SEO Monthly Roundup August 2019

September 11th in SEO 5 minute read

August was as busy as ever in the world of SEO, with changes to Google Search Console and updates to Bing’s Webmaster Tool, there’s plenty to catch up on. 

With everything that goes on, it’s quite easy to miss out on the big news, so we’ve rounded up all the major news from August here so you don’t miss a thing.

Are Bing and Google working together?

Bing Webmaster Tools introduces Google Search console site verification

This may seem a little strange but Bing’s Webmaster Tool has introduced a Beta option allowing you to import sites saved to Google Search Console. So it appears that Bing and Google are now working together to allow web owners to verify their sites in Bing’s Webmaster Tools. 

It’s quite easy to do. When you log in, look for the option in the top right corner that says “Already verified on Google Search Console? Skip verification by importing your site”. You can then import your site into the tool. It’s worth keeping an eye out for more updates in the future but if you’re a Webmaster user then make the most of the Beta version and see what it can do for you. Below you can see a screenshot of the message you can expect to see:

Google Search Console

Bing Places adds the ability for you to import your Google My Business Listings

It really does seem like the Bing and Google romance is here to stay as you can now also import your Google My Business listings into Bing Places. 

The process is similar to Webmaster. Just log in to your Places account and in the top right corner, there should be a message for you to sync your My Business Listings to your Places account. 

Google Search Console adds traffic from “Swipe to Visit” feature 

On Google Images, you may have seen where it gives users the option to swipe to visit your page if your image is featured. Google Search Console has now added any visitors that arrive at your page from the Swipe to Visit feature to the new “AMP on Images Results” section. 

Swipe to visit

What does this mean for you?

Image searching is one of the main ways you can draw traffic to your website and the Swipe to Visit feature is sure to make it even easier for users to move from an image to your page. 

And with this data at hand you have even more ways to optimise their journey. 

How do you access this data?

Finding this data is quite simple:

  • Log into your Google Search Console account and click Performance Reports
  • Select “Image” from the Search Type filter
  • Click “+ New” and then click on “Search Appearance”
  • Select the “AMP on Image Result” option, this will give you the click and impression data coming through for the Swipe to Visit feature

Did you miss July’s update where we revealed why online shopping is growing rapidly on smart devices? Find out what happened here

Majestic introduces a new enhanced tool for backlink data

Majestic already provide a whole host of information about backlinks but their new enhanced tool provides you with more insight than ever before giving you precise context for where links have come from and why they appear. 

The upgrade now allows you to organise web pages into 40 segments and gives you:

  • Visibility into where the backlink physically appears on the page
  • What text surrounds it
  • Internal and external link density

This helps you to fully determine what backlinks are valuable and potentially presents you with further link-building opportunities for the future. It also features a search/sort/filter feature that allows you to do the following:

  • Single out backlinks according to the keyword is used in the surrounding text
  • Locate any DoFollow links that sit in the top 20% of a page
  • Find where links are congested, such as spammy directory listings
  • Find links on high authority pages that don’t contain many further external links

The tool now also offers you with link context visualisation via a context chart which helps to present the information. 

The new advancements for this tool are set to make it far more effective for link-building. The below video is by Dixon Jones, the Global Brand Ambassador for Majestic breaking down what the new update might mean for you:

Google Images launched new interface box

Speaking of Google Images, they’ve released a new look to their interface boxes. The new boxes preview a larger image and feature more details about the image and any related images. It also now sits on the right-hand side so you can continue to scroll through other related images on the left.

Here’s a preview of what you can expect:

Google Images

Google adds new structured data for movie listings

Google has announced new developer documentation for structured data relating to move markups. You can read the documentation here. It tells you exactly how you should mark your movies up with structured data so users can search through movies in the SERPs. 

Here’s Google Webmaster’s Twitter page confirming the news:

Google tweet

What are Google recommending?

This documentation outlines that Google place importance on the movie, the director of the movie and an image of the movie are the main item properties you can expect. Although the image and the name are required, Google also recommends the following: 

  • Aggregate Rating
  • Date Created
  • Director
  • Reviews

Custom Javascript can now be added to AMP pages

The final piece of news we’re going to look at concerns custom Javascript, with Google announcing you can now add these to AMP pages. The “amp-script” component can now be used to enable user interactions, and gives you the ability to share code across non-AMP pages and AMP-enabled pages. 

Before this update, AMP pages have been pretty static, limiting their usability and forcing publishers to compromise on speed and visibility in mobile search results. The new update now promotes interactivity features offered by Javascript. 

To summarise this point, AMP pages are set to become a lot more interactive for the user creating an improved customer experience.

Javascript

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