There’s was a lot going on – New Year’s celebrations and holidays, so, there are chances that you probably missed out on some of the important SEO news.
To help out, I’ve rounded up the top ten recent SEO news and Google updates that you might have missed in the month of December.
1. Google Revamps Its SEO Starter Guide
With the introduction of its new web-based SEO starter guide, Google has removed the old pdf version. From tips on how to hire an SEO for your business, recommendation on mobile-friendly websites and to how you should link to other websites, are some of the notable additions in the newer version of the guide.
2. Google Offers Advice on How to Make Your Website Ready for the Mobile-first Index
Google is now rolling out Mobile-first index on the web, so, to help webmaster and site owners, Google has offered some tips on how they can ensure their site for the mobile-first index. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better help users find what they’re looking for.
3. Google Will Stop Using the Old AJAX Crawling Scheme
Google announced it will no longer support its old AJAX crawling scheme which accepts pages with either a “#!” in the URL or a “fragment meta tag” on them, and then crawls them with an “?_escaped_fragment_=” in the URL. Now, Google will render the #! URL directly, making it unnecessary for the website owner to provide a rendered version of the page.
4. Google Offers Advice on New Meta Description Length
Google officially commented on the increased length of meta description and what webmaster should focus while writing and updating meta descriptions. A webmaster should focus on how they can inform and generate interest with the short summary of the page that entices people to click on their results.
The fundamental of writing meta description has not changed, plus, it’s not a ranking factor.
5. Google Start up a New Video Series ‘’SEO Snippets’ to Help Webmasters & SEO
Google is now back again with short webmaster videos to answer SEOs, webmasters, and site owner’s questions in a quick – one or two minutes video.
6. Google Announced Rich Results & the Rich Results Testing Tool
To better diagnose your page structured data, Google has introduced a new tool – “Rich Results Test” that will help you identify if your page supports rich results. Rich results are search results that go beyond the standard blue link, they may include a carousel, image or other non-textual UI elements.
7. Google Overtakes Facebook In Referral Traffic
Google is sending more traffic (44%) than Facebook (26%), according to a new report from Pars.ly. Publishers are also getting more views from Google AMP tan Facebook Instant Articles.
8. Google Says Long-Term Noindex Will Lead To Nofollow On Links
If your page has a no-index tag to prevent Googlebot from crawling the page content for a long period of time, Google will no-follow all the links on the page because they are not going to index it – resulting in dropping everything – content, links on that page from indexing or in ranking calculation.
9. Twitter Announces Support for AMP Article Analytics
Twitter announced its enhanced support for AMP analytics for articles. Now, publishers can better distinguish between an organic view and view from Twitter for their articles.
10. New Search Quality Raters Guidelines for Google Assistant and Voice Search Evaluations
Google has updated their voice search rater guidelines on how they determine results for “eyes-free technology” when there is no screen as part of the experience. Four key things are particularly important for voice search – information satisfaction, length, formulation and elocution (clear and expressive speech).