This week Google made some fundamental changes to how it indexes certain pieces of content. The company’s smart messaging app, called Allo, was released this week and it’s already causing some controversy.
Full details about each of these headlines are included in this week’s SEO and internet marketing news roundup.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) Included in Google’s Regular Set of Search Results
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), a technology rolled out earlier this year, is designed to make the web faster by loading content instantaneously. AMPs were first introduced in search results through a ‘Top Pages’ carousel, which contained the day’s news in AMP format. The problem with that was — non-news sites are adopting AMP technology as well and their content wasn’t being surfaced in search results.
Now that has changed. AMPs will now be included in Google’s organic search results just as though they were any other page. In fact, when searching on a mobile device, Google will automatically surface the AMP version of a page when both versions are available. AMP pages in organic search will still be designated by the familiar lightning bolt icon.
AMP is not a ranking signal in and of itself, but page load time certainly is. According to Google, the average AMP page loads in under a second while the average non-AMP page loads in 19 seconds using cellular data. With all else being equal, it’s possible that AMPs will have some kind of ranking benefit due to the fact they load faster. However, that is pure speculation.
Google’s Smart Messaging App Now Available
After quite a bit of anticipation and fanfare, Google Allo has finally been released to the world. The app comes with a voice assistant, the ability to bring Google into any chat window, and the ability to chat one-on-one with Google if you’d like. The app does much more, but for the purposes of this news roundup we’re just covering the relevant search features.
Allo contains what Google is calling a “preview edition’ of the Google Assistant. You can have conversations with Google Assistant, asking it for information or telling it to do things for you. You can chat with the assistant one-on-one, or bring it into chats with others using the ‘@google’ command. It can suggest plans for you and your friends this evening, and create a calendar event at the same time.
Google Allo has been getting mixed reviews so far, due in part to the fact that the app permanently stores your conversations by default. Other leading messaging apps have end-to-end encryption turned on by default, meaning your conversations aren’t stored by default. Google says it does this to improve the Smart Reply functionality of Allo, which suggests replies based on your communication style. The idea is that the more of your communication Google stores, the better Smart Reply will get over time.
Although Allo stores conversations by default, users do have the option to manually delete them. Controversy aside, Allo is something worth paying attention to because it could have a profound impact on the way people search for information online; if it becomes popular of course.
Potential New Local Search Algorithm
There has been much chatter this month within the SEO community about a possible new algorithm rolled out in local search. If there has been a shakeup in your local rankings this month, it is recommended you read this detailed writeup about what’s being called “Possum”.
More AMPs in organic search means more exposure for publishers and a better search experience for users. Allo is a new messaging app with Google search built right into the experience; if it catches on it change the ways in which people search for information online.
There’s always something changing in the world of search, and it’s our job to keep you caught up with it. See you next week.