How Google’s Three New Updates May Affect Your SEO

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By Jacob Maslow

Just last week, Google quietly rolled out a new feature to Search Console that allows users to compare keyword data. This week, three more updates went live, including a new rich results filter, the addition of instant medical information for symptom searchers, and new alerts that let you know if your site has been hacked.

Here’s a look at these three updates and how they may impact your SEO efforts.

Google Adds Rich Results Filter to Search Console

Users can now view performance-related data through the new rich results filter in their Search Analytics report.

The new data can be found by logging into your Search Console, selecting your website, clicking Search Traffic report and navigating to Search Analytics. Under the Search Appearance filter is an option to select “Rich result.”

The rich result filter provides valuable data on clicks, impressions and even search position, which can help you track the performance of your rich results and optimize as necessary.

Rich cards are similar to rich snippets in that you can add structured data markup for certain elements, like reviews and ratings. Rich cards will be displayed at the top of mobile search results.

While rich snippets and cards may be a necessity right now, they will likely grow in importance in the near future, says PSM Marketing, a Minnesota-based marketing agency. Using rich snippets may boost your visibility in the search results.

Google Rolls Out Instant Medical Information Update for Symptom Searches

A new giant update is being rolled out for Google’s Knowledge Graph, which will provide users with more immediate answers when searching for medical symptoms and conditions.

The update is designed to provide results for very specific symptoms, like “pain in the left knee,” and return a list of health conditions related to the symptom. Users will also be able to see a general description of the symptom, DIY treatment information and whether the symptom warrants a trip to the doctor.

Google searches for mentions of the symptom, compares it to information in its database collected from doctors, and returns results.

Google Analytics Will Now Send You an Alert If Your Site Is Hacked

As part of Google’s efforts to improve security, Google Analytics will now send you an alert if your site has been hacked for spam, causing it to be in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

If your website is hacked by a third party, your domain will be flagged by Google Analytics immediately and will provide you with helpful resources to fix the problem.

According to Google, spam-related hacking incidents were up 180% between September 2015 and the previous year. The company’s research shows that these issues are resolved 75% of the time when site owners are contacted directly.

In terms of SEO, a spam-related hacking incident can be damaging for your website, especially if the problem isn’t quickly resolved. Not only can it lead to lower rankings (or the removal from the search results altogether), but it also damages your business’s reputation and directs potential customers away from your products or services. This new security feature gives website owners just one more reason to start using Google.

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