SEO Topics for August 2023
IT’S TIME TO SAY HELLO TO GA4 AS GOOGLE PUTS AN END TO GA3
With the end of GA3, the last day for collecting new data in Google Analytics Universal Analytics (aka, GA3) has passed, and this didn’t go down well with lots of publishers.
According to a poll, which asked publishers whether they are ready for the switch or not, the response says that many publishers weren’t yet prepared.
Google’s John Mueller published a poll asking, ‘Ready for GA4?’
|Yes, bring it on||27.1%|
|Is something happening?||12.8%|
|Definitely a “maybe”||21%|
The poll results tell a high 39% of respondents are “Not yet” ready, with only about 27% confidently reporting that they are.
Have a look at another poll result by Google Analytics expert Krista Seiden asking, ‘Are you ready for the switch to GA4? (Please only answer if you are using Universal Analytics and considering what’s next.)’
|Yes, GA4 is setup||41%|
|No! But GA4 is setup||34.8%|
|No! GA4 is not setup||9.4%|
|I’m leaving GA altogether||14.8%|
These poll results show that 41% say they are ready, while 59% are in some phase of not ready or else planning to leave Google Analytics altogether.
A few days before the end of GA3, MARTECH reported that a majority of sites (28M compared to 11M) were still using UA.
BEWARE: HIDING ADDRESS IN GBP CAN IMPACT YOUR LOCAL RANKING!
Those who are familiar with the Google Business Profile (GBP) guidelines would know that the search engine giant has some special suggestions for Service Area Businesses (SAB). Google recommends that since these businesses do not serve customers at their business address, they hide the address under the “Info” tab in Business Profile Manager.
The Idea Does Seem Plausible
Hiding the address or even leaving the Business Location field blank makes sense for small businesses like plumbers, electricians, gardeners, and more. where they are required to visit the job site rather than have their customers show up at their business address. And going by Google’s guidelines, it looks like they completely understand this.
But All Is Not as It Seems!
A study that was recently conducted by a local search expert revealed that following Google’s guidelines can cause one’s ranking in the search engine result pages to take a serious hit. In fact, the drop in the rankings caused by hiding the address in the SAB listing also results in reduced number of calls for services.
Here’s a look at what happens when the Business Location field is left blank in an SAB listing:
In the images above, green tags indicate ranking 1-3, the yellow tags indicate ranking 4-7 and the red ones indicate rankings at position 8 or lower. While the image to the left shows the ranking before removing the address, the middle one shows the effect of removing the address on the ranking, while the last one shows the recovery of rankings on adding an address.
Although the above mentioned study may be too small to actually count as one, it is better to be aware of what hiding the address can do to your local search rankings.
HEADS UP! GOOGLE’S SHAKING THINGS UP WITH BREADCRUMBS
Did you catch the latest from Google? In June, they tweaked the Search Console’s rich results report for breadcrumbs. Now, if you’re using the HTML ‘id’ attribute to assign an ID to Breadcrumb structured data, you might see a few more warnings popping up in your Breadcrumb report. The change was reported on the SC data anomalies page.
You’re probably already familiar with breadcrumb trails—those handy little guides that show users where they are on a website or web application. They leave a trail of crumbs (or, in this case, links) that users can follow back to previous pages or levels of the site hierarchy.
But breadcrumbs aren’t just about helping users find their way around. They’re also about keeping users engaged. By making navigation easier, breadcrumbs can help reduce bounce rates. After all, if users can easily find what they’re looking for on your site, they’re less likely to leave and more likely to stick around.
Also, let’s not forget about efficiency. Breadcrumbs provide a quick way for users to see the overarching category or section of the page they’re on, without having to hit the ‘Back’ button or dig around in other navigational features. This isn’t just good for user experience; it’s also a big win for SEO, helping search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website.
So, what does this all mean for you? Well, it’s a good idea to check your Breadcrumb report in the Google Search Console and make sure your website is playing by the new rules. We don’t want those warnings to catch you off guard.
As we continue to ride the wave of SEO and user experience design, let’s use these updates as a chance to make our websites even better.