April 2019: SEO news and Google updates

4-MINUTE READ - 2nd May 2019

Emily Park
Emily ParkSenior Content Executive

The past month has been a very busy one in the world of SEO and digital marketing, so we’ll forgive you if you haven’t managed to keep up. But we want to make sure you get off on the right foot this May, which is why we’ve put together this round-up to ensure you’re up to speed

In April 2019, many SEOs were angered by the fact that Google Search Console reports were delayed by three weeks, it was revealed that Google might start to charge for its Google My Business listings, and a survey showed that young searchers are less likely to click through from the SERPs, because they rely the most heavily on Featured Snippets. Read on to learn more about what has been happening within the sector over the last month, and how these developments could affect you and your business.

Google Search Console reports delayed by three weeks

On 7 April, Google tweeted to say they were aware of an indexing issue that was impacting some sites, and they then posted an update on 11 April to say that the problem had been resolved. However, a lot of SEOs found that the problem had triggered a delay in their Google Search Console reports, which weren’t updated until approximately three weeks after the problem was first detected.

While the issue was ongoing, you might have found that your reports were stuck at 7 April, rather than having the usual 2-day delay. Fortunately, Google has since confirmed that everything should now be back to normal, and site owners that were affected are saying that their reports are back on track. So, all of the information you now see in your Search Console should be up to date.

Google might start to charge for Google My Business

Throughout April, some businesses were sent surveys to ask whether they would be willing to pay for some of the Google My Business features they use.

Google My Business is currently a free service that allows companies to update their information, so Google can provide searchers with accurate and relevant local search results. But it seems the search engine giant is considering charging a monthly fee for the privilege. Although, some digital marketers are questioning how Google will keep its databases up to date in order to provide searchers with all the information they need if some businesses decide not to pay.

Although no formal steps have been taken towards charging, these surveys suggested it’s certainly being considered and, if the results of their questionnaires are favourable, there’s a chance we could be seeing some changes soon.

We have a guide to getting the most out of your Google My Business listing, which is well worth a read if you’re not sure you’re taking full advantage of yours.

Survey reveals young searchers rely on featured snippets and don’t click through

A new consumer survey conducted by Path Interactive has found that, while Google’s search results still garner a lot of attention, young searchers are more inclined to look at Featured Snippets and Knowledge Panels without clicking through to third-party sites. It seems that this is becoming increasingly common, and it’s a worrying trend for many publishers.

The goal of the survey was to understand how searchers interact with the many components that can now be found on Google’s SERPs. People from the US, India, Europe, and the UK were in the sample of people ask, and the majority considered themselves to be “somewhat tech savvy”.

The results found that younger searchers are far more likely to engage in “no-click” behaviour when they see a Featured Snippet, while older users tend to look beyond the Snippet and get more information from the organic links. Although it’s worth noting that 72.5% of respondents believe Snippets are trustworthy or semi-trustworthy.

Google starts showing more images in its web search results

Multiple Google SERP tracking tools have shown an increase in how often images are shown within the core web search results, according to Search Engine Land. The image search result box we sometimes see is now showing up for a third (34%) of all queries, which has increased from around 24% since 13 April.

For a few months now, Google has been hinting that SEOs should start focusing more on image search, but this new data shows that the image search boxes are quickly becoming a bigger potential source of traffic for your site. So, if you haven’t already, now would be a great time to start optimising your images.

You’re now up to date with all of the biggest SEO news stories for April 2019. If you would like more frequent update, make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, where we post every weekday!

Or, if you’re looking for an SEO, PPC, or affiliate marketing agency that can help to boost your online visibility, get in touch to speak to our team today. We would love to support you!