Google Search Console toolbox

Even more changes to Google Search Console

The new Search Console has only been out for a month, but Google says that more changes are on the way. And the Search Console UX team is already soliciting user feedback on what features they’d like to see in the next release of Search Console.

Just as with the new version of Google AdWords, Google is letting users switch between the old and new versions of Search Console as they accustom themselves to the new layout and features. But there’s another reason to switch between views: Google still has to port some of the functionality available in the older version.

New and improved features in the beta release include a revamped Search Performance report (now with 16 months of data), and an updated Index Coverage report with new alerts.

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Slow Mobile Site? You’ve got four months to fix it

We knew it was coming; now we know when.

Google has announced that starting in July 2018 page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile search results.

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Intelligent Answers: Bing beats Google

Can Microsoft save us from ourselves?

Facebook, Twitter, and Google stand accused of creating an echo chamber that surrounds us with viewpoints that are similar to our own.

We see similar search results, related posts, and comments, all based on what we’ve already liked, reposted and clicked on. And what one person sees on social media and in search results may be very different to what others see.

The trouble is, without the opportunity to consider a different perspective, we don’t.

Bravo, then, Bing. Over the holidays, Microsoft’s search engine launched Intelligent Answers: search results that give different perspectives to complicated questions where the answers aren’t necessarily black. Nor white.

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Google to help improve WordPress performance

WordPress is the dominant CMS on the Web with nearly 60% of all websites using the platform. But, as good as it is, it does have issues with load times and code bloat compared to many other platforms.

Google, already rolling out its “Mobile First” index (with its focus on site speed), has just announced a partnership with WordPress to collaborate in improving website performance and speed.

Alberto Medina, Developer Advocate in the Content Ecosystems Team at Google, is on the hunt for WordPress Experts to join the Google team and fast-track these improvements.

Check out Medina’s blog for his take on Google’s vision for WordPress, more information on the partnership and how to join Google’s WordPress project

Google makes it easier to stop remarketing ads

Advertisers love them, consumers…not so much. Which is why Google is making it easier for people to block remarketing ads when they become too pesky. As when, for example, you made the purchase offline, but you’re still considered a potential buyer online.

Easy is, of course, a relative term: people can only opt out of seeing specific ads on a case by case basis (the ban lasts for 90 days), but they cannot opt to stop seeing all remarketing ads completely.

Opting out is currently limited to Google Display Network ad exposure. However, remarketing ads on YouTube and Gmail, as well as Google Search retargeting ads, will soon be included.

Funnily enough, in announcing the new settings, Google calls opting out “muting” (perhaps because they can come back after 90 days). Google also refers to remarketing ads as “reminder” ads, much in the same way (we imagine) an arms dealers might call his products “safety devices”.

What’s the lesson here for marketers? If someone’s annoyed enough at your ads that they want to turn them off, you’re doing something wrong. People will procrastinate over some purchase decisions, sure, but there’s a point at which your remarketing ad is no longer a reminder but a nag.

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Google cans AdWords Review Extensions

Four and a bit years after launch, Google has pulled the plug on AdWords’ Review Extensions.

But there’s no need for tears: it has always been notoriously difficult to get Google approval for any excerpted quote or summary for what, consequently, has been an under-used ad extension.

Call Out and Sitelink ad extensions are not exactly the same thing, but savvy marketers know they can be coerced to do the same job.

What made Review Extensions such a bugbear? Reviews couldn’t be more than a year old and had to be from a reputable third-party website. That seemed reasonable enough. But even when you followed the guidelines, Google seemed to find new reasons for disapproval.

Google has recently removed notification that review extensions have been discontinued from its AdWord support pages, but if you’ve lost track of what ad extensions you can use, they’re all there.

About the Author SureFire

These search marketing news updates feature articles of interest picked up through the week by the SureFire team.

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