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November 2019 SEO News Updates – Google ranking factor “speed” made easy

By jiathong on November 8, 2019


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November 2019 SEO News Updates – Google ranking factor “speed” made easy

The start of November is all about speed. If you haven’t, check out the new speed report on your site’s search console page.

Google’s Webmaster Conference Mountain View: Product Summit 2019 (gwcps) also happened, and we will have a post coming up real soon, so stayed tuned and enjoy this week’s SEO news update.

  1. Google Announcements
  2. SERP Updates
  3. Local SEO and Google Maps Update
    1. 7/11/2019 – Big movements on Google My Business Local Listing
  4. Other Interesting News

Google Announcments

4/11/2019 – Google officially launched the Search Console Speed Report.

Google has repeatedly stressed the importance of speed and the Speed Report last shown at Google I/O 2019 is finally going live to all Search Console users.

Drawing data from the Chrome User Experience Report, the speed report will automatically group URLs into “Fast”, “Moderate”, and “Slow” buckets.

Though launched, the report is still classified as “experimental” and webmasters are welcome to submit feedback to help make the tool better.

Here’s a few prominent SEOs in the industry sharing their opinion and excitement on this new report.

SERP Updates

7/11/2019 – Instant answer for holiday searches.

Valentin Pletzer tweeted a new feature on Google, instead of returning a series of results or a featured snippet, Google can now provide instant answer for holiday searches – as reported by Barry Schwartz.

We tried to duplicate it, and indeed, it’s showing an expandable Google native listing of the holidays according to the area you searched for.

And this is how holiday queries will return when you search for it a few months back for comparison. (credit to Barry)

Holiday SERP 2

Local SEO and Google Maps Update

7/11/2019 – Big movements on Google My Business Local Listing”

Barry Schwartz noticed chatter on both Twitter and the Local Search Forum, and after his post, there’s also a flood of comments reporting the same thing to their listing.

Rosie Murphy from BrightLocal also chimed in to provide more details.

According to their tool, Local RankFlux, there is volatility across all industries.

Google My Business Volatility

No official updates from Google so far.

Other Interesting News

5/11/2019 – Bing Introduces spam penalty for “inorganic site structure”

Frédéric Dubut of Bing announces a new spam penalty against “inorganic site structure”.

Those affected include: PBN and link networks, doorways and duplicate content, subdomain or subfolder leasing, and spammy web hosts and hacked sites.

Which are all common techniques used by black hat SEO to gain authority and “link juice”. Bing also published a helpful post outlining how these practices usually works.

Those who believe they are unfairly penalized can file a reconsideration request via Bing Webmaster Support.

5/11/2019 – Developers docs update alert: JavaScript SEO basics guide and troubleshooting guide

Martin Splitt from Google tweeted that he and Lizzi Harvey have worked on extending the JS guides to include web components.

Here’s the link to the documents



6/11/2019 – Martin Splitt: “We’re not using such metrics.”

There’s a big number of SEOs out there, including yours humbly, who believes that user behavior like dwell time, bounce rate and exit rate can affect your page rankings.

Though Googlers’ usual stance on this issue is negative.

The friendly Googler Martin Splitt most well known for his JavaScript SEO series (and can usually be spotted with his fabulous pastel coloured hairstyle) chimed in on this matter.

He was asked “Does Google (Search Algorithm) use UX (such as dwelling time/time on page, etc.) as a ranking factor? If so, how Google get the data? Does it use Google Analytics data or something else?”

The answer? “We’re not using such metrics.”

Do you think otherwise? Let us know, we’re curious.

Updated: 14 November 2019

Lo Jia Thong

About Lo Jia Thong

A polyglot plummeted into the deep blue world of SEO and inbound marketing armed with a burning passion on letters and a fascination on how thing rolls in the world wide web.

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