Tom Williams looks at the latest search engine optimisation news, including why Panda 4.2 will take months to roll out, how schema markup can help webmasters publish critic reviews, and why Google Search Console skipped a day on July 28.

Panda Roll-Out Could Take Months

The new Panda 4.2 update is frustrating webmasters globally, and this is not likely to improve, as Google has admitted the process could take months to complete. Those webmasters eager to see site rankings improve are in for the long-haul, as Google’s John Mueller has said an ‘internal issue’ related to ‘technical reasons’ means that the new update could take months to crawl and index all sites.

Google Panda logo

While we sit back and await the outcome of the new update, Search Engine Land has put together its FAQs on Panda 4.2, including what’s new, why some pages might drop but not others, why Panda 4.2 might not affect all pages within a site in the same way, and what the future holds for further algorithm changes.

Google Helps Increase Discoverability of Critic Reviews

Jonathan Wald, Product Manager at Google, took to the developers blog last week to take us through how Google Search has been building out the Knowledge Graph to provide publishers with the opportunity to increase the discoverability and consumption of reviews via markup. The feature is available on mobile, tablet and desktop, and enables publishers to showcase reviews in a prominent card at the top of the page.

Critic Review example on mobile

Publishers can now use markup to identify reviews and how they relate to Knowledge Graph entities. At present, critic reviews have been launched for movie entities, but Google has said it will be expanding the feature to include TV shows and books later in the year.

Publishers can select snippets of long-form reviews and then add the schema.org markup to their webpages to let Google know which snippet they prefer, what is the review URL and other metadata about the reviewed item. Google has provided detailed instructions on this in its Structured Data help centre.

Google Launches Search Analytics API

Google has announced that it is to make its Search Analytics feature in Google Search Console available to developers via API. The Search Analytics API will help webmasters include search performance data into apps and tools.

Google Search Console logo

According to John Mueller, set up is easy, with Google providing how-to examples in Python. Developers can use the API to verify the presence of data, as well as finding out:

  • Top 10 queries by click count
  • Top 10 pages
  • Top 10 queries in India
  • Top 10 mobile queries in India

Google Skips July 28 Data

Some webmasters may have found that their Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) analytics report is missing a day. Search Engine Land reported that data for July 28 is missing from many Search Analytics reports.

Calendar

Not everyone is affected, but many will see their Search Analytics chart skip from July 27 to July 29.

Gary Illyes confirmed to Search Engine Land that Google was aware of the problem and was working on it.

Google Maps Upgrades on Android Wear

Going exploring this summer? Now you can leave your map at home and your mobile phone in your pocket, thanks to an updated Google Maps app and API for Android Wear.

Users simply need to say “Ok Google, navigate to…” to bring up Google Maps’ improved turn-by-turn guidance and full-screen navigation view on their watch. The map view will remain on the watch in battery-saving mode when you are not actively looking at the screen, so no chance of getting lost.

Android Wear watches

With many travel apps now integrated with Google Maps on Android Wear, users will be able to see hotels, restaurants and other attractions around them. For example, HotelTonight can track hotel rates and availability, Priceline shows local convenience stores, Foursquare will flag up restaurants, and TripAdvisor can provide details of local shows or entertainment options.

More Search Engine Optimisation News and Advice

Read last week’s SEO news roundup: Panda Update In Process

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About the author:

Tom joined ClickThrough in 2011. Since then, he has developed an expertise in the technical side of search engine optimisation. He’s Google Analytics-qualified, and in his current role as digital and technical Executive, carries out monthly SEO activities and provides technical consultancy for several of the company’s largest accounts.