BITESIZE: Google SEO News – December 2023

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Google expands video guidelines

In order for a video embedded on a page to show in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) carousel, it needs to be the ‘primary content’ on the page and not supplementary to the content. Here are examples of video not being the main content:

  • A blog post where the video is complementary to the text rather than the primary content on the page
  • A product details page with a complementary video
  • A video category page that lists multiple videos of equal prominence

The video needs to be the focal point of the page in order for Google to show it in the results. Data about video indexing is available within the Google Search Console account. Here’s a visual example (video as main content on the left):

Example of video being the main content focus on the page

Latest reviews system update has finished rolling out

This started rolling out at the beginning of November and completed on 7th December. This is quite a long time for a new algorithm/system update. This impacts websites which provide opinion based and/or review based content on their site (including affiliate websites). According to Google the update impacts any site “with the purpose of providing a recommendation, giving an opinion, or providing analysis.”

If you think your site has been hit by this update we can check. In terms of what can be done – a content audit may be useful to identify content which may be deemed as not helpful. Google’s classifiers run continuously but it may take weeks or months for changes to be seen as a result of site changes.

Google local – checks if a business is open or not

Although not confirmed by Google, there is evidence to suggest that local visibility is influenced by whether or not a business is open at the time of search. For example, if a business doesn’t open until 9am and a search is done at 8.30am, there is a higher chance that business will not appear in results because it is not open. This makes total sense from a user perspective and the best protection is to ensure that, if you have local outlets, venues or physical business locations, they have accurate and up to date information, including opening times in Google Business Profiles.

Some Google phraseology that might be useful

Finally, just a couple of things you may notice if you enjoy reading about Google’s updates and similar…

System – This is the word Google uses to represent their various algorithms. Rather than ‘algorithm update’ they call it a ‘system update’.

Modes –  I have noticed Google has been referring in some places to the various tabs you see in a Google search (images, web, video – along the top under the search bar) as ‘modes’. For example, ‘video mode’ is basically when you tap or click on the ‘video tab’ on a search result page.

If you need any Google advice or help with your wider digital marketing, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email [email protected] or call 02392 830281.

Dave Colgate profile picture
Dave Colgate

Dave is head of SEO at Vertical Leap. He joined in 2010 as an SEO specialist and prior to that worked with international companies delivering successful search marketing campaigns. Dave works with many of our largest customers spanning many household names and global brands such as P&O Cruises and Harvester. Outside of work, Dave previously spent many years providing charity work as a Sergeant under the Royal Air Force Reserves in the Air Cadets sharing his passion for aviation with young minds. He can often be found in the skies above the south coast enjoying his private pilot licence.

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