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October’s Spooktacular SEO News Roundup

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It’s time again to share with you the latest, most important October SEO news updates. Has Google got a bag full of treats for you – or were there some scary tricks in there? Much to our relief – it was pure treats! Looking at the updates in search across the month, we can tell just how much Google truly cares about its users and the experience they are getting on the search engine.

Google Shopping is becoming more visual for desktop

Just in time for the start of the festive season, the Google shopping functionality has been updated to make it more visually appealing to consumers. Google Shopping Ads have been displaying in the SERPs for a while, but as a retailer, you can now have your listings pulled through in the organic results. A great way for potential customers to see your products without clicking through to your site.

Visual Google Shopping Ad Results for 'white wardrobe' - October SEO News

We quite like this feature from a user perspective as if you see a range of several products, you will definitely be more inclined to click on the more visually appealing one. Product imagery is going to be getting more important than ever as it will likely affect the CTR of results. We are predicting that the better the images you have, the higher the CTR your website will receive, despite your organic position!

7 new updates for Google’s Local Search

At the end of September, Google announced not 1, not 2, but 7 new updates to its local search functionality at its ‘Search On’ conference. As always, these updates are to enhance how we are exploring and interacting with local businesses, restaurants, and our local neighbourhoods in search.

  • Search for restaurants by dish – one for the foodies! Simply search for your favourite dish or one you are craving to eat, and the local results in Google will now serve you a list of restaurants that have it on the menu. A great way to feed your appetite with a simple Google search!

 

  • Discover restaurant specialities – we all know a restaurant that is known for a certain thing – be it the décor or its atmosphere. Google will bring this to life by adding a ‘people say’ function to the listing above the details. Saves us time messaging friends for recommendations in different areas.

 

  • More support for digital menus – Google has developed image and language technologies to gather menu information to add as digital menus without creating additional work from the restaurant. The popular dishes will be showcased with dietary requirements such as vegetarian made clear. Again, great for these smaller restaurant owners with less digital resources.

 

  • Enhancements to Google Maps live view – first brought in 3 years ago, Google has updated this feature of using the viewfinder on your phones camera to navigate from one place to another. It will also be adding features that allows you to search for things in your immediate location soon too.

 

  • Aerial views of famous landmarks – Google has added aerial views of global landmarks. A great way to check out the scenes in your dream destination and plan your next holiday.

 

  • Immersive view – we all love Google Street view, as it’s a great way of checking out an area before we visit. With Google’s new immersive view, we will be able to extend our experience from the streets and take it inside of buildings. Spooky huh! As Google loves to give us as much information as possible, it will also tell us busy periods and the weather at given dates and times.

 

  • Neighbourhood vibe checks – an upcoming feature yet to be rolled out but will give you an opportunity to get a feel for a place before for your first visit. Google will also give you all the information you may want ahead of your visit. It will show you what’s new, local places worth exploring whilst pulling in information and photos using a combination of AI and user-submitted information.

There are a lot of user experience based updates here which will lead to a lot of people exploring areas more on screens before exploring them on foot. Although this may spoil the fun of accidentally stumbling across new and exciting areas by yourself, we think these updates will be loved and used by many. With the pressure and rush of daily life, they’re a helpful way to have a quick check and ensure places are worth a visit before users spend their valuable time.

Site names to replace title tags on some mobile searches

Google has been tweaking the way our meta data is being displayed in the search results on mobile. If we are searching for a specific website, Google is clearly understanding that we know what to expect from that site so instead of showing the full title tag, it is just displaying the site name.

This definitely helps users to navigate to the exact website easier and reduces the amount of text showing up in the search results. Helps when other websites may be ranking for other brand names.

This is currently only a feature on mobile and something that is only supported at domain level meaning subdomains will still display the full title tag.

New Title tags and site names showing a Google result for Uprise Up - October SEO News

 

We know what you might be thinking. ‘But how will Google know this?’ or ‘my website name is different to the domain URL, so it won’t appear for my brand’. WellGoogle uses structured data, current title tags, headings and the sites open graph to understand the true name of your website.

As part of this announcement, Google ‘recommends’ all websites have ‘WebSite Structured Data’ on the root URL on the domain to help Google understand your website name and any alternatives.

Google is giving us the opportunity to explain more about our website and the different names it may go by. We would definitely recommend this is something that is looked into by your SEO team.

Google Search Essentials

In other SEO news, Google Webmaster Guidelines has now been rebranded to Google Search Essentials, sticking to the theme of removing ‘webmaster’ from naming conventions. And what a treat! Google simplified everything for us and categorised everything under three main sections:

  • Technical requirements: continues to give us insights into how we can enhance pages to ensure they rank in search results.
  • Key best practices: the basics you need to follow to ensure people are finding your content.
  • Spam policies: highlights the tactics that can lead to a page being de-indexed from Google search. This includes all the old school black hat techniques such as cloaking, link spam and scraped content.

As you can see, nothing fundamentally changed here, but it might take a while to get used to the hearing and saying the new name.

So there we have it! Nothing too scary to encounter this month, with the exception of one massive office spider which caused some true Halloween horror… But in terms of SEO news, it’s been all treats and no tricks for October.

Did we miss any October SEO news?

Have we missed any of your key highlights from our October SEO news round-up? Or do you have any burning questions about how to implement effective SEO for your organisation? We’d love to hear from you!

Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.

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