Google announced the launch of the September 2019 Core Algorithm Update via Twitter on September 24th and like previous core updates, this year too, there was hardly any supporting document included.
Check out the Search Console Performance Report to find out whether your site has been affected by the core update or not. The easiest way to know is to look for a drop in starting around September 24th, the day the update was launched.
There are ways to recover if you see a drop in the position of your site due to the update, as the updates are all about quality. Identifying the issue and putting your site through a security audit is the first step in recovery. At times, the fix has to do with a big focus on building your site’s Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E-A-T) Signals.
As far as our clients are concerned, we aren’t surprised that this update hasn’t affected our websites. The rankings continued to improve as this update rolled out.
What You Can Do If You Have Been Affected!
Following is a list of things that you can do to protect your site from Google’s next Core Update.
- Read Google’s Quality Guidelines: Reading Google’s Quality Guidelines will give you an in-depth understanding of the various factors that Google uses to “refine results.”
- Update the “About Us” Page: Adding new images and relevant content is the key to engaging customers. Mention about your recent achievements, endeavors, and more for the customers to know and connect with the content on your site.
- Improve Page Load Speed: Focusing on mobile page speed is crucial while working on your page load time. Make sure you run your site through the newly updated PageSpeed Insights Tool by Google. Ideal loading time for First Contentful Paint should be less than 3 seconds, while speed index with & without ads should be less than 9 seconds & 7 seconds respectively.
- Fix Site Errors: Remove any technical issues that your site may have, such as broken links, broken images, chain redirects, and more. Our dashboard crawler helps you identify issues on your website.
- Have a Clear Call to Action: A clear call to action can be the determining factor between a lead and a conversion. Hence, have a clear and direct call to action telling exactly what you want your customers to do. For example – Call Now!
- Be Easy to Navigate: Performing a User Experience (UX) audit is vital to look at your site from a user’s perspective, on mobile as well as desktop. It can also pay huge dividends depending on how focused Google is on their version of the ideal user experience.
- Remove or Rewrite Thin Content: Combine a handful of thin / duplicate pages to create one strong resource on a specific topic when focusing on your site’s thin content.
- Include References for Medical/Scientific Claims: In case you make Medical, Scientific, or factual claims, always be sure to link out to a reliable site to support your claims.
- Build up Your Footer: As said by Google, the address in the footer is recommended as it can be seen as a sign of trust. Your footer must contain primary business information with a current copyright date. You can also show your expertise by adding any awards or honors that you’ve earned.
After making the above fixes, make sure you get people who are not associated with your website to give you a feedback in order to make changes as required. And as always, if you need any help with optimizing your website, we’re just a call away!
A new development by Google now denies businesses the right to add review markup for themselves. It was announced on 16th September that the review stars that appear in the search results will now be managed algorithmically only; they will no longer include reviews from the /LocalBusiness and /Organization markup.
The Idea Behind This New Development
The reasoning provided by Google for this move is that the reviews are meant to be unbiased. When an entity like a business or an organization gets to add a markup and control the reviews about themselves then the reviews end up becoming “self-serving”.
Henceforth, only the following markups qualify for review stars
How This Affects Your Business
It now becomes even more vital to ensure that your customers are specific about the product or service that they review. Mentioning the specific product or service name will enable you to use the review within the /Product markup, thus getting you those review stars. You must also remember to use aggregate review markup within all the above mentioned relevant markups types.
Here’s yet another reason to start using Google My Business app. Post November 15th, the feature that enables you to message your customers through Google My Business listing will be available on the app. Google sent out an email explaining this new development:
“On November 15, messaging will move from SMS to the free Google My Business app. This means you’ll no longer receive an SMS when customers reach out to you.
To keep getting messages from customers, simply complete the following steps:
- Download the free Google My Business app
- Log in with your Google account
- Tap the ‘Customers’ tab
- Select ‘Messages’
- Tap ‘Turn on messaging’
Once that’s done, you’ll only receive and respond to all messages in the app – not via SMS. Also, you’ll be able to customize your welcome message, receive notifications, and add your employees to help respond quickly to customers.
The Google My Business app also lets you update your business hours, add photos, respond to reviews, and create posts.”
Takeaway: If you have a Google My Business listing, download the app right away from the Google Play Store or Apple Store. The functionality may continue to switch from the online interface to the app. This clearly indicates that you should start getting a hang of it and get your clients to use it as well.
Social networking platforms Facebook and Instagram, both are considering removing the like counts from their posts. Starting from Australia, they will expand to other countries depending on how things go. As reported in Techcrunch, users posting the content will be able to view their like counts but it won’t be displayed publicly.
“We are running a limited test where like, reaction and video view counts are made private across Facebook”, a Facebook spokesperson says. “We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.” If this test improves people’s sense of well-being without affecting user engagement, it could expand to more countries or even roll out to everyone. However, no further tests are currently scheduled.
Our Takeaway: Whether users are happy with this change or not, only time will tell.
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- Google Ads announces video reach campaigns – a simpler, more efficient way for marketers to achieve their brand awareness goals with YouTube.
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- Publishers complain about Google’s ad targeting research. They don’t find the figures very convincing.