Mobile-first index out for some sites
Webmaster Analyst Gary Illyes recently told a conference audience that Google’s mobile-first indexing has begun rolling out for “a few sites”.
Google is classifying sites based on how similar the mobile version is to the desktop version. Sites that have 100% similar versions are more likely to switch first.
Google can test the changes by rolling out to just a few sites first before the full switch next year.
Google testing blue “Instant” label
Google is testing a new label for AMP results, showing “Instant” in a blue colour instead of “AMP” in grey.
This could be a welcome change, as the average searcher may not understand the meaning of AMP or why the result is tagged as such.
We have also seen tests of the tag using only the AMP icon without accompanying text.
Book online from local listings
Google has started displaying a “Book online” button for eligible businesses in the US that have set the feature up in Google My Business.
The button integrates with 15 external booking providers and can help searchers book with a company in under 1 minute.
We hope to see this feature rolled out to other businesses in more countries soon.
Google ceases using country domains
Using Google’s country-specific domains no longer returns results for that location.
Instead, the users actual location is used, regardless of the domain used to conduct the search. Google say that this is to provide “the most useful information”.
This change affects search on both mobile and desktop. You can still change the country for the results from the preferences page.
by Joe Joiner