Why rewatch this webinar?
The world of SEO is constantly evolving, and keeping up with all of these changes can be quite a challenge. Our Head of SEO and SEO specialist Jono Alderson will keep you up-to-date on the latest SEO news in our monthly SEO news webinar. Rewatch it in the video above or read a short recap of the topics below.
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A tribute to SEO legend Bill Slawski
The sad news reached us earlier this month that Bill Slawski had died. Bill was a legendary figure in the SEO industry – even before there was such a thing as SEO. He’s done a tremendous amount of work to educate the SEO community, and he’s famous for his analysis of hundreds of Google patents. He described this in intricate detail in a language that we all could understand. We’ll miss him!
On to Google news
Multisearch: local search and scene exploration
The idea of multisearch is that you can take a photo of something or point your phone at something and then supplement that image with a keyword to search for. For instance, you could take a photo of a shoe and ask Google to find this in red and within seconds you have the red version of the shoe in front of you. Suddenly, you combine Google text and images to do a multi-format search which is very futuristic. Multisearch will also get a variation called scene exploration, where you can point your Google Lens app at an assortment of products and have Google filter out the one you should pick. Multisearch is also going local, so you can add ‘near me’ to search for that product in a location near you.
Immersive view for Google Maps
Also announced at Google I/O is an immersive view for Google Maps. This takes everything Google has on maps, images, and data about a location and generates new visuals for you to browse through. This makes it much easier to explore the area you’re about to visit to see if everything is up to scratch. It might be good to look at your storefront to see if that’s something you need to improve upon. You wouldn’t want to scare away potential customers.
More natural conversation with Google Assistant
Voice search was touted as the big new thing a couple of years ago, but it hasn’t caught up yet. While impressive technology, it misses as often as it hits. At I/O, Google introduced a series of improvements to make it easier to have more natural conversations with the virtual assistant.
Improving skin tone representation across Google
Google is doing much proactive work and research on the experience you get when searching for anything to do with people and skin color. It tries to be more sensitive to differences in tones and contextualize that based on the things you’re searching for. Diversity is super important, and Google must do work to expose that.
XML sitemaps clean-up
A few weeks ago, Google announced that they were deprecating and removing support for some niche bits of how they handle XML sitemaps – stuff from way down in the depths of your XML sitemap. Google got smarter and doesn’t need these anymore. At Yoast, we made sure to update our plugin to adapt to the changes quickly. We pushed out an update on the same day as the announcement.
Search Console gets a new video page indexing report
Good news for anyone doing anything with video, which should be nearly all of you because the video is hugely important. It’s how many consumers expect to find and interact with information. It’s a step in the right direction for Google to add a dedicated video report section to Search Console. In Search Console, you can get information on which pages have videos on pages and how they are performing in search.
PageSpeed Insights adds new Lighthouse speed metrics
Core Web Vitals are the standard metrics by which Google measures the speed of a web page, and if you score well on them, you get a ranking boost. If you score poorly on them your customers get annoyed, so it’s worth investing the resources to do well on this front. Google added a couple of new metrics to their roster, namely TTFB (time to first byte) and INP (interaction to next paint). The first one is all about how long it takes for your server to respond to queries and the second one is all about measuring how long it takes for a loaded page to respond to interactions.
Microsoft researchers present Turing Image Super-Resolution
This is straight from an episode of CSI: a super-enhancer to improve the quality of images. This means that algorithms analyze a pixelated image and enhance its resolution to make it crispier. The technology is already available in the Edge browser.
A new way to validate your XML sitemaps to Bing
Previously, you could anonymously ping Bing about your XML sitemap, but those days are gone. Now, you need to have a hardcode link to your XML sitemap in your robots.txt file. We automatically do this for you in the latest release of Yoast SEO.
WordPress 6.0 launched
WordPress 6.0 was launched last week. This release comes with a ton of cool updates and improvements, including a lot of performance enhancements. You can read up on the most exciting changes in our overview post for WordPress 6.0.
WordPress’ market share is shrinking
For the first time in forever, WordPress’s share of the CMS market is shrinking. The competition is getting more aggressive in their marketing while also improving their products in a good way. WordPress has interesting and unique challenges – being an open-source platform, it thrives when many good people come in and help the project move forward. At the same time, there needs to be a new focus on what we want WordPress to be?
Introducing the security.txt standard
Security.txt is a new standard in a format similar to your robots.txt file. In a simple text file located on a standardized location on your server, you can describe your security policies. So, if someone finds a leak on your site – who should they contact?
Apple, Google and Microsoft will implement passwordless sign-in
Logging into sites might become outdated when the major platforms roll this out. In the future, it might be that your customer will take a good and critical look at how you’ve implemented your login procedures. They might conclude that other sites do it better. Keep an eye on this.
Amazon unveils Buy with Prime initiative for third-party websites
Amazon helps third parties set up a payment system via Prime to connect to more customers than ever. This gets powerful if you’re also using Amazon’s fulfillment by Amazon program, which is where you store your inventory in local warehouses, and they handle the fulfillment. All of this now also comes with free delivery and free returns. Amazon becomes your ecommerce engine and your website and store just product listings.
Shopify to acquire Deliverr
This is a massive deal for Shopify, similar to Amazon’s fulfillment engine system. This is end-to-end shopping. You can set up a store on Shopify and walk away because the delivery integration will handle shipping, logistics, and storage imagery. From port to the porch, as Shopify says. All of the logistics stuff you would typically have to set up and manage gets taken away and n by Shopify internationally. It’s happening alongside all of their existing infrastructures.
Joost de Valk’s call to improve crawling
Some search engines crawl the web to find content and check if your content’s been updated. They follow links to discover new URLs — a hugely inefficient process. They act like they are drunk — bouncing off walls, hitting pages, and downloading CSS as drunks often do. It’s a very cumbersome, expensive process. The download comes at a cost. It costs them money in electricity to do it in their servers and their data warehouses, and it costs your site and your hosting money to deliver those resources, and those kilobytes add up. Also, it costs the environment. As SEO and search industry, we need to do better! With Yoast SEO Premium we’re trying to give you more control over what’s crawled on your site.