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

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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.”
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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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SEO priorities for the new year

With New Year’s Day still fresh in our memories, there is no better time to step back and take stock of your SEO campaigns. Look for any quick wins and identify the larger projects that will help you start the year in great shape.
Hygiene: Quick wins
These are the actions you can do tomorrow.  In my view, there are two keys areas to focus on.
1. Google Search Console review
Google Search Console is often neglected, but it can be one of the best sources of information for identifying quick wins. Working through Search Console’s navigation from top to bottom, I would look for any errors or warnings. The main areas to review include:

Structured data. Ensure there are no errors within your markup.
HTML improvements. Revising duplicated or lengthy meta descriptions and page titles can be an easy method of increasing CTR for your existing rankings, especially if you work closely with your paid search counterparts to identify their top-performing ad

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Google AMP carousels are multiplying!

In case you missed it, Google has launched a new type of AMP rich card carousel in mobile search results — in addition to the Top Stories carousel we’re used to seeing.  
The new AMP carousels appear in the main mobile results list, showcasing related articles from a single publisher. They started appearing at the end of 2016 without fanfare from Google. Let’s call them “single-source carousels.”
Single-source AMP carousels are most likely to appear in results for popular queries, particularly for news stories. A January 15 search for “Kansas City Chiefs News” produced four single-source AMP carousels in addition to the Top Stories carousel:
A search for “Kansas City Chiefs News” produces a Top Stories carousel, plus four single-source AMP rich card carousels.
Search for any big news story, and you’ll likely get several single-source carousels in mobile results. They also appear frequently for recipe searches — try “cookie recipes,” for example.
Google appears to be invoking the single-source

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Google Rich Cards expand to local restaurants and online courses

Google has announced they have added two new flavors of rich cards for their search results, local restaurant and online courses.
You can see these richer search results by searching for [best New Orleans restaurants] and [leadership courses], for example. These rich cards are contain a new user interface, such as “carousels that are easy to browse by scrolling left and right, or a vertical three-pack that displays more individual courses,” Google added.
Here are screen shots of these two types of new rich cards:

And if you go with AMP HTML for the these two new verticals, Google said it will bring a faster user experience. Google does recommend AMP here but says it is currently not required. Here is a screen shot of how that experience is with AMP:

Google updated their technical documentation around implementing these rich cards, which some spotted the other week.
You can access these technical documents over here.
The post Google Rich Cards expand to local

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Report: AMP causing monetization frustration among some news publishers

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are meeting with mixed reviews from publishers. The core issue for publishers is that AMP pages don’t generate the same amount of revenue and don’t give publishers as much control over ads.
The article asserts:
For some publishers [preference for AMP in search results] is a problem, since their AMP pages do not currently generate advertising revenue at the same rate as their full mobile sites. Multiple publishers said an AMP pageview currently generates around half as much revenue as a pageview on their full mobile websites.
That’s largely because of limitations related to the types of ad units AMP pages will allow and the ad technology providers that are currently integrated with the platform, those publishers say.
AMP ads are standardized and don’t allow certain kinds of interstitials or takeovers, which enable publishers to charge more or offer more customization. However many of those higher-profile or

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Google opens the AMP fire hose

Google’s expansion of Accelerated Mobile Pages across mobile search results is underway, gradually turning the trickle of AMP traffic to a steady flow.
The September start of the “blue links” rollout, along with announcements from some high-profile participants in the AMP Project, are advancing the open-source initiative on multiple fronts.
Google’s AMP expansion
Since Accelerated Mobile Pages first appeared in Google search results in February 2016, AMPs have been mostly concentrated in the Top Stories area of mobile search results:
AMP Top Stories carousel in Google mobile search results
The current expansion, which was announced in August and started in mid-September, will surface AMPs throughout standard mobile search results, aka “blue links.” When the phased blue links rollout is complete, Google will always present the validated AMP version of a page to mobile users instead of the standard web link.
At this stage, Google is only surfacing a portion of available AMPs; a September 25 query returned a mixture of AMP and non-AMP results

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Google: AMP will override app deep links for the foreseeable future

At SMX East yesterday, Adam Greenberg, the Global Product Partnerships at Google gave a talk about AMP. He said during the question and answer time that AMP pages will override app deep links for the “foreseeable future.”
Last week we covered how that when Google began rolling out AMP to the core mobile results that Google quietly added to their changelog that AMP pages will trump app deep links. In short that means when a user installed an app of a publisher, does a search on their mobile phone where the app resides, clicks on a link within the Google mobile results that could lead to the app opening up, instead, Google will show the AMP page – not the content within the app the user installed.
Google made several large pushes with App Indexing throughout the years. These were incentives to get developers to add deep links and App Indexing to their apps. Such as installing apps

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AMP now supports A/B testing and other experiments

Now you can run experiments, such as A/B tests, using AMP pages. This was announced on the AMP blog. “[W]e’ve launched a new AMP component that allows you to conduct user experience experiments on an AMP page,” Google said.
Within the code, you can specify how much traffic to send to which experiment. The element allows you to specify all experiment behaviors via a JSON configuration. Plus, through this new configuration, it will expose additional analytics reporting attributions so you can collect enough data to decide which experiment works best.
Here is sample code on how to use — and you can read this blog post to learn more.
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