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Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical Guide

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Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical Guide

Nothing is more frustrating than a slow website.

Slow load times disrupt the overall user experience and have negative impacts on the conversion potential of your landing pages.

From an SEO perspective, Google is less likely to promote webpages that take too long to load.

Yes, site speed is a ranking factor, so taking the time to improve it can drastically improve your ranking positions.

So if you’re ready to go from slow to fast, Google’s PageSpeed Insights Report can help you identify whether or not your pages meet performance standards and, if not, how to improve them.

Use this guide to understand your PageSpeed Insights report and learn how to leverage it for better SERP performance.

What Is Page Speed?

Google defines page speed in two ways:

  • How long it takes to display content above the fold.
  • How long it takes a browser to fully render the page.

But a lot goes into how fast our webpages are. The user’s internet connection, a domain’s web hosting service, and cache clearance can impact load times.

So when we talk about page speed, some elements are out of the site owner’s control. But there are plenty of elements that the webmaster can optimize, such as images, videos, JavaScript, and more.

Because page speed is so essential to the user experience, Google considers the overall performance of a page when determining whether to promote it in the SERPs.

Taking the time to optimize your content for speed shows Google that you want to create a high-quality experience for your site visitors.

What Is Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI)?

PageSpeed Insights is a free performance tool that analyzes the content of a given webpage and provides page speed scores for both the mobile and desktop versions of the page.

Screenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

The tool also identifies opportunities for optimization and makes specific recommendations for improvement.

The tool also identifies opportunities for optimizationScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

PageSpeed Insights is one of many page speed audit tools available to site owners, but it is by far the best for those interested in improving speed for SEO purposes.

With PageSpeed Insights, site owners can see in detail how Google understands the technical performance of their pages.

PageSpeed Insights And Ranking

Although site speed is a ranking factor, the PSI score is not. The score is designed as an estimated performance overview.

Some of the metrics the tool relies on to calculate PSI scores, like Core Web Vitals, are a part of Google’s ranking algorithm.

All of that is to say that PSI scores are a good indication of whether or not your pages are meeting Google’s speed and performance standards. There is a strong correlation between higher scores and better keyword rankings.

When slow speed is left unresolved, any SEO strategy will be derailed by underperforming pages.

Page Speed And The User Experience

Beyond SEO, page speed is also essential to the overall user experience.

For mobile users, page load speed is considered the most important factor, even more so than quickly finding what they are looking for or the aesthetic quality of the page.

Page Speed And The User ExperienceImage source: SPEED MATTERS: Designing for Mobile Perfomance by awwwards.com, August 2022

A one to three-second delay increases the visitor’s likelihood to bounce by 32%.

Worse, conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with every additional second of load time.

Improving site speed is non-negotiable to any search engine optimization and conversion optimization strategy.

Google’s PSI tool is the best place to get started to understand your site speed and how to improve it.

Using The PageSpeed Insights Tool

To use Google’s PSI tool, enter any URL into the toolbar, press Analyze, and PSI will get to work.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

As you wait for your report to generate, the tool is doing two main things.

First, it’s gathering the page’s “Field Data,” or the performance data contained in the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX).

Second, it measures your page performance via the Lighthouse API. This is called “Lab Data” because it measures the webpage’s speed in a simulated, controlled environment: mobile networks and a mid-tier device.

This helps eliminate some variables that can impact a webpage’s speed and performance.

Understanding Your PSI Report

Google’s PSI tool will generate a detailed report that includes Core Web Vitals assessment, Lighthouse lab data, opportunities, diagnostics, and passed audits.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

Throughout the PSI report, color coding makes it easy to understand the areas where the page is performing well, still needs improvement, or is underperforming.

  • Green = Good.
  • Yellow = Needs Improvement.
  • Red = Poor.

Here is how to interpret the information in each area of the report.

Core Web Vitals Assessment (Field Data)

PSI’s Core Web Vitals data comes from the Chrome UX Report and includes three primary metrics. Each captures a different aspect of speed and load time.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022
  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): The time it takes for the first text or image asset to load.
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The time it takes for the largest text or image asset to load.
  • First Input Delay (FID): The time it takes for the browser to respond to the user’s first interaction.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This measures any movement of the page in the viewport.

Each performance metric is measured in seconds or milliseconds, except for Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

CLS is calculated through a specialized formula. A CLS score below 0.1 is considered good, while a CLS score above .25 is considered poor.

The field data presented in the report comes from the previous 28 days and will always be presented with accompanying distribution bars.

That’s because Field Data is made up of aggregated data from the CrUX report, and the same webpage never performs the same way for all users.

For example, in the above report, the page met FCP standards 69% of the time but failed to meet those standards 31% of the time.

Lab Data

Google’s PageSpeed Insights Lab Data includes synthetic data from the Lighthouse API. Lighthouse measures Core Web Vitals and three additional metrics.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022
  • Speed Index: The time it takes for the content to visually appear during page load.
  • Time to Interactive: The time it takes for the page to become fully interactive.
  • Total Blocking Time: The sum of time between FCP and full interactivity.

Unlike Field Data, the metrics measured in the Lab Data will not contain a display bar but simply the time stamps or results from the lab test.

It’s important to note that some of these metrics carry more weight in the overall PSI score. Here is the current weighted rubric for Lab Data in Lighthouse 8.

Weighted rubric for Lab Data in Lighthouse 8Screenshot from Lighthouse 8, August 2022

Opportunities & Diagnostics

The Opportunities and Diagnostics sections provide specific recommendations for improving page speed.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

The report also details the estimated time savings that following the recommendations could bring.

To get more details about the next steps, click on the dropdown arrow next to any given Opportunity in your report.

The tool will explain the issue and provide guidance on how to fix it.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

Similarly, the Diagnostics section of the report details best practices that the webpage does not appear to be following based on the page analysis.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot of pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

Select the dropdown arrow to get more information on the best practice and the specific data from the page’s analysis related to that issue.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot from pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

The number of opportunities and diagnostics that may be listed in this section of the report is quite long and will depend on the specific issues that the PSI tool detects on the page.

Passed Audits

This section of the report basically lets site owners know what the page is doing right.

Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical GuideScreenshot of pagespeed.web.dev, August 2022

A long list of passed audits is a good sign and means that your page is displaying page speed best practices.

After The PSI Report & 6 Tips To Improve Page Speed

For those who are new to SEO, the PSI report can feel overwhelmingly technical.

But thankfully, Google is always thinking about the user and does a great job of providing detailed action items in the Opportunities section of the report.

Depending on the Opportunities and issues that the PSI tool identifies, the next steps for any site owner will vary.

However, some common issues impact page speed that webmasters tend to make.

The following best practices are some simple optimizations that can help improve speed and load times for the majority of webpages.

1. Optimize Your Images

More than any other content asset, images and videos are the most likely to produce issues related to a slower speed and load times.

Properly optimized images can go a long way in reducing FCP and LCP times and avoiding CLS issues.

Some best practices include:

2. Embed Video Content

If you have videos on your site that feature your products or services, avoid uploading them to your site.

Not only do they take up a lot of space, but they can also place stress on your web server if lots of users are playing the videos at the same time.

Instead, store videos somewhere else (like YouTube) and embed video content on your web page to significantly improve load times.

3. Avoid Excessive Redirects

Redirects can increase time-to-first-byte (TTFB) or the time between the request to the server and when the first data is sent back to the requester.

Avoiding excessive redirect chains can help you improve page speed and is a good practice for better SEO overall.

4. Choose A Faster Website Theme

Specific website themes are optimized for speed and can significantly improve your load times. Some themes are more lightweight, use GZIP compression, or have a more responsive design.

Check out this list of fast-loading WordPress themes, and consider whether you should update your theme to improve your PSI scores and overall SEO.

5. Use Asynchronous Loading For JavaScript

To keep it simple, asynchronous loading helps the web browser become a better multi-tasker.

In synchronous loading, the browser pauses all other actions while the JavaScript file loads.

Asynchronous loading lets the browser accomplish other tasks, like painting a table or loading a CSS Stylesheet, while simultaneously downloading the JavaScript.

This optimization requires more backend knowledge, so make sure you consult a web developer to implement this strategy.

6. Enable Browser Caching

This is a fundamental optimization that helps your webpages load faster for returning visitors.

With browser caching, images and videos will be stored on the user’s device and loaded from there the next time they visit the page.

Enabling browser caching requires editing (or creating) a .htaccess file, which is also better implemented by a skilled web developer.

Final Thoughts On PageSpeed Insights

Understanding PageSpeed Insights reports doesn’t require a technical SEO background.

Although specific fixes may require the assistance of your web developers, the PageSpeed Insights report will provide a clear roadmap to faster site speed.

If Google sees that you’ve taken the time to follow the recommendations in the report and provide searchers with a better quality web experience, they are more likely to reward you in the SERPs.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock



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What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

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What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

Schema.org is a collection of vocabulary (or schemas) used to apply structured data markup to web pages and content. Correctly applying schema can improve SEO outcomes through rich snippets.

Structured data markup is translated by platforms such as Google and Microsoft to provide enhanced rich results (or rich snippets) in search engine results pages or emails. For example, you can markup your ecommerce product pages with variants schema to help Google understand product variations.

Schema.org is an independent project that has helped establish structured data consistency across the internet. It began collaborating with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex back in 2011.

The Schema vocabulary can be applied to pages through encodings such as RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD. JSON-LD schema is preferred by Google as it is the easiest to apply and maintain.

Schema is not a ranking factor.

However, your webpage becomes eligible for rich snippets in SERPs only when you use schema markup. This can enhance your search visibility and increase CTR on your webpage from search results.

Schema can also be used to build a knowledge graph of entities and topics. Using semantic markup in this way aligns your website with how AI algorithms categorize entities, assisting search engines in understanding your website and content.

This means that search engines should have additional information to help them figure out what the webpage is about.

You can even link your entities directly to sites like Wikipedia or Google’s knowledge graph to build explicit connections. Using Schema this way can have positive SEO results, according to Martha van Berkel, CEO of Schema App:

By helping search engines understand content, you are assisting them in saving resources (especially important when you have a large website with millions of pages) and increasing the chances for your content to be interpreted properly and ranked well. While this may not be a ranking factor directly, Schema helps your SEO efforts by giving search engines the best chance of interpreting your content correctly, giving users the best chance of discovering it.

Listed above are some of the most popular uses of schema, which are supported by Google and other search engines.

You may have an object type that has a schema.org definition but is not supported by search engines.

In such cases, it is advised to implement them, as search engines may start supporting them in the future, and you may benefit from them as you already have that implementation.

Google recommends JSON-LD as the preferred format for structured data. Microdata is still supported, but JSON-LD schema is recommended.

In certain circumstances, it isn’t possible to implement JSON-LD schema due to website technical infrastructure limitations such as old content management systems). In these cases, the only option is to markup HTML via Microdata or RDFa.

You can now mix JSON-LD and Microdata formats by matching the @id attribute of JSON-LD schema with the itemid attribute of Microdata schema. This approach helps reduce the HTML size of your pages.

For example, in a FAQ section with extensive text, you can use Microdata for the content and JSON-LD for the structured data without duplicating the text, thus avoiding an increase in page size. We will dive deeper into this below in the article when discussing each type in detail.

JSON-LD encodes data using JSON, making it easy to integrate structured data into web pages. JSON-LD allows connecting different schema types using a graph with @ids, improving data integration and reducing redundancy.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you own a store that sells high-quality routers. If you were to look at the source code of your homepage, you would likely see something like this:

Once you dive into the code, you’ll want to find the portion of your webpage that discusses what your business offers. In this example, that data can be found between the two

tags.

The following JSON-LD formatted text will markup the information within that HTML fragment on your webpage, which you may want to include in your webpage’s

section.



This snippet of code defines your business as a store via the attribute"@type": "Store".

Then, it details its location, contact information, hours of operation from Monday to Saturday, and different operational hours for Sunday.

By structuring your webpage data this way, you provide critical information directly to search engines, which can improve how they index and display your site in search results. Just like adding tags in the initial HTML, inserting this JSON-LD script tells search engines specific aspects of your business.

Let’s review another example of WebPage schema connected with Organization and Author schemas via @id. JSON-LD is the format Google recommends and other search engines because it’s extremely flexible, and this is a great example.



In the example:

  • Website links to the organization as the publisher with @id.
  • The organization is described with detailed properties.
  • WebPage links to the WebSite with isPartOf.
  • NewsArticle links to the WebPage with isPartOf, and back to the WebPage with mainEntityOfPage, and includes the author property via @id.

You can see how graph nodes are linked to each other using the"@id"attribute. This way, we inform Google that it is a webpage published by the publisher described in the schema.

The use of hashes (#) for IDs is optional. You should only ensure that different schema types don’t have the same ID by accident. Adding custom hashes (#) can be helpful, as it provides an extra layer of insurance that they will not be repeated.

You may wonder why we use"@id"to connect graph nodes. Can’t we just drop organization, author, and webpage schemas separately on the same page, and it is intuitive that those are connected?

The issue is that Google and other search engines cannot reliably interpret these connections unless explicitly linked using @id.

Adding to the graph additional schema types is as easy as constructing Lego bricks. Say we want to add an image to the schema:

{
   "@type": "ImageObject",
   "@id": "https://www.example.com/#post-image",
   "url": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "width": 2160,
   "height": 1215,
   "thumbnail": [
     {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1620,
        "height": 1215
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/16x9/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1440,
        "height": 810
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1000,
        "height": 1000
      }
    ]
}

As you already know from the NewsArticle schema, you need to add it to the above schema graph as a parent node and link via @id.

As you do that, it will have this structure:



Quite easy, isn’t it? Now that you understand the main principle, you can build your own schema based on the content you have on your website.

And since we live in the age of AI, you may also want to use ChatGPT or other chatbots to help you build any schema you want.

2. Microdata Schema Format

Microdata is a set of tags that aims to make annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier.

However, the one downside to using Microdata is that you have to mark every individual item within the body of your webpage. As you can imagine, this can quickly get messy.

Take a look at this sample HTML code, which corresponds to the above JSON schema with NewsArticle:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: "Innovation at its best".

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for customer service.

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe. Connect with John on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If we convert the above JSON-LD schema into Microdata format, it will look like this:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author:

Example image

This example shows how complicated it becomes compared to JSON-LD since the markup is spread over HTML. Let’s understand what is in the markup.

You can see

tags like:


By adding this tag, we’re stating that the HTML code contained between the

blocks identifies a specific item.

Next, we have to identify what that item is by using the ‘itemtype’ attribute to identify the type of item (Person).


An item type comes in the form of a URL (such as https://schema.org/Person). Let’s say, for example, you have a product you may use http://schema.org/Product.

To make things easier, you can browse a list of item types here and view extensions to identify the specific entity you’re looking for. Keep in mind that this list is not all-encompassing but only includes ones that are supported by Google, so there is a possibility that you won’t find the item type for your specific niche.

It may look complicated, but Schema.org provides examples of how to use the different item types so you can see what the code is supposed to do.

Don’t worry; you won’t be left out in the cold trying to figure this out on your own!

If you’re still feeling a little intimidated by the code, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it super easy to tag your webpages.

To use this amazing tool, just select your item type, paste in the URL of the target page or the content you want to target, and then highlight the different elements so that you can tag them.

3. RDFa Schema Format

RDFa is an acronym for Resource Description Framework in Attributes. Essentially, RDFa is an extension to HTML5 designed to aid users in marking up structured data.

RDFa isn’t much different from Microdata. RDFa tags incorporate the preexisting HTML code in the body of your webpage. For familiarity, we’ll look at the same code above.

The HTML for the same JSON-LD news article will look like:

vocab="https://schema.org/" typeof="WebSite" resource="https://www.example.com/#website">

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

https://www.example.com Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

https://www.example.com/about

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe Profile Twitter LinkedIn

Example image

Unlike Microdata, which uses a URL to identify types, RDFa uses one or more words to classify types.

vocab=”http://schema.org/” typeof=”WebPage”>

If you wish to identify a property further, use the ‘typeof’ attribute.

Let’s compare JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa side by side. The @type attribute of JSON-LD is equivalent to the itemtype attribute of Microdata format and the typeof attribute in RDFa. Furthermore, the propertyName of JSON-LD attribute would be the equivalent of the itemprop and property attributes.

Attribute Name JSON-LD Microdata RDFa
Type @type itemtype typeof
ID @id itemid resource
Property propertyName itemprop property
Name name itemprop=”name” property=”name”
Description description itemprop=”description” property=”description”

For further explanation, you can visit Schema.org to check lists and view examples. You can find which kinds of elements are defined as properties and which are defined as types.

To help, every page on Schema.org provides examples of how to apply tags properly. Of course, you can also fall back on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

4. Mixing Different Formats Of Structured Data With JSON-LD

If you use JSON-LD schema but certain parts of pages aren’t compatible with it, you can mix schema formats by linking them via @id.

For example, if you have live blogging on the website and a JSON-LD schema, including all live blogging items in the JSON schema would mean having the same content twice on the page, which may increase HTML size and affect First Contentful Paint and Largest Contentful Paint page speed metrics.

You can solve this either by generating JSON-LD dynamically with JavaScript when the page loads or by marking up HTML tags of live blogging via the Microdata format, then linking to your JSON-LD schema in the head section via “@id“.

Here is an example of how to do it.

Say we have this HTML with Microdata markup with itemid="https://www.example.com/live-blog-page/#live-blog"

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We can link to it from the sample JSON-LD example we had like this:



If you copy and paste HTML and JSON examples underneath in the schema validator tool, you will see that they are validating properly.

The schema validator does validate the above example.The schema validator does validate the above example.

The SEO Impact Of Structured Data

This article explored the different schema encoding types and all the nuances regarding structured data implementation.

Schema is much easier to apply than it seems, and it’s a best practice you must incorporate into your webpages. While you won’t receive a direct boost in your SEO rankings for implementing Schema, it can:

  • Make your pages eligible to appear in rich results.
  • Ensure your pages get seen by the right users more often.
  • Avoid confusion and ambiguity.

The work may seem tedious. However, given time and effort, properly implementing Schema markup is good for your website and can lead to better user journeys through the accuracy of information you’re supplying to search engines.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
Screenshot taken by author

 

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Chuck Price

Founder at Measurable SEO

Looking for a Content Marketing Solution to Increase Traffic and Revenue? I’m the founder of Measurable SEO and former COO ...

Advanced Technical SEO: A Complete Guide



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Gen Z Ditches Google, Turns To Reddit For Product Searches

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In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

A new report from Reddit, in collaboration with GWI and AmbassCo, sheds light on the evolving search behaviors of Generation Z consumers.

The study surveyed over 3,000 internet users across the UK, US, and Germany, highlighting significant changes in how young people discover and research products online.

Here’s an overview of key findings and the implications for marketers.

Decline In Traditional Search

The study found that Gen Z uses search engines to find new brands and products less often.

That’s because they shop online differently. They’re less interested in looking for expert reviews or spending much time searching for products.

There are also frustrations with mobile-friendliness and complex interfaces on traditional search platforms.

Because of this, traditional SEO strategies might not work well for reaching younger customers.

Takeaway

Companies trying to reach Gen Z might need to try new methods instead of just focusing on being visible on Google and other search engines.

Rise Of Social Media Discovery

Screenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Gen Z is increasingly using social media to find new brands and products.

The study shows that Gen Z has used social media for product discovery 36% more frequently since 2018.

This change is affecting how young people shop online. Instead of searching for products, they expect brands to appear in their social media feeds.

1719123963 547 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Because of this, companies trying to reach young customers need to pay more attention to how they present themselves on social media.

Takeaway

To succeed at marketing to Gen Z, businesses will likely need to focus on two main things:

  1. Ensure that your content appears more often in social media feeds.
  2. Create posts people want to share and interact with.

Trust Issues With Influencer Marketing

Even though more people are finding products through social media, the report shows that Gen Z is less likely to trust what social media influencers recommend.

These young shoppers often don’t believe in posts that influencers are paid to make or products they promote.

Instead, they prefer to get information from sources that feel more real and are driven by regular people in online communities.

Takeaway

Because of this lack of trust, companies must focus on being genuine and building trust when they try to get their websites to appear in search results or create ads.

Some good ways to connect with these young consumers might be to use content created by regular users, encourage honest product reviews, and create authentic conversations within online communities.

Challenges With Current Search Experiences

The research shows that many people are unhappy with how search engines work right now.

More than 60% of those surveyed want search results to be more trustworthy. Almost half of users don’t like looking through many search result pages.

Gen Z is particularly bothered by inaccurate information and unreliable reviews.

1719123963 785 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Takeaway

Given the frustration with search quality, marketers should prioritize creating accurate, trustworthy content.

This can help build brand credibility, leading to more direct visits.

Reddit: A Trusted Alternative

The report suggests that Gen Z trusts Reddit when looking up products—it’s their third most trusted source, after friends and family and review websites.

1719123963 403 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Young users like Reddit because it’s community-based and provides specific answers to users’ questions, making it feel more real.

It’s worth noting that this report comes from Reddit itself, which probably influenced why it’s suggesting its own platform.

Takeaway

Companies should focus more on being part of smaller, specific online groups frequented by Gen Z.

That could include Reddit or any other forum.

Why SEJ Cares

As young people change how they look for information online, this study gives businesses important clues about connecting with future customers.

Here’s what to remember:

  • Traditional search engine use is declining among Gen Z.
  • Social media is increasingly vital for product discovery.
  • There’s growing skepticism towards influencer marketing.
  • Current search experiences often fail to meet user expectations.
  • Community-based platforms like Reddit are gaining trust.

Featured Image: rafapress/Shutterstock

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Google Clarifies Organization Merchant Returns Structured Data

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Google updates organization structured data for merchant returns

Google quietly updated their organization structured data documentation in order to clarify two points about merchant returns in response to feedback about an ambiguity in the previous version.

Organization Structured Data and Merchant Returns

Google recently expanded their Organization structured data so that it could now accommodate a merchant return policy. The change added support for adding a sitewide merchant return policy.

The original reason for adding this support:

“Adding support for Organization-level return policies

What: Added documentation on how to specify a general return policy for an Organization as a whole.

Why: This makes it easier to define and maintain general return policies for an entire site.”

However that change left unanswered about what will happen if a site has a sitewide return policy but also has a different policy for individual products.

The clarification applies for the specific scenario of when a site uses both a sitewide return policy in their structured data and another one for specific products.

What Takes Precedence?

What happens if a merchant uses both a sitewide and product return structured data? Google’s new documentation states that Google will ignore the sitewide product return policy in favor of a more granular product-level policy in the structured data.

The clarification states:

“If you choose to provide both organization-level and product-level return policy markup, Google defaults to the product-level return policy markup.”

Change Reflected Elsewhere

Google also updated the documentation to reflect the scenario of the use of two levels of merchant return policies in another section that discusses whether structured data or merchant feed data takes precedence. There is no change to the policy, merchant center data still takes precedence.

This is the old documentation:

“If you choose to use both markup and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

This is the same section but updated with additional wording:

“If you choose to use both markup (whether at the organization-level or product-level, or both) and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

Read the newly updated Organization structured data documentation:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

Featured Image by Shutterstock/sutlafk

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