Google has quietly rolled out several small but notable changes to a number of its core products and services as of late. We’ll recap you on the most important ones you need to know about. In addition, Apple made an announcement that could spell trouble for Google as far as its desktop search market share is concerned. Here are the full details about each of these headlines in this week’s SEO news roundup.
New Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
Google has released a more efficient, and much better looking, version of its mobile friendly testing tool. When you enter the URL of your site in the new tool it will return a score for your site’s mobile friendliness, mobile page speed, and desktop page speed. Scores range from good, to fair, to poor. In addition to the scores, there is also an option to send a detailed report to your email inbox, or you can view more details about your score as you scroll down the page. The report will also give recommendations on what you should definitely fix and what you should consider fixing.
Google’s original PageSpeed Insight tool still exists, but with this new tool being so much more user friendly, and better designed, it’s hard to imagine going back to using the old version. According to Google, almost half of all people will leave a mobile site that doesn’t load fast enough, so you can never be too proactive on keeping your page speed scores at an acceptable level.
Google Search Console Update: Compare Keyword Data
Google has added a useful new feature to Search Console which will give you the ability to compare keyword data side by side. The new feature can be found by going to Search Console and navigating to the Search Analytics section. From there, look for where it says ‘Queries’ and there will be a new drop down option called ‘Compare queries…’. From there you can enter in two separate keywords and Search Console will compare the data side by side. The tool can break down keyword data day-by-day, or you can also set it to compare date ranges if you wanted to measure keyword performance month over month.
Google AdWords Change ‘Ad’ Tag Color to Green
You might have noticed over the past couple of months that Google has changed the color of its AdWords ’Ad’ tag in search results from yellow to green. It was originally just a test, but the company has recently confirmed that the change is now permanent. If you haven’t seen the change yet, you soon will as it is rolling out to all countries and all devices. The new green tag is the exact same color as the green URL in AdWords ad units; could this be Google’s way of trying to make ads look less like ads?
Google Clarifies How Autocomplete Works
There has been a lot of controversy lately about Google’s autocomplete feature and whether or not it has been intentionally not showing negative search suggestions for a certain political candidate. Without getting too political itself, Google put out an official statement which explains that autocomplete is designed to not suggest negative search results about anyone, not just particular individuals. There’s no doubt that Google put out this statement in response to the criticism it has received. This is Google’s way of setting the record straight on autocomplete:
“The autocomplete algorithm is designed to avoid completing a search for a person’s name with terms that are offensive or disparaging. We made this change a while ago following feedback that Autocomplete too often predicted offensive, hurtful or inappropriate queries about people. This filter operates according to the same rules no matter who the person is…”
Siri is Coming to Mac
In voice search news, Apple’s AI assistant Siri is coming to Mac when the latest macOS Sierra is launched later this year. This could end up having some effect on the landscape of desktop search market share, as Google will not be the default provider for Siri on Mac. Just like on iOS, Bing will be powering Siri searches on the new macOS — this means there is potential for Bing to see some gains in desktop search market share when the new OS is released. It will be interesting to see how this change shakes up desktop search, if at all.
Wrapping it Up
Google has a new mobile-friendly testing tool, you can compare keywords in Search Console, get used to green as the new ‘Ad’ tag color, the autocomplete conspiracy has been debunked, and desktop search may get shaken up thanks to Siri on Macs. If you have any questions about any of these updates, please leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond.