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The Featured Snippet: February 2020

The Featured Snippet is the official SEO newsletter of Performics and is dedicated to keeping you update-to-date with the latest SEO industry news, trends, and events—all in an easy-to-read, summed-up format. See below for the latest version of The Featured Snippet:

In the February 2020 issue of The Featured Snippet: 

  • “Confirmed” Google Algorithm Update (February 11, 2020)
  • Google Search Console Updates 
    • Review Snippets Data 
    • New (and Better) Ways to Export Data
  • Nofollow Attributes Now Treated as a “Hint” (March 1, 2020)
  • Bing Updates Bing Webmaster Tools
  • All Sites to Move to Mobile-first Indexing
  • YouTube Adds a Public Liaison

“Confirmed” Google Algorithm Update (February 11, 2020)

Earlier in the month, algorithm tracking tools showed huge spikes in ranking fluctuations and chatter among the SEO industry increased regarding a Google algorithm update. Google somewhat confirmed an algorithm update on Twitter by stating that they “do updates all the time.” Here is the announcement from Google: 

Google also pointed to a thread offering advice and information about Google updates. The thread reminds webmasters that Google “makes several updates any given week on a regular basis.” Here is the thread below: 


Google Search Console Updates

Review Snippets Data

Google added the capability to better track review snippets in Google Search Console. Review snippets are a rich result that often appear as stars and other review summary information. Below is a look at what review snippets look like in SERPs:

Google Search Console now offers the capability to analyze structured data of reviews with the Enhancement report. This report allows you to see errors, warnings, and valid pages for markup implemented on sites. Below is a screenshot of the Enhancement report:

Google Search Console also now offers the ability to monitor the performance of review snippets with the Performance report. You can now filter for “Review Snippet” within the search appearance filter. Below shows the new filter in Google Search Console: 

New (and Better) Ways to Export Data

Google has now added the ability to export more data from Google Search Console. Webmasters are now able to export data from the Enhancement report where you can find information about things like AMP, structured data, and mobile usability. We can also export much more data from the Performance report including data on Queries, Pages, Countries, Devices, Search appearances and Dates all in one export.


Nofollow Attributes Now Treated as a “Hint” (March 1, 2020)

This news was covered in the September 2019 edition of The Featured Snippet, but as a reminder, this update created two new nofollow attributes (“sponsored” and “UGC” or user-generated content) and announced that Google may use the attribute as a “hint” for ranking. They also announced that starting March 1, 2020, Google may now use the nofollow attribute as a “hint” for crawling or indexing. These updates are now officially rolled out by Google.

To better illustrate the change of the nofollow attribute, Moz created this very helpful chart shown below: 


Bing Updates Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing announced that it would be releasing a new version of Bing Webmaster Tools. In addition to releasing an updated user interface, several new tools will be released alongside the update. Starting in the first week of March, Bing Webmaster Tools will now include:

  • Backlinks Tool: Including a refreshed new backlinks report alongside the disavow tool.
  • Search Performance Page: This new report will include an integrated report that features page-level traffic alongside search keywords.
  • Sitemaps: The old sitemaps tool has been refreshed.


All Sites to Move to Mobile-First Indexing

Google officially announced that all sites will move to mobile-first indexing by September 2020. When a site moves to mobile-first indexing, Google will predominantly use the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking. While this shift is relatively gradual, 70% of websites are already in the mobile-first index. As mobile searches grow, it is important to keep an eye on your site’s mobile performance. 


YouTube Adds a Public Liaison 

In an attempt to help communicate more clearly with creators and support their efforts, YouTube has hired a public liaison. Matt Koval’s official title will be the “Head Creator Liaison” at YouTube. He is tasked with the goal of helping “creators understand Youtube and vice versa.” To follow Matt’s efforts, check out his new official Twitter at @YouTubeLiason. Below is the official announcement from Matt: