Updated featured snippets, Google indexing for the non-technical and AMP out?: What we read this week (6/5)5. June 2020
We would like to mention all of the hardworking journalists in crowds, on streets and at desks striving to tell the stories of this unprecedented time. Your dogged reporting is helping to shed light on the injustices of this world. Keep it up. We need you now more than ever.
Without further ado, here is what the News Dashboard team read this week.
Snippets are now smarter, link to cited text
On June 3, the Google SearchLiaison Twitter account announced updates to Google’s Featured Snippets, those bits of text that appear at the top of the SERP which feature bolded keywords.
As we have done with AMP pages since December 2018, clicking on a featured snippet now takes users to the exact text highlighted for HTML pages, when we can confidently determine where the text is, for browsers that support the underlying technology….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 3, 2020
Featured Snippets are designed to give a search user an answer to a question by pulling the relevant text from a webpage and displaying it above the source. Well, Google will now take users directly to the cited text via a click, rather than just linking to the site itself.
Web admins and SEOs don’t need to make any changes to their site to take advantage of the new function, according to Google.
The scroll-to-text feature was first introduced on AMP pages in 2018.
Overall, it’s a nice addition for publishers. Anything that assists search users in finding the info they’re interested in is generally a good thing in our opinion.
How Google crawls and indexes, a non-technical explanation
Barry Schwartz, a contributing editor over at Search Engine Land, had a lengthy chat with Martin Splitt, a Google Search Developer Relations representative about bridging the divide between SEOs and developers.
In the following 5-minute clip, Splitt explains how Google crawls and indexes the web by using a library analogy. This analogy may be a great way for newsroom SEOs to explain the wizardry of Google to non-SEO colleagues.
You can view the entire, nearly-hour-long chat below.
Google Knowledge Graph and knowledge panels 101
Knowledge panels are the boxed, information-packed modules that appear with vital and factual information on notable people, places or things. The mobile and desktop SERPs both have versions of this.
You’ve undoubtedly seen them:
So, where does all that info come from? The Knowledge Graph, a crawler that recognizes facts shared across the web. Google says the graph has collected more than 500 billion facts about five billion people, places or things.
A variety of sources are scanned for facts including Wikipedia, databases and medical providers.
News publishers can suggest changes for their paper’s knowledge panel by “claiming” their panel. Check out the link below for more info on how to do that.
When to no-index and when to remove entirely
If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to the Google Webmasters YouTube channel. The channel publishes a new video every few days that often answer common questions SEOs may have. Pay particular attention to the #AskGoogleWebmasters series for actionable tips and advice.
Google’s John Mueller answers a question about low traffic pages posed by someone in the news industry. The question boils down to: “Should we ‘hide’ the low-traffic, boring news to make our overall publishing content better in Google’s eyes?”
What his answer in the video below.
HAVE YOU READ A STORY YOU THINK SHOULD BE ON OUR RADAR? REACH OUT!
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