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2020 Google Updates

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With more than two trillion searches each year and more than 20-year history as a search engine, it’s no surprise that Google updates its algorithms so often. Just last year alone, the search engines have launched more than 300 changes to the Google search.

Every day, Google makes minor amendments to its search engine’s algorithms, which are designed to improve a user’s search results. Several times a year, Google will release a broad core algorithm update which can have a more noticeable impact for certain website owners.

Search algorithms are the computer science behind Google and are the method the engine uses to locate the rank your website on the search engine results pages (commonly referred to as SERPs).

When Google updates an algorithm significantly, this can potentially shift your current search ranking for a number of keywords.

Keep reading to find out more about the recent Google updates and stay on top of the SEO rankings.

January 2020 Core Update:

The announcement. Google said,” Later today, we are realising a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the January 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before”

 

Why is this important?

This update is important for the business because if your ranking drops, you have to be able to look at what is now ranking above your content and consider how you can provide an even more comprehensive solution for searches.

How is Google Core Update different from the other updates?

A Google core update differs from other Google updates for a few reasons, including:

  • Google announces core updates, but not other algorithm updates
  • Google acknowledges core updates, but not other algorithm updates
  • Google names core updates, but not other algorithm updates

How often do Google updates are introduced?

In order to keep results relevant and useful, Google updates its search systems frequently. They also tend to announce the updates a few days before or the day of, though some updates can take several days to roll out for users.

January 13th –  SERP Layout Changes and Favicons

On the same day as the January Core Update, Google announced that it was changing its SERP layout to include websites’ favicons and place the breadcrumbs – not the URL – above the meta description.

This apparently superficial alteration was a major change to the look of the SERPs, and it also coincided with a change in the way paid AdWords listing were displayed, now marked by a bold “Ad” in front of the web address.

January 23rd – The removal of double snippets

Google kept bringing more changes in January, with Danny Sullivan announcing that there would no longer be duplicated results for URLs that occupied the Featured Snippet box in “position zero”.

Initially, the organic rankings for position zero URLs seemed to move to the top of page two of the search results, though this did not happen consistently, and Danny Sullivan clarified that this was not a deliberate feature of the change to Featured Snippets.

February 2020

Google Adds SIRI shortcuts to the IOS apps.

Google has announced that it begins to add SIRI shortcuts to its IOS apps. Earlier in the month, Google has introduced the Siri shortcuts.

Search engine added Siri Shortcuts for its search, Gmail, Drive and YouTube apps on iOS, the company announced Thursday. Users can take actions within the corresponding Google app through Siri by saying trigger phrases, such as “search with Google.”

With voice search getting bigger than ever, read our article on how to optimize your website for the voice search here

Why is it important?

Making Google apps more accessible on iOS devices may attract or keep users more engaged in Google’s ecosystem. The more users Google has, the more important its services, such as Google My Business or Google Ads, are to brand and business owners.  It’s vital for businesses to also get on top of any recent updates coming from Google.

Get your Google Shopping ads on Gmail, Discover, YouTube

Another Google update has focused on getting Google Ads more visibility.

Google is opening up more inventory to standard Shopping campaigns. Product Shopping and Showcase Shopping ads will be eligible to show on Gmail — as well as YouTube and Discover feed — starting the week of March 4 when those campaigns opt into the Display Network, Google has announced Thursday.

How to enable.  In the web UI, you’ll already see the option to include YouTube, Gmail and Discover from the Networks section in your Shopping campaign settings.

Opting into Search Network opens Shopping campaigns up to show in Image search.

Reporting. Google Ads lumps the performance metrics from Youtube, Gmail and Discover together under Display Network, so there is no way to see a performance by property.

Why is this update important?

The expansion to Gmail, YouTube and Discover mean Shopping campaigns are potentially targeting users across a wider spectrum of the sales funnel.

Google Search Console adds review snippets performance, enhancers and review

Rich snippet enhancement report. The new rich snippet Enhancement report is available for those sites who have implemented reviews or ratings structured data. The report allows you to see errors, warnings, and valid pages for markup implemented on your site. If there are items you need to fix, like other enhancement reports, this report will walk you through the process of fixing the report.

Rich snippet performance report. With that, Google also added a way to see how well your rich snippets are performing in search within the Google Search Console performance report. You can see your review or rating marked-up pages on Google Search and Google Discover using the new “Review snippet” search appearance filter. You can check the impressions, clicks and CTR of those results and deeply filter into more queries and other parameters.

Why is this update important? If your site implements reviews on its pages, these tools can open up a lot of information on how well those pages are performing in the Performance report.

It can also help you debug issues with pages not yet showing the reviews in the search results.

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