SEO News You Can Use

SEO News You Can Use: Google Core and Product Review Updates Complete

The September Google Core and Product Review Updates are complete. Google made the announcement on September 26, 2022, which has left web admins contemplating what to do next. The Core update took 15 days, while the Product Review Update took a mere six days to roll out fully.

Because the two updates overlapped, it may be tricky to determine which update may have affected visibility or ranking, but here’s what we know:

The Core update caused some volatility but did not have as much impact as other updates. However, more of an impact may be felt after future updates.

It is best to look at the website in its entirety rather than specific elements as these updates affect the “relevance of the website overall,” said John Mueller, Google Search Advocate. For example, if you find that your ranking has changed, it could mean that the core update has impacted your website.

Mueller suggests improving your on-page web content rather than looking at technical aspects to fix, as technical fixes have minimal impact on relevance. It’s important to note, however, that implementing changes after being impacted by a core update won’t automatically put you back in your original ranking.

Mueller suggests looking at content updates from a holistic perspective, like relevance, readability and answering user intent, how content is presented, ad on pages, sources, etc.

When it comes to the Product Review Update, if you notice that your product page ranking has changed, you’ve likely been affected by the update. The focus here is to provide high-quality reviews, offering insightful and valuable information to users, such as personal feedback from customers who have used your products, original images and videos and descriptive captions that are unique to your products and stand out from your competitors’ product pages, for instance.

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Search on Event: Customized Search Results and Other New Features Announced: At the latest Search On 22 event, it was announced that the “About this result” section has become more personalized. Users will now be able to tell whether results have been customized. Previously, users could only see details about the source of the search results. In the latest Google Keyword blog post, Danny Sullivan, Google Public Liaison for Search, reiterates that the idea is to provide relevant content that is not only useful but tailored to the user’s search intent. Users can select whether they want their search results to be personalized or not through the privacy controls. If you choose the personalized option, Google will use previous data to tailor your search results. This new enhanced feature will be handy for shopping, movie and series suggestions, as well as recipes and restaurant recommendations, said Sullivan. Among this new feature, Google also announced four new updates to make the real-life experience of Google Maps and make results more natural and intuitive through visual search.

 Google Sheds Light on Search Result Forums and Discussion: Google is introducing a new feature that highlights what users say about a subject in online forums and discussions in search results. This is yet another announcement made at Google’s Search On Event, which focuses on connecting users with useful and relevant forums and discussions. In addition, the Tech Giant is also looking at providing translated new stories, utilizing machine translation technology, providing a unique perspective of what’s happening in other countries. This new feature will roll out on desktop and mobile in 2023 and will translate new stories and headlines from French, German and Spanish into English. Search Engine Journal provides more information on the topic here.

Google Highlights Ways To Streamline Hreflang Implementation: In reply to a r/TechSEO Reddit forum thread, Google Search Advocate John Mueller, highlighted ways to make hreflang tag implementation less complex. Although it’s quite complicated, it’s highly necessary as it tells Google what language the content is presented in. The question posed is related to implementing hreflang to websites in various countries. According to Search Engine Journal, Mueller explained that although linking all website pages with hreflang is the ideal solution, it’s also very labor intensive. Another alternative is to use hreflang only where needed. First, determine whether there are any issues where users find themselves on the incorrect page version; if so, you may not need to implement hreflang. You could also look at which pages users mistakenly find themselves on, especially homepages, as brand names often aren’t localized. Finally, if there aren’t issues with pages other than the home page, you could look at a partial implementation.

Google on How Duplicate Content Is Measured – Is There a Percentage?: In a conversation on Facebook, Duane Forrester asked If any search engine has specified the level of content overlap at which it considers a piece of content to be duplicate. Bill Hartzer posed the question to John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate, on Twitter, to which Mueller responded that there isn’t and wouldn’t know how to measure that. In a previous podcast, Google states how it detects and processes duplicate content. First, It groups all duplicate content – this is known as dupe detection. It then determines which of these pages is the leader’s page – canonicalization. Finally, Google uses a checksum, representing content in numbers and symbols. If the checksums of certain pages match – the content is defined as duplicate. This means there is no percentage to measure duplicate content but rather a checksum representation.

Google Clarifies Whether Meta Robot Tags Impact Search Rankings: In the latest Ask Googlebot Youtube podcast, John Mueller, Google Search Advocate, clarifies whether or not search rankings are impacted by meta robot tags. The short answer is no. Meta robot tags have no bearing on search rankings but are used to personalize how they appear in search snippets. They are, however, able to affect your click-through rate (CTR). For instance, you may find that your search snippet reveals too much information, in which case a user may not feel the need to click through to your site. There are various meta robot tags that can customize your search snippets. Check out Search Engine Journal’s post or Google’s help doc for more information.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

Robynn Farrell

Robynn is a content editor and writer at SEOblog. With 3+ years of experience in digital marketing, she specializes in trend analysis, content creation, planning and editing. When she’s not soaking up the sun at the beach or on hikes, you’ll find her puttering about the garden, painting or spending quality time with her couch, binge-watching series.

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