In 2016, it’s getting tough to keep up with the sheer volume of SEO-related news stories that are being published each week. I have several news feeds and alerts set up on various platforms, just trying to stay informed with the latest news, blog posts, and articles. Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye this week:
May 11, 2016: Google Increases Width of Main Search Results Column (TheSEMPost.com)
In this post, author Jennifer Slegg (one of my favorite SEOs btw) details a noticeable change in the size of the organic search results section of the Google SERPs. This is a big deal because we rarely ever see Google updating the SERPs layout to give more real estate to organic listings. That is pretty huge. Thanks, Google!
Personally, I am excited about this update. I was getting really tired of writing title tags less than or equal to 512 pixels. After this update, we have about 100 more pixels to work with. That is just about enough pixels to take us from ~55 characters back to the optimal ~70 character limit of the good old days of SEO. (reaches for ‘Make SEO Great Again‘ hat)
Side note: Even though we now have more width for the organic results, the height of the organic search results decreased with this update. Win some, lose some. #SuchIsLife
May 11, 2016: With help from Alexa, Kayak debuts voice-enabled travel search on Amazon Echo (SearchEngineLand.com)
I tend to perk up whenever I hear people talking about the future of using digital assistants to manage tasks and conduct ecommerce transactions. This new feature from Kayak is certainly in that realm. I was more surprised about the fact that Amazon’s Alexa is now responding with questions, basically creating a back-and-forth conversation between a human and a digital assistant. That is pretty cool.
Currently, there’s no booking capability, but that will likely come in the future.
Even if users can’t book through this feature right now, I am sure that technology is right around the corner. It’s a fascinating topic on so many levels, and it certainly creates a new complexity in the world of Search.
May 12, 2016: Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm boost has rolled out (SearchEngineLand.com)
Can you believe that Mobilegeddon was roughly one year ago? This week, Google rolled out the second update to its mobile-friendly algorithm. More details:
This technically is supposed to “increase the effect of the [mobile-friendly] ranking signal.” As we reported in March, Google said if you are already mobile-friendly, you do not have to worry, because “you will not be impacted by this update.”
I haven’t seen any reports of the skies falling or the world ending due to this update, so I’m thinking it was a pretty minor blip for most sites that already passed the mobile-friendly test.
That’s it for my update. Cheers!