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The Featured Snippet: August 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 August 2020 issue of The Featured Snippet: 

  • Google Experiences Indexation Glitches (August 10 & 15)
  • Bing Opens Up Free Product Listings
  • Google Search Console Updates
    • Search Console Insights 
  • Google Launches Home Activity Schema
  • Google Updates Activity Cards for Products, Jobs, and Recipes
  • Speculation Around Apple Search Engine

Google Experiences Indexation Glitches (August 10 & 15)

On August 10, webmasters experienced massive changes to Google Search results rankings—leading many to believe a huge algorithm update was rolled out. However, Google confirmed later that this was an indexation issue and not an algorithm update. The index issue left massive fluctuations in metrics from August 10 until the issue was resolved on August 11.  The announcement from Google is below: 

On August 15, Google seemed to experience another algorithm bug—this one not confirmed by Google. Webmasters saw more significant changes to metrics, leading them to believe this was another index issue. This issue seemed to be resolved later in the evening on August 15. 


Bing Opens Up Free Product Listings 

Microsoft followed suit with Google’s announcement of free Shopping listings by announcing that Bing will offer organic listings in Bing’s Shopping tab. Bing explained that this change will first be rolled on in the United States with other markets to follow: United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany. 


Google Search Console Updates

Search Console Insights

Google announced they began to roll out the new Search Console Insights tool to beta users. Designed especially for content creators, this tool will give content creators “the data they need to make informed decisions and improve their content.” Leveraging both Google Search Console and Google Analytics data, the insights will help users identify top performing content. While only available to beta testers at the moment, this tool will eventually roll out to all users. 

Below is a look at the Search Console Insights beta:


Google Launches Home Activity Schema

In late August, Google added details to their developer documentation that outlined how to implement a new home activities structured data. This rich results feature will help people discover activities they can do from home. With social distancing measures still in place and many people across the world in quarantine, this new schema will help users discover at-home classes, events, and videos. This new schema can be added to either event or video schema to markup upcoming live streams, already recorded videos, or another online event. 

Below is a look at the new home activity rich result in SERPs: 


Google Updates Activity Cards for Products, Jobs, and Recipes

Google’s Activity Cards help searchers return to previously searched queries. An update in August focused on the top three queries that are most important in the current climate: jobs, recipes, and online shopping. 

  • Shopping: shopping activity cards display product reviews, news articles, and price updates to assist in the research that occurs before a purchase.
  • Jobs: jobs activity cards show searchers new and relevant job postings that are relevant to their search.
  • Recipes: recipe activity cards show searchers related and previously searched recipes.

Below shows an example of activity cards populating in SERPs: 


Speculation Around Apple Search Engine

Speculation picked up in August about Apple creating its own search engine to compete with major search engines like Google and Bing. Coywolf released an article about Apple showing signs that it may launch a search engine including instances like Apple updating its documentation on Applebot and increasing in crawling from Applebot. More information to come on this update, but a new search engine from Apple will present new opportunities for SEO that may not be possible with Google or other search engines.