local Knowledge Panel. This includes preparing websites, using images, optimising profile attributes, building local reviews, monitoring questions and answers, as well as using Google posts.
Google Search bug caused by an issue with its ‘indexing systems’
On 10th August, a Google bug related to its Caffeine indexing system caused huge fluctuations in rankings, akin to an algorithm update. Although this now appears to be fixed, for reporting purposes, it is important to bear in mind that this may have impacted performance.
Google has announced it is updating the Search Console Application Programming Interface (API) infrastructure, which will cause some minor changes. Specifically, this will affect the Google Cloud Platform dashboard where the old API usage will drop and the new one will increase. The API key restrictions may also need changing and, if querying the Webmaster Discovery Document directly, this will need updating by the end of the year as they will be dropping support for this service.