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This week’s #searchdrop looks at Google moving towards HTTP2 when crawling sites from November. Their release of Google’s ‘Nearby Products’ and keywords in domain names won’t help rankings.

Google will begin crawling sites via HTTP2 as of November 2020

This week Google announced it will begin crawling sites via HTTP2. This is an upgraded version of HTTP, meaning Google’s crawl of your site will be quicker and more efficient. All you need to do to qualify for this new form of site crawling is have an HTTP2 enabled server (you can test whether your server is HTTP2 ready here or use the blog post from Cloudflare recommended by Google), as well as have a site Google already crawls regularly.

What does HTTP2 mean?

HTTP2 is an upgraded version of HTTP and brings a host of improvements:

  • Works on a single continuous connection –  just one continually open server connection is used to load the site. This reduces the number of trips needed to set up multiple connections.
  • Multiplexing –  this improved connection allows for multiple requests ran at the same time. This differs from HTTP/1.1 which required each connection to open and close before moving on.
  • Server Push –  further resources can be delivered to the client for future use, meaning the server-client will have resources before the user requests them.
  • Prioritization – servers can use dependency levels assigned to resources in order to load priority content.
  • Header Compression – HTTP/2 uses HPACK compressions to reduce the size of the header.

Why does it matter?

Larger sites will benefit from improved efficiencies in site crawls as Google will be able to use fewer resources to cover off more pages on your site.

 

Google releases 'Nearby Product' inventories in Google Shopping update

On the 16th of September, Google announced that it had made some changes to the Google Shopping feature. Following on from the impacts of the global pandemic, shoppers have become increasingly interested in the opening hours and stock levels of their local stores before leaving their house. Due to this, Google have made various changes to cater for the increasing demand for this information.

What does the update bring?

Nearby filter

The update allows you to search for the product you need and apply a ‘nearby filter’ so that you are able to see the closest stores with the item in stock. Once the filter is applied, a map will appear at the top of the screen with pins marking out all of the suitable shops for the search query. This is a great feature for allowing searchers to compare the prices of all of their local options.

Services labels

As well as this, the update allows the user to view each shop and see the services in which they offer with new labels that appear at the top of each listing. The labels will showcase options including delivery options, in-store and curbside pickup along with their opening hours, the option to call and Google Maps directions to their location.

What should I do?

Now more than ever, your customers will be interested in your opening times, collection and delivery services. To make sure that you make full use of this update as it begins to roll out, it’s important to make sure you have a Google My Business account and that it is up to date. To showcase your products and prices through this update, you also need to ensure that your local product feed is uploaded onto your Google Merchant Centre.

To find out more information on the new Google Shopping update, check out this article on Search Engine Roundtable.

Keywords implemented into domain name won’t help your rankings

In the old days, business owners were using the advantage of the ‘parked domains’ to rank high in Google rankings. Parked domains usually contained a small section of unique content and a large number of irrelevant ads, but in 2011 Google decided to change the algorithm structure so that the parked domains were no longer favoured over the websites with domains that did not contain the keyword.

Even though 2011 was nearly a decade ago, we still see and hear people who believe that keywords implemented into domain names will help them to gain a better position in search engine results. As the interest in this topic was still high, John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google recently explained in a video that the keywords added to the top-level domain or domain in general, will not bring the real ranking value to the website. That said, you might be wondering what you should focus on when choosing your domain name? John mentioned that business is constantly evolving, and the products or services might change over time. This means that if you focus on one product-related keyword and implement it to your domain, it may not be relatable to the business in the future.

John also recommended the following: “Instead of spending too much time on the domain name, or the top-level domain name, focus instead on building a site that you can continue to use for the long run.”

This news should not be surprising for most people who think seriously about SEO and website improvements, but there is still a fair amount of users who might not be aware of algorithm changes from 2011 or who want to confirm whether the information about keywords in the domain are true or not.