How to Create a Useful and Well-Optimised FAQ Page
An article from Moz's includes guidance on creating great FAQ pages including:
- Use People Also Asked to uncover key questions
- Write clear, concise and factual answers
- Use FAQ schema
- Use your FAQ as a sitemap to strengthen internal linking
- Use structure that benefits those who search for answers and those who browse for them
- Monitor internal FAQ searches
- Track user paths through your FAQ pages
Yelp introduces new ‘business accused of racist behaviour’ consumer alert
Yelp has introduced a new consumer alert but, the well-intentioned initiative has been accused of being problematic:
- Alert text reads “Recently someone associated with this business was accused of racist behaviour…”
- Alert may also link to news stories about alleged incidents.
- When the alert goes up reviews are suspended to prevent non-customers leaving reviews to voice their opinion of the news story.
- An influx of negative or ‘politically inflected’ reviews will trigger an internal review. If these are deemed credible an alert can be enabled.
- If it’s less credible or less clearly discriminatory the alternative ‘public attention alert’ may be enabled instead – reviews will again be disabled.
- The article states ‘The Public Attention Alert is thus for less obvious or egregious incidents. An “all lives matter” sign or a confederate flag in a business window could trigger a Public Attention Alert.
Google Disables Request Indexing Feature
Google has disabled the “Request Indexing” feature of the URL Inspection tool within Search Console. This is only temporary but, the feature will be disabled for at least a few weeks. The feature has been suspended in order to make some infrastructure changes and, as mentioned in their Twitter update they will continue to find and index content through the regular methods.
Many webmasters disagree with the approach, saying that this comes at a bad time with many websites have still not recovered from recent indexing issues with Google Search.
Google Analytics Gets New Features
Google Analytics is receiving a significant update with 4 new features designed to improve marketing decisions and get better ROI. The 4 key features available in the “new” Google Analytics are:
- Smarter insights that use machine learning to identify trends.
Google Analytics is now capable of alerting marketers to important data trends. This is made possible by utilising Google’s existing machine learning models.
As an example, Google Analytics can use website data to identify products rising in demand because of new customer needs. These capabilities can help marketers be proactive, as well as reactive, by predicting future actions customers may take.
- Deeper integration with Google Ads.
Google Analytics now measures interactions across the web and apps, which means it can report on conversions such as YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web. Users can now have a more holistic view of their results with the ability to see conversions from YouTube video views, Google and non-Google paid channels, Google Search, social media, and email.
- Customer-centric data measurement.
Google Analytics has evolved from measurement fragmented by device or platform to customer-centric measurement. Now users can, for example, see if customers first discovered a business from an ad on the web and later completed a purchase on the business’s app. Over the long-term, marketers can gain a better understanding of the entire customer lifecycle – from acquisition to conversion and retention.
- More granular data controls
These controls can be used to specify how data should be used for advertising. Users can now choose when to use customer data to optimize ads, and when to limit data use to measurement only. Google notes these options can help marketers adapt to a potential future with limited cookies or identifiers
Google Announces AI Search Updates
Google has announced several improvements to its core search engine, with a strong focus on how the company is using AI to help its users. Some of the updates are coming by the end of the year, others are already live in the search results.
One of the biggest reveals is that now Google is using BERT (technique for natural language processing pre-training developed by Google) in almost every search query. The change to how BERT is used impacts nearly 100% of searches whereas last year it only impacted 10%. Here’s a quick overview of new updates:
- Spelling recommendation improvements
Spelling any query right helps to provide with more accurate search results, and Google says that it's improved its spelling predictions to help users find better matches.
- Identifying passages of text
Google's search algorithm will now also be able to index individual passages of text within web pages, in order to locate more specific information on a site relative to a user query.
- Hum to search
Google's also trying to do a bit of Shazam-type trick, with its audio algorithms now able to identify popular songs based on people humming or whistling to the search app.
- Subtopics in search queries
Google wasn’t very clear on how exactly the subtopics appear at this stage, but it is happening.
- Key moments in videos
Google has been working on indexing certain sections of YouTube videos for some time, and it's now looking to make this a more accessible option within search queries.
Google confirms it doesn’t index passages separately
- Google to update algorithm that identifies featured snippet passages.
- This is not separate indexing.
- This is focused on helping more specific passages to rank where that would be the most relevant information to answer the query.
- Which means that there will be more of a focus on passages that concisely answer queries rather than keywords only.
Google Local and Maps Displays Health and Safety on Search Results
Google recently built a new configuration page for COVID-19 health and safety in GMB. These settings now have a front end that’s beginning to show on map listings which will help customers find safe locations to shop and dine while observing local coronavirus guidelines.
GoogleBot to help Chrome detect and block abusive notifications
GoogleBot will be detecting abusive use of notifications and requests for them when visiting sites. This will not affect ranking but will help Chrome to detect and protect users. Sites that have had their notifications auto blocked will see an icon in the address bar and a full report in the settings.
Possible Google Algorithm Update on October 28th
Barry Schwartz has reported that there was a possible Google algorithm update on the 28th October. The update is NOT a core update but SEOs from around the world have noted traffic fluctuations and erratic SERP changes. Ranking and traffic dips have also been recorded by the likes of SEMRush and Moz.
These fluctuations seem to be mostly affecting less authoritative pages or at least pages already with smaller traffic. Some SEOs have hinted this may have something to do with the US Election and is perhaps in some way designed to improve the ‘quality’ of SERPs and limit the visibility of pages which may hinder the democratic process – how true this is, we do not know.