1. GOOGLE LAUNCHES BETA VERSION OF BRAND NEW SEARCH CONSOLE

Google has rolled out the beta version of the new and improved search console and SEO’s are more than happy, to say the least. The most promising new feature is the access to 16-month-old historical data. It enables year over year comparison which is great from every aspect.

Google has built the new search console from the scratch and not all features are available yet. They are still working on it, and they will keep on adding useful features from the old search console to the new. So as of now, most of the tools you will click on will have a coming soon message.

However, you do have access to the performance tool which is easy to understand with filtering options like: By device, country, impressions, CTR and more.

The Index coverage report is the perfect blend of old index status & crawl reports errors. It enables you to see how well Google is indexing your site as well to identify and fix any issues.

The new search console will also help you validate newly fixed AMP URLs. The updated AMP status report will provide details into the specific Errors.

As of now, the above-mentioned tools and features are the biggest highlights of the new search console. But it’s still in the beta mode and many tools and features are yet to come, so stay tuned.
We will keep you updated on new features as and when they go live.

2. YOU CAN NOW ADD VIDEOS TO YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING

Google was testing a new video feature in early January that allowed business owners and customers to add videos, related to the business. Allyson Wright from Google My Business advertiser community announced that they have fully rolled out the video feature and now all the business owners can add videos to their listing. These videos will be visible on Google Maps and local search results.

Some important points to consider:

  • Videos up to 30 seconds in length are supported.
  • Videos will appear in the overview tab of the GMB Dashboard.
  • Customer uploaded videos can be found in the customer tab.
  • Merchant uploaded videos can be found in the by owner tab.
  • All videos can be viewed together in the videos tab.
  • After upload it could take up to 24 hours for the videos to appear.
  • Once live, they will display where local photos do.

The process to add videos is same as photos. Go to your GMB dashboard, click photos on the left and instead of adding photos, add the link to the videos.

3. PAGE SPEED WILL OFFICIALLY BE A RANKING FACTOR IN GOOGLE FROM JULY 2018

It’s 2018 and if your web page takes more than 10 seconds to load, then you are far behind! Nobody likes to wait for minutes just for your page to load — they will simply hit the back button. According to a study, 53% of the users will abandon the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load! So it came as no surprise when Google announced that site speed will be a ranking factor within the mobile search results from July 2018.

However, Google assured that only a small percentage of the sites will be affected by it since the majority of the site loads faster than 10 seconds. Also, there will be exceptions to websites which provide relevant and high-quality content to users. Those websites can still rank well in the search engine result pages because the intent of the search query is still a strong factor.

If you are not sure about your site’s speed, you can use the Google’s “Test My Site” tool. This tool uses a standard 3G connection to replicate what most people are using to surf the web using mobiles. It not only tells you about your site speed but also gives suggestions on how you can improve.

What About AMP?

Google’s announcement stated that it “applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page”, which means AMP gets no special advantage except that by its very nature it will pass all of these speed standards with flying colors. However, that doesn’t mean that you get an automatic pass if you’re using AMP because you need to be sure that everything is set up properly.
If you need any help with mobile optimization, we can assist. Just reach out to us and we will be able assist you further. 

4. IMPORTANT GOOGLE ADWORDS UPDATES FOR FEBRUARY 2018

  • The Dynamic search ads allow you to target the entire website or domain name so that you can target a broad audience. However, Google has made some significant changes to it and the changes will go live soon. To know exactly how it will affect you, click.
  • Google allowed the advertiser to spend as much as twice the daily budget simply to get more money from their pocket. But how advertisers are responding to it and does it really changed anything within AdWords … find out.
  • Google and Facebook get biggest slice of advertising cake. A recent study revealed that 1/4 (61%) of the global advertising spend goes to Google and Facebook. However, the number may drop soon as people are starting to allocate their ad budget to different platforms.
  • Google officially removed the Adwords Review extension and all the performance data will be deleted by Feb 2018.
  • Last year we saw shocking reports that YouTube ads were running alongside some inappropriate videos. It scared the advertiser because it would cause more harm than good. Addressing the issue, YouTube has now made it mandatory for the YouTubers to have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000h watch time if they want to monetize their content.
  • Re-marketing is one of the best marketing weapons in your arsenal. Here’s a great tutorial on how to utilize it to the fullest.
  • What is Doubleclick adoptive re-marketing and how does it work. Find out.
  • Manually selecting placements to run display ads may seem like a good option, but it is not the right solution to click frauds. Also, it makes you miss the flexibility of automated placements.
  • Re-marketing is good but only if done in a balanced manner. Many advertisers overdo it and as a result, annoy the users. Although Google can’t tell advertisers to stop targeting a particular user, they may give the power to the users to block re-marketing ads coming from a specific advertiser.

5. YOUTUBE’S NEW MONETIZATION POLICY, NOT A BAD DECISION

Recently, YouTube has announced that it will demonetize all the small channels on the platform, as per the site’s new eligibility criteria channels need to have more than 1,000 subscribers, with at least 4,000 hours of watching within the past 12 months.

The decision came after Logan Paul’s ‘suicide video’ incident. According to the company, the decision of demonetizing the small channels is taken in order to, “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.”

The channels that fail to meet these criteria will no longer be able to monetize and will lose access to tools and features associated with the YouTube partner program by next month. If any channel fails to meet the criteria but, later if they manage to pass it, will be automatically re-evaluated in the new criteria. All the new channels joining the platform will have to, manually apply for evaluation.

Though many are criticizing YouTube’s new policy and terming it as “favoritism” for big channels or “penalty” for small channels, it is not a bad decision.

  • Firstly, the new policy is not preventing the channels to grow and increase the subscribers. However, they can improve the content and attract more subscribers to the channel. If the creators aim to earn money from the platform, they will work hard on the content and grow the channel.
  • There are many creators who do run the channels for a hobby then, for earning money from it and many channels hardly earn money from this. According to YouTube, “99% of those affected channels were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month.
  • And even Before this new policy there a benchmark of 10,000 channel views. The new benchmark will ensure that the content creators are regularly creating videos and they will push them to hold the subscriber base and get regular views, and that’s important and good.