Our month of May begins with a look back, useful to take stock of what are the latest developments, the news and the changes underway in the world of Google Search: it is still John Mueller from Switzerland to guide us in this appointment with Google Search News, which traces the work on the search engine until April and offers the usual informative contribution to site owners, publishers and SEO who want to be up to date with what happens around Big G.

April Google Search News, the menu of the latest news

It has been three months since the previous video and many things have engaged Google, the Search Advocate of the American company, which then presents the rich index of this episode, which focuses in particular on the changes announced compared to the Page Experience Update, on best practices for videos, on updates related to the Google Search Console and much more.

Menu di Google Search News di aprile 21

Slips the Page Experience update

The first in-depth news is the postponement of the Page Experience Update: as announced in recent days, Google has decided to begin the rollout of the update in mid-June (and no longer in May), so as to give more time to site owners to adjust the shot and improve the pages before “things start to take off”.

Mueller explains that “the change will happen slowly over the course of two months on a page-by-page basis”.

Focus on the page experience

Changing the page experience is an imminent ranking change that takes into account the user’s experience on web pages, including and evaluating technical elements, such as the correct presence of https, and quantifiable metrics for speed and reactivity.

Mueller points out that the Page Experience is “just one of the many factors that our systems take into account”: therefore, there is no need to make a frantic rush to corrections, but it is more useful “take the time to find good solutions for your websites and your users, remembering that each website is a bit different”.

Quali sono i core Web Vitals,

Part of this update is based on the Core Web Vitals, three real users metrics that “take some time to be collected and that are automatically updated over time, with improvements at any point that will be reflected there”. The Googler also adds that “a site doesn’t need to be (and rarely is) perfect from the start“, and so it is likely to start seeing positive results as our pages exceed the “needs improvement” indicator.

Implications for Top Stories and signed exchanges for all pages

Google intends to use the same factors also for the Top Stories carousel and within Google News. In addition, informs Mueller, signed exchanges will soon be available for all pages: these signed exchanges are a configuration that allows Google Search to pre-load the pages of the site “in a way that preserves privacy, to make the experience even better for your users”.

Specifically, the SXG system allows Google Search to use a privacy-friendly preloading technique in compatible browsers, which consists of uploading key resources to a page (HTML, Javascript, CSS) before browsing, to allow the browser to view pages faster.

SEO best practices for videos

The second point covered in this episode concerns SEO best practices for videos: these media resources are “a fantastic way to reach people” and there is no need to and does not even need to be a video news channel (like the Google’s one on Youtube) in order for it to have benefits.

In recent weeks Google has “improved the way videos are shown in search results” and to help us take advantage of these changes has updated and expanded the documentation on best practices for videos.

In particular, these guidelines explain how to help Google find videos for indexing and focus on how to explicitly provide information to Google about videos to highlight in the search with the appropriate markup scheme.

It is worth remembering that videos can appear among Google Search results, in video search results, in Google Images and in Google Discover: if we have already included videos in web pages “I strongly recommend that you double-check to make sure you use all the features available to take full advantage of it, while if you have never posted videos on the site pages, maybe it’s worth a try” suggests Mueller.

The updates of the Search Console keep on going on

We then move to an “evergreen” theme in this series, namely the latest updates to the Google Search Console, the platform that offers “a way to find out how your site is going regarding your search on Google, where and how people find the site and if there are any problems that hinder the site”.

In addition to this there is much more and to start using the platform “just verify the ownership of the domain name of your site within the search console”.

Regex support has been added

It was one of the most requested features by users, and finally Google listened to the feedbacks and added regex support in the performance report. With regular expressions or regex it is now possible to insert keyword patterns instead of single keywords to find the match, and you can use them both for search queries and for the pages shown in the report.

Specifically, until now, users could filter queries and page Urls based on three patterns – “containing a string, not containing a string and exactly matching a string” – and previously the Search Console did not support more complex cases, as a query containing one of the few optional strings.

With the new way to filter data through regular expressions or regex you can create more complex queries and page-based filters, so as to answer more questions that interest you. For example, suppose if a company is called “cats and dogs”, but sometimes it is also abbreviated as “cats & dogs” or even “c&d”, we can use a regex filter to acquire all brander queries by defining the regex:cats and dogs|cats & dogs|c&d filter.

A special report for the Page Experience

Another GSC news is the addition of a special report for the page experience update, which covers all the elements involved in what is the page experience provided to users. At a glance we can see how our site is going, and in particular how many pages reach a sufficiently positive threshold in the various metrics, how the site is going in terms of mobile usability and all other aspects of the page experience factor.

As Mueller says, it is “the first time we have made such a comprehensive report for a specific ranking change and we hope it will make it easier for you to improve the site for your users”.

Other news from Google world

Before concluding the appointment with Google Search News in April, the Search Advocate gives an overview of the newest sources of information in the Big G ecosystem, citing in particular the team of Web Creators (who “is committed in making lots of contents for all the amazing people who regularly create personal content for the web, not only bloggers but also videos and articles”) and new support series on specific topics.

An example is the new series on Youtube about the sustainable monetization of websites, which covers various aspects of monetization, explaining in particular how to take into account the various policies and guidelines that apply. But also very useful are the lightning talks of Search Central, short videos on specific topics that resume a format similar to that of the presentations given by Googlers to physical events.

Speaking of events, Mueller concludes the episode by announcing that this year Google I/O will be there in mid-May and will be “held virtually, with lots of sessions including even some live sessions to ask anything” to the various guests involved.

 

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