SEO Monthly Roundup July 2019

August 12th in SEO 4 minute read

July saw some big news break across the SEO world. The nature of SEO is ever-changing, so you never know what update or major change is around the corner. 

There’s been plenty going on this month and it’s easy to miss some of the big SEO news that breaks. To catch you up, we’ve compiled all of July’s updates into one blog post and explained what it might mean for you.

Google Assistant comes to Dish TV – could this affect search?

Google recently announced that its Google Assistant is set to come to DISH TV. DISH Hopper DVR users can now talk to their remote controller, giving them access to all of Google Assistant’s offerings. This means they can control smart home devices and find local business phone numbers with ease. So, what does this mean for search?

Although this change may seem insignificant, it shows that voice search is now growing at a rapid rate. Google’s partnership with DISH shows Google are taking voice search seriously and should be a major consideration for online publishers. 

As Google becomes more reliant on Schema.org structured data to help process information, it’s important for you to get accustomed to structured data and the speakable structured data property. Voice search is the future, so now is the time to get ahead of the game. Make sure you’re not left behind playing catchup later! 

Voice Control

Online Shopping via Smart Devices is growing at a rapid rate

With voice search optimisation a theme, a new report from eMarketer revealed that more and more users are conducting online shopping through smart speakers. 

Although not UK data, they revealed in the US around 31 million people use smart speakers for online shopping. This figure is up 31.6% based on 2018. Please note that eMarkerter does define ‘shopping’ as browsing, adding to cart and general research, it doesn’t necessarily mean the user purchased an item. But, this figure still shows that smart speakers are on the rise. 

Echo Dot

Google’s John Mueller sends out message to try and keep URLs under 1000 characters 

Google’s John Mueller recently released a statement that URLs should be kept to under 1000 characters where possible. He mentioned this during Google’s recent Webmaster Central hangout discussion about URL lengths. 

1000 characters is a lot of room to work with, for example – https://www.wehavezeal.com/services/seo is only 39 characters, so you really do have a lot of room to play with. Don’t worry too much about your URL length, as long as it’s below 1000 characters you’ll be fine.

You can see John’s full statement in the video below from around the 42:39 mark:

Could using unique images on your website be the way forward?  

Content has always been one of the main driving factors for SEO. People have argued what constitutes good content and how it should be written and formatted. One thing that everyone agrees on, is Google does not like duplicate content. So, with that in mind, does the same apply for imagery?

Images are important as they provide the user with visual aids when reading, as well as breaking up the wordy content a bit. Stock pictures are great but they can feel a bit soulless. You’ve probably seen them before somewhere and they don’t really add anything to the post. Unique images not only give soul to your post, they can also help with rankings. 

A recent study suggested that unique images actually rank better on Google than generic, duplicate images. So maybe it’s time to create your own images and use them across your site? It’s worth remembering to add alt tags to your images to help Google crawl your page and improve accessibility.

Website

Google adds playable podcasts into search results

Google announced recently that they’ve added playable podcasts into your desktop and mobile search results. They will reportedly rank the podcasts based on what it is the podcast is talking about. So they’ll essentially index the words being said in the podcast and show you relevant podcasts based on your search term. 

They also announced that this feature will be added to Google Assistant later on in the year. Podcasts are looking set to become an important part of SEO strategy, so it may be worth looking into now before everyone finds out. 

Microphone

Speculation arises that Google are using our facial emotions to impact rankings

Speculation has arisen that Google has filed a patent for biometric parameters as a ranking signal in search results. This essentially means they’ll use our front camera to record our facial expressions and motions to determine whether we’re happy with the results we’re seeing on the page. 

There are a number of biometric parameters they could use to determine our results, from the following:

  • Increased body temperature and heart rate
  • Pupil dilation
  • Eye twitching
  • Facial flushing
  • Decreased blink rate

This is pretty unsettling news for some, but as its all speculation at the moment, who knows what the future may hold? Would you be okay with Google using your facial expressions to determine search results? 

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