Friday, May 17, 2019

Google says image search referrals will not get new source URL (but forgets to tell us) - Search Engine Land

Google says image search referrals will not get new source URL (but forgets to tell us) - Search Engine Land


Google says image search referrals will not get new source URL (but forgets to tell us) - Search Engine Land

Posted: 17 May 2019 06:38 AM PDT

About 10-months ago, Google told publishers, site owners and tool providers to prepare for a change in how Google Image search will be sending their referral URLs. Instead of Google Image search traffic coming from www.google.com, they wanted to change it to help webmasters understand their image search traffic. So Google said in the upcoming months the referral URL will change to images.google.com so your analytics tools can track it better.

That ain't happening anymore.

Google is not changing the image search referral URL. Google recently posted an update at some saying it is not going ahead with this change and that users can get this data in Google Search Console instead.

"UPDATE: After testing and further consideration, we have determined that the best place to measure query and click traffic from Google Images is in the Search Console Performance Report. Accordingly, we will continue to use https://www.google.com (or the appropriate ccTLD) as the referrer URL for all traffic from Google Images, and will not be providing a Google Images specific referrer URL (images.google.com)," the company said.

How we found out. No, Google didn't inform us or anyone else of this change. It just simply and quietly updated the 2018 blog post and didn't send out an update anywhere else about it. Nothing posted on Twitter, no mention of it on their blog. Just maybe hoped no one would notice. But someone noticed; AJ Kohn posted about it on Twitter:

Why we should care. This means the only way to see your Google Image Search traffic properly is within Google Search Console. That also means there will be at least a two-day delay because Search Console performance reports are always delayed by that length of time. In addition, this means you will get no real-time data on this — so if you have an image doing well in image search on a specific day you won't know until later.

Not changing the image search referral URL for publishers, webmasters and site owners is confusing. Maybe there was a large technical challenge to doing this that Google decided not to tackle. But as Google originally said, "For webmasters, it hasn't always been easy to understand the role Google Images plays in driving site traffic." That really won't change because Google Search Console had this data previously anyway. I guess Google's "hope this change will foster a healthy visual content ecosystem" is something it is not currently interested in now?



About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

Google updates Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines - Search Engine Land

Posted: 17 May 2019 02:40 PM PDT

On Thursday, Google updated its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines for the first time since July 2018. The refreshed guidelines add more detailed directions regarding interstitial pages and content creator expertise, and buckets "E-A-T" (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) within "Page Quality" in certain sections.

Why we should care. The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines are what human quality raters use to evaluate websites and SERPs. They don't directly affect rankings but their judgments are used to improve Google's search algorithm.

The inclusion of "E-A-T" within "Page Quality" may reflect how Google wants its quality raters to approach evaluating content. The increased emphasis on interstitial pages within the Distracting Ads/SC section may also mean that webmasters and advertisers who use those techniques in an intrusive manner may see lower ratings. And, the more detailed guidance regarding content creator expertise may put questionable or lower-quality content under more scrutiny.

What's different? Although the document has grown by two pages (to 166), the table of contents, along with the vast majority of the guidelines, has remained unchanged. Below are side-by-side comparisons of the previous guidelines (left) and the most recent version (right).

Advertisers that employ interstitial pages or ads, and app developers in particular, should verify that their ads do not limit a user's ability to get to a page's main content. Google_SQE_11.0_Comparison

The addition of this paragraph explicitly mentioning content creator expertise underscores the importance of vetting the information presented in your content.

Google_SQE_EAT_Comparison


"E-A-T" is now included within "Page Quality," under the explanation column of certain tables (particularly in sections 15 and 17).

These revisions do not greatly alter the majority of guidelines that dictate how quality raters evaluate websites, but they were meaningful enough for Google to update the document, which means that content creators, marketers and advertisers should be aware of them as well.



About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

Page Load Times, Technology Are Major Ranking Factors In Google Search Results 05/20/2019 - MediaPost Communications

Posted: 17 May 2019 11:50 AM PDT

Research reveals that the faster a page can load in a mobile browser, the higher it tends to rank in search engine query results. Sites that appear on page one of Google display their primary content in 1.19 seconds on average, while those on page two display primary content in 1.29 seconds.  

Google in July 2018 announced that speed is a ranking factor. The latest data from Searchmetrics suggests that websites that rank higher in Google search results tend to load more rapidly and provide a better experience on mobile devices.

Higher-ranking sites in search engine query results also are more likely to use the latest web technologies such as image formats and HTTP/2 web protocols.      

The research also suggests that many sites appearing near the top of the search results are not doing enough to make their content accessible to people with disabilities -- especially the visually impaired, a recent topic that Microsoft publicly addressed.

advertisement

advertisement

The Searchmetrics Google Lighthouse Ranking Factors 2019 whitepaper details the level of technical optimization of ranking websites on Google. The research tested the top 20 search results on google.com for 10,000 keywords, analyzing how pages list in the results. It focused on four categories: Performance, SEO, Best Practices, and Accessibility.

Several factors highlight the importance of website speed and responsiveness to determine rankings in search engine query results.

Some 80% of results on pages one and two in Google search results had what Searchmetrics refers to as a Time to First Byte, which measures the time it takes for the first byte of information from a website to hit the searcher's browser after they have clicked on the search result, of below 0.6 seconds -- what Google suggests is necessary for an acceptable user experience.

The findings also show a correlation between the use of modern web technologies and better ranking positions in the Google search results. '

The report highlights that 86% of page one results and 85% of page two results now use next-generation image formats such as WebP, JPEG2000 and JPEG XR, formats that load faster and use up less mobile data, compared with JPEG and PNG.

Higher-ranked pages also are more likely to use the HTTP/2 web protocol. On average, 71% of page one results and 66% of page two results use this modern protocol that supports faster loading times for web pages than the traditional HTTP. 

And finally, findings in the white paper suggest that websites neglect accessibility for the visually impaired.

The study notes that many highly-ranked sites on Google are not doing enough to make their pages accessible to people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired or the blind. 

The average overall score for accessibility for sites that appear in the top 20 positions on Google was 66.6 out of 100, the lowest score of the four website categories analyzed.

The score is based on how sites perform on tests that measure areas such as color contrast. This is one reason that companies like Google and Microsoft have pushed dark-mode browser.

Get ready to see more shopping ads on Google Search, Images and YouTube - The Next Web

Posted: 15 May 2019 01:36 AM PDT

Google is betting big on ecommerce with the latest update to its search engine.

The company is unveiling a redesigned personalized Google Shopping experience, along with introducing the idea of a universal shopping cart across its platform of services, including Search, Shopping, Images and even YouTube.

You can now discover and compare products from various parts of the Google platform through shopping ads, then choose to purchase them instantly using your Google account. "With this new experience, we're merging the best of Google Express with Google Shopping," the company said in a blog post.

By unifying the shopping experience, the move also aims to target rivals like Pinterest and Instagram, whose photo-based social platforms become increasingly popular among customers as a means to purchase products online.

That's not all. In a separate development, Google also said it's combining all its travel-related offerings – the mobile Google Trips app, Google hotels search and Google Flights – under one hood called Trips.

The new Google Trips experience

It still works the same way as it used to, meaning it will use trip confirmation emails and receipts from your Gmail inbox to build the timeline of your trip – and you'll now be able to access all this on desktop. Until now, these features were only available if you downloaded the Google Trips app for Android and iOS.

In the coming few months, Google also plans to make accessible your trip information, including hotel and restaurant reservations, in Google Maps as well. It didn't say if it plans to update the existing Trips app to incorporate flight and hotel search features; that'd make it a whole lot easier to plan future travels.

The search giant's product portfolio has often been labelled as confusing and scattershot, with the company developing and releasing services that have significant overlap in terms of functionality and canceling those that don't gain consumer traction in the long run.

In the last four-and-a-half months alone, Google has discontinued an alarming number of products like Chromecast Audio, Google Allo, goo.gl URL shortener, Google Inbox, Google+, and many more. Later this year, it has outlined plans to shut down Google Hangouts, and also migrate users from Google Play Music to YouTube Music.

It's good that Google likes to constantly experiment with different ideas, but given the company's long history with abrupt changes to its product roadmap, it's perhaps time Google decided on a long term strategy and told its customers just what the hell is going on. And these product unification efforts might just be the start it needs.

Read next: Opera will support 'multiple blockchains' in its browser, starting with TRON

Robert Marawa and King Mswati dominate Google search queries this week - The South African

Posted: 17 May 2019 02:59 PM PDT

It was an eventful week with plenty newsworthy events. South Africans used Google to keep informed and up to date with the news.

The weekend after the elections had everyone googling for the election results and the various political parties, while Mother's day generated more than 300 000 searched.

South Africa's top Google searches this week

Mother's Day

We love our mothers, and terms as such Happy Mother's Day and Happy Mother's Day Omages ranked the highest over the weekend – approxmiately 200 000 queries were logged on Saturday, and 100 000 on Sunday.

Did you know that the found of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, distanced herself fom the public holiday? She said years later that she became resentful of the commercialisation of the day.

Also read:

Elections

We went to polls on 8 May and the results were released over the weekend. This prompted many citizens to search for information about the political parties, their leaders and the controversies surrounding the results.

The search term Election results 2019 South Africa generated more than 50 000 search queries over the weekend as readers wanted to know who had won the majority of national and provincial government votes.

Robert Marawa

The veteran sportscaster was fired from SuperSport, over SMS nogal, and turned into the most searched person on Google South Africa on 16 May. He tweeted Thursday evening that he was told not to return to work.

SuperSport released a statement the following day to confirm the termination of his contract.

Also read:

Zandile Gumede

Netizens generated more than 20 000 search queries for Zandile Gumede on Tuesday, when news broke that the Ethekwini Municipality Mayor would hand herself over to the Hawks.

She will appear in front of the Durban Commercial Crimes court for charges of corruption and money laundering leveled against her.

Also read:

King Mswati

King Msawti also made headlines for reportedly ordering men to take two wives, preferably more. The Government of eSwatini denied these reports and is demanding that the Zambian Observer retract its story.

South African netizens generated more than 20 000 search queries on 13 May. No, he wasn't forcing people into polygamy. Government spokesperson Percy Simelane cleared up the matter:

"His Majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect as it has never been an issue raised by the people. He said the story was 'not only an insult to the monarchy and the culture of eSwatini but a disgrace to journalism'."

Google says image search referrals will not get new source URL (but forgets to tell us) - Search Engine Land


Google says image search referrals will not get new source URL (but forgets to tell us) - Search Engine Land

Posted: 17 May 2019 06:38 AM PDT

About 10-months ago, Google told publishers, site owners and tool providers to prepare for a change in how Google Image search will be sending their referral URLs. Instead of Google Image search traffic coming from www.google.com, they wanted to change it to help webmasters understand their image search traffic. So Google said in the upcoming months the referral URL will change to images.google.com so your analytics tools can track it better.

That ain't happening anymore.

Google is not changing the image search referral URL. Google recently posted an update at some saying it is not going ahead with this change and that users can get this data in Google Search Console instead.

"UPDATE: After testing and further consideration, we have determined that the best place to measure query and click traffic from Google Images is in the Search Console Performance Report. Accordingly, we will continue to use https://www.google.com (or the appropriate ccTLD) as the referrer URL for all traffic from Google Images, and will not be providing a Google Images specific referrer URL (images.google.com)," the company said.

How we found out. No, Google didn't inform us or anyone else of this change. It just simply and quietly updated the 2018 blog post and didn't send out an update anywhere else about it. Nothing posted on Twitter, no mention of it on their blog. Just maybe hoped no one would notice. But someone noticed; AJ Kohn posted about it on Twitter:

Why we should care. This means the only way to see your Google Image Search traffic properly is within Google Search Console. That also means there will be at least a two-day delay because Search Console performance reports are always delayed by that length of time. In addition, this means you will get no real-time data on this — so if you have an image doing well in image search on a specific day you won't know until later.

Not changing the image search referral URL for publishers, webmasters and site owners is confusing. Maybe there was a large technical challenge to doing this that Google decided not to tackle. But as Google originally said, "For webmasters, it hasn't always been easy to understand the role Google Images plays in driving site traffic." That really won't change because Google Search Console had this data previously anyway. I guess Google's "hope this change will foster a healthy visual content ecosystem" is something it is not currently interested in now?



About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

Google updates Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines - Search Engine Land

Posted: 17 May 2019 02:40 PM PDT

On Thursday, Google updated its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines for the first time since July 2018. The refreshed guidelines add more detailed directions regarding interstitial pages and content creator expertise, and buckets "E-A-T" (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) within "Page Quality" in certain sections.

Why we should care. The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines are what human quality raters use to evaluate websites and SERPs. They don't directly affect rankings but their judgments are used to improve Google's search algorithm.

The inclusion of "E-A-T" within "Page Quality" may reflect how Google wants its quality raters to approach evaluating content. The increased emphasis on interstitial pages within the Distracting Ads/SC section may also mean that webmasters and advertisers who use those techniques in an intrusive manner may see lower ratings. And, the more detailed guidance regarding content creator expertise may put questionable or lower-quality content under more scrutiny.

What's different? Although the document has grown by two pages (to 166), the table of contents, along with the vast majority of the guidelines, has remained unchanged. Below are side-by-side comparisons of the previous guidelines (left) and the most recent version (right).

Advertisers that employ interstitial pages or ads, and app developers in particular, should verify that their ads do not limit a user's ability to get to a page's main content. Google_SQE_11.0_Comparison

The addition of this paragraph explicitly mentioning content creator expertise underscores the importance of vetting the information presented in your content.

Google_SQE_EAT_Comparison


"E-A-T" is now included within "Page Quality," under the explanation column of certain tables (particularly in sections 15 and 17).

These revisions do not greatly alter the majority of guidelines that dictate how quality raters evaluate websites, but they were meaningful enough for Google to update the document, which means that content creators, marketers and advertisers should be aware of them as well.



About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

Page Load Times, Technology Are Major Ranking Factors In Google Search Results 05/20/2019 - MediaPost Communications

Posted: 17 May 2019 11:50 AM PDT

Research reveals that the faster a page can load in a mobile browser, the higher it tends to rank in search engine query results. Sites that appear on page one of Google display their primary content in 1.19 seconds on average, while those on page two display primary content in 1.29 seconds.  

Google in July 2018 announced that speed is a ranking factor. The latest data from Searchmetrics suggests that websites that rank higher in Google search results tend to load more rapidly and provide a better experience on mobile devices.

Higher-ranking sites in search engine query results also are more likely to use the latest web technologies such as image formats and HTTP/2 web protocols.      

The research also suggests that many sites appearing near the top of the search results are not doing enough to make their content accessible to people with disabilities -- especially the visually impaired, a recent topic that Microsoft publicly addressed.

advertisement

advertisement

The Searchmetrics Google Lighthouse Ranking Factors 2019 whitepaper details the level of technical optimization of ranking websites on Google. The research tested the top 20 search results on google.com for 10,000 keywords, analyzing how pages list in the results. It focused on four categories: Performance, SEO, Best Practices, and Accessibility.

Several factors highlight the importance of website speed and responsiveness to determine rankings in search engine query results.

Some 80% of results on pages one and two in Google search results had what Searchmetrics refers to as a Time to First Byte, which measures the time it takes for the first byte of information from a website to hit the searcher's browser after they have clicked on the search result, of below 0.6 seconds -- what Google suggests is necessary for an acceptable user experience.

The findings also show a correlation between the use of modern web technologies and better ranking positions in the Google search results. '

The report highlights that 86% of page one results and 85% of page two results now use next-generation image formats such as WebP, JPEG2000 and JPEG XR, formats that load faster and use up less mobile data, compared with JPEG and PNG.

Higher-ranked pages also are more likely to use the HTTP/2 web protocol. On average, 71% of page one results and 66% of page two results use this modern protocol that supports faster loading times for web pages than the traditional HTTP. 

And finally, findings in the white paper suggest that websites neglect accessibility for the visually impaired.

The study notes that many highly-ranked sites on Google are not doing enough to make their pages accessible to people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired or the blind. 

The average overall score for accessibility for sites that appear in the top 20 positions on Google was 66.6 out of 100, the lowest score of the four website categories analyzed.

The score is based on how sites perform on tests that measure areas such as color contrast. This is one reason that companies like Google and Microsoft have pushed dark-mode browser.

Get ready to see more shopping ads on Google Search, Images and YouTube - The Next Web

Posted: 15 May 2019 01:36 AM PDT

Google is betting big on ecommerce with the latest update to its search engine.

The company is unveiling a redesigned personalized Google Shopping experience, along with introducing the idea of a universal shopping cart across its platform of services, including Search, Shopping, Images and even YouTube.

You can now discover and compare products from various parts of the Google platform through shopping ads, then choose to purchase them instantly using your Google account. "With this new experience, we're merging the best of Google Express with Google Shopping," the company said in a blog post.

By unifying the shopping experience, the move also aims to target rivals like Pinterest and Instagram, whose photo-based social platforms become increasingly popular among customers as a means to purchase products online.

That's not all. In a separate development, Google also said it's combining all its travel-related offerings – the mobile Google Trips app, Google hotels search and Google Flights – under one hood called Trips.

The new Google Trips experience

It still works the same way as it used to, meaning it will use trip confirmation emails and receipts from your Gmail inbox to build the timeline of your trip – and you'll now be able to access all this on desktop. Until now, these features were only available if you downloaded the Google Trips app for Android and iOS.

In the coming few months, Google also plans to make accessible your trip information, including hotel and restaurant reservations, in Google Maps as well. It didn't say if it plans to update the existing Trips app to incorporate flight and hotel search features; that'd make it a whole lot easier to plan future travels.

The search giant's product portfolio has often been labelled as confusing and scattershot, with the company developing and releasing services that have significant overlap in terms of functionality and canceling those that don't gain consumer traction in the long run.

In the last four-and-a-half months alone, Google has discontinued an alarming number of products like Chromecast Audio, Google Allo, goo.gl URL shortener, Google Inbox, Google+, and many more. Later this year, it has outlined plans to shut down Google Hangouts, and also migrate users from Google Play Music to YouTube Music.

It's good that Google likes to constantly experiment with different ideas, but given the company's long history with abrupt changes to its product roadmap, it's perhaps time Google decided on a long term strategy and told its customers just what the hell is going on. And these product unification efforts might just be the start it needs.

Read next: Opera will support 'multiple blockchains' in its browser, starting with TRON

Robert Marawa and King Mswati dominate Google search queries this week - The South African

Posted: 17 May 2019 02:59 PM PDT

It was an eventful week with plenty newsworthy events. South Africans used Google to keep informed and up to date with the news.

The weekend after the elections had everyone googling for the election results and the various political parties, while Mother's day generated more than 300 000 searched.

South Africa's top Google searches this week

Mother's Day

We love our mothers, and terms as such Happy Mother's Day and Happy Mother's Day Omages ranked the highest over the weekend – approxmiately 200 000 queries were logged on Saturday, and 100 000 on Sunday.

Did you know that the found of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, distanced herself fom the public holiday? She said years later that she became resentful of the commercialisation of the day.

Also read:

Elections

We went to polls on 8 May and the results were released over the weekend. This prompted many citizens to search for information about the political parties, their leaders and the controversies surrounding the results.

The search term Election results 2019 South Africa generated more than 50 000 search queries over the weekend as readers wanted to know who had won the majority of national and provincial government votes.

Robert Marawa

The veteran sportscaster was fired from SuperSport, over SMS nogal, and turned into the most searched person on Google South Africa on 16 May. He tweeted Thursday evening that he was told not to return to work.

SuperSport released a statement the following day to confirm the termination of his contract.

Also read:

Zandile Gumede

Netizens generated more than 20 000 search queries for Zandile Gumede on Tuesday, when news broke that the Ethekwini Municipality Mayor would hand herself over to the Hawks.

She will appear in front of the Durban Commercial Crimes court for charges of corruption and money laundering leveled against her.

Also read:

King Mswati

King Msawti also made headlines for reportedly ordering men to take two wives, preferably more. The Government of eSwatini denied these reports and is demanding that the Zambian Observer retract its story.

South African netizens generated more than 20 000 search queries on 13 May. No, he wasn't forcing people into polygamy. Government spokesperson Percy Simelane cleared up the matter:

"His Majesty has not made any pronouncement to that effect as it has never been an issue raised by the people. He said the story was 'not only an insult to the monarchy and the culture of eSwatini but a disgrace to journalism'."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.