Links from the show:
- Google Chrome on Windows will work to crash less often
- Links still count for SEO
- Google is highlighting accepted answers from Stack Overflow in the search results.
- Google testing “related to” knowledge answers
- YouTube will be increasing its content moderation staff to 10K in 2018
- Celebrities answer questions on Google with selfies
- Google has again reiterated that you shouldn’t buy links
- Tip of the week: Watch Morten Rand-Hendrikson present “Gutenberg and the WordPress of Tomorrow”
Since the day that Google Chrome was released in 2008, it’s been my browser of choice. It’s imperfect but solid. Over the course of the next year, though, it’s going to get much better.
Before we get into that, though, I’m Mickey Mellen, and this is A Brighter Web, episode number 29, brought to you by all of us at GreenMellen. Our goal with this podcast is to give you quick weekly insights for news, products, and ideas, so we can all make the web a brighter place to be. These might be actual web tips talking about strategy, search engines, WordPress plugins, and UX, or it might be productivity ideas to help you get more done and free up your time to do great things. We also want to thank our sponsor, ClickHOST.com. ClickHOST provides top-ranked web hosting at prices as low as $5 a month. Visit clickhost.com/abw for an exclusive 20% off discount for listeners of A Brighter Web.
Today we’ll talk more about Chrome crashing less, links still count for SEO, Stack Overflow answers in the search results, YouTube staff increasing, and much more. Let’s dig in.
If you use Google Chrome, you know that it’s a solid browser that rarely crashes. However, when it does crash, it’s often caused by other Windows software that’s injecting code into it. While code injection can be a dangerous thing. In this case, we’re talking about normal tools such as antivirus software. Even though it’s meant as a good thing for those tools to inject themselves into Chrome, it also is a leading cause of crashes. When Chrome version 66 comes out next April, it’ll start warning users about what’s going on. In July, when they release version 68, it will start blocking most software that injects code. In January 2019, when they release version 72, it’ll block all apps, no questions asked. These won’t directly affect most of you, but it’s good to see how Google continues to push forward to create a great browsing experience, and it’s also impressive they have the roadmap built that far out.
Links still count for search engine optimization. We bring this up from time to time when we see a story about how links are dead, but study after study has shown that links still count a whole lot for helping your site rank well in the search engines. There’s been another study, this one by Stone Temple Consulting, that shows links are indeed still a major ranking factor. The link to their study’s in our show notes. You can check that out for yourself.
Stack Overflow is a question and answer community for developers, and Google is now doing more to showcase their answers in search results. If you ask a question on Google that has been asked on Stack Overflow, and there’s a single answer for it, that answer will show up inline in an answer box on Google. If the question has more than one answer, then it will show up as a carousel with the most upvoted answer highlighted as the best answer. This is only in minor testing right now and may or may not be rolled out to everyone in the future, but it could be cool, especially with those of us, typically developers, that use Stack Overflow quite frequently.
Google is testing “related to” knowledge answers. If you search for someone famous, you’ll now see who they’re related to. This is not just personally, but also professionally, if people are co-founders of a popular company or something like that. We’ve not been able to duplicate this test quite yet, but you can find screenshots of it through a link in our show notes.
In 2018, YouTube will be increasing its content moderation staff up to 10,000 people. This includes specialists who take action on content, engineers building and refining machine learning technologies, policy specialists, those sort of roles. Google’s clearly taking YouTube very seriously. Managing all that content’s quite a job, and they’ll have up to 10,000 staff devoted to it next year, so they’re clearly taking steps to make sure the content on there remains as it should be.
Google’s added a neat feature to mobile search where some of your celebrity questions can be answered by the celebs themselves in the form of a short video. You can ask questions such as, “Can Tracee Ellis Ross sing?,” or, “Can Will Ferrell really play the drums?,” and you get a video answer directly from them. While this obviously won’t scale well. Google plans to add more in the coming months. I suspect they’re tackling some of the most searched questions in order to make the best use of these. Again, these are only on mobile, so check them out for yourself there. A link in the show notes with more examples. You can try one of the ones I just gave you, and you should see that result come up today.
Google has again reiterated that you shouldn’t buy links. Google has long said that buying links goes against their terms. You can be penalized for it. A recent article from The Outline dug into how companies buy their way into Forbes, Fast Company, and Huffington Post stories. Google’s Danny Sullivan points out the article, quote, “highlights the key warning signs of a potentially dangerous contribution. All it wants is a link in exchange for cash. Basically, a paid link. In short, don’t buy or sell links.” We’ve all known this for a while, but some get tempted by it. If ranking well in Google’s important for you, though, avoid both sides of this kind of transaction.
Lastly, for our tip of the week, last week we talked to you about WordCamp US, the Gutenberg editor, and WordPress.tv, and today I have a specific video for you to watch. Morten Rand-Hendriksen gave an amazing presentation at WordCamp US about Gutenberg and about the future of WordPress, and you should absolutely watch it. The link can be found in our show notes for you to check that out for yourself.
That’s all we have this week. You can find me on Twitter @mickmel, M-I-C-K-M-E-L, or learn lots more at greenmellenmedia.com. You can find out more about the podcast, including show notes and links, as well as video tutorials and many other resources, over at abrighterweb.com. If you’re in the Atlanta area, come check out our Meetup, held three times each month. If you’re not in the Atlanta area, we post recaps on the site soon after each Meetup. Either way, you can learn more about that at abrighterweb.com/meetup. Thanks for listening.