Google announced the new snippet controls are rolling out and will be fully live by the end of this month plus yet another issue with displaying new content in Google Search and why does the future of search begin with a ‘V’.
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall
In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
- Google is rolling out new snippet controls
- Google having issues showing new content again
- The future of search begins with a “v” – as in voice and visual search
Let’s dive in into our selection of search engine news, shall we?
Google’s New Snippet Controls
Google gave users a heads-up that the new snippet controls which were announced a few weeks ago, will begin rolling out and ‘fully live’ by the end of this month. Interestingly, this coincides with the Europeans press publication changes in France, where Google cannot show snippets.
Beginning in a few days, Google Search will start using new preview markup in search results. It will be fully live worldwide by next week. Learn more about the new markup here: https://t.co/hmjhcvguJF
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) October 16, 2019
Beginning in a few days, you may see changes to how some content is previewed in Google Search globally. Sites can now choose the length of their text snippets, video previews and the size of thumbnail images…
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 16, 2019
Here are the new snippet controls:
- “Nosnippet” – this is an existing option to specify that you don’t want any textual snippet shown for this page.
- “Max-snippet:[number]” – (new) Specify a maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet for your page.
- “Max-video-preview:[number]” – (new) Specify a maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview.
- “Max-image-preview:[setting]” – (new) Specify a maximum size of image preview to be shown for images on this page, using either “none”, “standard”, or “large”.
We’ve seen samples of Google not showing anything but the URL in search, we assumed it was a bug. But it was probably Google testing these new functions.
Google Having Issues Showing New Content Again
Not seeing your new and fresh content show up in Google News and Google Search? You are not alone.
Google seems to be having issues showing new content from websites and publishers. This seems to be impacting both large and small publishers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and CNN.
We’re aware of an issue that may be causing slight delays in indexing fresh content. We’re looking into it and will update when it is clear.
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) October 16, 2019
The issue. According to Danny Sullivan, this might have been caused due to an issue with the filters and search tools but he said the new content had been indexed.
Sounds familiar? Google has been experiencing issues with indexing in April, May and August of 2019. In fact, Google explained some of those issues way back in August 2019.
Why do we care? If a publisher’s new content is not displayed in Google News and Google Search, this will impact their traffic – and we know how daunting traffic drops are.
The issue seems to have been resolved, however, with the continuation of such problems and the damage to your traffic that they cause, we hope Google will up its game and prevent it from happening so often.
The future of search begins with a ‘V’
The future of search begins with a “v” – as in voice and visual search. While “voice search” (on smart speakers) hasn’t taken off quite yet, as we enter the era of “ambient computing,” it’s clear that voice will be the universal interface for an increasingly diverse array of connected devices.
The oft-cited stat, “50% of all searches in 2020 will be voice searches,” has been discredited. However, in 2016 Google said, “in the Google app, 20% of searches are now by voice.” Since that time, adoption of voice and virtual assistants has grown significantly.
So while it might not be 50%, voice input (on smartphones) already drives a non-trivial percentage of queries. We just don’t know exactly how many because Google doesn’t break it out. And, as Amara’s law states, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” So it will be with voice.
Why we should care? As a general matter, retailers and product marketers need to optimise for image search and local marketers need to ensure that their various local profiles (GMB, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) have a rich supply of images – profiles with optimised images significantly outperform those without.
Stepping back we can say something like “the search box is expanding;” SEO and content discovery are becoming more fragmented and complex. And while it may not be today, marketers need to start preparing for a time when consumers use voice/virtual assistants and the smartphone camera as much as they use text in the traditional search box to access information and express buying intent.
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