Multimodal search, WordPress efficiency • Yoast


Welcome to another roundup of the Yoast SEO News webinar. It is October and we are fast approaching the Christmas season and the end of the year. We have two more SEO news webinars planned for this year – be part of it! This month, hear our experts Jono Alderson and Joost de Valk discuss topics such as continuous scrolling in Google, updates on the situation of title revisions and the proposal for a performance team to make WordPress faster. Here we go!

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October 2021 Google News for SEO fans

This month, Google has been very active with lots of new launches, tests, and updates. We’ll cover some of these in the next few paragraphs, but be sure to check out the SEO News webinar summary for all of the insights from the discussions.

Continuous scrolling on the phone

One of the most visible changes that Google has made is the continuous scrolling of mobile search results. It’s pretty funny because everyone is on page one from now on. It’s not an infinite scroll as it only combines the first four pages, but still. It is interesting to see what “on page one” as a metric now means. Will people’s behavior change? Will it affect the CTR? We have to test and see what happens.

Indented search results

Over the years, Google has tested, implemented, and killed more things than anyone can remember. But if you’ve been in SEO for a few years, you will find some things are making a comeback. One of those things is the indented search results that Google released in October 2021, a top result. This is a bit strange as it increases the number of results from the same domain – something Google wanted to prevent.

Short videos in the SERPs

We’ve already talked about it, but it already seems to be happening. Google is testing adding short videos to search results pages. We think this could be the first step in further developing search results. Google will want more of this type of content since they are really interested in doing something with the Stories format – see Web Stories. Expect more of this and don’t just dismiss it as a social media thing the kids are doing. When this shows up in search results, it affects how people think, how they buy, and what funnels they use to convert. So yeah, that’s great.

The Short Videos carousel will now appear as a test in Google’s desktop search results.

It first appeared as a test on mobile devices in November 2020, with videos from YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and more showing up.

Timeline updated:

– Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) October 3, 2021

Google is working on a breaking news feature called Big Moments

Google is usually where people look for information after something happens. While Facebook and Twitter are where they go while it occurs. And of course that means Google is missing out on users and revenue, etc. So Google really wants to compete, but the breaking news space is different. It’s not something their ecosystem is particularly well designed for. Google is now trying to find a way with so-called big moments to better algorithmically curate breaking news.

An update on the situation of the title description

We talked about Google’s rewriting of titles in the previous two webinars. Frustratingly, Google’s response to that was essentially: we’ll do it anyway and try to improve it. But they’re still not getting any better. With some new documentary, they’re trying to make it clearer what they’re doing, but it’s only gotten more confusing. You introduced a whole range of terminology.

We hope the SEO industry continues to put pressure on Google to say that this is actually not a good thing. It’s not helpful. Please let us take control of how we display our brands and content in the search engines, or just do better. But right now we’re still stuck with Google saying you have no control over it and then doing a bad job. In some cases, of course, not in all cases.

Google search at ’21 event

Search On is Google’s annual event showcasing new developments in AI, search, and related technologies. Some of the things presented are quick to find their way to the search results pages, others are concepts or tests. Still, it’s exciting to see where Google is headed. You can take a look at a seven-minute overview to keep yourself up to date:

Multimodal search is one thing

One of the most important things that Google presented was the idea of ​​a multimodal search. With multimodal search, Google can combine different inputs into one output. Most of it is run by MUM. We talked about MUM before; it enables Google to understand searches and results across languages, media, contexts and related topics. Not just matching keywords with documents.

This means that the concept of “searching” is becoming more than just typing something into a browser window. Google showed a great example of this where someone pointed a phone at a broken bike chain and asked, “How do I fix this?” And another; “Socks with this pattern”.

They use this image, context, location, and so on to understand the query and provide helpful results. And then they offer many tools to broaden or narrow your search; take the user through a journey to arrive at an answer.

Many of these things combine your camera, Google Lens, and the search engine to give you more options for searching and finding new answers. This also makes it possible to expand shopping where you simply point your camera at something you want and get answers on where to buy it. Google also wants to enable shopping directly from the search results.

Deeper understanding of videos

MUM also helps Google understand videos better. They just keep getting smarter by extracting relevant content and then giving you the rest of the tools you need. Here they comb the different inputs from different channels to give you a complete answer.

We have said a couple of times that you really need to invest in video. This is how a majority of people solve their problems and make decisions in their buying process. You need to help people in context on such self-help trips. Deliver helpful video content that solves searcher problems.

Microsoft news for SEOs to be aware of

Two interesting things from Microsoft: a new indexing standard called IndexNow and some glimpse into the upcoming holiday season.

At first glance, IndexNow is looking for a solution to a problem. According to Microsoft, IndexNow should help websites index their content faster. But we think that is already covered by other solutions. There is no real need for such a standard. We’re not adding this to Yoast SEO for now, but we’re actively following the discussion to see what comes out of it.

The other thing is research from Microsoft showing that the upcoming holiday shopping season could start soon. People orientate themselves much earlier than usual, partly driven by the fear of storage bottlenecks. So when do you start working on your SEO for the holiday season? Basically yesterday. Try to make a single Christmas page that you will keep forever. Sites like this get stronger and stronger every year that you are always promoting and linking to.

WordPress news SEOs should be aware of

Over to some WordPress news. With WordPress 5.9, we got our first look at the new Twenty-Twenty-Two theme and it looks great. This could be our first taste of the full website edit due out soon.

Pretty neat, isn’t it?

In other news, core Yoast sponsored WordPress contributors suggested two new things that could improve performance. Ari Stathopoulos suggested adding a web font API to WordPress. This is super nerdy, but it’s a big deal, not just for design and creativity, but also for performance, safety, and a number of tweaking reasons.

The second proposal is jointly signed by Yoast and Google. There are plans to set up a team for WordPress specifically dedicated to improving the performance of the CMS. Our competitors are getting faster and faster and the WordPress community doesn’t have enough focus right now to really focus on performance. Hopefully the new WordPress Performance Team will fix that.

Yoast news

Not a month goes by without Yoast news being heard. In the past few weeks we’ve introduced Yoast SEO 17.3 and Yoast SEO 17.4. In Yoast SEO 17.3 we made our helpful SEO workouts even more user-friendly. In Yoast SEO 17.4, we worked on performance improvements and bug fixes for web stories.

We also introduced News SEO 13.0, which gives you more options to describe your different types of news content with structured data. For example, you can now differentiate between a background article and an opinion article. This will help Google understand your messages better.

Last but not least, our CEO Marieke held a workshop on keyword research together with Fernando Angulo from Semrush. This workshop aims to give you a keyword research strategy that will help you rank. Check it out, it’s great – and free!

This is an overview of the SEO news from October 2021

Would you like to stay up to date with all the latest in SEO? Of course you do! Don’t forget to sign up for our next two SEO News webinars – the last ones in 2021. These webinars are running:

Follow us on Crowdcast and we will keep you up to date on all the latest Yoast SEO news. Also, don’t forget to check out the other SEO webinars our experts held recently.

Thank you and see you at the next SEO news webinar!

Edwin Toonen

Edwin is a specialist in strategic content. Before joining Yoast, he spent years honing his skills at the leading web design magazine in the Netherlands.

Avatar by Edwin Toonen

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