Hello digital entrepreneurs, we're back with the latest issue of The Entrepreneur Monthly for May 2020.
I'm sure many of you are still at home, but since I mentioned in the last two updates that you are staying at home, you may not want any more reminders.
In The Entrepreneur Monthly we will break down all the news you need to know from the past month. We report important news about SEO, social media, WordPress, marketing, product launches and everything else that could affect your digital business. Then we will share it here in the blog and in our newsletter.
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This month, Google has started pushing its Core Web Vitals initiative with a new search console report and plans to make Core Web Vitals a ranking factor next year.
In addition, Facebook has launched Facebook shops for Facebook and Instagram, which you definitely want to know more about when you run an e-commerce shop.
And oh yes, you can finally schedule tweets without needing a third party tool!
This is The Entrepreneur Monthly for May 2020.
With Twitter you can now schedule tweets via the web app
If you're like most people, you don't want to wait all day for the perfect time to post your tweets.
This is partly why social media planning tools like Buffer are so popular.
At the end of May, however, Twitter announced two major changes to the way you tweet.
First, you can now schedule tweets from the Twitter website! In addition to the existing icons, a new schedule icon should appear, allowing you to add pictures, GIFs, emojis, and more.
If you mess around with it, you can apparently plan your tweet to go online at any time over the next two years.
You can also save your tweets as drafts. However, your saved drafts are only synchronized with other instances of the web app. For example, if you write a draft in the official Twitter mobile app, that draft will not sync with the web app.
This will certainly not replace the need for powerful social media management tools.
For casual users who just want a little more control over when their tweets go online, this is a very welcome feature.
For more information, see this Twitter tweet or The Verge article.
Google Core Web Vitals: In the search engine console and a ranking factor
If you're not familiar, Google's Web Vitals project is an initiative to "provide consistent guidance for quality signals essential for a great user experience on the web".
Core Web Vitals are a subset that Google believes should apply to all websites and "appears in all Google tools."
The Core Web Vitals consist of three metrics, all related to the loading of your website:
Greatest content color – under 2.5 seconds – how long it takes for the main content of your page to load.First entry delay – less than 100 milliseconds – how long it takes for your site to become interactive.Cumulative layout shift – less than 0.1 – the amount your website "shifts" when loaded. For example, if a late loaded image causes text to "jump" down.
Ok, so why the lesson on Google Core Web Vitals? Because in May, Google Core Web Vitals improved in two big ways.
First, you can now view metrics for Core Web Vitals in the Google Search Console.
If you go to … Improvements → Core Web Vitalssee the metrics for your website and which URLs you need to fix:
The Core Web Vitals report replaces the speed report that was previously available in the Google Search Console, and you'll find many similarities between the two.
Second, and more importantly, Google has announced that Core Web Vitals will be a ranking signal in the future.
Google is still in the early stages of developing Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. You shouldn't expect it to be available at least until next year.
With that said, you probably don't want to wait for the update to appear to fix your house.
All Core Web Vitals contain performance in some way. A good tactic to get started is using a WordPress performance plugin.
Of course, page loading times have been a ranking factor for some time. At Core Web Vitals, however, Google seems to focus even more on the user experience than just the raw number you see in a speed test tool like Pingdom.
If you want to learn more, Search Engine Journal has a great post on the changes.
Facebook shops and Instagram shops go online
On May 19, Facebook officially launched shops for Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook Shops is "a mobile-first-shopping experience where companies can easily create an online shop on Facebook and Instagram for free."
In Facebook shops you can highlight certain products for sale and divide them into different categories.
On Facebook, visitors can find your shop through your Facebook page, stories or ads. On Instagram, visitors can find businesses using your profile or the Explore function.
Buyers can complete transactions on the Facebook website or direct them to your own website. In-app checkout is currently only available in the United States.
Facebook also has many plans to expand this feature with options for selling products through Facebook Live, creating loyalty programs tied to buyers' Facebook accounts, and more.
If you want to learn more and create your own shop, read the official announcement.
The Google Top Stories widget shows more than just AMP content
Have you ever noticed the Top Stories widget that appears on Google when you search for specific topics or trend news on a mobile device?
Since launching this feature in 2016, Google has only allowed content from websites that use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
If you are not familiar with AMP, you can speed up the loading times of mobile pages by encoding your content in a certain way and having it cached by Google (or others). If you want to activate AMP under WordPress, you can use the official AMP plugin.
The Top Stories widget appears at the top of the page. This makes it a valuable property and a reason to use AMP all by yourself.
At the end of May, Google announced that AMP no longer has to rank in the "Top Stories" section of Google's mobile search as part of a new page experience update.
Instead, you just have to make sure that your mobile pages perform well in the Page Experience results (e.g., setting your Core Web Vitals metrics).
Don't be too excited yet, but this change won't be released until sometime in 2021.
If you want to learn more, read this article from Search Engine Land.
That's why Google rewrites your meta descriptions
If you've ever read a post about website SEO, you probably know the recommendation that you should always write a clear meta description for every content you publish.
However, if you've ever searched for your website on Google, you may have also noticed that Google doesn't always use the meta description you wrote.
So what's the deal? Why doesn't Google use this fantastic meta description that you put your valuable intelligence into?
In a Webmaster Central hangout in May 2020, John Mueller from Google gave some answers.
John gave some reasons why Google may rewrite a unique meta description you wrote. The two big ones are:
You tried to abuse the meta description by just entering a set of keywords. Google doesn't think this is helpful for users, so it tries to rewrite it. The search query does not make your otherwise useful meta description helpful. Google will try to tailor your meta description exactly to the phrases users are looking for. Even if your meta description is helpful for some queries, it may not be for others, which would cause Google to rewrite them (but only for those queries).
If you want to learn more, the Search Engine Journal provides an excellent summary that breaks down John's answers and includes some real-world examples.
And that's the latest news you need to know from May 2020. Check back next month for more great news on SEO, social media, WordPress, blogging, and more.