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A month of updates in search: February.
09 Mar 2018 ·
With updates and developments in search happening at a dizzying pace, we’ve rounded up the most important news in the last month for you to be aware of.
AMP for Gmail
Google is bringing the power of AMP to Gmail, which means that the email experience will not only be faster, but developers can create better overall mobile email experiences.
Some new experiences available to developers include keeping content up-to-date and in real-time, allowing users to interact with and browse content, and increasing the amount of activity a user can complete without having to leave Gmail.
There has also been a change in policy around image sizing for AMP article schema markup. Google now wants images to be at least 1,200 pixels wide as a minimum. If you currently have articles marked-up and appearing in the top-of-page results carousel, this is an important update to make as your articles may no longer qualify unless image sizes comply with these new parameters.
Not making the changes may result in a decrease in visibility for your AMP articles, with a knock-on impact on traffic – particularly for publishers.
Google introduces Breadcrumb SERPs
Breadcrumbs have been championed by designers and UX practitioners for years as a wayfinding tool and now they’re set to become a big part of the online search experience.
Google has introduced ‘Breadcrumb SERPs,’ which are basically triggered by informational search queries and appear as images in the search results (see picture below). These are seen through navigational elements and images can be swiped through while on the results pages.
By having these, the mobile experience is improved because users can see the answer they need as soon as the results page loads, therefore shortening their searching time.
Structured data should be page specific
Staff at Google have spoken out to advise that we should be avoiding using the same structured data for multiple website pages. This applies particularly to marked-up reviews for different branches/locations a business may have and making sure they are not marked-up to the incorrect pages.
A general business review, for example, should not be applied to all pages, the marked-up information should be page specific.
A final warning for HTTP sites
It’s been announced by Google that in July 2018, any non-HTTPS sites will be marked as ‘not secure,’ so it’s really important that your site is already using HTTPS or is due to migrate to it soon.
Google releases a mobile scorecard tool
Mobile-first has been the preoccupation of digital marketers and SEOs in recent years and it’s been confirmed by Google “that a significant number of sites will be migrated to the mobile-first index in the next month and a half.”
Maintaining a consistent user experience and content provision across devices, and particularly mobile, has been imperative for marketers and business owners for a long time.
Now, however, it becomes key to ensuring that traffic and revenue driven through organic search can be consolidated and grown during this transition and beyond. Just because a site is responsive and ‘mobile friendly’ does not mean it is mobile first and for businesses with a dedicated mobile experience, there is a need to ensure prospects and existing customers can still satisfy their needs in the same way they would want to across other device types.
Google has further cemented the importance of mobile page speed and its effect on user experience and a site’s ability to rank. It has released a Mobile Scorecard and Impact Calculator tool to ensure marketers have the ability to review their site’s speed and find ways to improve it.