Our top search boffin Tom Williams rounds-up the week's top SEO news:
Is the People Also Ask Box in Decline?
Data from RankRanger is suggesting that the "People Also Ask" box is showing up for fewer searches than before. According to SearchEngineLand, the box is only appearing on 40% of searches vs 52% of searches a week prior - a significant decline! Moz has also identified the same change.
What does this mean? Well, if Google is going to de-prioritise the "People Also Ask" box then you may want to reflect this in your SEO planning. Of course, this could just be temporary - so watch this space!
Did Google Alter Their Algo on 10th March?
There has been some whispering about a possible Google search algorithm update at sometime during the 9th - 11th March. It's not conclusive, and it doesn't appear to be a major change, but some SERP tracking tools are showing changes (although tellingly, not all).
The SEO community believes that the last update (unconfirmed) was in late Feb / early March, which reinforces the frequency of updates from Google that are changing rankings enough to be noticed.
What does this mean? For now, nothing changes. If we start to see more definitive signals then we will make some more firm recommendations.
The "Key Moments" video feature is expanding
Eagle-eyed search watchers have spotted that the "Key Moments" feature, aka "In This Video" is now appearing on multiple videos in mobile search results (it previously only showed up against one video). The feature allows users to skip ahead to key moments within a video (for example, multiple steps within a how-to instructions video) directly from within the search results. Google has given users the ability to expand and also hide this feature.
What does this mean? We know that including a timeline makes it easy for users to source the info they're looking for, which in turn makes them more likely to click through. This feature's prominence is likely linked to the fact that Google is seeing positive engagement results... which is promising for people implementing a video SEO strategy.
George Nguyen states "testing this should be part of your video SEO strategy". So how will you implement this?
How To Best Help Your Links
On 10th March, Barry Schwartz blogged about pagination, and asked the question "how does Google understand what pages are in a set of pagination?"
It seems the rel prev and next are no longer being supported, but Google has given other advice about this. John Mueller answered this questions during last week's video hangout:
"Headings and page titles kind of help us with paginate series to understand that these series belong together. So if if they're the the same or if you have something like a number in the headings and titles, then that helps us a little bit.
But we can also generally figure this out through the links on the page. Where we see well this one has like a link to the next page and it has a link to the previous page, then maybe that's like a part of a series that we can hold together."
John concluded by stating what Google actually does is see the "next" and "previous" buttons in paginated content, which helps determine what belongs where.
Have any of the latest updates from Google affected your website's performance? If you want to get in touch to discuss, or you'd like more information regarding the above, contact our team today.