Significant SEO Industry Updates – April 2018

IMI SEO Industry Update

Our team has rounded up the latest SEO industry updates with summaries and takeaways for each. Find out what changes Google is making this time around.

Google Confirms Core Algorithm Update (Again)

google seo algorithm

[image credit: SearchEngineLand.com]

Summary

Following the confirmed March 7 core algorithm update, many in the search community felt tweaks to the algorithm on March 14, 23, and 28. On April 20, Google confirmed they released an update to their broad core algorithm that took place April 16. The update strongly reflects the intentions of the March 2018 update, rewarding pages with great content instead of punishing those without.

Key Takeaways

  • Core algorithm updates occur several times during the year, but not all are confirmed directly.
  • Google has provided reassurance that drops in rankings do not reflect poor content, but instead gains reflect relevant and well-written content.
  • Once again, Google notes there is no specific way to “fix” rankings in this situation but encourages sites to produce high-quality content that serves the user
  • This update reflects Google’s recent pushes to improve the user experience.

Google My Business Supports Service Menus with Menu Editor Update

google local

[image credit: SEORoundtable.com]

Summary

What was once only an option for restaurant listings on Google My Business has now expanded to businesses featuring service menus. Menu listings became a feature for restaurants in early February, allowing those listings to build out the menus they wanted displayed on their Google mobile search results.

Businesses offering service menus – such as spas, hotels, doctors, and handymen – can now build out their GMB service offerings to show in mobile search results. Business owners have the ability to change titles, descriptions, prices, and sections.

Key Takeaways

  • Menus in search results began making appearances back in 2014.
  • Previously, structured menus could only be only be created and edited by the Google My Business API or third-party menu services, but now business owners have more freedom to build out their own.
  • Businesses with GMB listings are encouraged to create these menus, if applicable, as it will help increase visibility and user engagement in mobile search results
  • Edit listings by clicking on the info tab and selecting the “Services” section.
  • To use this feature, your listings must not currently be connected to any third-party providers, and must be for English speaking locals.

Google Officially Launches “More Results” Button in Mobile Search

google more results news

[image credit: SearchEngineLand.com]

Summary

As of April 11, after beginning testing in December 2017, Google has officially launched the “more results” button in the mobile search interface. This new update allows users to stay and scroll on the same page of results instead of clicking to the next page. The “more results” button was made to enhance the mobile experience, an important initiative for Google.

By loading more results onto one page, search results load faster than waiting for a new page to load, and the interface is more intuitive on a mobile device. Additionally, Google announced this new design will load more organic results first with ads to load underneath.

Key Takeaways

  • The mobile search experience has been updated to be a more intuitive scrolling design instead of the previous paginated design.
  • Organic search results will take precedence over paid ad results.
  • From an SEO perspective, this update lends the potential to increase user engagement on lower-ranking SERP results.
  • This is another example of how Google has been putting a large focus on the mobile experience, which is also reflected in areas such as recent algorithm updates and the mobile-first index .

Chrome Tests New “Explore” Feature for Search Suggestions

chrome tests search suggestions based on search history

[image credit: SearchEngineLand.com]

Summary

For those using the Chrome browser, users opening the start screen may see the new “Explore” feature for search. This new search test provides suggestions based off of previous search history. For example, a user frequently searching for camping information may be serves suggestions such as campgrounds, camping trips, or RV rentals. Once again a push toward streamlining the user experience, this test aggregates user activity and interests to provide them with a search experience that fits their needs.

Key Takeaways

  • This update is intended to guide users down a more tailored search experience, and encourages them to continue exploring topics of interest.
  • Explore is currently only available in the Chrome start screen, but not yet on the Google.com homepage.
  • Users have the option to turn this service off by dismissing services for a particular task or completely by using the right-hand menu or by clearing search history.
  • The testing for this tool is still in the early stages, and it is unknown if it will become a permanent feature or if it will roll out to other Google search platforms.

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