Read about the latest SEO news updates, including farewell to favicons and changes to mobile-first indexing documentation.
Your Bi-Weekly SEO News Roundup
Google Update: Normal Snippets Axed If Featured Snippet Appears
Back in November we noticed Google testing the removal of normal snippets from the SERP if a featured snippet was already being displayed for a URL.
Now the update has been fully rolled out: if your site’s URL is already showing in featured snippets, your normal snippet disappears. Your site will only appear for one listing.
Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted:
If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat the listing in the search results. This declutters the results & helps users locate relevant information more easily. Featured snippets count as one of the ten web page listings we show.”
Webmasters have expressed mixed views on how this impacts their organic performance. Some say it shouldn’t apply to desktop, while others are concerned that there was no prior warning.
How has this change affected you? Let us know!
Farewell to Google Favicons
Does anyone remember the favicons and black ad labels that Google rolled out for snippets in the SERP?
After receiving negative feedback, Google is now testing the old SERP display… without any of the favicons or black labels. While the design was “received well by users on mobile screens”, there is still talk around how paid ads should stand out more, rather than blending in and thus causing feelings of dishonesty.
The responses from Google experts indicate that this is very much a trial and test situation.
Google To Cease Supporting data-vocabulary.org Schema
On 21st January, Google announced its plans to cease supporting data-vocabulary.org schema as of 6th April 2020.
There have been notifications sent out via Search Console, including a post from Mobilio’s Managing Director, Peter Nikolow:
“Breadcrumbs issues detected on [web page].
To the owner of [web page]:
Search Console has identified that your site is affected by 1 Breadcrumbs issues:
Warnings are suggestions for improvement. Some warnings can affect your appearance on Search; some might be reclassified as errors in the future. The following warnings were found on your site;
data-vocabulary.org schema deprecated
We recommend that you fix these issues when possible to enable the best experience and coverage in Google Search.”
Have you received any of these alerts?
New Video: How To Improve Google Image Search Rankings
Google’s John Mueller has provided webmasters with useful information on how to improve Google image search rankings.
According to John, “the most important thing to consider is how you’d want to be found in image search? What you expect users to search for? And how can your site be useful to them when they find you?”
Below are a few examples of the technical tips John provided:
- Use high quality images
- Provide useful alt attributes for the images
- Choose good filenames
- Make them visible on your page
“There’s a lot more than can be done to optimise images for search”.
Mobile First Indexing Updates
Google has made significant updates to the documentation surrounding mobile first indexing.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the updates:
- Same meta robots between mobile and desktop
- Resources must be crawlable
- High quality images
- Same alt text for mobile and desktop images
- Same structured data on both
Webmasters have been chatting about this across Twitter. Have you seen any other mentions?
There you have it – the latest in SEO news. If you’d like to discuss how these updates and changes could affect your organic landscape, get in touch with our SEO experts today.