Host Erin Sparks and Studio Creative Director Jacob Mann along with Mordy Oberstein, Wix’s SEO Liaison, pick apart digital marketing and SEO headlines this week, including Google showing competitors in knowledge panels (WHAT?!) and expanding on how core web vitals will affect rankings, as well as new enhancements in business profiles. Get the news you can use in this week’s news roundup, episode 408 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast!


Google Showing Competitors In Knowledge Panels

Barry Schwartz reported from Search Engine Roundtable on Google actually showcasing business competitors in Google My Business Knowledge Panels, of all places. Darren Shaw of Whitespark shared a screenshot of the conundrum on Twitter, where competition was listed under “Alternatives,” just below Whitespark’s hours of operation and phone number.

  • Erin Sparks: “Why in the world would you even want to optimize your knowledge panel, if Google is going to actually present your competitors inside of your panel? Mordy, tell me, what am I missing here?“
  • Mordy Oberstein: “I don’t think you’re missing anything. I think that’s pretty much it. I mean, look, I understand from Google’s perspective, Hey, we want to show the user the maximum amount of information, the most useful information was helpful information, so competitors are part of the program. I get that, but it’s, I mean, come on.
  • Erin Sparks: “That’s not even the same street. That’s literally on your welcome mat.”


Google Expands FAQ on Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are set to start affecting rankings in just under a month, May 2021. Search Engine Land reports that Google will continue to prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar.”

  • Mordy Oberstein: “There are limitations to the metrics that Google’s using. Overall, I think they [Core Web Vitals] are a good thing for the web. And to your point, I think they are going to count a little more than just the runoff. But content is still the commodity.” 
  • Erin Sparks: “There are going to be plenty of websites out there that don’t know how to dial this in at all. Maybe they spin up their own WordPress website, they bought a theme and now they’re stuck with it. They have no idea. This is a thing that has levels of development-savvy. And you’re, now, potentially, penalizing somebody that doesn’t know how to actually affect their core web vitals or their load time? They don’t know how to chop away at some of that delivery? They could very well be left out of that particular race.”


Google Automatically Enhances Business Profiles For Delivery & Pickup

Matt Southern covered a host of new enhancements Google is rolling out for businesses with delivery and pickup options. While we think it would be better if Google allowed for these enhancements to be controlled by the businesses themselves, rather than only for businesses with delivery partnerships, we’re still impressed.

  • Erin Sparks: “It appears that Google will pull this information into businesses profiles automatically, based on the details provided to the delivery providers. So there’s no additional relationship except for the delivery providers. If a Mom & Pop Shop doesn’t have that relationship with the delivery providers, but they’re still doing it, doesn’t that give the big box store a bit of an unfair advantage in the space? Shouldn’t we actually be able to manage our own data?”
  • Mordy Oberstein: “I would imagine there has to be some sort of agreement. The cool part of this, though, is that they have part of this also the indoor AR map. If you’re walking in the store and you’re lost, hold up your phone! How do we get to the meat section and go this way? Turn left!
  • Erin Sparks: “Down one level.”
  • Mordy Oberstein: “Downright, that’s insane.”
  • Erin Sparks: “There were a couple of things that they mentioned in the article; new improvements that AI is actually powering into the maps feature. One of them being weather and air quality, right? Another one is the eco-friendly travel options, actually giving you additional routes based on factors like road incline and traffic congestion to be able to optimize and lower fuel consumption.”