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Google Debates About Sharing More Details On Core Updates

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Google Debates About Sharing More Details On Core Updates


In the most recent Search Off The Record podcast, John Mueller, Gary Illyes and Martin Splitt debate about if and what they should share when it comes to the Google core updates.

It seems like Gary Illyes wants Google to share more specifics about what each update does so SEOs can act on it, but if not, stop announcing them all together. At least that is how I understood what he was saying.

John Mueller said SEOs still want confirmation that what they are seeing, even if it is obviously an update, is indeed confirmed by someone at Google.

The conversation on this topic starts around 11 minutes into the podcast:

John leads Gary with “So, Gary, are we announcing core updates?” In which Gary responds “We seem to announce score updates” Martin then asks Gary “are you happy with the way that we’re
doing it?” In which Gary said “I don’t know how to give an answer to that without getting fired.” Clearly, Gary has some strong opinions on this topic, which he did say right after “so I have very strong feelings about core updates in general.”

He said that “our team generally knows what we are doing when we are doing core updates or what the things in the core updates do, more specifically.” Gary then explains that most of the time it is the advice Google has been handing out for years, Gary said “in the vast majority of the cases, the things are just focusing on the guidelines that we’ve been publishing for the past 20 years. So basically, write good content, right, don’t buy links, whatever, I don’t know. So every single time we do one of these core updates, we are basically saying that… follow our guidelines, and that’s also our advice.”

But Gary added that “if you are affected by these updates or if you want to learn more about it.” But what Google says is the same thing “here’s the Webmaster guidelines that you can check out or this post that is based on the Webmaster guidelines that you can check out.” “So then why are we publicizing the core updates?” He said it is “obvious that there was an
update,” “So I don’t know what’s the benefit of having communication about the core updates when we can say more about them,” he added. If Google can’t say more, then Gary thinks say nothing. But does Gary feel Google should say more?

Gary said “if we could give more guidance or more information about what’s in an update or how… Or what kind of site it’s affecting or content it’s affecting, then I would be all for it, but at the moment we cannot. And at the moment, we are just saying that: “Hello, there was a core update or incoming core update in two hours.” And then four weeks later, we are like: “Yeah, we are finished with this core update.”

Clearly, it seems Gary wants Google to be more transparent about the specific Google core updates and what they are doing.

In any event, the conversation is an interesting one to listen to, it is from about 11 minutes in through 20 minutes.

Glenn Gabe also understood this like I did:

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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Yandex Search Ranking Factors Leaked & Exposed

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Yandex Leak

Yandex had a boatload of its source code across all its technology allegedly leaked by a disgruntled employee and part of that was the source code for Russia’s largest search engine – Yandex. As you can imagine, SEOs and others are diving in and seeing what they can learn from the source code.

I personally did not download the source code, so I did not go through it myself but I wanted to share what people did find via Twitter from their investigations of the source code.

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Will this help you do SEO on Google? Probably not but hey, it is super interesting.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Unconfirmed Google Update Impacting Product Reviews Sites On January 26th

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Google Product Reviews Update

On Thursday, January 26th, there were some signs of a possible Google search ranking algorithm update. The signals and chatter I was tracking, honestly, were not at super high levels. However, now that I see Glenn Gabe shared some really shocking charts of sites previously impacted by Google updates but now seeing a big swing. This is not necessarily a product reviews update but rather sites in the product reviews space that are seeing massive swings on the 26th.

Let me first share Glenn’s charts, which he posted on Twitter and said, “Heads-up, run a product reviews site? Google pushed something on 1/26 that, once again, impacted some product review sites HEAVILY. These are sites I’ve documented before with crazy surges/drops, even outside of Product Reviews Updates. Let’s see if this sticks. I hope it does.”

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Here is that tweet:

Starting on the 25th, I began to see limited chatter kick into gear at WebmasterWorld. The chatter there was not specific to the product reviews update but it could have been related to it. Here are some quotes from there:

My site has been climbing rankings all week and yet today the traffic has been dismal (UK). Do I smell an update?

My ranks, as I said, have been getting better after being in decline steadily since this time last year. I haven’t done anything to improve. Could this mean that google are indeed looking at different ranking signals, not just links? I could have gained a link or two that has turned it around I suppose but no evidence so far.

After great improvement over the month of January, got a big bang down since January 24 onwards. Changes again?

Definitely, something is wrong with Google. My traffic is going down without any reason. Are there any delays with Analytics?

I don’t know what’s going on, but my website has been in free fall for a week now. And it’s the usual picture again, old news articles or meaningless keyword spam ranks in my area on the top places. It’s really no fun anymore …

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

Mozcast:

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Semrush:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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RankRanger:

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Accuranker:

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SERPmetrics:

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Algoroo:

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So the tools are not lighting up but this update may have been something tweaked with the product reviews update, or a new update impacting product review sites or limited to those segments of websites?

Have any of you seen any big changes around January 26th?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Jeff Ferguson On Starting His Own Digital Marketing Agency

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Jeff Ferguson

In part one, we go through Jeff Ferguson’s long history in search marketing. Here, in part two, we pick up with him starting his own agency. Jeff explained how he was working at this arbitrage company, and they were not profitable for a decade, and then overnight, he helped them become profitable, and they were making a ton of money. But they didn’t do it right, and eventually, they took a major hit. So he was offered a package to leave but picked up doing consulting during that time. He ran his agency for ten years before merging with Amplitude Digital.

He loves agency life and doing his own thing. He is at a point in life where doing his own thing and owning his agency is where he wants to be. He does write a lot of content; he shares a lot of advice on Twitter and Facebook.

You can learn more about Jeff Ferguson at Amplitude Digital and follow him on Twitter @CountXero.


You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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