The Week in Search is a weekly column produced by the Studio team to keep marketing professionals and ecommerce merchants up to date on changes in the search industry, and provide valuable context on what it all means. If you have questions or think we missed something, email us directly.
Update: Last Week’s Indexing Issues Resolved
Remember all the indexing issues from last week? Well, Google has said that they are officially resolved as of Sunday, May 26th. In a Q&A session, John Mueller, head of Google’s search team said that the issues have been resolved, and if you’re still experiencing indexing issues, that’s normal.
Studio Takeaway: Not much to say here except that sometimes John Mueller seems to not fully know what is going on in his own department or with Google search. It looks like last week’s fix has stuck as there haven’t been any other reported indexing issues in the last week. We do wis Ih Google would be a little bit more transparent about what the issue was and what the fix was.
Google Will Start Indexing All New Website Mobile-first Out the Gate
In what is probably the biggest piece of search-related news this week, Google Webmaster blog has announced that all new sites will be indexing mobile-first right out of the gate. They have done this based on the fact that most new websites entering the index are largely mobile-ready.
“…our analysis has shown that new websites are generally ready for this method of crawling. Accordingly, we’re happy to announce that mobile-first indexing will be enabled by default for all new, previously unknown to Google Search, websites starting July 1, 2019…”
They then go on to give some tips on how to make sure your site is mobile responsive by linking to a few of their tools.
Studio Takeaway: Are you building your site on a responsive platform? If not, you’ll probably encounter some indexing problems when you launch. You can find some resources here if you want to learn more about responsive design in 2019. If you’ve been following Google search trends, you might have seen this coming since Mobilegeddon back in 2015. This update, however, marks the first time that Google mobile indexing is happening first before desktop by default.
Google Penalizing Improper Favicons in Your SERPs
When Google recently launched a new look to their mobile search around May 23rd, they we’re allowing favicons to be displayed in SERPs along with the other content. This added a nice little visual addition. Now, a week later, Google is quickly penalizing those who took advantage of the new ability, or those who were already in violation of their favicon guidelines.
Simply put, favicons are a way for users to quickly know what tab your site is on. They had little inherent SEO value, until this most recent update. Now, they can potentially cause issues with mobile search results.
Studio Takeaway: Avoid silly penalties by making sure you’re following Google guidelines on properly sized and formatted favicons. It’s pretty straightforward. Fun fact: favicons were originally used to help estimate traffic numbers for websites by tracking the number of bookmarks a page had (source).
3D Now Available in Google Mobile Search
Google mentioned the idea of including 3D objects in search results at their I/O conference earlier this month and we can now see it live in mobile search results. Users have the ability to view the 3D item in augmented reality as well.
Studio Takeaway: Not entirely sure of the search impact of this release as 3D images are so far down the path from normal ecommerce type websites. But if you have a compelling product that would benefit from 3D or AR treatment, then this is a way for you to showcase that content in search.
- Andy Drinkwater (@iqseo on Twitter) put out an updated version of a comprehensive website audit – it’s pretty great.
- Google announced they’re going to be doing more Q&A information for SEOs