What I learned from the Danny Sullivan/Gary Illyes keynote at SMX Advanced

On June 13, 2017, in Seattle, Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan sat down with Google’s Gary Illyes to talk about all things Google. You can read live blog coverage from the session here. In this post, I’ve organized the content of this session into topical groups and added my own analysis.
Note: The questions and answers appearing herein are not direct quotes. I am paraphrasing Sullivan’s questions and Illyes’ answers, as well as providing my interpretation of what was said (and including additional context where appropriate). I’ve also omitted some content from the session.
The featured snippet discussion
Danny Sullivan asked: Are we going to keep getting more featured snippets?
Illyes has no idea about that, but he notes that featured snippets are very important to Google. They want the quality to be really high, and one consideration people don’t normally think about is that, in some cases (e.g., voice search results), the answers may be read out loud.
This example is one of my

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Setting up and testing AMP for WordPress: A quick 7-step guide

In today’s mobile-centric world, having pages that load quickly is essential for satisfying the user. Not only that, but the effects of slow page speed have been correlated to a decease in overall revenue and an increase in page abandonment.
Users have come to expect mobile sites to load just as quickly as their desktop counterparts. In fact, Amazon, one of the largest online retailers, concluded that even a one-second lag in page load speed accounted for a $1.6B decrease in annual revenue.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) are quickly becoming the standard for how a fast-loading page should be built. Using a pre-render, AMPs are able to load 15-80 percent faster than standard mobile pages without compromising functionality. While the ease of AMP implementation will vary depending on your CMS (content management system), WordPress can be a good test environment for previewing what your AMP page might look like.
Follow this quick seven-step guide to enable AMP for WordPress.
Note: Parts of this guide assume that you have activated the Yoast

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AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages — rolling out to 1 billion more people in Asia

The big news coming out of Google’s AMP Conf in New York is that the mobile framework is set to roll out to a billion more people in Asia. Chinese search engines Baidu and Sogou are adopting AMP; so is Yahoo Japan.
Google’s VP of Search and AMP lead David Besbris gave the morning keynote address and made the announcement. The addition of these Asian search engines will mean a billion more people potentially using AMP.
AMP launched in October 2015 and since that time has seen significant publisher and developer adoption. There are hundreds of millions of AMP-enabled documents across multiple geographies around the world. More than 10,000 developers have contributed code to the project.
Baidu, Yahoo Japan and Sogou join a growing list of content publishers and e-commerce companies using AMP. They include Bing, eBay, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, WordPress, The Weather Company, Eventbrite, Shopify, Fandango, TripAdvisor, Disney, Food Network and numerous others.

Adobe reported last month that top US publishers

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Google ‘related picks’ now showing under some top stories carousels

Google has added a new feature to the top stories carousel named “related picks.” Related picks may show up under the top stories AMP carousel, and aims at giving searchers another way to expand their queries to see even more top story content.
If you search on mobile for a news-oriented keyword phrase, the top stories AMP carousel will likely show up. Then below that carousel, there may be a new section named “related picks.” Clicking on the phrases below the related picks will expand to show you more top stories carousel items.
Here is a picture of the feature collapsed:

When you click on one, it expands and shows you more top stories:

Hat tip to @glenngabe for spotting this.
The post Google ‘related picks’ now showing under some top stories carousels appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Links to AMP content are showing up outside of search results

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) standard was designed to bring the fast-loading, clean experience of native apps to the open web. With most large publishers now producing AMP versions of their content, distribution platforms and other referrers are starting to experiment with AMP as an alternative to standard outbound links and app web views.
Publishers might see this trend in their AMP referral analytics. At Relay Media, we’ve tracked an increase in non-Google referrals to the AMP content we convert for publishers — beyond the usual traffic from users sharing AMP links on social media. Here are our top non-Google referral sources over the past five months:
Google Analytics weekly sessions, October 9, 2016, through February 18, 2017
Google still represents about 80 percent of total AMP referral sessions to Relay Media’s platform, with another 8 percent categorized as “(direct) / (none)” in Google Analytics. Identifiable non-Google sources represent around 10 percent of total referral sessions. It’s a modest piece of the pie, but

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Google temporarily disables ‘not mobile-friendly’ label in search results due to bug

Kashin / Shutterstock.com
Google has confirmed that they have temporarily disabled the ‘not mobile-friendly’ label in the mobile search results due to a bug. John Mueller of Google said that Google has turned “the label off for now” but it “should be ok soon.”
This is in response to Google mislabeling pages as not mobile-friendly over the past 24- hours in the mobile search results. Even AMP pages were labeled as not being mobile-friendly. John Mueller said that “this is a bug on our side” and Google is working on fixing it.
Here is a screen shot of Google labeling an AMP page as not mobile-friendly:

Here is a screen shot of an AT&T page being marked as not mobile friendly:

But the Google mobile friendly testing tool showed it at the same time as being mobile friendly:

So this is clearly a bug, Google said it is an issue on their end, and for now, they have turned off the label from

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Google iOS app gets new local search filters, more AMP support & Gboard access

AmsStudio / Shutterstock.com
Google rolled out the latest version of its app for iOS yesterday, with new local search filters, more AMP support and Gboard access.
With the new version 23.0, Google has added more local search filters like “Top Rated” and “Open Now” to the app, and the the ability to turn on Gboard within the app — the Google keyboard designed first for iOS devices and then Android, that makes it possible to search and send information, GIFs and emojis.
Google is also adding more support for AMP (accelerated mobile pages) to the app.
From the update announcement on iTunes: “More webpages will now load instantly. Just look out for a lightning bolt and ‘AMP’ on search results and enjoy blazing fast webpage loading.”
The post Google iOS app gets new local search filters, more AMP support & Gboard access appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google makes it easier to see and share publishers’ real URLs from AMP pages

As promised, Google is making a change to how it displays Accelerated Mobile Pages, so that users can easily view and share links that lead directly to publishers’ sites rather than to Google’s copy of the content.
Google has been displaying AMP content by effectively making a copy of it and rendering it from its own servers, something that Google says makes AMP both faster and more secure for users. However, this has raised concerns with publishers and some users, who have found the system difficult for reaching content directly on a publisher’s site.
AMP & Google URLs
For example, consider the situation below that existed before today’s announced change:

The example shows an article from our Marketing Land sibling site, published and displayed by Google in AMP format. Despite it being from Marketing Land, the URL area of the browser shows it being part of Google.com. That means those who copied and pasted the URL to share via a tweet, through Facebook or

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Report: Google AMP results in Google News more than double

A report from RankRanger, a toolset that tracks the Google results, shows that the AMP results shown in the Google News section for mobile users have more than doubled in the past several days.
A week or so ago, AMP content was showing in Google News for about 30 percent of the news results. Now it is more than double that in the Google News US-based mobile section, with 70 percent of the news results returning AMP content.
Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger said, “[T]he number of AMP optimized news articles appearing within Google’s Top Stories on mobile has skyrocketed across the globe.”
On January 25, RankRanger reported about 30 percent of mobile Google News box results in the US showing as AMP. On January 29, that number hit 70 percent.

Here is a chart showing the rollout and increase by country:

It is unclear if this is a glitch or a change in the algorithm where Google is showing more AMP for

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