• [August] Search Engine News: What Caught Our Attention Aug 20, 2019
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    In this search engine news roundup, we cover a Google bug causing search results to not fully render, Search Console not logging voice search data (at all) and an awesome new feature for business listings in search results (but there’s a small catch).

    “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
    1. A strange bug caused rendering issues to search results in Google
    2. Which voice searches get logged into Google Search Console, which don’t and why?
    3. Eligible business listings in search results are getting a flashy new button
    Let’s dig in.

    Search Glitch In Google Keeps Pages From Fully Rendering
    Another day, another Google search bug of one kind or another.

    At the end of last month, Google forums were flooded with complaints about search results not fully rendering when well… a search was done. However, this seems to have happened only for some people and on mobile.
    Google has confirmed they know about the bug and are, of course, working on fixing it.
    What did the bug look like? Basically, it looks like a chunk of the results was cut out or covered in a whiteout (if you can recall what a whiteout is).

    Why should you care? Well, if searchers cannot see the search results, even if that’s a small percentage of Google searchers, that can lead to a drop in traffic to one’s website, which may lead to fewer leads and sales and less revenue for the company. Therefore, no matter how big or small the glitch might be, it will always have a significant impact on your business. You can read more on the topic here.

    Google Search Console Doesn’t Capture Voice Searches At All
    You may, or may not, know that there’s no way in GSC to distinguish which search queries came in via voice search and which were typed. Did you even know that some data from voice search is not even being captured – at all?

    Since we are very, very interested (and curious) about Google Search, tools and policies, we’re carefully monitoring Google Webmasters #AskGoogleWebmasters series. And it was exactly there where we found the answer to what the different types of voice searches are, whether and how voice searches are shown in the GSC and how using the Google Assistant can affect it.

    Here is an overview of what John Mueller – Webmaster Trends Analyst – explained:
    • Using voice to search vs. voice search on Google Assistant. There are multiple ways to search by voice. You can use voice as a keyboard by tapping the microphone icon which is equivalent to a regular web search. “These queries are already logged in GSC in the same way as all others are, just like you’d see queries that are entered by swiping on a mobile keyboard”, Muller states. However, it’s slightly different when you use Google Assistant to ask a question that is answered through a snippet of text from the page. It’s exactly those snippets for which impressions are currently not logged in GSC.
    Why should you care? A user viewing a featured snippet on mobile or desktop browser will result in an impression within the publisher’s Search Console. Snippets read out loud by Google Assistant are not counted as impressions. Despite the fact, a URL is sent to a user’s device when they search via Assistant, the user may not be inclined to click-through simply because the answer they were looking for has already been provided. Watch the full episode here.

    Eligible Business Listings In Search Results Are Getting a ‘Request a Quote’ Button
    Google is automatically adding a huge ‘Request a Quote’ button to eligible business listings. The first person to spot this was Joy Hawkins
    Some users were able to replicate this result which can only mean it’s not a test. However, it is limited to certain business listings. Specifically, businesses that have opted into the Google My Business messaging feature.

    Why should you care? This feature has the potential to generate more leads for businesses. Although it also does what Google has been often criticised for doing – keeping people in Google. On the other hand, that’s not great for traffic. But, the purpose of a business website – for the most part – is to generate leads. So, is it a bad thing if Google only sends leads without the actual traffic? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what search engine news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 5 August by EmailOut and can be found here.

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  • David White
  • EmailOut
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