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 June 2019 issue of The Featured Snippet:
- June 2019 Core Update (June 3, 2019): Recap & Impact
- Diversity Update (June 6, 2019): Recap & Impact
- Google Rolls Out New Look for Desktop Search Results
- GSC Gets New Mobile-First Update Annotations
- Google Deprecates Social Panel Markup Support
- Wayback Machine Gets New “Changes” Update
- Google Stealing Genius.com Lyrics?
- Google My Business New Tools & Features
June 2019 Core Update (June 3, 2019): Recap & Impact
The biggest news that hit the SEO industry in June was the announcement of the June 2019 Core Update that rolled out on June 3, 2019 and completed on June 8, 2019. This algorithm update is considered a “broad core” algorithm update, which Google releases several times per year. As with all “broad core” algorithm changes, Google does not provide specific recommendations on how to improve sites in regards to the update. Instead, Google recommends that sites are “ensuring you’re offering the best content you can.” Below shows official confirmation of the update from the Google SearchLiaison account:
One of the most interesting impacts of the June 2019 Core Update: Google has begun to pre-announce algorithm updates. According to Google’s Danny Sullivan, Google “probably will” pre-announce future broad core algorithm updates.
As for sites that were impacted, several studies of the June 2019 Core Update point to health sites that contradict scientific consensus (ex: Mercola natural health website) were most commonly affected. Other factors include brand authority, links, and ad experience. For a more comprehensive analysis algorithm update, check out Marie Haynes’ study of the June 2019 Core Update, which does a fantastic job of outlining her team’s conclusions based upon data they compiled.
Diversity Update (June 6, 2019): Recap & Impact
Along with the June 2019 Core Update, Google also rolled out what’s been named the Diversity Update. This Google search update rolled out on June 4, 2019 and is aimed to show more diverse results from different domains within SERPs. Below shows official announcement of the update from the Google SearchLiaison account:
At first glance, this update looked to affect big sites that tend to dominate SERPs, such as Amazon or Yelp. However, studies of the Diversity Update indicate that there was little change in SERP diversity after the update rolled out. Moz’s Dr. Pete Myers’ analysis of the Diversity Update concluded that Google technically improved site diversity, but the update was narrowly targeted and had to dig to find evidence of improvement.
Google Rolls Out New Look for Desktop Search Results
Google officially rolled out an updated look to its desktop search results with new icons. Although this is a fairly small update, these icons could have potential traffic impacts for each navigation option. See below and after screenshots below:
Google Search Console Gets New Mobile-First Update Annotations
GSC updated its annotations to give webmasters more insight into when the site migrated to mobile-first indexation. Here’s where these new annotations are located:
- Index crawler details: Within settings for a property, Google will show which Googlebot is indexing the site and when it switched.
- Pop-up after signing in: Google will also show you a pop-up notification when you first sign into GSC that will tell when your site switched to mobile first.
- Chart annotations: Google will show you chart annotations within the Coverage Report that show primary crawler (smartphone or desktop) as well as figures below the chart.
Google Deprecates Social Panel Markup Support
Google announced that it will no longer look at markup on your site to determine which social profiles will show up in knowledge panels. Google says that it will now automatically discover profiles to include and won’t rely on social profile markup (Schema.org markup) for finding then. Below shows the official announcement from Google Webmasters account as well as an example of social profile in knowledge panels:
Example of social profiles in knowledge panels:
Wayback Machine Gets New “Changes” Feature
Wayback Machine, the popular Internet archive tool, updated with a new “changes” feature that better illustrates when a site has made content changes. The new tool is currently in beta, so it is still a little buggy. However, this tool could prove to be extremely useful when spotting site content updates. Here’s how the tool works:
Insert domain name into Wayback Machine and navigate to changes. See figure below:
Analyze chart colors to find content changes. Yellow denotes content deletions, and blue denotes content additions. See figure below:
Google Stealing Genius.com Lyrics?
The Wall Street Journal reported that Genius (the music lyric site) has caught Google “red-handed” stealing lyrics from their site without any type of attribution. Genius used straight and curly apostrophes to write “red-handed” in morse code within their lyrics. These lyrics have been shown as featured snippets within SERPS without any type of attribution to the Genius site.
Here’s a screenshot from the WSJ of how Genius created the code within their lyrics:
Google’s response to the allegedly stolen lyrics:
Google My Business Updates: New Tools
Google My Business announced several new tools for business owners to stand out in SERPs. Here’s is a list of new tools you can now utilize in Google My Business profiles:
- New branding and promotional tools: These new features encourage more local businesses to claim GMB profiles and give those that have more branding/promotional tools. These new branding and promotional tools include:
- Add a logo
- Cover photo
- Dynamic photo module
- Welcome offers
- Promotional assets
- Local favorites badge and short name URLs: The new “Local Favorite” badge is awarded to the top 5% of local businesses within category, although Google was unclear about what criteria will be used to determine who qualifies. Verified businesses will also be able to create short names that will take two forms: g.page/shortname and @shortname.
Here is a look at some of the new features: