Google This Week: More Queries in Search Terms Report & More

by | Sep 10, 2021

Google This Week
7 min read

It’s been a quieter week at Google This Week but we still do have some interesting tidbits to share with you, including more queries in the search terms report in Google Ads, and the “Fraggle Rock” project in Lighthouse version 8.3.0. Google News is sending users directly to publisher sites and Google has confirmed they will continue to use original page titles for ranking purposes.

ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.

Google News to Send Users Direct to Publisher’s Site

Google News will soon begin to send users directly to publisher’s own web pages rather than sending them to AMP pages. This comes after Google’s announcement that it would begin supporting non-AMP content in Google News as part of the page experience update.


Google: Don’t Turn Category Pages into Articles

In a Google SEO Office Hours chat, Google’s John Mueller was asked about how much content you should put on category pages. In short, he said a “little bit of content I think is always useful” but that “it’s not the case that you need to turn it into, kind of, an article about that kind of content.” He mentioned that sometimes adding too much content can “dilute” the value of those category pages. “Avoid making it so that you have like a Wikipedia article on the bottom of your pages.” He also said, “It’s something where you can provide a little bit of context but you don’t need to rank for every keyword in the galaxy.”

Google Lighthouse Updates to Version 8.3.0

Lighthouse (used to power audits in Chrome Dev Tools and PageSpeed Insights) has updated to version 8.3.0. The update includes bug fixes, incremental improvements and “Fraggle Rock” a new project that aims to measure what happens after a web page loads. Lighthouse currently measures things like how long it takes a web page to become interactive, while the new running on flows direction (Fraggle Rock) will measure what happens after the page loads.

The Lighthouse team is currently in the research and design phase of project Fraggle Rock, so this is just the very beginning of an important update to Lighthouse that will dramatically change the tool. The official description of Fraggle Rock, reads “This is valuable as it provides developers with insight into performance & best practices for complex user flows like sign-up, add-to-cart, time-to-tweet, etc.”

The updated version of Lighthouse is now live on PageSpeed Insights and is scheduled to be released in Chrome Dev Tools in Chrome 94 on September 21, 2021.


Google Will Continue to Use Original Page Titles for Ranking

With many questions around Google’s recent page title update (which we reported on recently), Google has confirmed that it will continue to use a website’s original titles to rank search results. Google’s John Mueller, confirmed that even when a title is replaced in the search engine results page, the original title will still be used for ranking purposes.

“Yes. At least that’s the way it is at the moment. You never know how these things evolve over time, but at least at the moment it is the case that we continue to use what you have in your title tag, in your title element, as something that we can use for ranking.”

More Queries in the Search Terms Report in Google Ads

Starting today, Google will start showing you more queries in Google Ads that meet the privacy standards in the search terms report for Search and Dynamic Search Ads campaigns. The data will show in your reports for queries received from February 1, 2021. The update will help you identify more relevant keyword themes, so you can optimise your copy. The metrics will now be more consistent with the rest of the metrics in Google Ads.

Last year, Google updated the search terms report and Dynamic Search Ads search terms report to meet new privacy thresholds. Now, Google has enabled new, privacy-safe ways to get you more insights to run more effective campaigns. Over the next few months, we’ll be seeing more changes across Google tools, including how they handle historical data, to make their privacy thresholds consistent across Google.

Historical query data in your account collected prior to September 1, 2020, which does not meet the current thresholds for the search terms report will disappear on February 1, 2022.


Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?

Check back next Friday for the latest from Google This Week.

Kirsten Tanner

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