Google I/O’19 in a nutshell (with SEO takeaways)
The ideas below belong to our Converged Asia Contributor Hulya Coban’s point of view. She gathered all these major updates of Google I/O’19 and summarized them in a nutshell for you to enjoy in one stroke.
Google I/O’19 ended while leaving big question marks and momentous news behind. There is a lot to think and digest, especially for SEOs. So I aimed to summarize SEO news from Google I/O’19 to keep you updated under just 1200 words with an estimated 10 minutes of reading time.
Beware! The topics that I mention during this guest post can affect us all as genuine SEO people in a manner of the way we are doing our job. SEO never was routine to begin with, but some updates mentioned during Google I/O’19 are major then the rest.
1〉 Shifting from Chrome 41 to Chrome 74
Start with the most important one: Chrome 74 is now on stage.
Things are going better now that Google announced in Google I/O’19 that Googlebot will be evergreen from now on. It will use whichever version is the latest. This will bring so many features Googlebot to understand our websites like lazy loading or CSS font loading API.
You can read more about the 1000+ new features compared to the previous version on Google Webmasters Blog in more detail.
Addy Osmani who is a Google Engineer said that Chrome 75 will support native image lazy loading without a JS file. Not only lazy loading but also it will support font display. (Now we’re talking.)
But I have to point out that it will still be rendering JS files at the second wave. It is still not that easy for Googlebot to understand JS completely.
A big question mark: Has Google just changed the game for SEO? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
2〉 Search Console Speed Report
Google really wants your website to be fast in order to achieve searcher satisfaction. So the second crucial announcement is definitely the Search Console Speed Report.
This is the beta version now but Google announced it will be coming soon.
It will show your slow, average or fast pages according to the Chrome UX Report. This is also news on fire! We will define those toxic pages and see how users experience our website. Not only Google, but also users want fast pages, never forget that if you are a website owner.
3〉 Avoid m.subdomains!
Mobile-first indexing is important if you want to stay in the game in the long run. Google announced mobile-first indexing in March 2018. And now Google shouts out that responsive site is the best way to serve your pages in mobile. Martin Splitt who is Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google said that you should avoid separate URL’s (m-dot) for mobile sites.
This would make perfect sense for Google since Google would not want more of the same pages for different devices in their index. That could be a reason they are supporting responsive designs. Well, if you think about the crawl budget, responsive sites can be better, hands down.
For mobile-first indexing issues, I encourage you to check your URLs with this amazing MFI Checker tool which is free to use and optimize your site according to the Google directives.
4〉 John Mueller’s Show on Google Images
When John Mueller was on the stage during Google I/O’19, he told us how important images are and how results are changing.
He said that Google Images will serve much more detail about the page that includes that particular image and Google will show more text with the image search results.
Why is this Google Image update important for us?
You should be planning in much more detail when it comes to using an image.
- Where you put your image
- How you write around that image
He also said that put your images at the top of the page not at the end and use structured data for image URL whenever it is possible.
Using high-quality images for your users and using them responsively with srcset to serve different resolutions for different screen width will be for your benefit.
And last but not least about Google Images, he announced a new feature for high-quality ones.
We can inform Google for this kind of high-quality images we are serving by implementing structured data in our source code.
If you have no idea of structured data, it would be something like this:
License part is especially interesting in my humble opinion. If you have unique photos or copy photos, Google will understand it.
They are doing this for Google Discover, I guess. For those who may not know, Google Discover is no search results in Google Mobile Homepage.
Search Console has a separate report for it now and you can see if you get clicks in Google Discover. In webmaster blog, Google announced we should use high-quality images to get a position in it.
5〉 New Structured Data Types
After Google Image news, John Mueller announced new structured data types in Google I/O’19.
How to’s, Q&As and FAQ!
Structured data is important for rich search results so make sure you are implementing it right.
Wrapping Them All Up
Google announces big news every year, in order to highlight prior SEO related topics from Google I/O’19:
- Googlebot will be evergreen from now on. It will use the latest version of Google Chrome.
- Search Console will include a speed report section to show our slow and fast pages from CrUX data.
- Google suggests using responsive websites for mobile, not m. subdomains.
- Google Images will be much more important to get organic traffic, image search results will include more text to show what that page is talking about. So give attention to your images where to put them and how to implement structured data.
- If you want your pages to be shown in Google Discover, use high-quality images.
- How to’s, Q&A’s and FAQs are new structured data type Google will use. If you have these types of content, consider implementing structured data to get the chance for rich results.
We have one more year for Google I/O now and more & more updates. So stay tuned and close the ranks SEOs!