This week: Google experiments with real-time indexing, there’s an AMP filter in the Search Console, and wait until you hear about how many searches are voice queries.
Here’s what happened this week in SEO.
Google Adds AMP Filter in Search Console
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are fast-loading HTML pages optimized for mobile devices. They’re intended to streamline the mobile user experience with pages that load quickly when the device has a data connection.
Now, digital marketers can see how well their AMPs are performing in the search engine results pages (SERPs). That’s because Google has added a new filter for AMPs in Search Console.
Here’s what Google has to say about the new feature:
We’ve just started rolling out a change in Search Console’s Search Analytics feature that lets you drill down to look at how your AMP pages are doing in Search. With this, you can filter for AMP results (“which queries lead to my AMP pages being shown?”), compare how their metrics stack against other search results links or see how the visibility of your site’s AMP pages has evolved over time. It’s visible for all sites that show AMP pages in Search.
Google Rolls Out Rich Cards
This week, Google rolled out a new format for search results, called “rich cards.”
Rich cards are much like rich snippets. Webmasters “tell” Google that they’re using rich cards with schema markup in their HTML pages. The Google bot interprets the markup and categorizes them for the SERPs accordingly.
Google presents rich cards at the top of the SERPs. They appear in a carousel that can be scrolled from left to right and look a lot like AdWords sponsored shopping cards. In other words: users will be accustomed to the format.
Before you get too excited about rich cards, though, keep in mind that they’re currently only available for two categories: recipes and movies. Also, they’re only being shown in U.S. English mobile search results.
Google is still toying around with other ways that rich cards can benefit other publishers.
Google Launches New Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
Google has launched a new tool so that webmasters can determine the mobile usability of their sites.
Basically, you enter the URL of a website and the tool will crawl the site looking for problems that mobile users might encounter. After the tool is done crawling the site, you’ll receive a report about whether or not it’s mobile-friendly.
The good news that the tool won’t just diagnose the problems, it will also prescribe the cure. If the site crawled isn’t properly optimized for mobile devices, the tool will give you a list of actionable steps that you can take to ensure that the site is more mobile-friendly.
Google Increases Title Tag Lengths for Mobile Results
As we reported in this space last week, Google recently increased the lengths of both title tags and descriptions in the SERPs. Now, Google has also increased the lengths of title tags for mobile search results.
The new length gives site owners 78 characters to play with in titles.
Oddly enough, desktop title tags have a shorter maximum: 71 characters. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason behind Google’s inconsistency on the length.
Still, this is good news for webmasters who want longer titles to appear in mobile results.
Google Says 20% of Mobile Searches Are Voice Queries
You might be surprised at this stat: 20% of mobile searches are voice queries.
That’s according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. He made the announcement during his Google I/O keynote speech.
The number might actually represent a drop in voice queries as a percentage of overall searches. Way back in 2010, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that 25% of searches were voice queries.
Google recently announced Google Home – a voice-activated device that’s widely viewed as Google’s answer to Amazon Alexa. That’s why Pichai mentioned the stat about voice queries.
Google Says There’s No Way to Safely Redirect a Penalized Site
Here’s the question that was asked: “Is there a safe way you can redirect people from the old website (the one with a penalty) without worrying about any negative effect being passed on? Maybe robot it out, no-follow link or something like that?”
And here’s the answer Mueller gave: “It gets very close to cloaking, where you are saying users see this behavior and search engines see something completely different. And that is something I’d try to avoid. It goes against the webmaster guidelines. So maybe a pop up like you have it now is your best approach at the moment.”
Google Is Working on a Real-Time Indexing API
In a Google I/O session, Richard Gingras announced that the search giant is currently working on a real-time indexing API. All we know about it at this point is that the beta version of the API will be released “in the months to come.”