SEO Monthly Round Up
A lot has happened in November so we’ve rounded up this information on all the major changes and news surrounding SEO, from BERT going worldwide, to the new advice shared by Google’s very own John Mueller.
BERT Goes Worldwide
During late October Google officially announced the rollout of the BERT algorithm, this affected around 10% of all search queries. Bing later revealed they were utilising BERT, at a larger scale before Google.
This is what Bing had to say on the subject:
“Over the last couple of years, deep learning has become widely adopted across the Bing search stack and powers a vast number of our intelligent features. We use natural language models to improve our core search algorithm’s understanding of a user’s search intent and the related webpages so that Bing can deliver the most relevant search results to our users.”
Google have now updated their rollout of the technology to over 70 languages worldwide, which means Google can now understanding search rankings and intent for different languages with greater accuracy. The full list of countries confirmed by Google can be found HERE.
Google Add Speed Report to Search Console
The new search console feature that has been in testing for around six months and is now rolling out publicly, to all webmasters using search console. As you’d expect this feature is geared towards improving any issues your site may have with loading times, with the speed being an important ranking factor this report highlights its importance even further.
Here are a few key points from Google’s speed report help document:
· If page load times increase from 1 second to 3 seconds, the bounce rate increases 32%
· If page load times increase from 1 second to 6 seconds, the bounce rate increases by 106%
The new report has 3 categories based on FCP (first contextual paint)
Slow – 3 seconds or more
Moderate – 1 – 3 seconds
Fast – 1 second or less
Google provides you with information to improve the issues within the new report, much like the current Page Speed Insights Tool. There are great case studies outlining how a few seconds, can have a huge impact on your site’s bounce rates. Which will impact traffic conversions and, the profit for your business makes.
Update to Video Structured Data
Google have updated the structured data document for videos in search results. This document provides details on how to mark timestamps on YouTube, monitoring your performance on search console and screenshots showing the structured data.
When it comes to timestamps there’s no actual markup needed, Google simply recommends adding the timestamps directly into your video, it’s also recommended that you chronologically order each timestamp on its own line.
Along with this you can now troubleshoot any errors through the Performance Report in Google Search Console. Where webmasters can see how their videos appear in search results.
Google Advise webmasters to not use robots.txt to Block Indexing Of URLs With Parameters
John Mueller recently responded to a follower on his twitter regarding the subject of blocking URL parameters from being crawled. He advised the following:
John then followed to say that Google would not be able to see the canonical tags if the URLs are blocked in the robots.txt. Losing the value from the parameter URLs, with canonicals tags.
That wraps on the important news, along with the update to local SEO, it’s been an eventful month, even by Google’s standards! Get in touch with us today for more information on everything SEO, at 0113 251 5004 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.