This week: Google rolls out an update.
And next month: Google will roll out another update.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Rolls out Broad Core Algorithm Update
Here’s the reason some of your keywords might be doing the Google Dance.
On June 2, Google released a broad core algorithm update.
But wait. There’s more.
Google will release another algorithm update next month.
Initially, the Big G wanted to put everything into this week’s update. But apparently, it was too much for a single deployment.
Here’s the statement from Google: “Some of our planned improvements for the June 2021 update aren’t quite ready, so we’re moving ahead with the parts that are, then we will follow with the rest with the July 2021 update. Most sites won’t notice either of these updates, as is typical with any core updates.”
So be prepared to watch your keywords bounce around this summer.
What’s the point of the update? Here’s how Google answers that question: “Core updates are designed to increase the overall relevancy of our search results. In terms of traffic we send, it’s largely a net exchange. Some content might do less well, but other content gains. In the long term, improving our systems in this way is how we’ve continued to improve Search and send more traffic to sites across the web every year.”
And Google is, as usual, offering the party line about what SEOs should do in response to these updates.
As in: you should do nothing. Just accept the algo change and move on.
Oh yeah: don’t forget about the page experience update rolling out later this month as well.
And don’t shoot the messenger.
Later today, we are releasing a broad core update, as we do several times per year. It is called the June 2021 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates is here:https://t.co/e5ZQUA3RC6
This will be followed by the July 2021 Core update. Here’s more information about that…
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 2, 2021
Google: Deleting a Sitemap Won’t Stop Us From Crawling the Site
Although sitemaps make it easier for Google to find content on your website, you won’t prevent Googlebot from crawling your site by deleting the sitemap.
John Mueller addressed that subject in a recent Ask Googlebot YouTube episode. He fielded a question from somebody who asked about removing the sitemap.
After explaining how to remove the sitemap, Mueller offered this: “Note: removing a sitemap file doesn’t prevent crawling of the URLs that were specified in the sitemap file. A sitemap file helps us to crawl more efficiently though, which is generally why we recommend using it. In particular, a sitemap file helps us to find new and updated pages slightly faster, which is always a good thing, right?”
Yes. That is always good.
Google: UGC Spam Could Lead to Manual Action
If you’re running a website that includes user-generated content (UGC), you’d better make sure that those users aren’t putting any spam in their posts. Otherwise, your site could face a penalty.
This past week, Google published a blog post stating that it will take action against sites that host UGC spam.
What is UGC spam? It’s content that black-hat SEO practitioners post on forums, guestbooks, directories, and social sites in an effort to get link juice back to their websites.
And Google says it’s against the rules.
Keep in mind, though: even if you’re not the one posting spam, your site could still face a manual action if some of your users are breaking the rules.
Google also says that spammy content could lead people to harmful websites. So it’s really in your best interest to tighten up.
Google Issued Fewer Webspam Actions in 2020 Than in Previous Years
Looks like some SEOs are learning to play by the rules.
This past week, Google published more info about webspam in 2020. In the report, the company said it sent out 2.9 million manual actions last year.
But that’s fewer manual actions than in previous years.
In 2018, for example, Google issued 4 million manual actions. And in 2017, Google sent out 6 million manual actions.
Google also said it sent more than 140 million messages to Search Console site owners. That’s an increase from the previous year.
About Half of SEOs Say That Many of Their Recommendations Don’t Get Implemented
This is discouraging.
According to a new online poll conducted by Kristina Azarenko, more than half of SEOs polled said that clients implement fewer than 40% of their recommendations.
Almost a quarter said that clients implement fewer than 20% of their recommendations while a third said that clients implement 20-40% of their recommendations.
Eighteen percent said that clients implement almost everything they recommend.
Azarenko’s poll included more than 700 respondents.
On average, how many of your SEO recommendations get implemented?
— Kristina Azarenko 🔥 (@azarchick) May 20, 2021
Twitter Pauses Requests for Verification
Just last week, I reported that Twitter opened public requests for verification.
And now Twitter has closed those requests.
Yes, they were probably getting inundated. But what did they think was going to happen?
Twitter pinky-swears (their words) that they’ll reopen verification requests “soon.”
Apparently, everything is just on hold for a while as they process the massive volume of requests they received.
Of Twitter’s 199 million active profiles, only about 360,000 are verified.
- Stay on top of your keyword rankings over the next few months as Google releases core web algorithm updates.
- Follow this guide to help you recover from the Google algorithm update if you start to see dramatic traffic drops, higher bounce rates, or a drop in the SERPs.
- If you’re running a website that includes user-generated content, be sure users aren’t including spam in their posts.
- Think about how you can help clients implement your SEO suggestions.
- If you were planning on getting your Twitter account verified, you’ll have to hold off for the time being.