August 2018 was a very busy month in the world of digital marketing, and specifically SEO: Google tested new types of search results snippets, rolled out Google Post Insights, and updated its Search Console features.
Here, we’re going to look at these developments in depth, and explore how they could affect your business. Read on to find out more.
Google tests new FAQs, Q&As, and how-to featured snippets
At the very end of July, Google revealed that it has been testing new forms of search result snippets. These are in the form of FAQs, Q&As, and how-tos. A spokesperson told Search Engine Land:
“We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experiment with ways to surface similar previews for FAQ and How-to content.”
So, how does this affect you as a business and website owner? Well, from now on, you should be able to mark up your content with structured data, so it’s eligible to be shown in the Q&A format within the SERPs. Soon, Google plans to open an interest form that allows publishers and webmasters to take advantage of the new FAQ and how-to formats as well. You can even get a head-start on this because, if you take a look at the Schema.org website, you’ll find that a lot of the necessary mark-up is available already.
Google rolls out Google Post Insights
Google Posts is a feature that allows businesses to publish content directly on Google’s SERPs, and the search giant has now released Google Post Insights to show you exactly how this content is performing.
With Google Post Insights, you’ll be provided with data such as how many views and clicks your posts have had. And, you can access information about individual posts, as well as everything you’ve published in the last week or month.
If you’ve been using Google Posts without really knowing whether it’s worthwhile, the new information should help you to work this out. It will also show you what kinds of posts appeal best to your audience and highlight what you might be doing right or wrong. So, if you’ve been publishing content on Google’s SERPs, it’s well worth using these new analytical tools to your advantage.
Google introduces featured snippets with expandable subtopics
Earlier this month, Google introduced another new type of featured snippet, which displays more in-depth information about a subject. These new snippets can detail the differences and similarities between two things and use drop-down tabs to provide further information about closely related topics.
To illustrate how these new snippets work, Google used an example that compares quartz and granite, which shows the different costs, benefits, weights, and levels of durability.
Google has said that this is part of a series of updates they’re making to help people access information faster. And, they’re generated automatically, which means they don’t require a specific type of markup.
More features are added to the new Google Search Console
Mid-August, Google announced that three features are being added to the new version of its Search Console. So, now users can manage users and permissions, add sites and validate ownership, and access Mobile usability reposts directly from the new Search Console. You could previously only use these controls using the old version.
🆕Freshly released features in the new Search Console:
– Manage users and permissions ⚙️👥
– Add sites and validate ownership ➕✅
– Mobile Usability report 📱 pic.twitter.com/rlHo9iseqk
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) August 15, 2018
If these features are now available in your new Search Console, you can now use them to manage your online presence and ensure that your site is performing well on mobile.