Another month, another round-up of digital marketing news with the SEOverview. There’s lots of Google news, so let’s get to the good stuff…
Multiple Google Core Algorithm Updates in June and July
There were two new Core Algorithm Updates released in June and July, but there was also a Page Experience Update that was released. If users see changes in site performance after a core algorithm, it’s common to use that as an excuse for sudden drops. However, attributing ranking fluctuations to specific website changes or links during a core algorithm update may be inaccurate, since these changes could be coincidental. Any ranking fluctuations in June 2021 will be even more difficult to attribute to any one kind of website change, given how many changes were made in the algorithm that month.
Google’s John Muller stated that the Page Experience Update was more likely to be the cause of changes in page rankings rather than the Core Algorithm Updates. So if you saw a drop in your page rankings through June and July, we now have answers as to why. Google appears to be placing even more importance on page speed, so make sure to take the necessary steps to reduce load times.
Google Link Spam Update Is Here
Google began rolling out a new algorithm update for Google Search named the Link Spam Update. This update “is even more effective at identifying and nullifying link spam more broadly, across multiple languages,” Google wrote.
Google went even more in-depth in a blog titled “A reminder on qualifying links and our link spam update.” The blog post is a reminder on what types of links are against Google’s webmaster guidelines. There is more of an emphasis on this blog post around links with a “commercial nature.” But it goes through best practices, affiliate links and how they should use nofollow or rel=sponsored, it talks about sponsored and guest posts, and more.
This is, unfortunately, another thing to be on the lookout for when it comes to traffic fluctuations.
Google is Rewriting Title Tags in SERPs
Google is rewriting title tags for a limited amount of pages in search results, often replacing the text with a page’s H1 tag. It’s known that Google adjusts titles in SERPs by making small tweaks, such as appending a business’s name to the end. But now Google is overriding titles with different text.
SEOs started taking notice of this on August 16, as evidenced by tweets mentioning a “massive” title rewrite on Google.
In theory, it sounds like Google may choose to grab any relevant text from a page and display it as the title in SERPs. That’s long been the case for meta descriptions, as Google can dynamically adjust the description in search snippets to better match a user’s query.
Google is known to run A/B tests in live search results, so it’s possible what we’re seeing will go back to normal in the near future. On the other hand, we may be seeing the initial stages of a permanent change. Assuming for a second this is how Google will handle titles in search snippets going forward, it could end up being a good thing for websites.
Phew, now that was a long one. But it’s important to stay on top of all this news, so make sure to come back next month for another round of digital marketing news.