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SEO Highlights for November

As ever, there was plenty of change going on in November, with a Core Algorithm update released just weeks before Christmas.  If you would like regular updates from Uprise Up on the world of digital marketing, follow us on Twitter.

 

 

Core Algorithm Update

Google’s Twitter announced another algorithm update in November! With the last update released in July, it’s been a few months since Google made any big changes to their search algorithm. Having got back into the rhythm of regular updates to the core algorithm, November saw the arrival of one of these updates. Roll out started mid-month and finished on the 30th, but any volatility to rankings was recorded right at the start of roll out.

Search Engine Land accumulated data from several sources, all of which fed into the same narrative: the rollout hit hard in the first day or so, but then impact slowed down quite quickly. For example, SEMRush record ‘very high’ volatility on the 18th, one day after rollout. This then drops down to ‘normal’ the next day.

SEMRush SERP volatility for the last 30 days in November 2021 after Google Core Algorithm update graph
Source: SEMRush

 

SEMRush’s sensor defaults to US search results, however when compared against the UK volatility levels aren’t too disimilar.

This is equally very similar to how rankings reacted to the July update, but with an even quicker cool down. So despite it being the worst timing for ecommerce sites, this update hasn’t caused too much upheaval. Within our charity clients, we also haven’t seen any massive changes.

SEMRush SERP volatility for the last 30 days in November 2021 after Google Core Algorithm update graph
Source: SEMRush

 

This is equally very similar to how rankings reacted to the July update, but with an even quicker cool down. So despite it being the worst timing for ecommerce sites, this update hasn’t caused too much upheaval. Within our charity clients, we also haven’t seen any massive changes.

 

 

Disavowal Files: they may take longer to update than you think

In a recent hangout session, Google’s John Mueller touched on the topic of disavowal files. Specifically, how long it can take them to affect search rankings.

 

What is the disavowal file?

The disavowal file is a list that is submitted to Google. It contains pages or entire domains that link to your site, that you don’t want Google to associate with you. It’s intention is to help Google avoid associating your site with spammy websites, although Google has gotten better at recognising these types of links itself (and ignoring them).

The disavowal file is not a tool to be used lightly; if used incorrectly it can do a fair amount of damage to your organic performance. This happens when you accidentally disavow links that were giving your site authority, and therefore good value opposed to bad.

Rather than disavowing random links you think look bad, Mueller said you should be using the disavowal file for links where you are potentially responsible (through outreach activity).

 

How quickly can it impact rankings?

Mueller actually confirmed on this hangout that the file is only taken into account when they re-process the links pointing to your site, which isn’t an everyday occurrence. It also isn’t all done in one go, so incremental change occurs rather than a singular update. Meaning, the impact of the disavowal file is ongoing over several months.

So, if you update the file and see an immediate change to your rankings days after, you might want to look further afield. The disavowal file is unlikely to be the cause.

 

 

Better Job Descriptions, better visibility!

Google have revealed they have ‘uncovered an opportunity to improve your job posting pages, and it only takes a few changes to the description field’.

If you publish job vacancies on your site, then through the application of JobPosting Structured Data you can target Google’s job search. This can help your site gain higher visibility in a competitive search environment. Google uses the data you include in your JobPosting Structured Data to populate the listing, so it’s worth ensuring it’s as informative and relevant as possible.

To help make this possible, Google have published a little extra guidance to make the description contains everything a user may need to know to make a decision. That guidance is to review the description field in the JobPosting Structured Data and ensure it contains all information you’ve included in additional, specific fields (like the qualifications listed under the qualifications property). Essentially, duplicate information included in other fields so description encompasses it all.

By doing this, the description box on Google’s job search becomes a much more insightful place! This sounds like a useful little tip to us and is one we look forward to testing in the future.

 

 

Did we miss anything?

If there was anything else that happened in November that caught your eye, feel free to tweet us at upriseUPSEM, email us at [email protected], or simply send us a message through our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

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