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Google Helpful Content Update Not Done (Now Done) Yet And Now We’re Seeing Fluctuations

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Google Helpful Content Update Not Done (Now Done) Yet And Now We're Seeing Fluctuations

Today marks the two-week and one-day mark since the Google helpful content update started to roll out and by the time I am writing this and when it was published Google has still not noted that the helpful content update is done rolling out (update, at 2pm today, Google said the update is done rolling out). Plus, as I noted yesterday, we are now seeing more significant volatility and fluctuations as of yesterday and more today in the Google Search results.

The page that will inform us of when it is done rolling out still says “Released the August 2022 helpful content update. The rollout could take up to two weeks to complete.” It does not have a date on when it is done.

John Mueller of Google was asked about this and he replied this morning on Twitter saying, “These kinds of rollouts take up to about two weeks. Sometimes they’re a bit slower, sometimes a bit faster.”

SEO Chatter Now Showing

I am now seeing much more chatter in the past 24 hours than I have in the previous two weeks. Here is some of the chatter in the WebmasterWorld forums in the past day or so:

Since 17-18.00 hrs UK time yesterday (Wednesday) I have seen a noticeable reduction in traffic to my global site returning so far to the levels of July and the first 2 weeks of August.

confirmed, we see a big trop today about 40%.

Agreed, about -40 to 50% at the moment.

Something’s definitely showing on the volatility trackers. Rollout should be just about done by now.

Traffic’s up +20% today but could be unrelated.

Mostly the same as usual for our travel information site, although we’re up a bit compared to the peak summer season. Normally we’d see the beginnings of a seasonal decline after September 1. (This probably has less to do with Google than with pent-up travel demand.)

Sept 8th and a mega group of sites, each with 250k auto-generated pages of mostly scraped content receiving between 2 and 5 million monthly visitors from search…. have not been affected yet. C’mon Google!

My traffic was very strong until noon EST, then dropped off a cliff until 3pm EST…so I think yes it’s all about the Queen’s passing.

Again, this is more chatter than I have seen in the past two weeks, just in the past 24 hours.

Google Tracking Tools

And now the tracking tools are also showing big swings, again, the previous two weeks were super calm according to the trackers but in the past day, the tools are picking up on volatility.

Semrush:

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RankRanger:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Mozcast:

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SERPmetrics:

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Accuranker:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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So is this new movement in the past 24 hours related to the helpful content update or is it something else? Did Google decide to turn up the dial at the tail end of this rollout? I am not sure – but I figured I’d share what I am seeing from the SEO community.

Earlier this week we reported that Danny Sullivan even said himself it was not a huge shakeup but it was big in terms of the direction Google is going with ranking content. Of course, we’d (well, I would, not sure you all would) like to see the “direction” or the message Google is trying to set and see Google act on it in a more substantial way.

As a reminder, only 20% of SEOs said they noticed any ranking changes related to the helpful content update and I believe a good percentage of that 20% are confused and misattributing the changes they see to the wrong thing – i.e. it is not the helpful content update. The Google helpful content update early on seemed pretty minor in terms of what SEOs and tools are picking up, despite what we all thought would happen. Maybe now what we are seeing are the teeth of this update?

Forum discussion at Twitter and WebmasterWorld.

Update: The rollout of this helpful content update finished on September 9th at around 2pm ET:



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Search Console Content Ideas Going Away March 28th

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Google Ideas Light

Last December, we caught Google testing an experimental feature named content ideas in Google Search Console. Well, yesterday, Google sent more invites to this feature but noted the feature is only available until March 28, 2023 and then it goes away.

Both Robin Dirksen on Twitter and Deepak Ness on Twitter shared screenshots of this feature but the new part is the March 28th date.

The email they received about this feature reads, “Note: This feature be available only until March 28, 2023, and only to select properties.” Then when you access the feature, there is a notice in the interface that says, “New! Get inspiration for new content (available until March 28).”

Here are those screenshots (click to enlarge):

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We know this seems like the Question Hub feature and that Google Question Hub shut down this month. So maybe this content ideas feature is also shutting down but not until the end of March?

Here are more tweets with this:

I do wonder if Google is only testing it until then and maybe will bring it to more users later or if Google is completely killing it off on March 28th?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Microsoft Bing Search Menu Drop Down With Explore & Collect

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Bing Menu

Microsoft Bing is testing a new search bar interface on image search (I believe) where the search vertical options, such as web, videos, news, etc, are now presented in a drop-down bar and Bing added an “explore” and “collect” option across the bar instead.

This was spotted first by Frank Sandtmann and posted on Mastodon but I am also able to replicate this in Bing Image search. Here is a screenshot that you can click on and enlarge:

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This was also spotted by Khushal Bherwani:

Frank wrote, “Today I spotted #Bing displaying a new navigation menu on their image #SERP. Now the usual elements can be accessed after clicking on a dropdown. In addition, two more elements are displayed: “Explore” and “Collect”.”

Do you prefer this interface? I get what Microsoft is trying to do here but to me, I might want to jump back to web results or maybe video results sooner than use explore or collect?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.



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Google Publishes A New SEO Case Study

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Google Seo Case Studies Series

A couple of weeks after I said I thought Google would stop publishing SEO case studies, Google just published a new one. This one is on How Vimeo improved video SEO for their customers, specifically by using the indexifembedded rule combined with noindex and adding structured data.

As a reminder, recently, Mariachiara Marsella asked John Mueller if Google could add new case studies. John Mueller responded on Mastodon, “I find it quite challenging for us to do these since search is so dynamic.”

So I thought that was it, stick a fork in it, no more SEO case studies from Google. But I suspect as soon as I wrote that piece, Gary went, I’ll show Barry and got a new one written up. Okay, I doubt that happened…

In any event, the new case study says, “Vimeo adopted Google’s new guidance for video players that use iframe embeds. The new indexifembedded rule paired with noindex allows markup to be attributed through embeds. Since applying this and VideoObject markup, Vimeo videos that are embedded on customer pages are eligible for indexing, without customers having to add markup themselves.”

They also used key moments; the case study reads, “To make all Vimeo Chapters eligible to appear as Key Moments on Google Search, Vimeo added Clip markup to all of their video host pages. Vimeo also implemented Seek markup, so if a video doesn’t have Vimeo Chapters, Google can automatically identify Key Moments.”

Anyway, check out the case study if you do any video SEO, it is an interesting one.

Just super interesting that there have been almost no new case studies in about 18 months and now we got a new one…

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

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