SEO Highlights in July 2022
Yep, there’s a new search engine on the block!
Ahrefs has delivered on its 2019 pledge to deliver a private and creator-friendly search engine. As promised this endeavour, designed to compete with the global giant Google, has two key features it proposes will set it apart from competitors:
- Privacy: Yep has been set up so that it does not automatically collect and store your personal information as you are surfing the web.
They will collect data on keywords, language preference received from the browser and approximate geographical area, but will not use this information to create a personal profile for targeted advertising.
- Profit-Sharing: Ahrefs have proposed a 90/10 profit model for their search engine, meaning that 90% of advertising profits will be going into the pockets of content publishers.
This is in direct contrast to Google, who often display content in their search results in such a way that means users don’t have to click through to the website to get the answer they are looking for. This means less site traffic for content creators – and less traffic often equals less revenue overall.
Despite some distinct differences from Google in terms of privacy and socially positive profit sharing, Yep still has a long way to go before it can become a real competitor. The search engine itself presents results in a basic format still, looking very similar to original SERPs with just 10 blue links.
Options are also currently restricted to web or news pages. However, there is the promise of an image index being close to delivery in July, which will bring Yep one step closer to being a serious alternative to other main search engines such as Google or Bing.
Search Console is Being Simplified: Wave Goodbye to ‘Warnings’.
The most recent changes to Google Search console labels aim to simplify the interface, allowing users to more easily focus on warnings that will be of immediate threat to their content rankings in search results.
The old reports had three categorisations for URLs: Valid, Error and Valid with warning. This change affects the ‘valid with warning’ category. Whilst it was clear that valid URLs were okay and that error URLs had critical issues that needed addressing, there has always been a level of confusion about how critical these ‘valid with warning’ URL issues were, and whether these bits of content would still appear properly in SERPs.
In response, Google Search Console will now present items as ‘valid’ or ‘invalid’ at a top-level. This is to help businesses ‘focus on critical issues that affect your visibility in search’ and enable a better prioritisation of fixes.
Search Console Insights Now Supporting GA4.
Whilst we’re on the topic of Search Console, it’s great to see that Google Search Console Insights is now supporting Google Analytics 4 properties. Previously, Search Console Insights were only compatible with Universal Analytics (UA) properties. This marks another step towards GA4 taking the lead once UA is sunset in June 2023.
What is Search Console Insights?
Search Console Insights use data to help content creators and publishers better understand how their content is performing with audiences. Some of the insights it can provide include:
- Best performing content pieces
- New content performance
- How people discover your content online
- What people search for on Google before visiting your content
- Which article refers to your website and content
You can access this feature via the ‘Search Console Insights’ section at the top of the overview page in your Search Console property.
Tips on using Search Console Insights with GA4.
Make sure to link your GA4 property with your Google Search Console property, as otherwise you may only see 20% of possible content insights.
Also, remember to check your Search Console Insights regularly, as the data is frequently updated so regular checks will help you keep on top of new and emerging trends.
Google bot crawling the first 15 mb of page content.
An update to the GoogleBot help documentation states that only the first 15MB of HTML files will be crawled and considered for indexing by Google. Anything after this point will not be used when calculating ranking positions.
How does this impact SEO?
This new documentation means that high priority content needs to be included closer to the top of webpages in order to be weighted in ranking calculations. Images and videos should also be compressed instead of encoded directly into the HTML where possible.
What does Google have to say about the 15MB limit?
In response to a lot of questions from the wider SEO community surrounding this documentation update, Google published a blog addressing the 15MB limit directly. They emphasised that this is not a new threshold; it has been around for several years now. The update to the GoogleBot documentation was aimed at helping people when debugging.
It is also important to note that 15MB is actually rather a large amount of HTML. In fact, Google said in the majority of HTML files are only around 30KB, and there are a minimal number of pages online that are close to the 15MB cut-off point. So this update to GoogleBot crawling and ranking most likely won’t affect most site content, but is good to be aware of.
Did we miss any SEO news?
Have we missed any of your key SEO highlights from our round-up? Or do you have any burning questions about how to implement effective SEO for your organisation?
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