August 2019 is already over and that means it’s time for SEO roundup number 8 of 2019!
John Mueller, Webmaster Trend Analyst, provided an update on structured data implementation during an episode of #AskGoogleWebmasters on 11 September. He announced that it is possible to place JSON structured data in the <body> too, instead of just in the <head>. However, experience shows that structured data is easier to detect when ranked as high as possible. To prevent structured data that does not work (to its best advantage), we still advise placing the structured data in the <head>.
On Monday 23 September, Google changed the performance sheet in Google Search Console. User of this tool can now see more recent performance data; less than a day old. There used to be a two-day delay in the data, but this change enables quicker insight into the effect of any changes made.
Each recent data point is moved to the fixed data point after a few days. There may be some changes to the recent data when it is permanently stored as fixed data point.
Since 23 September it is also possible to analyse and export the data on a day-by-day basis, Just use the ‘Dates’ tab.
Please note: the Search Analytics API does not support this data yet. The most recent data here is still three days old.
Various tracking tools have shown a decline in the number of review displays in search results during the second half of September. This did not come as a surprise, as it was revealed the previous week that the rules regarding displaying reviews in search results would be tightened. The results of this update are noticeable fast. The average fall in review displays is around 5%, but varies for each country.
Why is this significant?
Review displays have a positive impact on the CTR and are therefore a shame to lose. In order to keep all reviews, you have to meet the new guidelines for pages and schema markup. Google has now updated the Developers Guide.
SEMrush sensor analysis (USA - period 1 September to 27 September):
Google has announced two new link attributes: rel="ugc" and rel="sponsored" will join the rel=”nofollow”. The rel="ugc" link attribute is intended for links that can be added by users. These could be links in forum posts or links in reactions to blog articles. The rel="sponsored" link attribute is specifically aimed at links in paid content. The rel="nofollow" attribute will stay available too. Google explicitly states that no changes are required by webmasters, but that these attributes help Google to assess links better.
At the same time, Google states that they will also start using rel=”nofollow” when ranking search results.
An overview of all update changes:
See below for a graphic representation of these developments, made by MOZ.com:
More information on Google's own blog.
Reports on your breadcrumb structured data are now available from the Google Search Console. These new reports can help you with tracing issues with the breadcrumbs displayed in search results. Find them in “Enhancements” on the navigation panel.
24 September saw another Core Update. This may have remarkable consequences for the rankings of various websites, as was the case in the past.
Danny Sullivan from Google indicates that the update will need a few days for full implementation.
Results show that this Core Update turned out better than the Core Update in June. The final impact still remains to be seen; the update needs some time to see what has actually changed.
Google has added a new report to Google Search Console to show you how your datasets are performing in Google Search.
What are datasets?
The Google Dataset Search was launched in 2018. Developers can mark content as datasets with metadata, so it is displayed as a featured snippet in the search results.
This looks like this:
Find the new report in the Google Search Console under “Enhancements” in the navigation panel. Only applicable if you use datasets. The report displays errors and warnings, and lists the URLs with valid datasets. See an example of the report below: