In Google Search, our goal is to help users quickly find the best answers to their questions, regardless of the device they’re using. Today, we’re announcing two upcoming changes to mobile search results that make finding content easier for users.
Two years ago, we added a mobile-friendly label to help users find pages where the text and content was readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced. Since then, we’ve seen the ecosystem evolve and we recently found that 85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria and show the mobile-friendly label. To keep search results uncluttered, we’ll be removing the label, although the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal. We’ll continue providing the mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile-friendly test to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages.
Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable without zooming, we’ve recently seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.
Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.
Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:
By contrast, here are some examples of techniques that, used responsibly, would not be affected by the new signal:
We previously explored a signal that checked for interstitials that ask a user to install a mobile app. As we continued our development efforts, we saw the need to broaden our focus to interstitials more generally. Accordingly, to avoid duplication in our signals, we've removed the check for app-install interstitials from the mobile-friendly test and have incorporated it into this new signal in Search.
Remember, this new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please visit our webmaster forums.
Critic reviews are available across mobile, tablet and desktop, allowing publishers to increase the visibility of their reviews and expose their reviews to new audiences, whenever a local Knowledge Graph card is surfaced. English reviews for businesses in the US are already supported and we’ll very soon support many other languages and countries.
Publishers with critic reviews for local entities can get up and running by selecting snippets of reviews from their sites and annotating them and the associated business with schema.org markup. This process, detailed in our critic reviews markup instructions, allows publishers to communicate to Google which snippet they prefer, what URL is associated with the review and other metadata about the local business that allows us to ensure that we’re showing the right review for the right entity.
Google can understand a variety of markup formats, including the JSON-LD data format, which makes it easier than ever to incorporate structured data about reviews into webpages! Publishers can get started here. And as always, if you have any questions, please visit our webmaster forums.
It's 2016 and it's hard to believe that browsing the web on a mobile phone can still feel so slow with users abandoning sites that just don't load quickly. To us — and many in the industry — it was clear that something needed to change. That was why we started working with the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, an open source initiative to improve the mobile web experience for everyone.
Less than six months ago, we started sending people to AMP pages in the “Top stories” section of the Google Search Results page on mobile phones. Since then, we’ve seen incredible global adoption of AMP that has gone beyond the news industry to include e-commerce, entertainment, travel, recipe sites and so on. To date we have more than 150 million AMP docs in our index, with over 4 million new ones being added every week. As a result, today we’re sharing an early preview of our expanded AMP support across the entire search results page --not just the “Top stories” section.
To clarify, this is not a ranking change for sites. As a result of the growth of AMP beyond publishers, we wanted to make it easier for people to access this faster experience. The preview shows an experience where web results that that have AMP versions are labeled with . When you tap on these results, you will be directed to the corresponding AMP page within the AMP viewer.
AMP in Search Preview
Try it out for yourself on your mobile device by navigating to g.co/ampdemo. Once you’re in the demo, search for something like “french toast recipe” or music lyrics by your favorite artist to experience how AMP can provide a speedier reading experience on the mobile web. The “Who” page on AMPProject.org has a flavor of some of the sites already creating AMP content.
We’re starting with a preview to get feedback from users, developers and sites so that we can create a better Search experience when we make this feature more broadly available later this year. In addition, we want to give everyone who might be interested in “AMPing up” their content enough time to learn how to implement AMP and to see how their content appears in the demo. And beyond developing AMP pages, we invite everyone to get involved and contribute to the AMP Project.
We can’t wait to hear from you as we work together to speed up the web. And as always, if you have any questions, please visit our webmaster forums.
Cross-posted from the Google Developers Blog
Two weeks ago, over 7,000 developers descended upon Mountain View for this
year’s Google I/O, with a takeaway that it’s truly an exciting time for Search. People come to
Google billions of times per day to fulfill their daily information needs.
We’re focused on creating features and tools that we believe will help users
and publishers make the most of Search in today’s world. As Google continues to
evolve and expand to new interfaces, such as the Google assistant and Google
Home, we want to make it easy for publishers to integrate and grow with Google.
In case you didn’t have a chance to attend all our sessions, we put together a
recap of all the Search happenings at I/O.
1: Introducing rich cards
We announced rich cards, a new Search result format building on rich snippets, that uses schema.org
markup to display content in an even more engaging and visual format. Rich
cards are available in English for recipes and movies and we’re excited to roll
out for more content categories soon. To learn more, browse the new gallery with screenshots and code samples of each markup type or watch our rich cards devByte.
2: New Search Console reports
We want to make it easy for webmasters and developers to track and measure
their performance in search results. We launched a new report in Search Console to help developers confirm that their rich card markup is valid. In the report
we highlight “enhanceable cards,” which are cards that can benefit from marking up more fields. The new Search Appearance filter also makes it easy for webmasters to filter their traffic by AMP and rich
3: Real-time indexing
Users are searching for more than recipes and movies: they’re often coming to
Search to find fresh information about what’s happening right now. This insight
kickstarted our efforts to use real-time indexing to connect users searching
for real-time events with fresh content. Instead of waiting for content to be
crawled and indexed, publishers will be able to use the Google Indexing API to
trigger the indexing of their content in real time. It’s still in its early
days, but we’re excited to launch a pilot later this summer.
3: Getting up to speed with Accelerated Mobile Pages
We provided an update on our use of AMP, an open source effort to speed up the mobile web. Google Search uses AMP to
enable instant-loading content. Speed is important---over 40% of users abandon
a page that takes more than three seconds to load. We announced that we’re
bringing AMPed news carousels to the iOS and Android Google apps, as well as
experimenting with combining AMP and rich cards. Stay tuned for more via our blog and github page.
In addition to the sessions, attendees could talk directly with Googlers at the
Search & AMP sandbox.
5: A new and improved Structured Data Testing Tool
We updated the popular Structured Data Testing tool. The tool is now tightly integrated with the DevSite Search Gallery and the
new Search Preview service, which lets you preview how your rich cards will look on the search results page.
6: App Indexing got a new home (and new features)
We announced App Indexing’s migration to Firebase, Google’s unified developer platform. Watch the session to learn how to grow your app with Firebase App Indexing.
7: App streaming
App streaming is a new way for Android users to try out games without having to
download and install the app -- and it’s already available in Google Search.
Check out the session to learn more.
8. Revamped documentation
We also revamped our developer documentation, organizing our docs around topical guides to make it easier to follow.
Thanks to all who came to I/O -- it’s always great to talk directly with
developers and hear about experiences first-hand. And whether you came in
person or tuned in from afar, let’s continue the conversation on the webmaster forum or during our office hours, hosted weekly via hangouts-on-air.
Mobile app, mobile website, desktop website -- how do you track their combined visibility in search? Until now, you've had to track all of these statistics separately. Search Console is introducing the concept of "property sets," which let you combine multiple properties (both apps and sites) into a single group to monitor the overall clicks and impressions in search within a single report.
It's easy to get started:
Property Sets will treat all URIs from the properties included as a single presence in the Search Analytics feature. This means that Search Analytics metrics aggregated by host will be aggregated across all properties included in the set. For example, at a glance you'll get the clicks and impressions of any of the sites in the set for all queries.
This feature will work for any kind of property in Search Console. Use it to gain an overview of your international websites, of mixed HTTP / HTTPS sites, of different departments or brands that run separate websites, or monitor the Search Analytics of all your apps together: all of that's possible with this feature.
Don't just listen to us, here's what we heard from one of the beta-testers:
It was one of my most important demands since the beginning of Webmaster Tools / Search Console. And I love the way it is given to us. I see that the remarks of beta-testers have also been understood by Google engineers. So thank you so much! -- Olivier Andrieu (Abondance)
We'll be rolling this out over the next couple of days. If you have multiple properties verified in Search Console, we hope this feature makes it easier for you to keep track. If you have any questions, feedback, or ideas, please come and visit us in the webmaster help forum, or read the help documentation for this new feature!
Posted by Ofir Roval, Search Console Team
P.S. Want to become a beta-tester for future features? Just sign up to become a beta-tester and we'll get in touch.
We’re starting to show rich cards for two content categories: recipes and movies. They will appear initially on mobile search results in English for google.com. We’re actively experimenting with more opportunities to provide more publishers with a rich preview of their content.
We’ve built a comprehensive set of tools and completely updated our developer documentation to take site owners and developers from initial exploration through implementation to performance monitoring.
Learn more about rich cards in the Search and the mobile content ecosystem session at Google I/O (watch the recording on YouTube) or in our developer documentation. If you have more questions, find us in the dedicated Structured data section of our forum, on Twitter or on Google+.
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