Welcome to the week in SEO! Every Saturday, Supersede Media will trawl the internet and bring together a delightful smörgåsbord of the top stories, updates, tips and general happenings in the world of tech. Here’s what you need to know from the past 7 days!
From an easier way to compare search results through to a new feature helping you to avoid ghost kitchens, we’ve got all the headlines you need this week.
Google tests out search side panel feature
Nowadays, virtually all of us are used to researching via Google, whether it’s comparing prices for a new pair of shoes or planning our next trip away. However, the process can often be messy, involving opening a myriad of different tabs or jumping back and forth between the SERP and its various results. Now, Google is testing out a feature that could make the whole process simpler.
The new feature being trialled is a side panel tool for Google Chrome. To start off, you would search via Google as normal, then click on any of the links. Then, instead of having to click the back button to go back to the results page, you can simply open up a side panel. This will display the search results, all while enabling you to keep the page you clicked on open in the main tab. It’s hoped that this will make comparison much easier for users than the current system.
Yelp now lets customers know if a restaurant is virtual
As the pandemic left restaurants shuttered across the globe, we turned to delivery services instead. While many of our orders came from familiar locations that would normally have offered the ability to dine in, an increasing number came from so called ‘ghost kitchens’. These essentially include a standard restaurant kitchen, but no shopfront or dining area. Often, someone driving past would be unable to tell what the building was used for.
The problem arises when someone makes the mistake of trying to visit a ghost kitchen in person. As dining out returns, people are starting to confuse these ‘virtual restaurants’ with locations that offer the ability to eat in. In an effort to combat this, Yelp is now including a Virtual restaurant attribute on its listings. This aims to avoid the situation of diners turning up to a ghost kitchen in person, clarifying that such locations are delivery-only.
Facebook faces crisis as whistleblower testifies before Congress
Facebook has been at the centre of no shortage of controversies in recent years, from its handling of data in incidents such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal through to the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’. This week saw the pressure ramp up for Facebook, as one of the company’s former data scientists, Frances Haugen, testified before a subcommittee of the United States Senate, making a number of shocking and potentially highly damaging allegations.
Haugen’s testimony included the claim that Facebook “repeatedly encountered conflicts between its own profits and our safety,” and that it “consistently resolved those conflicts in favour of its own profits”. She also stated that Facebook “hides vital information” from both governments and the general public. Despite her testimony being backed up by thousands of pages worth of documentation, company leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg have dismissed Hauger as taking internal research “out of context” to “construct a false narrative”.
Other tech news on our radar…
- Facebook Platforms, Including Instagram and WhatsApp, Offline for Six Hours
- Firefox Suggest Puts Contextual Ads in the Search Bar
- Google Search Console Adds New Rich Results Status Reports
Step up your SEO game
There’s no time like the present to improve your SEO. We’ve brought together a few top links to help you optimise your site and its content.
- The E in E-A-T: What Is Expertise, Why Does It Matter and How Can You Showcase Yours?
- What if the Competition Is Wrong? How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Competitive Content Research
- 9 Easy Local Link Building Tactics
That’s all from the Supersede team this week! Come back next week for another roundup of SEO and tech news. Enjoy your weekend!