Google Search Console Updates
You can follow John and his team on the Google Webmasters Channel here
So in the latest video, John looked at a range of topics including Search Console Insights, some updates on images, programming for SEOs, plus a few other interesting gems of information. The first topic he covered was the preview of Search Console Insights. he says
“It combines data from Google Analytics and Search Console for content creators in an easy-to-understand way. Its goal is to help site owners improve their sites in Search and to make it easier for them to track their progress. Using all of the features of Google Analytics and Search Console can be challenging, even for experts.
Search Console Insights aims to make that significantly easier, especially for less experienced site owners. Search Console Insights is currently available as a preview to a limited number of users for initial trials. Unfortunately, it’s currently not possible to add new sites, but we hope to expand it over time. If your site is included in the preview, you’ll receive an email through Search Console. If you have access, let us know how it worked for you with the feedback links in the tool.“
John is genuinely excited about this new development and looks forward to the new approaches for sharing insights with site owners, this will greatly enable businesses to understand and improve their visibility in Search Engine Results.
Search Console, also received the following short updates, by adding a news filter in the Performance Report.
John Had this to say on this update
“This gives insights into how news content is performing within the News tab in Google Search. On the structured data side, we added support for some new types in the rich results test. This includes article, critic review, and employer rating.
The details for all structured data types are in our Search Developers documentation. Finally, a while back, we added support for domain properties in Search Console. A domain property gives you information for all variations of your domain, making it easier for you to see the full picture of your website in search. We recommend using these where possible, and of course, it’s fine to combine them with traditional properties.”
Google has been really busy and also recently released support for licensable images in Google Images.
What this does is give image providers more information about image licensing, it enables them to better inform users directly in the search results. They can do this one of two ways currently either on an image level using IPTC metadata, or on a per-page basis using structured data markup.
Here you will find the relevant Google Official Docs.
Google Discover & Images
When further discussing images John Mueller also said
“Search Console can help with the rich results test. Also for images, if your pages are shown in Google Discover, you can help them stand out a bit by enabling large image previews. Google Discover is a simple, feed-like experience that shows users content related to their interests automatically. By default, a standard image thumbnail may be shown there. Larger image previews can currently be enabled either by using AMP pages or by using the max-image-preview attribute of the robots meta tag.
This is a piece of code on your pages specifically for search engines. Updating the robots meta tag can be a challenge, depending on your website’s configuration. So it may make sense to check with your site’s developer or administrator to find out more. Our robots meta tag documentation is linked in the description. Slightly different than the usual news– and I realize it’s hard to classify any news as usual nowadays– let’s switch gears for a moment.”
There are a number of other trends that have been noticed by John and the Google guys and that is SEOs are looking at programming especially Python, This is a programming language that is becoming very popular again for a variety of SEO and website tasks, and it also has the ability to be used inside a web browser.
In general, John advised to check out Ruth Everett and Hamlet Batista who have published many articles on everything from how to get started to advance techniques that use machine learning, even putting together a training course for those who really have decided to take the leap and learn a computer programming language, it can help you understand SEO better but realistically it is not essential.
In a previous video, it was mentioned about mobile-first indexing but this has now been delayed to the end of March 2021. This is great news for a lot of website owners as it enables those remaining sites a bit more time to make any changes. If your site is using WordPress, sitemaps are now a part of the core WordPress and will be able to by default submit a site map. Site maps are widely used by most search engines and these site maps enable more efficient crawling and indexing of new or updated content on your website.
Finally, while we can’t go to events in person nowadays, there are plenty of companies who are using technology and leveraging the ability to still meet online whether in a roundtable event, networking, webinars there is still plenty of ways for us to still stay connected.
I hope you, your family, friends, and co-workers are all doing as well as can be expected and hope you found this information from Google and John helpful and we hope you look forward to our next article and don’t forget to share.