Digital Marketing 2019. All-year updates

And here we are!

The end of another glorious year.

There’s no denying that we have seen, heard and experienced a bunch of surprises this year.

There has been a LOT of changes and updates.

Below is the list of major amends across Digital platforms and functions.

SEO

Zero click searches are on the rise

Google displays answers to search queries in the SERP itself.

You get what you are looking for without “clicking” any site.

This is a zero-click search.

According to a survey, over 49% of Google Q1 searches were Zero click searches.

Bing introduces Domain Connect

You can verify your site on Bing using 3 options;

XML file, Meta tag, adding CNAME record.

This new method makes verification easier with the help of DNS.              

Google to roll out “badge of shame” for slow-loading websites

slow loading sites

Chrome may address and highlight websites that load slowly.

It is considering displaying a message like the below to users.

Bing allows site verification via Google Search Console

This would help site owners save time by skipping verification through importing.

Bing, although small compared to Google is still the world’s 2nd largest search engine.

And hence this feature would those who want to submit their site as well as run Bing ads.

Google changes “Nofollow” status from directive to hint

The search engine giant till now used to comply the rules specified by webmasters in the Nofollow tag.

Not anymore.

It is up to Google to obey this tag henceforth.

Google introduces Rel =”sponsored” and rel=”UGC”

Rel=”sponsored” tag is to identify links for which some form of payment is involved such as classic purchased links, referrals etc.

Rel=”UGC” is for user-generated content.

Search console provides same-day data

Search Console now has the ability to return fresher data in the Search Performance report.

Including same day.

This would help in

-Checking if traffic is rebounded after fixing a glitch

-Checking site stats any time

-Weekend performance as soon as possible

Google rolls out BERT

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.

This is a huge update that helps Google understand query contexts better.

Keywords Everywhere” to be  paid tool

Due to bot activity and difficulty in controlling API usage, this amazing tool was made a paid one.

New snippets introduced: nosnippet max-snippet, max-video-preview, max-image-preview

Using this tag, you can now control which text should and should not appear in the featured snippet on SERP.

Moz launches Domain analysis SEO tool

The features cannot be compared to the paid tool but you’ll get a high-level look at a range of SEO metrics for your site.

Including your competitors’ sites.

To identify potential SEO opportunities.

Google tests search results without URLs

Only the website name will be displayed in the SERP.

This is in testing stages, but you can start to work on how this would affect your site.

Search console adds new reports for video search results

Visible in the left side under “Videos” for sites that have added video mark up.

These would be

Video Enhancement report – shows errors and warnings

Video Appearances in Performance report – Clicks and impressions videos got in search

Google stops indexing flash content

This includes not only websites fully designed on Flash but also those that have small portions of it.

You should work on HTML5 or Javascript as a replacement.

Google launches new SEO series for beginners

Topics covered here include

How Google Search works

FAQs

How to set website goals

Snippets among others.

Bing announces link penalties

Inorganic site structures will mainly be penalized here.

Includes PBNs (Private Block Networks), doorways, duplicate content etc

If a huge portion of the subdomain is spam, then this also will be penalized.

Messages – new Search Console feature

messages in search console

These messages can be checked through the bell icon located in the top right-hand corner.

PPC

Google Ads Overview page filters can be applied

filters in ad overview

You can apply filters like

Campaign

Campaign type

Device

Ad group etc

Bing Ads renamed as Microsoft Advertising

As part of restructuring, this new name is a signal from Microsoft towards a superior data-driven service.

Google Merchant center updates:

Automated feeds – Merchant Centre can crawl your websites for schema structured product data and extract it into an initial feed.

Automatic image improvements – promotional text in images will automatically be removed

Google to remove “accelerated ads” delivery method