114: [Ep114] – Updates From Google SEO Day

by Jun 27, 2022TWIMshow0 comments

1. Shopify Announces Audience During Their Semi-Annual Showcase – Shopify Editions is Shopify’s new semi-annual showcase demonstrating the speed and breadth of innovation at Shopify to bring merchants into the future. Per Shopify, they are powering a radically different model of commerce: Connect to Consumer (C2C). To help merchants embrace C2C, they unveiled an entirely new B2B offering, launching Tokengated Commerce, partnered with Google to help consumers shop local, brought commerce to Twitter,  launched Tap to Pay on iPhone—just to name a few.

Shopify Audiences, a new marketing tool helps Shopify Plus merchants find new customers. Using Shopify’s unique view on purchase intent and their merchant network helps identify buyers who are looking for your products. Then create and export high-interest audiences to ad platforms like Facebook.

Other notable things announced at Shopify Editions are:

a.) B2B on Shopify makes it seamless for Shopify Plus merchants to sell to other businesses on the same platform that they use for D2C. Say goodbye to spreadsheets, one-off invoices, and manual data entry. Not to mention, they’ve also partnering with ERP providers such as NetSuite, Brightpearl, and Acumatica to automatically integrate merchants’ essential data with their B2B solution.

b.) With Shopify’s offline GMV growing nearly 80% year over year in Q1 2022, they figured out that in-person shopping is coming back in a big way—and they want a piece of the pie. That’s why they’re one of the first commerce platforms to launch Tap to Pay on iPhone in the U.S. in partnership with Stripe. Currently in early access with select Shopify point-of-sale merchants, Tap to Pay on iPhone will be fully available in the U.S. in the coming months.

With Tap to Pay on iPhone, they’re lowering the barrier to entry for Shopify merchants to expand into offline retail for the first time without needing extra hardware or investment. Per Shopify, “Think farmers markets, new pop-up experiences, test shops for established merchants to expand to new physical locations. Enabling Tap to Pay on iPhone will broaden the possibilities in offline commerce, giving merchants who haven’t yet tried in-person selling an easy way to connect with customers IRL.”

c.) Local Inventory on Google . Turning browsers into local buyers. We know that nearly all U.S. consumers have searched for local businesses online, with more than a third searching multiple times every week. Shopify is about to improve those searches in a big way with local inventory sync on Google, available through Shopify’s Google channel. Now, Shopify merchants can automatically let nearby customers know when a product is available in store. Shopping local has never been more convenient. 

Local inventory sync on Google is globally available via Shopify’s Google channel to merchants using Shopify’s point-of-sale app.

You can find all the details here.

2. Twitter Launches New Shopify Integration – Social commerce continues to be a growing opportunity for merchants. Orders placed with Shopify merchants through partner integrations quadrupled YoY in the first quarter of 2022. 

Sometimes, a brand’s biggest audience is the one they haven’t tapped. Twitter’s hundreds of millions of users represent potential connections for independent merchants, and that’s why Shopify is the first commerce platform to partner with Twitter as it continues to scale its Twitter Shopping ecosystem. In fact, shopping-related Tweets saw 40-billion impressions over the last year alone. 

Using Shopify’s new Twitter sales channel, merchants can reach consumers directly from their Twitter profiles, creating a frictionless path to purchase in today’s digital townsquare. This will enable Shopify merchants to list their products on their Twitter Professional Profiles, with each item, when tapped, then redirecting users to the Shopify product page to make a purchase.

Twitter’s shopping features include Twitter Shops and Shop Spotlight, and, starting today, both are available for free to all Shopify U.S. merchants selling to U.S. consumers. 

“The Twitter sales channel makes it quicker and easier to meet our customers wherever they are,” said Jessica Stevens, Senior Social Media Manager at Trixie Cosmetics. “The automatic syncing is going to help us save so much time, and the sales channel allows me to easily connect the two platforms that we already tap into to sell products and engage with customers.”

3. Twitter Releases Twitter Write, Notes Feature – Finally available on some user profiles, Twitter’s new “Notes” feature offers a quick, seamless method to include lengthy text pieces in your tweets. The Notes UI is quite simple and has all the standard features of a blog post composer, such as the ability to add header pictures, insert photos and links within the text, and a quick way to add tweets.

Once posted, Notes will display as a Twitter card that directs users to the complete article. You have a lot more area for your longer-form content on the app because Note titles are only allowed to be 100 characters long and the body of a Note can be up to 2,500 words.

Additionally, unlike tweets, notes can be edited after they are published, and a “Edited” label will be appended at the top of the note.

4. LinkedIn Updates Event Engagement Options & Simplifies ‘Repost’ Process – In order to promote on-topic conversation and interaction within LinkedIn Events, LinkedIn is now introducing new comment engagement options. You may now interact with participants before, during, and after the session by using the Comments tab of a LinkedIn event. You can also reply to particular comments in-stream. With more than 24,000 events being added to the app each week as of this writing, the option is intended to take advantage of LinkedIn Events engagement. Furthermore, LinkedIn recently added LinkedIn Events to its simplified “Boost” ad option, giving users another method to promote their LinkedIn event listings.

p.s. Users are currently starting to see the enhanced Comments choices in-stream as the option is being rolled out.

Additionally, LinkedIn is making it simpler to share updates on LinkedIn by adding a new, streamlined “Repost” option to the “Share” menu. When you tap the “Share” prompt, a new “Repost” option will soon be available, allowing you to share without leaving a comment (currently your only option). By removing the requirement for users to contribute their own commentary to every re-share, this will make it simpler to share posts.

5. Will Google Crawl URLs In Structured Data? – Does Google crawl alternative kinds of links like those found in structured data? Google’s John Mueller answered:

“So for the most part, when we look at HTML pages, if we see something that looks like a link, we might go off and kind of like try that URL out as well. That’s something where if we find a URL in JavaScript, we can try to pick that up and try to use it. If we find a link in kind of a text file on a site, we can try to crawl that and use it.”

Do not blindly assume that just because a link is in structured data means it will or will not be indexed.

He recommends that if you want Google to go off and crawl that URL, make sure that there’s a natural HTML link to that URL, with a clear anchor text as well, that you give some information about the destination page. If you don’t want Google to crawl that specific URL, then maybe block it with robots.txt or on that page use a rel=canonical pointing to your preferred version, anything like that.

6. Google Crawls And Indexes The First 15MB – The Googlebot help page has been updated to reflect the fact that Googlebot will only crawl the first 15MB of a page before stopping. Therefore, if you want to make sure that Google ranks your website appropriately, make sure that the first 15MB of the page can be crawled and indexed by Googlebot.

Generally speaking, you should aim to keep your pages as lightweight as possible for both users and search engine crawlers. However, Google is being very upfront about how much of your website it will use here.

Using the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console to examine what portions of the page Google renders and detects in the debugging tool is an excellent approach to test this.

7. Google: Images Can Impact Your Rankings – You might not be aware, but the images on your website might affect how well it ranks in Google Search results.

If the image dimensions on a web page are not specified, the page’s content may move about while the image loads. This is interpreted by Google Search as a bad signal.

The solution is as easy as including the width and height attributes in the image’s HTML code.

8. Google: Keywords In Domain Names Are Overrated – Keywords in domain names are overstated, according to John Mueller of Google. He repeated what he and other Google employees have said countless times over the years. He advised choosing something for the long term and for your business instead.

9. Google: It’s OK To Link Your WhatsApp Number – John Mueller from Google stated on Twitter that including a link to your WhatsApp number on your website is not a negative SEO strategy. Contrary to what some SEO toolkits claim, connecting to a WhatsApp, phone, or fax number is acceptable, and Google does not evaluate your site differently dependent on the type of number you link to.

10. Google: Do This For Product Variants Pages – When a product is offered in a variety of sizes or colors, ecommerce sites generally take URL structure into consideration. A product variant is any combination of a product’s attributes. For product variants, Google supports a broad variety of URL configurations.

To help Google understand which variant is best to show in Search, choose one of the product variant URLs as the canonical URL for the product.

The following restrictions apply if you decide to display many product variants on a single page (i.e., if the variants all have the same URL).

  • The page may be ineligible for Product rich results in search results because the experience is only supported for pages holding a single product (and product variants may be treated as distinct products by Google Search).
  • Experiences such as Google Shopping cannot take a user to a specific variant of a product on your site, leading to the user needing to select the variant they wish to purchase on your site before checkout. This can lead to a poor user experience if the shopper already selected the variant they wanted in Google Shopping.

If you choose to use a distinct URL per variant, Google recommends using either:

  • A path segment, such as /t-shirt/green 
  • A query parameter, such as /t-shirt?color=green

11. Google Changes Requirements For Local Service Ads – Google has increased the requirements for local service ads, mandating five reviews. This is an increase over the prior requirement of simply requiring one review.

According to Ginny Marvin of Google’s AdsLiaison, “The procedure for placing an ad with Local Services Ads has not changed; rather, the quantity of reviews has increased from 1 to 5. More customer testimonials increase credibility and increase the likelihood of connecting with prospective customers.”

Industries that now need five reviews are:

  • Real estate agents and brokers
  • Lawyer for personal injuries
  • HVAC Companies
  • Home Cleaning Companies
  • Tree care/services companies
  • Roofing

12. Updates From Google SEODay – John Mueller, a Google Search Advocate, discussed improvements to the search engine’s scoring system and the effect of page experience on rankings at an online session at SEODay 2022.

Google now bases desktop search results on a site’s desktop experience and mobile search results on a site’s mobile experience, among other modifications that were made public.

The search engine calculates experience scores using three main metrics: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).

“Interactivity to next page,” often known as INP, is a new page experience statistic that Google has added. Other things that came out of SEODay are:

  • Users can create custom reports and obtain a fresh perspective on the data by using analytics and Search Console data. 
  • Videos & Images Take On More Prominent Role In Search – “We see that people love videos and authentic images in search results, so we try to show them more,” Mueller said.
  • Google now offers a WordPress plugin for creating Web stories – A collection of pages that often have videos.
  • Authentic Product Reviews Factored Into Rankings – “People have high expectations of reviews they find online, so we’ve also worked specifically on updates to algorithms with regards to ranking these product reviews,” he said.