June 2022: What’s New in SEO?

  ●   July 8, 2022 | SEO
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July 8, 2022 | SEO

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.

May 2022 broad core algorithm update

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:

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
  • Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

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 testing new featured snippet layouts

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.

Google advises on duplicate content issues

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?

Google confirms the use of multiple URLs for product

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:

  • A path segment, such as /t-shirt/green
  • A query parameter, such as /t-shirt?color=green

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:

  • The page may be ineligible for Product rich results in search results because the experience is only supported for pages holding a single product
  • Google Shopping cannot take a user to a specific variant of a product on your site, leading to a poor user experience if the shopper already selected the variant they wanted in Google Shopping.

Ahrefs plans to launch new search engine Yep

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.

“What we are committed to is that search engines generating revenue from ads should share revenue with creators whose content they benefit from.

In other words, if we select some content to be shown on a search results page, we will also use it as a signal that the content is helpful, and its creator deserves to be compensated.”

CEO of ahrefs, Dmytro Gerasymenko

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.

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