Your May SEO Roundup

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Our senior technical SEO wizard Tom Williams explore the top industry news from May this year. Read more.

ClickThrough’s May SEO Roundup

What’s the latest in the world of SEO? Throughout May I made a note of the biggest stories and have put them together in our May roundup. From Google ad announcements and speed reports to food orders (would you believe), find out the latest news in our SEO roundup.

1. SEOs Unhappy with Google Ads Announcement

On May 14th, Google announced some new ad features that caused a stir within the SEO community.

But which features are causing this controversy? Barry Schwartz details them in his article on Search Engine Roundtable:

Two of the more controversial ones within the SEO community are the discover ads that show up on the Google mobile home page and the gallery ads that make some of the search ads on the search results page massive (SEO Roundtable).

It seems the discover feed on Google’s mobile home page is another way for Google to serve up ads, in a similar way to photo-sharing platform Instagram. The ads above the fold are causing lots of SEOs to question Google’s intentions.

The gallery ads are a similar story. Now Google can show up to eight larger images in the top search ads, the organic listings are being pushed down. And what’s more, these large images are seriously LARGE.

Marketing Maverick Rand Fishkin tweeted:

Rand Fishkin - @randfish

Anyone remember how Google became the homepage for so many browsers? As I recall, a big reason was it wasn’t “filled with ads like Yahoo”.

2. A new Speed Report for Google Search Console

On May 9th, Barry Schwartz penned an article for Search Engine Land that detailed the new Speed Report that has been added in beta to Google Search Console.

The report will cover:

  • Website field metrics in a granular view
  • Specific issues and their details
  • Examples of issues

This will help webmasters make more informed decisions about certain site fixes and tweaks that can boost their performance. If you use Google Search Console, you can use the report in beta version. The full version hasn’t been set live yet.

How else can this benefit you?

Barry Schwartz says:

Speed is not just important for ranking in Google but also important for your website visitors and for your conversion metrics. Having this data within Google Search Console gives SEOs and webmasters a single place to go and see this information without having to go into the PageSpeed tools. In addition, this report gives you historical data on improvements or possible problems as they get worse over time” (Search Engine Land).

3. Google Launches “How To” Structured Data Markup and FAQ

At I/O 2018, Google announced FAQ and “How To” structured data. But it wasn’t launched until this year’s I/O event.

The main question SEOs have is about position one rankings, and whether markup will stop users from clicking through, with all the information they need already presented to them. If you’re ranking in position 6 for example, you could add the markup to boost your listing. But position one may pose CTR problems.

On the other hand, is intent being aligned to more effectively?

Barry Schwartz says “you really need to test it out to see if it will benefit you” (Search Engine Roundtable).

4. Place your next food order in Google SERPs

That’s right – you can now order food in search results.

This ability is being rolled out to Search, Assistant and Maps, allowing users to place food orders from local restaurants. Orders are made using companies such as Postmates, Slice and DoorDash, with plans for more to be included further down the line.

You can pay using Google Pay after tapping the “Order Now” button, or order via Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google, order food from” and then say the name of the restaurant.

This roll-out began on May 23rd.


Got any thoughts or feedback? Even if you’ve got questions about the top SEO news for May, let us know. We’d be happy to get in touch and talk all things SEO with you.

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