The Google Helpful Content Update is now complete. The rollout was completed on September 9, 2022, after rolling out on August 25.
The rollout aims to urge creators to focus on producing high-quality content that offers value to users and aligns with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices rather than focusing solely on SEO.
Although there haven’t been too many reports of volatility just yet, the Helpful Content Update may get stronger as more Google core updates start to roll out, said Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search liaison.
Some websites have reported as much as a 50 percent decrease in traffic since the update rolled out, according to Search Engine Roundtable; however, this is not as widespread as past updates.
Although many sites have not experienced such a significant impact, it’s important to remember that this update is a work in progress. This means its impact may only be felt over time, as experienced with significant updates like Panda and Penguin.
Another thing to bear in mind is that Google may have missed some websites in the initial rollout, said Sullivan, which could mean that some sites may only experience volatility in the month to come.
The effects of this update could take anywhere from a few months to a year to give an accurate indication of its impact on websites. So, for now, it’s best to get ahead of the curve and focus on auditing your or your client’s site and eliminate any content that isn’t useful to users.
Google Adds Meta Description Guidelines To Control Rich Snippets: Google recently updated its help doc to give content creators and SEO professionals guidelines on what constitutes a “good” or “bad” meta description. Essentially, this will help to provide better control over search snippets in search results, reported Search Engine Journal. Search snippets usually contain information from meta descriptions or content containing relevant keywords. Google described bad meta descriptions as those that are too short, composed of a list of keywords, don’t summarize the content, or use the same meta descriptions for other web pages. Good meta descriptions should include a description of the business instead of the web page itself or use a snippet from the web content, for example, from a news article. Being as specific and detailed as possible is ideal for product page meta descriptions; however, the best practice for meta descriptions is to summarize the webpage’s content, according to Google.
Google Is Upgrading Some Review-Type Results To Product-review Types: Google recently made some changes to how review types are shown in search results, which could impact clicks and Review snippet impressions. On August 22, Google announced that some review-type results would be upgraded to product-review types. This means that you might notice some significant change in your Google Console reports, reported Search Engine Land. So, if you notice a drop in review-type and an increase in product-review-type impressions and clicks, it’s more than likely attributed to this upgrade. Although this won’t change the total number of clicks and impressions in the performance report, it may affect how your results are shown in search results and where impressions and click data appear in your Google Search Console.
Google Suggests Using One Primary Instead of a Multiple Languages Per Web Page: Google suggests using one primary language on a web page to help Google determine what the language is. The latest AskGooglebot video series hosted by John Mueller explains that because there is no meta tag for this, it’s better to stick to one language per page. There are, however, instances where it may be acceptable to use multiple languages on a page, added Mueller, for example, if your website is for teaching languages. However, in this case, it may be better to try to have one primary language for the main page rather than have other versions of the page translated into various languages. In addition, using a primary language per page will help your content be found in searches as it makes it easier for Google to determine which content to recommend in searches to specific users. For more information on managing multi-regional and multilingual sites, take a look at Google’s help doc.
Discover Meta’s 4 Top Video Ranking Signals To Expand Your Reach on Facebook: Ever wondered how Meta decides which videos to show to the masses using Facebook? To help you hone in on potential customers, Meta has highlighted four of the best algorithm signals that significantly factor in the selection process of its video distribution strategy. The first is originality; this includes both fully and semi-original content. Second is audience retention; in other words, creating high-quality mobile-optimized video content with a strong narrative keeps viewers engaged until the end of the video. Third, audience loyalty also plays a significant role in how often viewers return to watch more video content. A great tip is to post low-production video content in between long-form video content to keep viewers coming back for more. And lastly, engagement is key; any human-to-human interactions that encourage conversations and interactions are a positive rambling signal. However, be careful of implementing engagement bait tactics as this is considered a negative video ranking signal for Facebook, according to Search Engine Journal.
Yahoo Acquires The Factual With Aims To Provide More Trusted News Content: Yahoo has wrapped up negotiations to buy The Factual, a company that rates and scores news articles’ media bias and credibility. The announcement was made on September 6, 2022, stating that this is part of its goal to provide more reliable content to its users and its commitment to fight “fake news.” The Factual’s algorithm scores news pieces on factors like Site quality, Author expertise, Article tone and Source quality on a 100-point scale. This score is then used to create a weighted average which is displayed next to the article. This concept seems to take it one step further than Google, Facebook and Youtube’s fact-checking initiatives, claiming to offer a one-of-a-kind news article analysis, according to Search Engine Journal. “The combination of Yahoo’s journalism and our publishing partners’ content with The Factual’s news rating algorithm will bring a new level of transparency to Yahoo users, enabling them to make informed decisions on their news sources,” said Matt Sanchez, President and GM of Yahoo Home Ecosystem.
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