March 2021 was a busy month for SEO and the broader world of digital marketing. It saw as many as seven updates to the Google algorithm – all unconfirmed – as we wait for the next core algorithm update. It also saw several platforms like Yahoo Answers in Facebook Analytics announcing that they would be shutting down.
As Many as 7 Google Updates Happened in March
There were as many as seven unconfirmed updates to the Google algorithm that do not seem to target specific industries or characteristics of a site. However, one update in particular saw the return of several featured snippets for searches that had disappeared in mid-February. It’s unknown at this time if the featured snippets disappearing were a technical issue or perhaps a misstep on Google’s part.
After a year of hardship, businesses are looking for creative ways to stand out online. While there are a number of ways to increase traffic to your website, there’s really no substitute for having an effective SEO strategy. In 2021, these five tips can help you increase your presence in Google search results and get more visitors to your site.
June was mostly a quiet month for the SEO world, but that didn’t stop Google’s John Mueller from discussing a few things about the algorithm, including why Google ranks searches for singular and plural version of the same word differently and why guest posts should use nofollow links – effectively devaluing them as an SEO strategy.
Singular and Plural Rankings in Google
In one of the many Google Webmaster chats held on YouTube, John Mueller discussed why rankings for the singular and plural versions of the same word can be different.
…we also recognize that maybe there’s something kind of unique to one of them or to the other one.
While a Google Algorithm Update was the only noteworthy thing going on in May 2020, this turned out to be a massive update that took about 2 weeks to roll out, starting May 4th.
Google Confirmed the Update was Happening
Google confirmed the update was rolling out in a series of tweets on May 4th. While it doesn’t happen every time, it is common for Google to confirm when an update is coming. However, the updates usually take a few days to a week. This update took 2 weeks, with Google sending another tweet confirming it was complete on May 18th.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to say that the impact of COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus, has hit the SEO world too. Search volume for most industries has seen a significant drop, especially for non-essential businesses or businesses that usually rely on in-store traffic. Outside of COVID-19 updates, news has been fairly quiet due to people either not working or working on crisis-related tasks.
In March, Google added several features and updates to help organizations respond to the current epidemic with many changes to Google My Business, schema, and on-site recommendations to signal to customers (and Google) that you’ve paused your business for the time being.
February 2020 was a busy month for SEO as both Google and Bing saw updates to search and their products. This includes an unconfirmed Google algorithm update, GSC getting review snippet reports, and Bing now has a new look (and features).
There was a Google Update, and then there wasn’t
On February 7th and 8th, the SEO Community was buzzing with talk about an unconfirmed and unannounced Google Update. Several sites, like MozCast were reporting a highly volatile timeframe for about 5 days – which almost never happens for that length of time. SEOs were reporting massive shifts in rankings, both positive and negative. Google did not confirm any sort of update and instead stated “We do updates all the time.”
January was an eventful month for SEO! Google changed the way SERP snippets appear on desktop…and then changed it back less than a week later after it went over poorly. There was also a mild broad core algorithm update, URL Removals were finally added to the new GSC platform, and data-vocabulary.org schema has been deprecated, leaving Schema.org markup as the go-to way to win enhanced results from Google.
According to a recent survey, over 60% of U.S. consumers now shop online at least once a month. Nearly one-third of those online shoppers surveyed anticipated spending more money on online purchases the following month than they did in the previous month. That’s certainly good news for your business’ website. But is it up for the challenge? And, how can you stay connected with site visitors who leave without making a purchase or giving you their contact information? That’s where display remarketing comes in.
December 2019 was mostly a quiet month in the SEO world with Google and the other search giants largely holding back on any major updates. Most changes were isolated to minor tweaks to current services, including Google News, Search Console, and GoogleBot.
Google News Just Got Easier to Use
Google’s BERT update from back in October has paved the way for Google News to start automatically including articles that meet their content guidelines. Previously, sites had to submit their articles for inclusion via a sitemap specifically for articles or with the index API. Now, as long as you meet Google’s content guidelines for Google News, your article will be considered for inclusion without having to submit it to Google News. Keep in mind, inclusion does not mean it will rank for a given search.
While November 2019 only saw one major event happen in the form of Google’s “Bedlam” update, that singular event left the SEO community far from quiet. This update caused several shifts and swings in rankings and traffic, although its exact application is still up for debate.
What’s was the Bedlam Update?
The Bedlam update was an unannounced update to Google’s core algorithm. While Google has a small streak of announcing updates recently, like the BERT update back in October, this update was not named or announced by Google and wasn’t even confirmed until the 13th of November. The update was dubbed “Bedlam” by Joy Hawkins for the panic and confusion it caused.