SEO Updates 18th Mar 2020
1. Deeper and Wider Effects of Coronavirus
Schema.org adds COVID_19 related structured data types
As much as we want to keep the Coronavirus out of our news section, it seems to be gaining ground!
The latest impact of Corona has been on the structured data types in the newly published version 7.0 of the specifications by Schema.org.
The announcement read, “We are also making improvements to other areas of Schema.org to help with the worldwide migration to working online and working from home”.
Further, the new version has made room for, event organizers to indicate, ”when an event has moved from having a physical location to being conducted online, and whether the event’s ‘eventAttendanceMode’ is online, offline or mixed.”
The ‘SpecialAnnouncement’ data type allows for date-stamped textual updates and markup to co-relate the announcement with a situation, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.
Another modification has been made to the Event structured data type which, now, has an “eventAttendanceMode” property. It allows event organizers to communicate how people can attend their events.
Additionally, the “CovidTestingFacility” structured data type offers information about established and temporary testing facilities that started in the wake of the virus aftermath. Going into specifics, the “hasDriveThroughService” property indicates if the facility has a drive-through testing facility.
We wonder if any other virus has had such a wide impact to get a place in the structured data type.
Most SEOs would prefer if Google paused algorithm updates during Coronavirus outbreak
In a recent poll conducted to elicit responses on whether SEOs would prefer an algorithm update sometime soon, most SEOs answered in a negative.
60% of the SEOs who took the survey preferred if Google would pause any algorithmic changes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Now, the reasons as to why they feel so are unclear but all that we can surmise is that the virus has created way too much stress already and any more of it, from any other quarter, would be a tad too much.
2. Google Search Showing Zany Results
In what seems to be a technical error, some Google results, of late, have been showing up strange results. There is a possibility of the involvement of the BERT algorithm in some of these cases.
For instance, the search query “why is 5G dangerous?” showed a snippet from a site that was wrongly picked up. In response to medical queries of this kind, Google offers arguments refuting the claim. But, here it simply picked up a snippet from a site and threw up in the results.
Upset with the erroneous result showing up, CEO and founder of the site tweeted to Danny Sullivan about the misrepresentation that the snippet caused.
Another bizarre incident has been the rat symbol that showed up for searches related to the Democratic Party.
Similarly, users have reported incorrect currency exchange rates.
As of now, these are some of the user reported errors that have been found in the search results. But knowing Google’s responsiveness, we are sure that Google will fix it or, may already have fixed it.