Weekly News Roundup (01 – 05 November): SEO

Weekly Roundup

Happy November! As we get closer and closer to Christmas, we’re finding ourselves busier than ever at Passion HQ. So, we may have missed a week in the roundup, but we’re back with a bang. This week, our fabulous SEO team is taking the reins to talk about all things Google…

1) Google Local Filler Content Impact on UX

Google Local Filler is generating speculation for its purpose on the digital marketing sphere, more specifically for UX.

On September 27th, Google determined that its Content Local Filler doesn’t contain the properties or features to be considered good for User Experience (UX).

When a user makes a query on Google and it’s presented with irrelevant results or bad resources, it creates difficulty for both users to find what they’re looking for and makes it harder for businesses to compete against each other.

What is a local filler?

A local filler is the space that Google provides for different results to appear in ‘bulk’ based on a specific query, as seen in the picture above.

For the query ‘digital marketing agencies in London’, Google pulled together 3 relevant results for digital marketing agencies for which, very proudly, Passion Digital ranks number 1. (Gotta brag 😉)

In this case, our query pulled up accurate results, but this is not always the case.

Sometimes Google provides irrelevant results to fulfill the intent of queries, allowing irrelevant business to outrank a more relevant business.

In this case, we can see that a digital marketing agency in Leeds is outranking a marketing agency in London, which puts into question why and how Google is making these choices to present results.

What are the effects for businesses?

If businesses are not aware of these false resources that Google is providing, they might be losing visibility and lead opportunities due to other businesses outranking them for the wrong reasons. This problem can have devastating effects, and we need to be sure businesses know how to react.

Ultimately, its effects on UX can drive frustration among users, creating higher bounce rate and unfair brand association.

What should Google do to solve this issue?

It isn’t easy as it sounds but in order to amend the situation, Google needs to:

  • Depend more on its own categories
    Google needs to check all the categories presented with its listing results and only provide relevant and accurate results.
  • Revision of categories with business attributes
    In this case, it’s important that Google makes a thorough revision to check the business’ descriptions match the categories.
  • Cross check specific search phrases and crawl results
    In order to provide relevant results, Google needs to cross check information it has within its crawl knowledge and the wider crawl of the web, in order to differentiate which results are relevant or not for a query.

2) Continuous Scrolling is Coming to Google

In an effort to make the search results more fitting for a modern audience – i.e. a slicker, more seamless platform – Google have introduced continuous scrolling on mobile devices. This now means that when you reach the bottom of ‘page 1’ the next set of results will automatically load up to page 4.

It’s a gradual roll out, but for users this will mean easier access to additional information to match their query. This is particularly useful for broad questions like ‘what can I do with pumpkins’ and the GIF below shows how the new search display will appear for this query. 

Why is this important and how does it impact digital marketing?

This replaces the “more results” button for the first four pages. Google explained that most people who want additional information usually search up to the 4th page for results, so with this update the “see more” button will not appear until after four pages of results.

The anticipated impact for SEO is websites with keywords ranking on pages 1 – 4 may start seeing impressions increase on Search Console, as users will now find it easier to scroll through pages. However, clicks may remain similar because there are more options to choose from. This could potentially have a negative impact on click through rate.

For those focusing on click through rate as a key metric, if it becomes lower than usual, it may be because the page was shown more frequently in continuous scroll compared to it being seen but was clicked less.

This new Search experience is currently rolling out for “most English searches on mobile in the U.S.”

3)  Google Says There Are No Metrics For Measuring Trust

Despite trustworthiness having been widely considered as an important factor in the ranking strategy that search engines implement, John Mueller (Search Advocate at the Search Relations team at Google) reveals – in his SEO office hours – that there is no metric that Google uses to determine trustworthiness. He says that improving the quality of your content is always a good idea but, when it comes to trust, it isn’t a matter of just having lots of links that point to your website.

Why is this important? How does this impact digital marketing?

We need to think of SEO as a holistic strategy. Technical and content are as important as each other when it comes to contributing to overall higher rankings. The challenge of SEO is knowing what factors should be prioritised for maximum impact and there is no magic solution to find this.

Watch the full video here:

Understanding how to prioritise your SEO efforts comes with experience and, luckily for our clients (and you!), we have a highly experienced and enthusiastic team who are always happy to help. With a wealth of knowledge and tons of experience between us, we can help grow your organic visibility. Get in touch to find out more!