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Changes coming to ‘page experience,’ ONA updates and SEO stat trivia: What we read this week (5/29)

It’s beginning to get hot here in Phoenix. In fact, as of the writing of this post, it’s 108 degrees outside.

Do you know what that means? The Trisolute team is going to spend even more time inside reading the Internet’s most interesting and important news SEO and industry news. Take a look at what we read this week.

BIG changes coming to “page experience” ranking signal

Google announced on Thursday it’s changing the way its search algorithm to incorporate new metrics into its ranking criteria. In short, the search giant is taking a closer look at “the quality of a user’s experience on a web page,” to help determine where a page ranks on the SERP.

The new metrics are a combination of the Core Web Vitals and mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-enabled and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

Additionally, changes are coming to the mobile Top Stories module. Previously, to be considered for the Top Stories module on mobile, an article must be AMP compliant. That will change once the update goes live. Google say it will continue support AMP.

The changes will not go live before next year, Google says.

ONA20 joins the ranks of virtual conferences

Brace yourself because ONA20-branded Zoom and Skype backgrounds may be coming. The Online News Association journalism conference is a yearly pilgrimage for thousands of journalists. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh to this year’s conference in Atlanta, but the ONA team audibled.

The new event “ONA20 Everywhere” will be online-only from Oct. 1 – 16. The spread out, festival-like approach “gives more people flexibility to focus on the conference while still juggling home and other work needs, ” ONA Chief Knowledge Officer Trevor Knoblich wrote in a blog post last week.

We’re excited to see how things come together!

The News Dashboard will be there, virtually of course, to help teach journalists the importance of SEO and how to use SEO to increase your Google news-ranking visibility.

2020 SEO trivia

Si Quan Ong over at the Ahrefs blog pulled together a nifty list of some interesting SEO statistics so far in 2020.

Some interesting tidbits include:

  • 29.13% of keywords with 10,000+ monthly searches are made up of three or more words.
  • ~8% of search queries are phrased as questions.
  • 67.6% of all clicks go to the first five organic rank results.
  • 46% of searches on Google are looking for local information.

Take a moment to appreciate the amount of leg work that went into tracking down all of these stats from multiple sources.

Newspapers + COVID-19 = lots of content

News readers across the planet are probably hard-pressed to open up a newspaper or visit a news website without seeing an article not related to the current pandemic and rightfully so. But VerveSearch, an SEO marketing company, wanted to quantify exactly how many stories were being written, in the United Kingdom, anyway.

What their team found was that the volume of COVID-19 articles tracked closely with public interest (search volume). COVID coverage peaked in the UK on March 24 when 39% of all articles written by UK newspapers were about the virus.

So, what’s the takeaway? It seems like newspaper journalists do a pretty good job at producing the volume of content readers are willing to consume.


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