Tom Williams details the latest in SEO news, including the early launch of AMP on mobile, will Google penalise itself for link buying, a drop in review stars and Google Compare to close.

AMP Goes Live A Day Early

Google rolled out its accelerated mobile pages (AMP) in search results a day early, Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land reported. Originally scheduled to go live on 24 February, first results started to show through on 23 February.

However, while some users are now seeing the AMP results others are not. Try browsing in Google Search for a topical news search and you should see the AMP symbol come up for mobile-friendly listings.

AMP live search

Was Google Chrome Caught Buying Links?

Google may well have to penalise itself again after forgetting to nofollow a sponsorship link it put up on the Let’s Encrypt page.

According to Tadeusz Szewczyk, posting on Twitter, Google paid $350,000 to buy an image link for Google Chrome on the Let’s Encrypt sponsors page. Here’s a picture:

Google Chrome link logo

However, a quick look at the source code on the page did show that the link didn’t have a nofollow. Google added the nofollow attribute within 24 hours of the story breaking

What’s Happened to Review Stars on Google?

Review stars dropped out of Google Search unexpectedly last week, Search Engine Land reported.

Whether a bug or not, a Mozcast SERP Feature Graph showed a 37% decline, as reviews and review stars went from showing in 35% of queries to just 22% of queries in a matter of days.

Moz review stars drop

Google hasn’t confirmed a bug, and review stars do seem to be returning to search results now, but it could be something to watch out for in the near future.

Google Compare to Close

Google Compare

Google Compare is to close on 23 March, after Google announced the service hasn’t driven the success it had hoped for.

It seems established brands such as Go Compare and Compare The Market have done such a great job marketing their own comparison websites that the Google service is superfluous.

Google Search Console Explained

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller took to Google+ last week to provide a detailed explanation of how Google Search Console works and clarify why some reports may seem delayed by a couple of days.

It seems that reporting latency is often sue to the time it takes Google to send data from its crawling departing to the search console department. The fact that some URLs are crawled less frequently than others can also have an impact.

Here’s what John Mueller said:

It takes a few days (to about a week) for Search Console to display data after it’s been crawled. There are various processes that run over the data, and Search Console tries to reflect the final state — which can take a bit of time to get. This is particularly visible with an abrupt change, such as going from ‘no AMP pages’ to ‘lots of AMP pages’.

Google Adds ‘Send To Phone’ Feature

Search Google for a term that brings up a local based knowledge graph and you will now get the option to ‘Send to your phone’.

Here’s an example for a search for [rustybrick]:

Send to your phone

Click on the send to your phone button and you will be given the option to choose which phone to send to.

Once you’ve sent it to your phone you will receive a push notification. Click on this to activate directions.

Whiteboard Friday – Using Landing Pages to Overcome Objections

In this week’s Whiteboard discussion, Rand Fishkin takes a look at how to use high-traffic landing pages to overcome objections and increase conversion rates.

More Search Engine Optimisation News and Advice

Read last week’s SEO news roundup: Google Vague on Penguin 4.0 Roll Out

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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.