This week: AMP is on its way out, the page experience ranking signal is on its way in, and Pinterest is on its way up.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google: Fixing Core Web Vitals Already Boosts Rankings
Think you need to wait until next month to see a ranking benefit from Core Web Vitals scores? Think again.
According to Google’s Martin Splitt, page speed has been a ranking factor for some time. And since page speed is part of Core Web Vitals, it’s understandable that you’d see an immediate ranking benefit if you address it.
In fact, the page speed ranking benefit rolled out to desktop search way back in 2010. It rolled out to mobile search in 2018.
Google Search Console Removes Rich Results Search Appearance
Google is axing the generic “Rich Results” report from Search Console.
But you can still see rich results by selecting individual filters for most rich result types.
In other words, Google wants you to look at the more specific reporting instead of the broader rich results category.
Here’s Google’s statement on the subject: “A few years ago we created a generic “rich results” search appearance group that included multiple rich result types, including those that didn’t have their own breakout row on Search Console. This is not required anymore, since we now have breakouts for most rich result types, for example: Event, FAQ, HowTo, and more.”
Google will remove the generic report on August 1.
Google Removes AMP Badge From Search
In case you missed the news: Google will soon dump the AMP badge icon that appears next to AMP links in search results.
Why? Because of Core Web Vitals.
In fact, you’ll see Google sunset the AMP badge around the same time that the Core Web Vitals metrics become ranking signals.
This is a big deal because not too long ago AMP was all the rage. And it was wholeheartedly embraced by Google.
If you’re unfamiliar with AMP, it stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It’s a technology that you can apply to your website so that your pages load quickly on mobile browsers.
But now it looks like Google favors responsive websites that look great and load quickly on any platform.
Poll: 40% of SEOs Will Remove AMP Once Core Web Vitals Becomes a Ranking Signal
Speaking of AMP, it looks like plenty of SEOs will ditch that technology after next month.
Why? Well, see the story just above.
But also because AMP is no longer a requirement to end up in the top stories carousel.
So webmasters have little to lose, and plenty to gain, by dumping AMP in favor of responsive design and improved load times.
Aleyda Solis posted a poll on Twitter asking strategists what they’ll do once the Core Web Vitals update rolls out next month.
For those who are using AMP on your sites: is the upcoming change in regards of the page experience update and AMP no longer being a requirement for top stories, no AMP badge to be shown, etc. will make you change your AMP usage? 👇
— Aleyda Solis 👩🏻💻 (@aleyda) May 22, 2021
Take a look at the results:
- 41% said they’ll remove AMP pages and not add any more
- 35% said they’ll keep adding AMP pages
- 23% said they’ll keep existing AMP pages but not add any more
I expect the non-AMP crowd will grow by this time next year.
Google: JSON-LD Won’t Give You a Ranking Benefit
Google is on record saying that it prefers the JSON-LD technology for websites that use schema markup. But that doesn’t mean it gives you a ranking benefit.
The subject came up this week during a Google SEO Office Hours hangout when someone asked if JSON-LD is better for SEO than microdata.
John Mueller replied that no, it is not.
Just because Google prefers JSON-LD, that “doesn’t mean there’s any less value passed with like other types of markup.”
He went on: “So if whatever feature you’re looking for supports that type of markup and that’s what you want then like go for it.”
Twitter Verification Open Again
Twitter is reopening public applications for users who want the blue-check badge next to their names.
Soon, you’ll have the opportunity to submit a verification application via the account settings screen.
Twitter closed public applications in 2017. That’s because the company said that verified badges implied some kind of endorsement.
The reality is that the badge just means that an account with the name of a public figure is authentic.
By the way: Twitter still verifies accounts on a case-by-case basis.
Google: Redirects Take Core Web Vitals Metrics With Them
You’re not going to skirt Core Web Vitals metrics by simply redirecting one page to another. That’s according to Google’s John Mueller.
The subject came up during a recent Google SEO Office Hours hangout with this question: “My website is a 100% Core Web Vital pass and all the urls are Core Web Vital valid. Now I want to restructure my site, restructuring I mean to say that I want to change the URL to the better SEO friendly URL. So my first query is now I have already changed the URL so will the Core Web Vital metrics, whatever exist for my pages will be passed to the redirected URL?”
And here’s the answer: “That would be the case, yeah.”
Mueller went on to say that Core Web Vitals would be redirected “like any other signal from search.”
Google: You Don’t Need to Pass on All Core Web Vitals Scores for a Ranking Boost
Hope you’re not tired of reading about Core Web Vitals stories yet.
This one comes to us from the Google I/O conference during the past week. At a question-and-answer session, somebody asked about how Core Web Vitals impact ranking.
In answering, Google said that you don’t have to pass on all three Core Web Vitals scores to see a ranking benefit.
That’s a relief.
“It is not the case that unless you reach the good threshold for all of the Core Web Vitals metrics, that you have to reach the threshold to get a ranking boost,” said Philip Walton, Senior Developer Programs Engineer at Google. “That’s not the case.”
He went on: “In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. You will get a ranking boost for reaching the good threshold for all pages but beyond that point, you don’t get additional boost for reaching it even better. Like if you have your LCP at two seconds and you get it down to one second, we have publicly stated that that will not increase your ranking. However, if you have a slow page, you improve to ten seconds, that could potentially boost your ranking.”
E.g. if your LCP is 2 seconds & you drop that to 1.5 seconds, then it won’t benefit you rankings-wise. It could benefit you in other ways (user-wise), but not rankings-wise. Also, dropping LCP from 20s to 10s CAN improve your rankings. It’s not all about achieving a “good” score.
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 19, 2021
LinkedIn Adds ‘Boost’ Feature to Promote Organic Posts
LinkedIn is making it easier for you to get the word out about your brand with a new “Boost” feature that you can use to promote organic posts.
Effectively, Boost turns organic posts into ads.
If you post something on LinkedIn and notice that it gets lots of engagement, you might want to increase its visibility. You can do that by Boosting it.
LinkedIn says you should use the new feature if you’re looking to increase brand-name awareness, website visits, or video views.
You can target your Boosted post based on profile criteria, interests, or a LinkedIn Audience template.
Additionally, LinkedIn is rolling out Event ads to help you promote upcoming events.
Instagram Rolls out Engagement Metrics for Reels and Live
This one seems overdue.
Instagram now offers new insights for Reels and Live content.
For Reels, you can expect to see:
- Total plays
- Accounts reached
For Live, you can expect to see:
- Accounts reached
- Peak concurrent viewers
Instagram will also display those metrics in its Account Insights overview.
Pinterest Now Handles More Than 5 Billion Searches Per Month
Looking to get your business listed on a new search engine? Take a look at Pinterest.
Pinterest, like YouTube, is a search engine now.
The image-sharing platform handles more than 5 billion searches every month according to a statement released by the company this past week.
Pinterest hasn’t shared monthly search volume since 2016. Back then, the app handled 2 billion searches every month.
To put things in perspective, Google handles 3.5 billion searches every day.
So yeah, Pinterest is popular. But it’s got a long way to go to catch up to the Big G.
RESOURCE: Pinterest Marketing White Paper
Before you grill hot dogs this Memorial Day weekend, consider completing these action items:
- Think about how you can promote your brand on Pinterest since it’s growing in popularity.
- If you use Instagram Reels or Live, take a look at those new insights and make some decisions about how you can boost your visibility.
- If you’re in the B2B space, think about which LinkedIn posts you might like to boost to build brand-name awareness.
- Add some street cred to your Twitter profile by getting verified.