This quarter we’ve seen a number of new and exciting updates in the world of SEO, including a broad core algorithm update and some experimentation with featured snippet layouts. Staying up to date with the latest changes is imperative for staying on top of the competition, and avoiding any unnecessary penalties from Google. We’ve summarised some of the most important updates from the past couple months to help you keep pace and get your site back in check.
On 25th May 2022, Google released a broad core algorithm update, which took around two weeks to roll out and is now fully operational. This update appears to be much more significant than the previous update in November. According to Search Engine Land:
“Based on the data, this update was a big update and rolled out quickly for many queries the data providers track. We did see some “tremors,” shifts in volatility, after the initial update, the largest tremors were around June 5th.”
If you’re wanting to check whether your site has been affected by a core update, Google has offered a list of questions to consider and advice for core updates. Some of the key things to consider include:
Read our guide to Google’s E-A-T guidelines to make your site more trustworthy and provide the best possible content for your users.
Google has also recently been testing new formats, layouts and interfaces for its featured snippet slot in the search results. One of these new formats include showing up to four different features snippets on one search results page. Here are a couple of examples of what this could look like:
Currently, Google will show a single site or source in the featured snippets, however, if Google begins to show two or more sources in the featured snippet position, that can change how valuable the position is for site owners and SEOs. So, it’s important to stay aware of this and reconsider your features snippet strategies, focusing on creating original content and differentiating your webpages from competitors.
John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, replied to a tweet regarding duplicate content, sharing his usual SEO wisdom.
So, if you have the same product descriptions as every other e-commerce site on the web, you need to do something to make your product page stand out. How do you do that?
You add more value to the content on that page. This is done by introducing unique content on top of existing content, and changing the content to be tailored to your specific audience. For example, you can enrich your images and videos or add whatever you feel will create value above and beyond what is currently ranking for that content.
This also applies to content to which you are redirecting to fix cannibalisation issues. Can you add or change the content so they are different? Or can you combine the article to make a more valuable single piece?
How to structure product URLs is a common question that consistently arises within ecommerce SEO. Google has now clarified their guidance for product URLs by updating their Product Rich Results Guidelines, which are also applicable for Google Shopping features.
Essentially, Google has said that you should use multiple URLs for each product variation, all referencing a single canonical tag. For example:
If you choose to use a distinct URL per variant, Google recommends using either:
If you choose to include multiple product variants on a single page (meaning, the variants share the same URL), be aware of the following limitations:
Ahrefs recently announced its new privacy-focused search engine called Yep. The search engine has a unique approach – sharing 90% of revenue with content creators – with a number of USPs mentioned in a recent article on medium. One of the key features of this new search engine is its profit share model. Yep is set to have a 90/10 profit share model that rewards creators for their content – sending out approximately $90B to publishers every year.
Let’s put this into perspective. Google makes $150B+ a year from “Google Search & other” so, if 90% of this profit was shared amongst content creators, it could mean generating significant income. That could see a blogger earning as much as $4,000 per month.
The revenue share model is a very powerful tool to attract informed people. The more users search on Yep, the more creators earn.
As for users, they may switch engines to show their recognition and support for creators, knowing creators can earn without any cost to them personally. Users may also get tired of how ads are dominating SERPs more and more on Google, rather than organic content, driving them to make the change.
If you need help navigating the most recent Google updates or diagnosing an unexpected drop in traffic, browse our SEO services or get in touch with our SEO specialists for support.