A Google update may have occurred on November 10th, we’ll explain why we think so and where the data is coming from.
Another unfortunate Google update, in the form of a bug, definitely occurred this week causing the wrong publish date to show up in search results. We’ll tell you exactly why this is happening and how to avoid it.
In paid search news, there has been a change to AdWords’ price extensions, and Google is going after fake news sites. In technical SEO news, Google revealed an important new piece of information about how it indexes AMP pages.
Full details about each of these stories are included in this week’s SEO news update.
A Google Update on November 10th?
According to reports, an update to Google search may have occurred on November 10th affecting traffic and ranking positions. Reports from both Search Engine Journal and G-Squared Interactive present data that there was indeed a shakeup that clearly began on November 10th.
So far the impact has been both positive and negative, with site owners reporting on both increases and decreases in traffic since November 10th. Glenn Gabe of G-Squared interactive speculates that the volatility may be a result of Google’s transition to a mobile-first index.
The reason for that is because sites that saw a decrease in traffic ended up having issues with the mobile versions of their sites. The opposite is also true, sites with an excellent mobile setup in place have reported on seeing gains in traffic.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you check your traffic data if you haven’t done so since November 10th. If there has been a notable decrease in traffic, look for issues with the mobile version of your site.
Bug Causes Wrong Publish Date to Show in Google Search
A bug is currently affecting Google’s search results pages, which is causing the wrong publish date to be shown for certain posts. It turns out the bug is being caused by embedded YouTube videos.
When there is YouTube video embedded on one of your web pages, Google will show searchers the date the video was published rather than the date the web page was published. This can be problematic since it makes fresh content appear old when an older YouTube video is embedded on it.
Unfortunately, the only way around the bug at this point is to not embed YouTube videos in your content (which is an approach that we obviously do not recommend). Google has acknowledged it’s aware of the bug, but has not commented on when a fix can be expected.
Fake News Site Can No Longer Use Google Ads
Google made a change to its AdSense publisher policies this week which will prevent fake news sites from being able to use AdSense ads. This is definitely going to hurt the fake news sites out there that rely on Google display ads for revenue. Perhaps the long-term strategy is to make it harder for these sites to earn money, thereby driving them off the web when they’re no longer profitable.
When a Site Has Only Desktop + AMP, Google Will Index Desktop Version
In an interesting piece of technical SEO news, we learned this week that when a website has only a desktop version and an AMP version, Google will index the desktop version by default. This is important to note for any site owners out there who were thinking of going AMP-only for the mobile version of their site. If there’s no traditional responsive or mobile version, Google is going to be indexing the desktop version. However, if a site is purely coded in AMP HTML then it will be indexed just fine.
There Are 130 Trillion Pages on the Web!
In a piece of general web news, Google shared this week that there are now 130 trillion pages on the internet. Google provided this statistic in an updated version of its How Search Works page. The page hasn’t been updated in 4 years — at last count the number was at 30 trillion pages. So that means 100 trillion pages have been added to the web in the span of 4 years. That’s astonishing! To be clear, Google doesn’t have 130 trillion pages in its index, that’s how many pages it’s aware of being on the web.
A Google update may have occurred on November 10th. Wrong publish dates are being shown in search results for pages with embedded YouTube videos. Fake news sites are cut off from using AdSense ads. Google indexes the desktop version of a site by default when no responsive or mobile version exists. To cap it all off, there are 130 trillion pages connecting this web together.