Joost's SEO recap

Weekly SEO recap: Google update galore

Weekly SEO recap: Google update galore

January 22nd, 2016 – 9 Comments

This week we started with a Google update that rolled out over the weekend. Then there was “some” more news that came out of Google. Ranging from Google Penguin to a Search Console homepage redesign, we’ve got quite a bit to cover, so let’s dive right in!

Joost's weekly SEO Recap

Major update over the weekend

I won’t go into much detail on this as I already did that earlier this week, go read that post if you haven’t yet and want to know. It looks like more of the brand terms update that I covered last week too. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got another one this weekend. It looks like Google is testing at a huge scale.

Google Search Console homepage redesign

From the “this isn’t such big news, but it’s fun nonetheless” department; Google redesigned their Search Console homepage. Not the inner pages with info about your site, but the homepage has a brand new look.

Google Webmaster hangouts

One of the things you’ll see on that new homepage is times for things like webmaster hangouts. Some people have the time to attend all of these and I’m very grateful that they write up the stuff that comes out of them as sometimes they’re very, very interesting, like these bits from the SEM Post:

There are also bits that are at the very least very annoying. John Mueller said, according to this post, that titles are not a “critical ranking signal”. Well…. As my friend Philipp Klöckner said:

It’s as secondary as oxygen is to a human. It’s not the primary signal that defines your humanity, but it’s *&^%$ hard to do without it, right?

I honestly like John Mueller and don’t think he meant it in the way it was written down in the post linked above, but of course, several people already commented here on yoast.com asking about it. Titles are Important. Trust me on that one.

Google Penguin

Google Penguin is still weeks away, apparently. It will also, just as Google Panda recently, become part of Google’s core algorithm. What it means for something to be “part of the core algorithm” is explained in this post on SearchEngineLand. The bombshell sentence in that explanation is hidden in a quote:

“but essentially nothing changed”

More interesting is this part of the article, near the end:

Ammon Johns, in the hangout, then said, “Once they forgot how it works, it is core?” To which Andrey Lipattsev (of Google) replied, “That is exactly right.”

You might be surprised by this, I’m not anymore. It’s becoming increasingly clear that algorithms run and improve on their own and engineers don’t always know why something ranks somewhere anymore. Machine learning truly is the future of search.

That’s it, see you next week!

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9 Responses to Weekly SEO recap: Google update galore

  1. Sunday William
    By Sunday William on 26 January, 2016

    Hmm! Hi Joost!,
    An interesting summation of updates in Google I must say! It simply implies that SEOs and content marketers must be up and running with “what” really works or happens after any updates.

    I like the interesting conversation that is going on about what “core” means when it comes to update. Indeed, machine learning is truly the future of search but we should not forget the human touch as well!

    An interesting weekly recap!

  2. Mike
    By Mike on 26 January, 2016

    Wondered what was going on, had a few of my customer sites jump around for a few days but they seem to have returned to normal now.

  3. Craig
    By Craig on 25 January, 2016

    Great post – the SERPs have been dancing quite a lot lately!

  4. amit
    By amit on 25 January, 2016

    very interesting
    This week, one of my sites has fallen due to a malfunction of the plugin .
    Google removed the site within a few hours the results.
    It took two days to return it

  5. bel.rich
    By bel.rich on 24 January, 2016

    Install IOSEmus app on iOS 9 is actually a web app which allows you to install great apps, emulators and games on iOS without jailbreak. The different apps like vShare, nds4ios, DownCloud, PlayBox HD, Movie Box PPSSPP, f.lux can be installed through iOSEmus without jailbreak.

  6. Uchchash
    By Uchchash on 24 January, 2016

    Very informative article, thank you for this.
    And many many thanks for the SEO plugin you created.
    Keep it up.

  7. Arafania
    By Arafania on 24 January, 2016

    Very informative article, thank you for this.
    And many many thanks for the SEO plugin you created.
    Keep it up.

  8. Martin
    By Martin on 23 January, 2016

    Do you not think, that changing Dates on older article without adding some new content won´t have any effect? Don´t think that algorithm is so trivial ;)

    I think if you are not a magazine with recently news better to post articles without a date.

  9. Vikash Sharma
    By Vikash Sharma on 23 January, 2016

    Hi Joost,

    A very informative article.

    I am also in favor of changing dates on our older pages and you rightly said we can use “updated on” syntax on our older post.
    And yes, Long term downtime is really very harmful for our website ranking in google.

    Overall, a great article. Thanks for sharing :)


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