This week: Google makes algorithm changes almost every day, AdWords has some features, and you won’t believe how many more people are about to see AMP results in search engines.
Google: We Make Changes Almost Every Day
Do you think there was a Google update recently? You’re probably right.gool
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) March 9, 2017
Even amidst all the chatter about “Fred” (a rumored update that appears to have hit the black hat SEOs), you can be sure that there was some type of Google algorithm update this week.
That’s because there’s an algorithm update almost every day.
According to Gary Illyes, “we have 3 updates a day on average. I think it’s pretty safe to assume there was one recently…”
Google AdWords Announce Account Level Call Extensions and More
This past week, Google announced a series of updates on click-to-call ads.
- Account-Level Call Extensions – Instead of implementing call extensions at the campaign or ad group level, advertisers will soon be able to set up call extensions on the account level.
- New Design – Call-only ads will see the business name appended to the phone number.
- New Report Details – Reports will soon include additional details including “Phone Impressions” and “Phone Calls” so that advertisers receive a more comprehensive view of call performance.
AMP’s Audience Is About to Increase by a Billion
During Google’s AMP conference this past week, it was announced that the mobile framework is rolling out to Asia. It’s expected to reach another billion people.
Baidu and Sogou, both Chinese search engines, will soon adopt AMP technology. So will Yahoo Japan.
Adobe reported last month that top US publishers are now seeing 7 percent of their traffic through AMP pages. Publishers report more time on-site and greater user engagement for AMP pages. They also say they’re seeing higher CTRs, and even better monetization, with AMP.
Google’s Besbris said that there are now 1.7 billion AMP pages, with 35 million new pages being added per week. There are also now 860,000 domains using AMP around the world.
According to Google research, 70 percent of conventional mobile pages take seven to 10 seconds for visual page content to load. By comparison, AMP pages load in less than one second, on average.
Google: Keywords in URLs Are Overrated
This past week on Twitter, John Mueller reminded the SEO community that keywords in the URL are overrated.
@HillwalkTours Keywords in URLs are overrated for Google SEO. Make URLs for users. Also, on mobile you usually don't even see them.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) March 8, 2017
Here’s exactly what he wrote: “Keywords in URLs are overrated for Google SEO. Make URLs for users. Also, on mobile, you usually don’t even see them.”
Google: YouTube Embeds Might Slow Down Page Loads
Think you can increase dwell time on a web page by embedding a great YouTube video? You might improve one metric at the expense of another.
This past week on a Google hangout, John Mueller was asked if YouTube embeds can slow down a site’s page speed.
Short answer: Maybe.
Here’s what he said: “So from our point of view, we try not to make any exceptions for Google services. So whether or not you are using YouTube or AdSense or anything else on those pages, if that is slowing your pages down, then we will report it. So it doesn’t matter if it is a Google service or some third-party service or you are hosting the videos yourself, essentially, we would treat that kind of the same.
Google Ranking Signals Are Weighted Based on Query and Searcher
Google offered some more insight into ranking signals this week.
On Twitter, Jennifer Slegg asked Gary Illyes the following question: “Most SEOs have a pretty good idea of the most important Google ranking signals for the search results. But does the weight of each those signals vary based on things like query, the searcher, the results?”
Illyes responded: “That’s a little oversimplified, but yes.”
By way of example, local searches will show the local pack instead of general organic searches.