SEO

5 Google Updates Every Marketer Should Be Following from the Last Year

Are you up to date on the latest changes from Google? Here are five updates that have impacted marketing.

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Google’s algorithms and features change frequently, often with little discernible impact. However, several of the search engine’s major updates directly impact marketers. Over the past year, Google has made a number of major updates that every marketer should know about. Here are the top five Google updates that impact marketers:

Analytics Intelligence

Machine learning and user-level analysis are moving ever closer to the forefront of analytics, and the addition of Analytics Intelligence offers marketers more insight into user behavior than ever before. Of its major features, Conversion Probability deserves the spotlight for its ability to analyze a site’s historical data and identify recent site visitors who are the most likely to turn into a future conversion. User Explorer, a feature that draws data from the lifetime of a user’s cookie, reveals data about past and present behaviors and predicted future behavior. Another feature, Audience Reporting, allows marketers to create audiences and monitor their behavior over time.

Search Console

Google launched a new beta version of the Search Console in January 2018, which includes an expanded 16 months of historical data, as well as a host of functionality that benefits marketers. Included in the new simplified process are search performance, index coverage, AMP status, and job posting reports. For the duration of this year, Google will add functionality to the beta version while continuing to run the previous version side by side, enabling marketers to switch back and forth via the navigation bar. The update also makes it easier for your team to collaborate with shared reports.

Longer Snippets

Google spent over 2 years testing longer snippets before launching the update that officially increased the length for a large number of search results. To date, Google hasn’t yet revealed how long of a snippet it will display, and results seem to vary. Marketers can leverage this update by using longer meta descriptions, aiming for 230–300 characters for most content.

More Data via Google Trends

In November 2017, Google made it even easier for marketers to find out what users are searching for on YouTube, Google Shopping, News search, and Image search. Google Trends used to be exclusive to Google search, but new filters enable marketers to get a much more comprehensive view of search trends, including data for “Interest over time,” “Interest by region,” “Related topics,” and “Related queries.” These real-time data help marketers contextualize search trends that would have been somewhat ambiguous prior to the update.

New Features for Test My Site

Google’s Test My Site tool allows marketers to find out how many site visitors they are losing due to loading time. With results for desktop and mobile visitors, the tool illustrates actual site performance after an automated evaluation that takes just a few minutes. The results show how your site compares with other sites in your industry, and Google offers a free report with recommendations for improving your page speeds and retaining more site visitors.