The Featured Snippet: April 2019


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 April 2019 issue of The Featured Snippet:

  • Google De-Indexation Bug: A Quick Timeline
  • GSC Adds Google Discover Report
  • AMP Announcements from Tokyo 2019 AMP Conference
  • New “Before: & After:” Search Operators
  • seoClarity Study Show Images in SERPs on the Rise
  • Google My Business News & Updates
  • Bing Ads Re-brands as Microsoft Advertising

Google De-Indexation Bug Erases Indexed URLs

A bug caused several issues within Google’s index, Google Search Console, and Google News throughout the month of April. Here’s a quick timeline of what was affected by the bugs:

Thursday, April 4, 2019: Complaints surfaced among the SEO community about Google removing a large chunk of URLs within its index.

Saturday, April 7, 2019: Google and John Mueller confirm a “technical issue,” and efforts are being made to resolve it. Below shows confirmations from Google and John Mueller on Twitter:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019: Google announces on Twitter that the indexation issue has been completely resolved – 6 days after initial indexation complaints. Below shows the official announcement from the Google SearchLiason account:

Thursday, April 11, 2019: Moz’s Dr. Pete Myers estimated the Google de-indexation bug erased 4% of URLs within Google’s index. Below shows confirmation from Moz’s Dr. Pete Myers:

Resource: https://moz.com/blog/how-bad-was-googles-deindexing-bug

Monday, April 15, 2019: Google indexation bug spreads to Google Search Console, which affected coverage, enhancements, and URL inspection tool. Below shows Google’s confirmation of the spread bug to GSC from Twitter:

Resource: https://www.seroundtable.com/googles-indexing-bug-now-impacting-search-console-27410.html

Google Search Console Adds Discover Report

Google announced that it has added a Discover Report to help webmasters gain visibility into traffic they are receiving from Google Discover. Google Discover is a feature within Google Search that allows users to stay up-to-date on their favorite topics without entering a query. This feature has recently been coined as “position negative one.” Here’s a quick look at the Google Discover feature:

Google Discover feature home page

The Performance Report has now been split into “ Search Results” and “Discover.” Here’s a look what the report looks like in GSC:

Resources:

AMP Announcements from Tokyo 2019 AMP Conference

The yearly AMP conference was held in Tokyo from April 17 and 18, which brought new announcements and features. Here are some of the biggest announcements from the Tokyo AMP conference:

  • New AMP URL solution: One of the biggest downfalls of AMP is the URL structure of the pages that have typically been displayed as “google.com/amp.” Google announced a new solution to this issue that now allows for publishers to display their own URLs on AMP pages with the use of Signed Exchanges. Here’s a look at how the new URLs work:

  • AMP Stories now has dedicated section in SERPs: Google announced that they are giving AMP stories (Instagram-like story content) their own dedicated block in SERPs. AMP Stories will be first introduced with travel content and will appear for other searchers at a later time. Below shows AMP Stories in action:
  • AMP supports custom JavaScript: Google announced that AMP will support custom JavaScript with ‘amp-script’ – custom JavaScript that can operate within AMP documents. Below is the official announcement on Twitter:

Resources:

New “Before: & After:” Search Operators

Google announced a new set of tools called “before: and after:” commands to help show SERP results for certain time periods. Here’s how it works: Simply provide a search query along with before: <date>, after: <date>, and you can see SERP results for your provided time. Below shows an example provided by Google:

Resources:

seoClarity Study Shows Images in SERPs are on Rise

Google has made it clear they want SEOs to focus more on image search in 2019, and seoClarity provided data in April that supported SERPs showing more image boxes. Image boxes in SERPs look just like this:

Google image box search engine results pages

SeoClarity provided data from three different SERP tracking features that show images are on the rise in web results starting around April 13. Here is the data:

seoClarity:

Rank Ranger:

MozCast:

Resources:

Google My Business News & Updates

Two important updates happened for Google My Business this month. One update that caused a lot of chatter in the industry is that Google may decide to charge for GMB listings. This inference was made after Google sent out a survey to local businesses that asked how much they would pay for some Google My Business features that are currently free. The other update is Google rolled out “short names” for Google My Business URLs, which allows businesses to create a custom, short URL for their business profile listing.

Resources:

Bing Ads Re-brands as Microsoft Ads

Microsoft announced a re-brand to Bing Ads, now called Microsoft Advertising. Microsoft is using the rebrand “to signal offerings that extend beyond search inventory and search data.” The re-brand puts an emphasis on the use of personalization and AI. In his blog post, Microsoft Advertising’s Corporate Vice President, Rik van der Kooi, explains that the company will be introducing more advertising products with built-in AI and referenced two ways Microsoft Advertising is delivering on this potential: the Microsoft Audience Network and Sponsored Products. Stay tuned for more from Microsoft Advertising.

Resources:


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