Black Friday is finally over with until next year, but as Christmas looms Google seem to keep pumping out as many updates as they can until the new year. Welcome to this week’s Digital Roundup, this week focuses primarily on Google and their updates, with some SEO insights to boot.
Google’s November 2021 core update finishes rolling out.
Google’s controversial November core update which launched on the 17th November has finished rolling out, taking 13 days in total. SEO community reactions to this update were not positive, they felt it was unfair to roll out such a significant update at a time where businesses potentially struggling due to COVID could be affected negatively by this update as well. Reactions were especially negative due to the fact this was the fourth Core update carried out by Google this year, and whilst weaker than the others, it still had an impact on rankings.
As always, if your traffic and rankings have been affected negatively, Google’s guidance is to ask yourself this list of questions
Google begin rolling out their December 2021 Product Review update
I told you Google was trying to push out as many updates as they could, on the 1st December Google began to launch an update to their search algorithm related to product reviews. They said that the update is “designed to better reward” product reviews which “share in-depth research” of the reviewed product, rather than “thin content which simply summarizes a bunch of products”
The best practices which have been provided with this update are as follows:
- Providing personal evidence for your experience of the product such as visuals, audio, or other links, to support your knowledge and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
- Include links to multiple sellers in your revieew to give readers the option to purchase from their vendor of choice.
Google has stated it will take three weeks for the update to finish rolling out.
To read more guidance for product reviews from Google, they have a blog post full of advice here
Top Tips from Search Advocate John Mueller
Search Engine Journal wrote a great article compiling 57 SEO tips from Google Search Advocate John Mueller which were designed to assist marketeers in keeping their website rankings afloat. Whilst I’m not going to list all of them, some of the best tips include:
- The quantity of backlinks don’t matter, a good quality link from a relevant website matters much more.
- Poor visual presentation on a website can affect rankings.
- Ranking changes can take up to a month after updating your website’s content.
- Word count isn’t a ranking factor.
- Spelling and Grammar are high priority.
The roundup of John Mueller’s tips, as well as an explanation, can be found in Search Engine Journal’s article.
WordPress 5.9 delayed
The release of WordPress 5.9 has been pushed back from a December 2021 release to the 25th January 2022, this is following voiced concerns from core contributors that it isn’t feasible to reach the 2021 deadline as well as a growing awareness that a failure to delay could result in “regrettable decisions” Seemingly the number of changes that needed to be introduced has overwhelmed their dev team.
The full announcement can be read on WordPress’ blog post from the 22nd of November