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SEO Highlights in July 2022

Yep, there’s a new search engine on the block!

Ahrefs has delivered on its 2019 pledge to deliver a private and creator-friendly search engine. As promised this endeavour, designed to compete with the global giant Google, has two key features it proposes will set it apart from competitors:

 

  • Privacy: Yep has been set up so that it does not automatically collect and store your personal information as you are surfing the web.

 

They will collect data on keywords, language preference received from the browser and approximate geographical area, but will not use this information to create a personal profile for targeted advertising.

 

  • Profit-Sharing: Ahrefs have proposed a 90/10 profit model for their search engine, meaning that 90% of advertising profits will be going into the pockets of content publishers.

 

This is in direct contrast to Google, who often display content in their search results in such a way that means users don’t have to click through to the website to get the answer they are looking for. This means less site traffic for content creators – and less traffic often equals less revenue overall.

 

Search listing for Uprise Up Digital Media on the Ahrefs search engine results page

 

Despite some distinct differences from Google in terms of privacy and socially positive profit sharing, Yep still has a long way to go before it can become a real competitor.  The search engine itself presents results in a basic format still, looking very similar to original SERPs with just 10 blue links.

 

Options are also currently restricted to web or news pages. However, there is the promise of an image index being close to delivery in July, which will bring Yep one step closer to being a serious alternative to other main search engines such as Google or Bing.

 

Search Console is Being Simplified: Wave Goodbye to ‘Warnings’.

The most recent changes to Google Search console labels aim to simplify the interface, allowing users to more easily focus on warnings that will be of immediate threat to their content rankings in search results.

The old reports had three categorisations for URLs: Valid, Error and Valid with warning. This change affects the ‘valid with warning’ category. Whilst it was clear that valid URLs were okay and that error URLs had critical issues that needed addressing, there has always been a level of confusion about how critical these ‘valid with warning’ URL issues were, and whether these bits of content would still appear properly in SERPs.

 

A report showing website warnings in search console

 

In response, Google Search Console will now present items as ‘valid’ or ‘invalid’ at a top-level. This is to help businesses ‘focus on critical issues that affect your visibility in search’ and enable a better prioritisation of fixes.

 

 

Search Console Insights Now Supporting GA4.

Whilst we’re on the topic of Search Console, it’s great to see that Google Search Console Insights is now supporting Google Analytics 4 properties. Previously, Search Console Insights were only compatible with Universal Analytics (UA) properties. This marks another step towards GA4 taking the lead once UA is sunset in June 2023.

 

What is Search Console Insights?

Search Console Insights use data to help content creators and publishers better understand how their content is performing with audiences. Some of the insights it can provide include:

 

  • Best performing content pieces
  • New content performance
  • How people discover your content online
  • What people search for on Google before visiting your content
  • Which article refers to your website and content

 

You can access this feature via the ‘Search Console Insights’ section at the top of the overview page in your Search Console property.

 

Tips on using Search Console Insights with GA4.

Make sure to link your GA4 property with your Google Search Console property, as otherwise you may only see 20% of possible content insights.

Also, remember to check your Search Console Insights regularly, as the data is frequently updated so regular checks will help you keep on top of new and emerging trends.

 

Google bot crawling the first 15 mb of page content.

An update to the GoogleBot help documentation states that only the first 15MB of HTML files will be crawled and considered for indexing by Google. Anything after this point will not be used when calculating ranking positions.

The documentation states that ‘Googlebot can crawl the first 15MB of an HTML file or supported text-based file. Any resources referenced in the HTML such as images, videos, CSS, and JavaScript are fetched separately’. This suggests that the 15MB cut-off will only apply to HTML.

 

How does this impact SEO?

This new documentation means that high priority content needs to be included closer to the top of webpages in order to be weighted in ranking calculations. Images and videos should also be compressed instead of encoded directly into the HTML where possible.

 

What does Google have to say about the 15MB limit?

In response to a lot of questions from the wider SEO community surrounding this documentation update, Google published a blog addressing the 15MB limit directly. They emphasised that this is not a new threshold; it has been around for several years now. The update to the GoogleBot documentation was aimed at helping people when debugging.

It is also important to note that 15MB is actually rather a large amount of HTML. In fact, Google said in the majority of HTML files are only around 30KB, and there are a minimal number of pages online that are close to the 15MB cut-off point. So this update to GoogleBot crawling and ranking most likely won’t affect most site content, but is good to be aware of.

 

Did we miss any SEO news?

Have we missed any of your key SEO highlights from our round-up? Or do you have any burning questions about how to implement effective SEO for your organisation?

We’d love to hear from you!

Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at [email protected], or simply send us a message through our contact page.

 

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    SEO Developments in May-June 2022

    Typing on laptop on a desk with notebooks on the table and plants in the background.

    From the Core Algorithm Update to Multisearch adopting augmented reality here’s the noteworthy SEO developments from May and June.

     

    Google May 2022 Core Algorithm Update

    Google formally announced a core ranking update for May 2022, but were characteristically vague on it’s purpose, (which is what we now expect from Google).

    Measuring tools and data identified a strong amount of volatility in organic rankings initially, (within the first 24hours of the announcement), although this appeared to level out quickly after a day or two.

    We are currently gathering data and coming together with the wider SEO community to develop a better understanding and compare learnings. We’ll let you know if as / and when we get any more clarity on how Google are looking to impact SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) rankings .

    For an in-depth guide of what to look out for with core algorithm updates and how to react if you’re impacted take a look at our deep-dive into the Core Algorithm Update for May 2022.

     

    Developments in Multisearch

    Later this year Google will be expanding the multisearch feature to gain the support of the ‘near me’ function, this function will allow people to take pictures or screenshots to match places, stores and array of businesses for ‘near me’ type queries via Google Maps and Google Search.

    In addition to this, the new ‘scene exploration’ feature in multisearch will enable people to pan their phone cameras across the view in front of them and gain insights about multiple objects in the scene. This use of augmented reality is pulling us one step closer to the ‘metaverse’ setting that could be the possible future of search.

     

    How will multisearch impact SEO?  

    Multisearch won’t necessarily have an immediate influence on how SEOs need to optimise content, that is if you are already following SEO best practices. This idea is supported further by John Muller’s thoughts on the impact of multisearch for SEO:

     

    “…if your content is findable in search, if you have images on your content and those images are relevant, then we can guide people to those images or to your content using multiple ways.”

     

    In response to this, it may be a good idea to conduct an SEO audit of your site to make sure your content is optimised and indexable so that Google can find and serve your content in multisearch results.

     

    Google’s training contributing to SEO misinformation

    Google ruffled some feathers last month by presenting some guidance many considered questionable in their Digital Marketing Training Course.

     

    contents of keyword stuffing training material

     

    Industry professionals were quick to identify some questionable SEO advice suggested by Google, including the 300 words plus for content length and ‘industry standard’ of 2% keyword density.

    It’s not uncommon for advice on these areas to vary between individuals, however, a basic point that seems to have been missed here is that content is very subjective.

     

    The ‘correct’ volumes and density of keywords is completely dependent on the type of content, format, audience, industry, and end goals – an immeasurable number of factors in fact.

    To the relief of many, Google has since removed this ‘keyword research and keyword stuffing’ section from its course and the takeaway very much is that a focus on quality of content is key.

     

    Did we miss any SEO new?

    Do you have some thoughts to share on the impact of the May 2022 core update? Or do you have any questions about how to implement effective SEO for your organisation?

    We’d love to hear from you!

    Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at [email protected], or simply send us a message through our contact page.

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