We’re back after a 3-month hiatus and a ton has happened. In this recap, we get you caught up on the major algorithm updates that have been rolled out since August.
We also discussed how Google’s SGE is a threat to organic search and what you can do to protect yourself.
Host: Garrett Sussman | Demand Generation Manager
Will Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) tank your organic traffic?
LATE BREAKING NEWS. A 3rd CORE UPDATE.
Today we released the November 2023 core update. We'll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete: https://t.co/hgjEkfpbA2— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) November 2, 2023
Related to this, we’ve posted a Q&A on Google Search updates as a refresher about how updates work: https://t.co/N5p3KsJ0ta
Glenn points out that recent Google updates are causing significant ranking fluctuations, advising against hasty content changes and emphasizing a comprehensive approach to site improvement. He recommends a “kitchen sink” strategy, focusing on overall user experience and technical SEO, and suggests patience, as results may only appear after subsequent updates.
Inside Google’s massive 2023 E-E-A-T Knowledge Graph update – Jason Barnard – SEL
Google’s July 2023 Knowledge Graph update has notably expanded Person entities and pivoted towards enhanced E-E-A-T signals, indicating a new focus on accurately classifying individuals’ expertise and authority. With a decrease in reliance on Wikipedia, marketers must adapt their SEO strategies accordingly.
Based on the article, here are three actionable steps:
Google says mobile-first indexing is complete after almost 7 years – Barry Schwartz – Search Engine Land
Google has completed its transition to mobile-first indexing after seven years, signaling the end of its traditional desktop crawling. For marketers, this emphasizes the necessity of optimizing websites for mobile devices to maintain search rankings. It’s crucial to audit your site for mobile compatibility issues, like blocked resources or redirect errors, to ensure visibility in Google’s search results.
Mike King predicted that this was coming, it just took Google a long time.
We found a bug with how our Oct. 2023 core update was applied to Discover, which has now been corrected. Some sites may see an increase in Discover-related traffic, as a result. Start and end time for this issue is now on the Search Status Dashboard: https://t.co/xjpKeJE6lB— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) November 1, 2023
How to Drive Traffic in Google Discover: The Ultimate Guide – Lily Ray – Moz
Google Discover offers a unique channel for driving traffic, leveraging user interests to deliver content on mobile devices. While unpredictable, sites with timely and engaging content can tap into this source, where traditional SEO tactics do not apply.
Key discover tips from the article:
How Search Generative Experience works and why retrieval-augmented generation is our future – Mike King – Search Engine Land
In the SEL article and follow-up recorded webinar, Michael King provides an analysis of how Google’s AI Snapshot could influence organic search results, the technology that powers it, and strategies for adapting to it.
They both include:
How Google Changes Your Searches (A Study of 10,000 Queries) – Dr. Peter Meyers – Moz
Dr. Pete analyzes Google’s nuanced approach to refining search queries is the focus of an analysis of 10,000 searches, showing the search engine’s efforts to align results with searcher intent rather than just matching keywords. With evidence from the MozCast research set, it is evident that Google frequently adjusts queries, transparently in about 5% of cases, to guide users toward more accurate results.
The key takeaway for marketers: stay attuned to Google’s evolving interpretation of user intent. The practical step is to optimize for relevance and clarity, ensuring content meets the potential needs of searchers, which may transcend exact keyword matching.
The people who ruined the internet – Amanda Chicago Lewis – The Verge
In an article by The Verge, the portrayal of SEO experts leaned towards the negative, painting them as opportunists at an alligator-themed event—used as a metaphor for attention-grabbing tactics. The story suggested that these individuals are mainly focused on profit, using the internet as a tool for personal gain. Interviews with professionals in the field seem to have been chosen and quoted to fit this particular angle. Additionally, the article included a portrayal of Danny Sullivan that some readers felt was misrepresented, showing him in a less favorable light and contributing to the article’s critical stance on the SEO industry.
In a revealing reply article by Gianluca Fiorelli, the spotlight turns to The Verge’s heavy reliance on SEO for attracting visitors, a stark contrast to their own critical views on the industry. The numbers tell a different story from their narrative, with SEO ushering in a significant 26.2 million visits in September alone, equating to a potential $31 million in ad spending avoided.
In the latest episode of the Rankable Podcast, Britney Muller demystifies the complexities of Large Language Models (LLMs) and Generative AI, highlighting the need for AI education, addressing trust issues, and the ethical considerations surrounding this technology. With insights on mitigating biases and maximizing AI’s beneficial applications, the conversation steers towards actionable strategies for responsible AI use.
The standout message from Muller’s insights is the importance of understanding and addressing AI’s inherent biases to unlock its full potential responsibly. Marketers are advised to prioritize AI literacy, as it is crucial for implementing Generative AI in a way that is both ethical and effective.
Join Garrett Sussman each week as he pulls out all of the biggest and smallest stories from the past week that touch the world of SEO.
Get the scoop on what’s happening to Google, game-changing strategies for SEOs, and the people that you should have on your SEO radar.