Lab Weekly: Google Updates, Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool & More

Phoebe Skinner

Project Coordinator
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We say it most week’s but this week was incredibly busy, we spent the start of the week preparing for our renowned event #LabLive which took place yesterday at our offices here in Gainsborough. The day was focused on the trends in Digital Marketing and what is working now, with talks from our 4 in house experts and Google themselves. The first session from Andy & Hayley was centred around SEO in 2016 and beyond which gave attendees a summary of everything they need to know in order to make SEO work for them. Jodie our content queen went second discussing the importance of using content for your business and the biggest social media trends. Following the fantastic buffet was a thought-provoking talk from Richard & Google, discussing Adwords and Richard shared his top 8 tips to make Adwords work for you.  If you weren’t at LabLive we will give you a little insight in to these top tips.

  1. Make sure you have clear landing pages
  2. Keep your keyword list short and simple
  3. Make sure you have added negative keywords in your campaign
  4. Sitelinks need to be added to your campaign to show the links to specific pages
  5. Have a minimum of 2 ads per ad group
  6. Mobile ads allow you to reach your customers whilst they are on the go
  7. Ad Scheduling allows you to choose when your ads are shown
  8. Conversion tracking is a free tool that shows you what happens after a customer clicks on your ads

And I bet you didn’t know that 80% of people don’t leave home without their mobile device. Anyway, as well as lots happening in #TheLab there has also been lots of new updates and releases in the world of digital marketing and social to cover in this week’s edition, including…… Google announcing changes to the title and description character lengths for SEO in search results, a new mobile friendly testing tool being launched and much, much more.
Google Announce New Title and Description Character Lengths for SEO In Search Results
It has recently been announced that Google have made some changes to the title and description lengths for meta data. Previously, the title character length was 55-60 and 160 for descriptions. However, now the character length for titles have been increased to 70 characters, you can go up to 71, depending on the letters used. The character lengths for descriptions have changed slightly, you can now have a length of 100 characters per line but Google will still truncate the descriptions for many search results. Meaning the overall description will only display 150-160 characters for a usual 2 line snippet.
The new changes will benefit SEOs who were struggling to stay within the character length. There is a slight possibility however that Google will change these lengths, so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for further information.
Redesigned Structured Data Testing Tool
Google has recently redesigned the structured data testing tool, which now has a more friendly and simplistic style with a box which would ask for the URL or a snippet of sample code. This tool is used to test a single page’s markup for errors, by entering a URL for the tool to fetch or you can paste HTML code directly into the tool. The tool will then display all errors reported. On the right hand side of the interface there is a drop down menu that will allow you to view all errors and warnings. This will allow the user to quickly and efficiently pinpoint any mistakes that have been made. 
Google Launches Rich Cards for Movies & Recipe Websites
Google have recently announced their next steps to rich snippets. Rich cards allows webmasters to markup their pages to richen up how Google displays their pages in their search results. Rich cards use a card carousel feature with a high resolution image to improve the searchers experience. Below is an example of the standard results, rich snippets and rich cards. rich-result-evolution-768x432
Google rich cards are currently only available for recipes and movie sites and only being shown on mobile search results on Google are hoping to expand to more types of sites and users in the future. A rich cards report has also been added in the Google Search Console. Google have said there is also a new “rich results” filter in Search Analytics which will help you track how your rich cards and rich snippets are doing in search. This filter is currently in a closed beta.
Google Launches a New Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
Google has just announced the launch of their new mobile friendly testing tool at The tool seems simplistic, spacious and and faster than the original tool. Below is an example of the new look:google-mobile-friendly-test-tool-new-715x600
Yaniv Loewenstein from the Google Search Console Team wrote:

“The updated tool provides us with room to continue to improve on its functionality, and over time, we expect it to replace the previous Mobile Friendly Test. Additionally, of course this tool also works well on your smartphone, if you need to double-check something there!”
According to a Bloomberg report that was published early this week Twitter are going to stop counting photos and links against tweets’ character lengths. This change could improve the social media platform, as currently links automatically take up 23 characters when included in a tweet. Based on Marketing Land’s analysis last month links are included in tweets more often than photos. The analysis showed that a majority of the tweets that were 60 characters or longer contained links. This update might mean that users will be more likely to post links and photos to Twitter if it is easier. At the moment Twitter only attracts 310 million users each month, and maybe this update will increase that. Keep an eye out for further information!

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