#WhatTheSERP – New Developments, Voice Search & Negative PageSpeed Scores

SEO is ever-changing, as us SEO experts at SERPchampion know. In order to stay up on SEO trends and changing algorithms in the marketing field, we make sure to do our research.

Thanks to blogs that keep us all on track with updates as well as our own SEO research pile, we want to give our readers the chance to stay just as up to date as we are. Our #WhattheSERP! weekly roundup is meant to keep us all on track. Everybody needs support now and then!

In the first two weeks of February, we’ll look at the Google trends and updates that are most worth noting, as Google is the mother of SEO advancement. If we’re nice, she might make us cookies.


Why We Keep Up With Google

Perhaps the most important factor in SEO is the major search engine it’s being run through; whose algorithm dictates how information will be ordered when a user is searching for a certain service or product.

The largest and most pervasive of these search engines, really the one that controls it all, is Google.

Google constantly has to update its algorithm and method of searching to serve users, so SEO also has to adapt to these changes in order to function at the best of its ability.

Any Google news is important for SEO best practices, so we take heed when Google changes or updates anything about its format or functioning.


New Developments at Google

According to Search Engine Land, who reported this development at the end of January, Google is now implementing a search option for users that we have yet to see in this capacity, that is, a voice input search option.

We’ve seen the success and relative ease at which Siri via Apple has run, as well as the enormous commercial success of the Amazon Echo, but with Google allowing for a voice search option exclusively for Android phones, it will change some things in the marketing world, too.

With iPhone and Android users still at odds, it might cause a whole new rivalry.

The voice input option will, of course, be easier for those searching as it’s hands free and quick. In terms of actual functioning, Google has also found a way to make voice input easier and more effective in that it gives users the chance to correct any discrepancies in their own search, and will keep them hands free after it.

Users will receive a spoken response rather than a list of web pages after a voice search, so they will be more able to complete other tasks while searching.

This is especially good for those who may be driving, cooking, or doing any other chore.

The good point for SEO is that these spoken responses could prompt further searches, especially because the user is hands-free.

It is estimated that 20% of searches are voiced rather than typed, which is a significant user base.

This search option also puts more focus on the Google Assistant, which will continue to extract data. The Assistant is in fact bigger than search.

This is bigger news for Google than for SEO per se, but still quite relevant.


Mind Your PageSpeed Insights Score, Because Google Might Not Be

Google employee John Mueller alluded to the fact that the PageSpeed Insights score can indeed change regardless of changes made to a website.

His explanation seems to be that these scores change over time without prompting.

The reasoning behind this is to improve sites for the users, not for the developers or the business.

Google does try to keep their users in mind at all points, which is probably the reason they have garnered so much success as a company.

However, there could be another reason for this unexpected fluke, which is an actual bug that could have affected PageSpeed Insight scores, specifically from February 1st to February 4th.

The PageSpeed Insights notes were released via Google Doc after the fact. The bug read uncompressed gzip sizes as if they were compressed transfer sizes.

The usual calculations were off, leading to lower scores. As of now, the bug has been fixed since being caught on February 4th.


What’s With All the Negativity: What Affects Your Google Score?

A wealth of knowledge and obviously great with answering concerned users questions, Google’s John Mueller recently answered another question that’s been on our minds about how negativity affects a site’s score in the Google algorithm.

In reference to how negative comments, people, or organizations related to a site can affect its score, Mueller told listeners during a hangout forum that he doesn’t believe that Google has an algorithm that would do so.

He goes on to mention that Google doesn’t take personal factors or opinions into account, (well, yeah, they’re a website after all) but that there are other internal factors that could affect a site’s visibility because of their supposed reputation or problematic tendencies.

The worst case scenario that website owners dread is the Google penalty, which can take some time to recover from.

In reference to problematic happenings that affect the algorithm, Mueller says that Google wouldn’t find a problem with a number of unrelated topics on the same website.

Google also wouldn’t find a problem with websites with the same owner being on the same server.

What they potentially could be flagged by would be a set of interlinked sets with domains and links that are deemed problematic. Google would then be notified in their algorithm and the site would be dealt with accordingly.


Career Trends for 2019

According to a short list published by Search Engine Journal, there are five SEO career trends that we should be adhering to in 2019. In only two months of 2019, we’re already reckoning with new trends!

It’s one thing to be a short-term SEO aficionado, and quite another when it comes to SEO trends that will affect the trajectory of your career.

Based on researcher’s findings, more specifically, research done by Search Engine Journal via Indeed and LinkedIn in reference to job growth in SEO, there have been some interesting developments in SEO careers both in 2018 and 2019.

With SEO jobs seemingly at risk since 2016, these findings offer a different viewpoint on the matter.

Here are some facts we gathered from SEJ’s report: SEO jobs grew at a rate six times faster than the entire U.S. job market in 2018.

In comparison to the U.S. growth in labor force, which increased by 1%, SEO jobs surveyed in 75 major cities grew at a rate of 7%.

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By Dakota Smith

Creative writer and journalist with experience abroad, in print and online, and in arts & culture, marketing and news.