SEO Weekly Digest 10-14 July 2023

Google launches Perspectives

Google has presented Perspectives — its new search function which displays content from social media to make search results more comprehensive.

When a number of Reddit forums went private, meaning the forums could not be accessed by regular users, many people found themselves dissatisfied by Google’s results. Google had previously shown results from Reddit for searches on specific subjects, allowing it to provide more useful and diverse search results.

However, in early June, thousands of subreddits were set to private as moderators of some of the most popular forums closed their pages in mass protest against Reddit’s decision to start charging developers for access to its data.

Perspectives should resolve the issue of search quality by connecting a diverse range of sources and formats to the search results. Social media posts that are relevant to a search request will now appear in their entirety in search results.

Google fully switches to Mobile First indexing

John Mueller, a Google employee responsible for much of its news updates, has announced that the search engine has successfully transferred most of its websites to Mobile First indexing. The process has taken 6.5 years to complete — the move was first announced in November 2016.

Sites which are not optimized for mobile devices will still be indexed by the desktop crawler Googlebot, although these sites are few and far between nowadays.

The notification about the switch to mobile first indexing looks like this

Google introduces an algorithm to assess the credibility of content

Google has introduced its Topic Authority algorithm to highlight content that is most credible and high quality.

There is currently an abundance of news outlets producing low-quality content, and with the rise of generative AI, this is becoming an issue for search engines as websites are clogged up by content that has no value for users.

Topic Authority takes into account:

  • The relevance of a source to a topic — the algorithm will give preference to resources that are related to a search request over outlets that cover a number of different subjects.
  • Influence — how often material from specific sources is cited by other outlets will now be a factor that determines their value.
  • Reputation — Topic Authority will now consider professional feedback and ratings, such as any awards won by a journalistic site, to gauge a source’s reputation.
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