It is a well-known fact that Google makes frequent changes to its algorithm for the improvement of search results and user experience. These updates can alter your position in the online world. That is why, being up to date with Google algorithm updates is one of the best practices in search engine optimization (SEO). Here are the latest Google updates you need to know.
# Google Adds New SEO Audit Category To Chrome Extension
On 5th February 2018, Google added, “SEO audits” category to the Lighthouse Chrome extension. You might already know Lighthouse is an auditing tool used for improving the quality of web pages by running performance, accessibility and various other audits. With the help of new SEO audit category, you can do basic health-check and discover the area of improvements in any web page. The current list of audits is very basic. Google is looking forward to adding more in-depth audits in the future.
# Google’s Speed Update
Speed has been the ranking signal, but it is limited to desktop search. On 17th January 2018, Google announced that it would be using page speed as a ranking signal in mobile search from July 2018 onwards. The purpose of this update is to enhance the user-experience by prioritizing web pages that are faster across mobile devices. One can expect a negative impact on pages that are slow. Although speed will be a ranking factor, but the intent of a query is still a very strong signal. Therefore, slow pages can still hold a good rank if they have high-quality original content.
# Google Now Shows Real-World Data In PageSpeed Insights Tool
Google on 10th January 2018, posted that PageSpeed tool is now improved with real-world data. In simple words, PageSpeed tool now has the ability to check how fast a page performs in the real world. Things were different prior to this update; PageSpeed would grade a page based on how many best practices are followed from the standard list. Obviously, it wasn’t accurate. After this update, PageSpeed tool will use data from the Chrome user experience report, and provide precise results and categorize a web page as fast, average or slow.
# Google Introduces New Search Console
Google on 8th January 2018, announced that it would be making new search console available to everyone. Reports of the new search console will provide additional transparency into Google’s indexing and stateful communications between Google and website owners to rectify problems easily. Below are some highlights of the new search console:
● Its functionality will include search performance, index coverage, AMP status and job posting.
● Easy to analyze long-term trends with 16 months of data.
● Index coverage report will show perfectly indexed URLs, alerts for potential hurdles and reasons for not being indexed.
● Report will provide details of individual errors and cautions that Google recognized for AMP, Job posting and many other topics.