New Google Search Console rolls out for more sites

Google have now opened up access for the new beta version of Google Search Console to all users.

The new interface comes with a number of improvements to user experience, as well as some new reports such as the Index Coverage report.

Until now, access to the new Search Console has been limited to a select number of beta testers. However, it was reported by SearchEngineLand on 22 January that it had become accessible to everyone.

There are still a number of bugs and some of the reports are missing while they are reconstructed. The old version will remain accessible alongside the new one for the forseeable future.

Page speed to become a mobile search ranking factor

Google announced on 17 January that they will be making updates to mobile search, meaning that mobile page speed will become a ranking factor. It is now more important than ever to audit your site and work on ensuring fast delivery of content.

The “Speed Update”, as Google called it, will come into effect in July 2018 and affect the ranking position the slowest pages in search results. This update demonstrates Google’s ongoing push for developers to deliver a better user experience.

Google also provided some tools that can be used to measure page performance, which included their own Lighthouse report and the recently updated PageSpeed Insights.

Google updates causing fluctuation throughout January

December saw a number of algorithm updates to Google search results, some of which were even confirmed by Google themselves. Updates have continued into January as webmasters reported changes in site traffic on forums; some positive, some negative.

Reports came in especially around 15 January, with search monitoring tools all showing high volatility around this date. Nothing regarding this has been confirmed by Google, but we are monitoring closely to see if anything changes.

103% increase in smart speaker sales

Adobe Digital Insights reported after their study on voice search that smart speaker sales increased 103% in Q4 2017 vs 2016. Smart speakers were very popular gifts for the recent festive season.

Voice assistant technology is improving daily and more companies are releasing new products to compete in this market. Research data reported on by SearchEngineLand shows that Google Home has now sold 44 million units in total, accounting for 40% of smart speaker sales over the holiday period.

There’s no better time than now to aim for position 0 in search results, with the majority of voice search answers coming from sites in this position.