Google This Week: Rumours Confirmed and Denied

by | Jun 5, 2020

Google Search and Tool Updates
8 min read

Google this week has denied rumours of favouring certain websites, confirmed bugs and is testing new features. They’ve also rolled out a new highlighting feature for featured snippets which I am personally loving. Have you tried it?

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

The Evergreen Googlebot: Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Google’s Martin Splitt discussed why the evergreen Googlebot is a huge deal and the effort behind its creation in this clip from Live with Search Engine Land. Making Googlebot evergreen was a huge step forward for crawling and rendering content.

Prior to the upgrade, Googlebot was based on Chrome 41 so that Google could index pages that would still work on older versions of chrome. Modern features however, weren’t always supported.

“Now, whenever there is an update, it pretty much automatically updates to the latest stable version, rather than us having to work years on actually making one version jump.”

Source: Search Engine Land


Google Uses Historic Data for Ranking Your Site in Search

Google’s John Mueller confirmed on Friday’s webmaster hangout that Google does in fact use historic or legacy data about your website for ranking purposes. This includes your links over time, the adult SafeSearch filter and some of Google’s quality algorithms.

“Similarly with some of the quality algorithms it can also take a bit of time to kind of adjust from one state to another state. So if you significantly improve your website then it’s not that from one crawl to the next crawl we will say oh this is a fantastic website now. It’s something we’re probably over the course of a year maybe sometimes even longer our algorithms have to learn that actually this is a much better website than we thought initially. And we can treat that a little bit better in the search results over time.”

Source: Search Engine Roundtable


Google is Testing Outlined Sitelinks

Google is now testing borders on sitelinks in search results. Over the past several days, Google has also been testing outlined snippets. Have you spotted the tests?

Source: Search Engine Roundtable


Google Confirms Fresh Indexing Issues

Last week we reported that Google has been having issues indexing content. Now Google has confirmed it.

“We’re currently experiencing indexing issues that may cause stale search results in some cases.”

This is a big issue for news sites and those relying on fresh content. Hopefully the confirmation means Google will be quick to fix the issue.

Source: Search Engine Land


Featured Snippet Directed to Text on Webpage

After years of testing, clicking on a featured snippet in Google will now take you directly to that content snippet on the webpage. This new feature has been in the works for quite some time and now works on most Google featured snippets and on most web browsers.

How does it work? Click on a featured snippet in Google search results. Then Google may anchor you down to that area on the page or highlight the text you saw in the featured snippet.

SERPs on what is gmp partner summit

IMWT website image on featured snippet directing to text on webpage

Google’s Danny Sullivan linked to this help document that says “clicking a featured snippet takes the user directly to the featured snippet text on the source web page. This happens automatically. There’s no markup needed by webmasters to enable a featured snippet. If a browser doesn’t support the underlying technology needed, or if our systems can’t confidently determine exactly where within a page to direct a click, clicking a featured snippet will take a user to the top of the source web page.”

Source: Search Engine Land


Old Domains Not Given a Ranking Boost in Google

Google has confirmed that they haven’t made old domains rank better. There has been much speculation around recent unconfirmed Google search ranking updates. One of the theories was that old domains were getting some kind of ranking boost. Google’s John Mueller shot down the idea after being asked on Twitter why old domains are representing more of the top 20 Google results. John stated that “There is no “old domains” ranking change.”

Source: Search Engine Roundtable


Google Search Custom Date Range Bug to be Fixed

Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that the custom date range bug in Google Search should be fixed today. The bug meant that Google was not filtering results by the selected date range in Search. Danny said on Twitter “Yes, there’s a bug we expect to be fixed by Friday.”

Source: Search Engine Roundtable


Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?

Check back in next week for the latest from Google This Week.


Paul Hewett

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