A video published by Google Webmasters today outlines the major changes made in the Google Algorithm, meta tags, Google Search Console, no follow and more.
New ways to control how Google Search displays your listings through meta tags and HTML attributes.
- Using “max-snippet:[number]” you can now set a maximum text-length of the snippet. This is measured in number of characters.
- Using “max-video-preview:[number]” you can now set a maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview.
- Using “max-image-preview:[setting]” you can adjust the size of the image being displayed. The options are limited to “none”, “standard” or “large”.
- As always “nosnippet” still remains to dictate if you would like any textual information or not.
They can be combined, for example:
<meta name=”robots” content=”max-snippet:35, max-image-preview:standard”>
You can use the URL inspection tool to expedite crawling and once Google crawls it, you should be able to see the revised snippet in the live search results.
Google will still crawl, index and rank your pages as it did before. Using larger image sizes does not impact your overall Google web search rankings. It may impact your listing showing up with certain rich results, or your site showing up as featured snippets. Features snippets involve a minimum amount of characters to be presented, and if you go below that minimum, your websites may not qualify for the snippet position shown.
Best practice would be to explicitly provide additional information in the page code using structured data & ensuring a rich result.
As per the Google webmasters blog, this will become effective as of mid-to-late October 2019 and will take approximately a week to rollout.
Google Search Console improvements
“We analyzed our user feedback, and today would like to announce a new improvement to the report based on users’ #1 feature request – improved data freshness!” – Google Webmasters
This is huge news! Previously there would be a 2-3 day lag between seeing results, whereas, now we can see data less than a day old.
Below shows results just 7 hours ago.
Some more exciting news to follow along with the Google Algorithm. With the new updates, you can now export data based on the date by clicking on the date tab.
Elevating original reporting in Search
In a post by Richard Gingras, the VP of Google. He outlines some very key changes:
We can see a clear trend in what the Google Algorithm wants here. They want more fresh and authentic reporting. In addition to this, the Search Quality Rater Guidelines have also have had 10+ changes listed here. A lot to do with determining high and low-quality pages.
New additions to the identification of links to no-follow
In addition to the current attribute identifiers such as alternate, author, bookmark, external, help, nofollow, next and many more there are now 2 more additions:
rel=”sponsored”: Use the sponsored attribute to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.
rel=”ugc”: UGC stands for User Generated Content, and the UGC attribute value is recommended for links within user-generated content, such as comments and forum posts.
Things you need to know:
- You don’t need to change your nofollow links that already exist for sponsored content
- You can use more than 1 rel value
For crawling and indexing purposes, nofollow will become a hint as of March 1, 2020.
Auto-DNS Verification in Google Search Console
The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the Internet. To tackle the challenge of getting domain properties verified, Google has collaborated with domain name registrars to automate part of the verification process.
To now verify your domain. Click ‘add property’ from the property selector on Google search console and then pick the ‘Domain’ option. A series of steps follow. Find out more here.
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