Google has had a quiet but very busy few weeks – if that makes any sense??
Two weeks ago, Google quietly rolled out a new feature to the Search Console that allows users to compare keyword data. This last week, three more updates have now gone live. These include a new rich results filter, the addition of instant medical information for symptom searchers, and new alerts that let you know if your site has been hacked.
We have analysed these three updates and looked at indeed how they may impact your SEO efforts.
Rich Results Filter to the Search Console
Users can now view performance-related data through the new rich results filter on their Search Analytics report.
The new data can be found by logging into your Search Console, selecting your website, clicking Search Traffic report and navigating to Search Analytics. Under the Search Appearance filter is an option to select “Rich results.”
The rich result filter provides valuable data on clicks, impressions and even search positions, which can help you track the performance of your rich results and optimise as necessary.
Rich cards are similar to rich snippets in that you can add structured data markup for certain elements, like reviews and ratings. Rich cards will be displayed at the top of mobile search results.
While rich snippets and cards may not be a necessity right now, they will likely grow in importance in the near future. Using rich snippets may boost your visibility within search results.
Instant Medical Information for Symptom Searches
A new giant update is being rolled out for Google’s Knowledge Graph, which will provide users with more immediate answers when searching for medical symptoms and conditions.
The update is designed to provide results for very specific symptoms, like “pain in my back,” and return a list of health conditions related to that symptom. Users will also be able to see a general description of the symptom, DIY treatment information and whether the symptom warrants a trip to the doctor.
Google searches for mentions of the symptom, compares it to information in its database collected from doctors, and returns results.
As part of Google’s efforts to improve security, Google Analytics will now send you an alert if your site has been hacked for spam, causing it to be in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
If your website is hacked by a third party, your domain will be flagged by Google Analytics immediately and will provide you with helpful resources to fix the problem.
According to Google, spam-related hacking incidents were up 180% between September 2015 and the previous year. The company’s research shows that these issues are resolved 75% of the time when site owners are contacted directly.
In terms of SEO, a spam-related hacking incident can be damaging for your website, especially if the problem isn’t quickly resolved. Not only can it lead to lower rankings (or the removal from the search results altogether), but it also damages your business’s reputation and directs potential customers away from your products or services. This new security feature gives website owners just one more reason to start using Google.