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Trio of treats delivered by Google

We’re still over a month away from Christmas, but that hasn’t stopped Google from delivering three treats which are sure to catch the eye of webmasters, SEOs and publishers…

Desktop search results testing multifaceted featured snippets

While multifaceted featured snippets won’t be fresh news to mobile web users — Google started to roll out the feature across mobile search results earlier in 2018 — the search engine giant has now begun testing the same element in desktop search results too, as reported on by Search Engine Land.

This is great news for SEOs and website owners, as multifaceted featured snippets appear when people search for queries deemed broad enough to result in more than one interpretation. For example, a search for ‘garden needs full sun?’ may return one featured snippet titled ‘What garden plants need full sun?’ and another titled ‘What counts as full sun?’.

As a result, those searching for an unclear query are more likely to find the answer they are looking for after just a single search. Meanwhile, website owners have more of a chance of seeing their content and advice appearing in a featured snippet. Featured snippets are often referred to as being position zero on search results. They are capable of driving huge amounts of traffic to a website directly from a Google Search.

Google News changing to help publishers to find their sites & articles

As stated by Google’s very own Lisa Wang in the search engine giant’s help forums, changes are being made to Google News so that publishers can get assistance finding their websites and articles on the popular news aggregator.

The announcement is sure to please the news publishers who have complained for several months that their content is failing to appear in Google News even when relevant queries are searched.

Ms Wang confirmed the changes by responding to a query by help forum user livebuzz with the statement: “We are working on an update which should help resolve some of the issues that publishers have raised around finding their sites or particular articles in Google News. We estimate this will be ready in the next few weeks and will provide another update at that time.”

While details of what the update entails are still unknown, it’s reassuring that Google are aware of the issues and are taking action seeing as though Google News is often a considerable driver of traffic for publishers.

Google releases new help document about lazy-loading web page content

Lazy-loading web page content, which is where the loading of non-critical or non-visible content is deferred, has become common performance and UX best practice for SEOs and webmasters. Fail to implement the technique in the correct manner on a website though and you might end up accidently hiding content from Google as they go about crawling and indexing your web pages.

Fortunately, Google has placed this new help document into their Google developer guides hub which advises how lazy-loading content can be crawled, indexed and, in effect, ranked in the Google search results.

The guide should certainly be seen as a must-read for SEOs and webmasters, with Search Engine Land pointing out: “If you implement lazy-loading techniques without thinking of how Google can discover the content that is within the lazy-loading mechanism, then you run the risk of that content not being discoverable within search.”

 

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