If you work with SEO, you know that Google makes thousands of updates every year. Some of them are crucial core algorithm updates and we still remember the days after Panda, Hummingbird, and Penguin updates were released.
To always keep on top of your SEO strategy, it’s important to keep updated on the latest news in the industry. Today, we bring you the top 6 things you need to know about that might make your life easier and allow you to adapt, rather than react. Let’s dive in!
September 2019 Core Algorithm Update
Speaking of Google Updates… Last month marks a new core algorithm update, the most recent one since June this year. If you see a change in your rankings or web traffic, this might be the big reason why. Google announced the update the very same day that they began to roll it out, so there was no real time to prepare. The reactions have been mixed from businesses in different sectors, and since this is a “broad core update”, no specific niches were targeted specifically. Since this article is being released in October, we can add that there were no significant changes to the algorithm in October. Some websites saw traffic changes which can be attributed to Google’s tweaks of the September update.
Google just launched its newest natural language processing algorithm update – it is titled BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Representations from Transformers (wow). This is a large change to the search system, which will affect 1 in 10 search queries and change the results that rank for these queries – 10% is significant. BERT helps Google understand better the context and nuances of words in search queries to filter and display relevant results more effectively. This is especially important for small words such as “to”, which can change the meaning of a query dramatically. It also applies to featured snippets. While this is a significant update, Google says there isn’t anything that you can do to “fix” it. This ties back to the importance of accurate and optimized page titles and meta descriptions, so Google can analyze this information and match your site with the appropriate search query.
Search Console Has Been Updated!
If you work a lot with SEO, then you know that Google Search Console is a vital tool to analyze the performance of your site on Search and to collect key data from. For a while now, users have been disappointed with the “data freshness” that the Console provides. Well, your prayers have been answered and Search Console’s Product Manager is here to tell us about a few important updates. Now, you can easily access crucial info about top content, site audiences, and search queries as recent as less than a day old! This is new in the Performance report as compared to before when data would be a few days old. Check out the rest of the refresh here:
Screaming Frog Update
With the theme of important updates happening to our favourite digital marketing tools, Screaming Frog just got its new version of SEO Spider 12.0. This includes PageSpeed – Lighthouse metrics, opportunities & CrUX, database storage autosaving & rapid opening, ability to resume previously lost crawls, configurable tabs, page & link elements and more! Check out the rest of the updates here:
“NoFollow” Links Are Evolving – “Follow” The Trend!
The “nofollow” attribute on links was introduced almost 15 years ago to alleviate spam issues on the Internet with the exponential growth of new sites. This became Google’s recommended method when it comes to advertising-related or sponsored links. However, the times have changed and Google is back with new ways to identify links to Google Search when working on your strategies. WebMasters discusses the new attributes – sponsored and user-generated content in their September update:
Start Your Google Shopping Holiday Campaigns Now 🎄
It’s the most wonderful time of th- Too soon? While maybe you don’t want to hear Christmas music everywhere just yet, if you work in the e-commerce business, you need to start preparing for the holiday season basically yesterday. This is the biggest quarter of the year for retail businesses and due diligence should be taken when preparing your Google Shopping campaigns. It’s curious to see that paid search via Google is the current reigning digital channel bringing revenue for e-commerce businesses. Amazon Advertising has been making big strides, allowing vendors and sellers to work directly with the e-tailer giant to create advertising within the platform. Check out this article for the top 5 tips of creating your Holiday season Google Shopping campaigns:
From a major Google core update in September to Performance report in Google Search Console getting a refresh for the data available, to new link attributes and even a Screaming Frog update, this fall season has been very productive for the industry. Hopefully, this summary of the big 5 things was easy to digest for you and you found some of it helpful for your business! If you are interested in anything in particular, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we will include it in our next article. Until next time!