SEO Monthly Roundup April 2020

May 21st in SEO 5 minute read

The world may gradually be finding its feet again, but with more people using the internet than ever, for Google, the SEO developments never really stopped. Here’s a roundup of what happened in April.

Google launch search tips for when searches don’t return good results

Google has launched an update where you may start seeing this message above your search results: “it looks like there aren’t any great matches for your search”. Google has confirmed this will be for a small number of searches. So you may or may not see this message appear.

If you do, you will also be given tips to help you get better results.

See an example below:

Google SERPs

Source: Search Engine Land

White House encourages the use of Schema

The White House has been coordinating with Schema.org to encourage organisations to use Schema for their announcements. They aim to encourage visibility for their coronavirus related information in search engines. The presidential department is instructing federal chief information officers and encouraging the private sector, state, local governments, and the academic community to use and further incorporate the structured data tags “SpecialAnnouncement” and “eventAttendanceMode”. 

This is likely to encourage and promote schema use for both government sectors as well as private companies. Heightened awareness could eventually lead to a broader rollout of other structured data types by developers across different industries.

Bing adds snippet controls to help webmasters control their search result previews

Bing has announced that they’re now supporting snippet controls using robot meta tags via HTML or X-Robots tag. This will help webmasters manage how their search results are shown in Bing. Here’s a look at what the three new Bing controls:

1 – “max-snippet:[number]” — 

This allows you to specify the maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet in search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-snippet:400” />” For example, if you set the value = 0, Bing won’t show a text snippet. But if you set the value = -1, then it does not specify a limit.

2 – “max-image-preview:[value]” — 

This lets you specify the maximum size of an image preview in your search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-image-preview:large” />” For example:

– If value = none, Bing won’t show a preview of your image.

– If value = standard, Bing may show a standard size image.

– If value = large, Bing may show a standard or a larger-sized image in the search results.

– If the value is neither of them, it will not specify a limit.

3 – “max-video-preview:[number]” — 

This allows you to specify the max number of seconds of a video preview in search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-video-preview:-1” />” For example:

– If value = 0, Bing may show a static image of the video.

– If value = -1, it does not specify a limit.

If you need any more help or guidance moving forward, take a look at the Bing help documents here. 

SEO Consultancy

Google make it free to sell products in Shopping

Google has announced that soon it will be free for merchants to sell their products in Google Shopping. This means that SEOs and Webmasters can now add Google Shopping to their toolkits to target. The launch takes place in the US first before rolling out globally before the end of the year. The plan is to start rolling it out immediately in the US, with the Google Shopping tab consisting mostly of free product listings. Google released a statement to confirm why they made this decision:

“And as consumers increasingly shop online, they’re searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods.

While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.”

How will this impact different sectors?

  • Online Shop Owners – this gives retailers free exposure of their products to millions of people who are searching for products daily.
  • Online Shoppers – this allows shoppers to discover more products from a wider variety of stores that they may not have otherwise discovered. 

Businesses are preparing for life after lockdown

With restrictions slowly easing, now is the time for businesses to plan for life after lockdown. Many have reopened and are starting to take orders online, albeit with longer delivery times. 

Here are a few great ways you can get your website ready to sell again:

  • If you have messaging on your site saying your products are temporarily down, don’t forget to remove this messaging so your customers know you’re selling again. 
  • Continue to update customers on waiting times for deliveries to avoid complaints. 
  • If you have any niggling technical issues on your site that you’ve been putting off, now is the time to get them fixed. 
  • Why not take the time to dive into what search queries people are using to find your site? Take a look at Google Search Console, ensure your site is set up and use the ‘Performance’ part of Search Console to find what search queries customers are using. You can then use these to shape your content plan moving forward.
  • Don’t forget to update Google Business to let customers know you’re open for business again.

Businesses everywhere are thinking about what’s next. So now is the perfect time to embrace change and set yourself up for success. With that in mind, we launched Strategic Springboard

Strategic Springboard is our creative and strategic support service for brands with their sights set firmly on the future. We’re offering a free 2-hour strategy session, where you can ask questions or tell us about your challenges, ideas, and plans.

We’ll then pull together the right people and services to deliver them, and provide you with a top-level strategy proposal with our recommended approach.

Book your free 2-hour strategy session

Person searching on Google

Google release May update

On a side note, Google has released a brand new algorithm update so keep your eyes peeled on your traffic over the coming weeks to see if you’ve been impacted. We’ve written an SEO blog about the Google May 2020 Core Update where you can find out all the information you need. 

Do you need help with your website following the update?

If you’re unsure what the May update may mean for your website or need help with your SEO strategy moving forward, then do not worry. We’re an SEO agency that’s dedicated to keeping you ahead of the game.

Email seoteam@wehavezeal.com to speak to our team or use the link below to find out about our free SEO audit or to speak to one of our SEO team.

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