A couple of interesting small tidbits this week, that all together show the direction (Google) search is heading in. Let’s dive into this weeks news:
Google bolding answers to questions
Remember the Hummingbird update? Google worked on being able to parse questions better so it knew what you were searching for. This week, some people noticed Google was bolding the answer to their implied “question” in their query. For instance, when searching for “engineer salary”, Google was bolding the answer. I think this is just another sign of Google showing answers, not blue links.
Fetch & render gives a sense of urgency
Google’s fetch & render tool in its webmaster tools suite added a feature last year to also render out the page you’re fetching. Michiel described that in this post in our webmaster tools series. This week it added an urgency to the blocked resources, telling you whether you should go out and fix it immediately or you can put it on the “someday / maybe” list.
It mostly seems to be telling you that the urgency of blocked ads is low. I’m not sure (because I haven’t tested enough) whether this is always the same urgency for the same resource or whether it actually looks on where it is on the page. If it’s always the same it could actually give a false sense of security, as having 3 or more ads on a page above the fold could still get you in trouble…
More HTTPS warnings from Google
Google has been sending out a new type of https warnings, notifying you when the certificate you use on a given domain, doesn’t actually include the domain name. That’s like so much of a “d0h!” moment that I had to read twice whether that was really what they said.
Turns out that right now, according to Google, you get an https ranking boost in the search results when the URL is HTTPS, even when the certificate for that URL is invalid. HTTPS is notoriously hard to get right, but the fact that Google is sending out these messages tells you that they’re wanting to improve something there.
Google News allowing app promotion
If your site is listed in Google News and has an editors picks feed, you can now promote your mobile app to users. If you’re not in Google News, our News SEO plugin might be able to help you get everything you need to get listed. It can also create an editors picks feed for you!
That’s it, see you next week!