Canonical Chronicle - Episode 42 - September Algorithm Update Hits Hard...ish

In this video

In this episode our MD Ross Tavendale analyses:

  • Google's September algorithm update

  • Keywords Everywhere goes paid

  • Yoast issues a statement that says they will automatically opt all users into all snippet features by default.

  • Google adds new meta tag controls to remove and control snippets in the SERPs

  • John Muller came out and said that changing server was a “non-event” for Google.

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I’m Ross Tavendale, the managing director of Type A Media, a creative search agency based in London. I make videos about business leadership, web technology, SEO, PPC and how I turned being a Type A personality into a business.


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Ross: 00:00 When I hear that hotline bling, it can only mean one thing.

 Ross: 00:04 Welcome to Canonical Chronicle, Episode 5,000,652.

 Ross: 00:09 Let's get into it. So nothing has really happened in search this week. Just kidding.

 Ross: 00:15 There was a massive f***ing algorithm update.

 Ross: 00:17 So we've got loads and loads to get through.

 Ross: 00:19 So without further ado, let's get into it.

 Ross: 00:28 Have you seen your rankings start to do this?

 Ross: 00:33 Well I've got some bad news for you. Fella. You have just been Google slapped.

 Ross: 00:40 So how do we diagnose this algorithm update?

 Ross: 00:43 Well, from our analysis at Type A Media HQ,

 Ross: 00:45 we can see that it's probably link base.

 Ross: 00:48 In particular, link relevance seems to be playing a really big part.

 Ross: 00:53 So if the entities on the page that are linking to a page on your site with

 Ross: 00:57 entities that are a million miles away, it's likely the value of

 Ross: 01:01 these links has probably been adjusted downwards.

 Ross: 01:04 Going a bit deeper, anecdotally we're seeing a downweighting of overall domain authority

 Ross: 01:09 and an up waiting of page level authority. As we're seeing domains with really light back link profiles,

 Ross: 01:14 but with a couple of really good contextual links pointing to the main pages,

 Ross: 01:19 they're now starting to rank.

 Ross: 01:21 So what should you do?

 Ross: 01:25 That's right. Don't panic.

 Ross: 01:27 I start looking to do more contextual link building and matching the entities on your page

 Ross: 01:31 to the linking page itself. So how do you do that?

 Ross: 01:35 It's a big step closer to traditional PR practices.

 Ross: 01:38 So build kind of cool content and stories around your products and then pitch that to webmasters and journalists.

 Ross: 01:45 At Type A Media, we spend a lot of money on tools. Every month it's like...

 Ross: 01:57 So we love free tools, like Keywords Everywhere that give you a free keyword data report and inside the SERP.

 Ross: 02:04 So I can quickly see the value of an individual keyword.

 Ross: 02:07 However, as of October 1st it's going to go paid.

 Ross: 02:10 So the guys at Keywords Everywhere are like...

 Ross: 02:18 and that's fair enough.

 Ross: 02:19 It is a really good tool.

 Ross: 02:20 It's going to work on a credit system when you can top up credits

 Ross: 02:22 to get more keyword reports, now we all use it at Type A Media,

 Ross: 02:26 so I'm going to get involved and start paying for the tool,

 Ross: 02:28 because I think is excellent.

 Ross: 02:30 In Wordpress Plugin news, Yoast, the popular SEO plugin for WordPress

 Ross: 02:33 has issued a statement that says it will automatically opt-in all users to defaults snippets.

 Ross: 02:41 They said, "We realize that this means we're opting you in to all of these snippet features in Yoast SEO.

 Ross: 02:46 I think it's fair to say that if you use YOAST SEO to optimize your search results,

 Ross: 02:51 we can assume that that's what you want."

 Ross: 02:53 Well Yoast, I have some news for you.

Speaker 2: 02:57 You should never assume, because when you assume you make an ass of you and me.

 Ross: 03:07 I'm only kidding.

 Ross: 03:08 I kind of have mixed feelings about that because

 Ross: 03:10 I feel like snippets can kill your trafficking and can contribute to more zero click steps.

 Ross: 03:15 However, in the most part, it's probably a good thing for most users.

 Ross: 03:18 The way the technical bit goes.

 Ross: 03:20 So essentially on every page what you're now going to see as either Max snippet minus one,

 Ross: 03:25 Max image P view large or Max a video preview minus one.

 Ross: 03:28 If you want to make any changes, just use WPSU robots and that will filter it out.

 Ross: 03:34 So you may have heard about the recent battle between Google and

 Ross: 03:37 the French courts about publishers copyright. The French were essentially like...

Speaker 3: 03:42 " You don't threaten us you English pig dogs."

 Ross: 03:46 And then Google were essentially like...

Speaker 4: 03:47 "Fine, then go ahead and starve."

 Ross: 03:52 And they've given us a bunch of new controls and meta tags

 Ross: 03:55 to change the way snippets appear inside the SERPS.

 Ross: 04:00 So the new meta tags are: no snippet, which we've had before;

 Ross: 04:04 you just put in no snippet to say, don't show a snippet, Max snippet;

 Ross: 04:08 this allows you to specify the length of your snippet, Max video preview;

 Ross: 04:12 lets you specify the video preview land and Max image preview;

 Ross: 04:16 lets you specify the actual image itself.

 Ross: 04:19 So, how should we be using this stuff?

 Ross: 04:22 Why I'm personally kind of against snippets because of all this no click SERP stuff that's happening.

 Ross: 04:26 That kind of steals your traffic.

 Ross: 04:28 However, anecdotally if you craft this snippet, so it's kind of a big description for a massive call to action.

 Ross: 04:35 You technically should be able to increase your traffic.

 Ross: 04:39 So maybe you should go into your pages and look at where the snippets are being pulled

 Ross: 04:42 and start to change them to see if you can bump your traffic by increasing clickthrough rate.

 Ross: 04:48 This week, John Miller, a Google engineer on banana enthusiasts

 Ross: 04:52 came out to say that changing server, is a bit of a non event for Google.

 Ross: 05:00 Well this is probably true from a short term ranking perspective.

 Ross: 05:03 It is really not the whole story. For example,

 Ross: 05:06 if you're moving from a shared host to some super fast load balanced AWS mega server,

 Ross: 05:13 that increases your site speed.

 Ross: 05:14 Then of course it's going to make a difference because Google can

 Ross: 05:17 crawl it faster and more efficiently.

 Ross: 05:20 Also, if speed increases as a ranking factor,

 Ross: 05:23 that Google themselves have actually confirmed.

 Ross: 05:25 Surely faster server means faster site means better rankings.

 Ross: 05:29 The main caveat that John mentioned is that Google will adjust

 Ross: 05:32 the crawl frequency temporarily when they see the tech is different,

 Ross: 05:36 but the only reason they're going to do that is because they don't want to overload your server.

 Ross: 05:40 That's everything for this week's Canonical Chronicle.

 Ross: 05:42 We hope you've liked it.

 Ross: 05:43 Please do leave a comment down below and let me know

 Ross: 05:46 if you've been affected by this week's algorithm update,

 Ross: 05:49 but until next time, we will see you later.