2023 has come and gone, and a lot of notable SEO news happened throughout the year. For instance, Google had nine official and confirmed Google algorithm updates. While these updates occurred, it’s important to note the ones that happened at the end of the year in December! Lets get started!
Google Officially Drops Mobile Usability Report, Mobile-Friendly Test Tool, and Mobile-Friendly Test API
At the beginning of December, on December 4th, Google officially sunset the Mobile Usability Report, the Mobile-Friendly Test tool and the Mobile-Friendly Test API. Earlier in April of this year, Google mentioned this would be happening around December 1st, 2023.
Today we’re sunsetting Search Console’s Mobile Usability report, Mobile-Friendly Test tool and Mobile-Friendly Test API. We believe these tools helped website owners make the web a better place – thank you for working with us on this journey! Read more at https://t.co/tniBfqsbmC
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 4, 2023
If you ever try to find the mobile usability report or API tool, you won’t be able to now. If you’re ever needing the mobile friendly testing tool, you can find it in Lighthouse.
Google Year in Search Report 2023
Google creates a Year in Search report every year to showcase the most popular trends and terms that were searched by individuals. It’s a fun way to see what trended and what individuals found interesting in their search requests
To learn more global trends, or individual country trends, you can visit the Google Year in Search 2023 Report.
Google Confirms Business Operation Hours as Local Ranking Factor
During the past few months, SEO professionals noticed that Google might have recalibrated its local search algorithm and placed more emphasis on business’s listed hours of operation as a key ranking signal. When businesses were open, the more likely their business would appear at the top of search rankings or search results.
😱Well the news is out, the new ranking factor we are seeing that has a massive impact on ranking is HOURS. We’re seeing that businesses literally vanish in the local pack when they are not open. We started seeing this with the November 2023 core update. This is also making… pic.twitter.com/kDzfrbNmB5
— Joy Hawkins (@JoyanneHawkins) December 7, 2023
According to Joy Hawkins of Sterling Sky, the trend became more noticeable after the November 2023 core update. This led to businesses that appeared as closed being significantly less visible in local search results.
This may cause for some concern when it comes to the time of day an individual searches for a business and it also depends on the type of search intent they use.