Here’s a rundown of what’s been happening in the world of digital marketing.
Google is beginning to display AMP results within the image search results on mobile devices as seen below. When you do a search for an image within image search, if the source image is from an AMP page, it will display the AMP logo just above the title. Clicking on the title to the web page will then send you to the AMP page, similar to the experience within mobile search results.
Google continues to put more focus on AMP by expanding the results into Google Image Search. Prior to this, Google was only displaying AMP pages within the core mobile results, mostly around news articles.
Additionally, now on mobile, Google image search results feature rich snippets for some products. In order for rich snippets to appear, the product page must have product schema markup, such as price, availability and review ratings.
Users must first click on the image to display the larger image with the rich snippet, as shown in the example below. Google has updated its product schema guidelines for developers to reflect this change.
Excuse Me, Your Spam Is Showing
In early December, webmasters began to notice a surge of spam referral traffic. The influx of unqualified traffic has distorted the data that webmasters see in Google Analytics, especially with small business websites.
The good news is that this is not a hack on a website, but it does expose how easy it is to manually insert any data into a Google Analytics account. Data is sent to GA by way of a URL with parameters of values, including the UA ID. If a spammer wanted to explicitly set a language parameter in the URL hit to say whatever they want, it would show up in GA.
Although it’s not possible to remove historical spammy data from Google Analytics, webmasters can be proactive and set up filters and segments to remove this data from GA moving forward.
All Is Fair in SERPs and Sitelinks
In early December 2016, Google started rolling out a new design and look for their desktop search results page. The new design has a boxier look resembling a mobile user interface.
Recent changes to organic sitelinks cause major drops in impressions in Google Search Console. Google has been testing the appearance of organic sitelinks in organic search results. Most recently, Google tested and reduced large sitelinks for branded searches from six to four. Some results even saw a reduction to two with the inclusion of a search box.
At this time, it is likely a test and not impacting all sites or queries. The result is there may be some impact to data within Google Search Console with regards to impressions, average position, and click-through rate. However, the tests appear to have had relatively no impact on overall traffic for sites.
Finally, technical implementation issues can sometimes be difficult to debug. Thanks to Google Search Console, they have upgraded AMP reports to help prioritize technical AMP issues with either “Critical” or “Non-Critical.”
Items marked with “Critical” will prevent the specific page from being indexed served up using the AMP feature in SERPs and should be fixed to allow those pages to become eligible to be included as AMP. They should be implemented first.
Items marked as “Non-critical” may prevent the content from being enhanced in search results. These errors will also be reported over with trends over time to help understand if errors have increased due to a recent implementation on a site.
What changes have you seen take shape so far in 2017?