Google is always on the move! In today’s Tech News Tuesday episode we’re talking about some recent news items from Google about YouTube, visual search and the recent “Helpful Content Update” that might affect your ranking in search results.
What’s Your Handle?
The first announcement we’re discussing is a welcome one. There’s going to be a new way for people to easily find and engage with you on your YouTube channel. They are calling it “handles,”which is basically a fancy way of saying a username and short link for your channel. Handles will appear on your channel pages and Shorts, so they’ll be instantly and consistently recognizable. They start with an @ sign like many other platforms. It will be simpler and faster to mention other users in comments, community posts, video descriptions and even from other social channels.
YouTube handles (which are basically @ usernames) are coming. Grab your name as the feature rolls out to everyone in the coming weeks.
If you already have a YouTube custom URL, that will be your handle when they roll it out, and you’ll be able to change it if you want. For example, our channel is youtube.com/DelosIncorporated, so our handle will be @DelosIncorporated. If you haven’t been able to get a custom username because you don’t have enough subscribers or video views, don’t worry! You’ll be able to create one as long as someone else hasn’t grabbed it, regardless of whether or not you have subscribers to your YouTube channel.
You should get an email from YouTube when you can make the change, but it looks like everyone will be able to do this by November 14th. So don’t delay on this or your name may get taken by someone else. Here is a link where you can check if you are eligible and claim your name when you are.
Google Search is Moving to More Visuals
At Google’s Search On event, they announced a number of changes to how search results will appear and the actions you can take. Google search results have been dominated by a list of text results and those familiar blue links for years. But, the popularity of platforms like Instagram and TikTok, which are visual-first, has changed how younger people want to view search results. Soon you may find card-styled blocks interspersed with media and imagery.
The blue links won’t be gone, but Google is making search results more visual with photos, videos, maps and more.
If you’re searching for a place for example, you might see photos, maps, directions, weather and even short videos. The blue underline links are still there, but Google wants to provide a more complete and visual exploration of the topics that you’re interested in.
Google’s “Helpful Content Update”
Google Search is always working to better connect people to the information they are looking for. They regularly update their ranking algorithms to try and surface better search results in response to your questions. The latest algorithm update was the “helpful content update.” It’s part of a broader effort to make sure you see more original, helpful content written by people, for people.
The “Helpful Content Update” is a recent update to Google’s search rankings. It prioritizes helpful sites that are written by people, for people. Does your content fit the bill?
Think of your own experience. It is frustrating to look for something, click on what you think is the answer, and then you find it’s a page with poorly written copy and seemingly random links. It was written to rank in search, but not for a real person looking for answers.
Make sure you are providing helpful content. Add original insights and photos in place of stock manufacturers images and copy (that hundreds of sites also use). Think about answering the questions your audience has and how you present it in person. With this update, it’s also important to stick to your lane of expertise to build authority and avoid thin content pages.
You should note, that unlike some updates that only affect individual pages, this update has a site-wide ranking effect. So, it might be a good idea to prune some of those old pages which aren’t relevant today.
Focusing on strategic content that addresses the concerns of your ideal client. This is something we talk about on this podcast often, and now Google latest update further validates that approach.
Links in this episode: