This month delivered yet another round of updates from Google about the state of SEO for ecommerce. In this blog, explore September 2022 SEO news so that you’re up-to-date with everything going on in the world of organic search right now!
Authors: Robyn Riley, Nicole Moore, Tyler Mosher, and Niki Morock
Google Rolls Out Two Major Updates at Once
For our first September 2022 SEO news update, on September 12th, Google announced the latest core algorithm update – just three days after the August 2022 Helpful Content Update was complete. The expectation is that this core update will incorporate the new data created by the Helpful Content Update.
Early on, some websites saw quite a bit of ranking volatility, but it’s too soon to tell what the effects of the rollout will truly be until it is complete.
If you feel your site was affected by this core update, it’s a good idea to review Google’s help documentation, What Site Owners Should Know about Google’s Core Updates.
Google then sent a shockwave through the SEO community by announcing the September 2022 product reviews update on September 20th. This update should also take two weeks to roll out.
This was a shocking move because Google does not usually run two major updates simultaneously. If you publish product reviews on your site and think you were negatively affected by this update, check Google’s documentation on writing high-quality product reviews for tips on how to recover.
Key Takeaway From Google’s Helpful Content Update
To better “ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results,” Google recently launched the Helpful Content Update, which rolled out from August 25th-September 9th.
Above all else, Google’s message to content creators was to avoid creating content for search engines first. Google also indicated that they’ll continue to refine how “unhelpful content” is detected over the coming months.
In what may be one of the most significant changes to Google’s algorithm in over a decade, people-first content appears set to be a mainstay in the world of SEO.
Concerned About Low Word Count? Don’t Be.
John Mueller recently confirmed on Twitter that a low word count is not a sign of thin content. In fact, word count is not a ranking factor and should not be considered when determining whether your content is helpful.
If you can say what you need to say in a limited number of words, do that. Google seems to prefer less content over “fluff” these days, anyway. You’ll still need to ensure your content is still useful, unique, and relevant to your business.
Google Advises Not to Mix Languages on a Page
Having one language per page makes it easier for Google “to recommend the page to users who are searching in that language.”
Websites, such as those that teach languages, can have multi-lingual pages, but there are nuances. Google provides recommendations on how to implement copy in different languages across a site. There is no meta tag to tell Google what language you’re using on a site, but it’s advisable to use the HTML language attribute for screen readers.
Google Confirms That Site Moves Do Affect Rankings
Whether your site has 20,000 or 20 million pages, switching to a new CMS and restructuring URLs will impact site rankings. 301 redirecting URLs should help, but it doesn’t mean that your site won’t see some initial drops after a re-platform.
Working with a knowledgeable SEO team can help mitigate organic losses during a site transition. If you’re replatforming or transitioning your website in the near future and want to ensure the process goes smoothly, reach out to the SEO experts at ROI.
Google Search Console: Video Indexing Report
The video indexing report in Google Search Console is now fully rolled out to all and ready to use. This report identifies videos on your site and helps you understand how your videos will perform in SERPs.
If you’re getting a warning in GSC that “Google could not determine the prominent video on the page,” Google’s John Mueller says adding Structured Data Markup is not the fix. This error is due to indexing, and Schema markup doesn’t affect indexing.
You’ll want to make sure the video is in a “prominent” location on your page – think towards the top, and visible to both users and search engine spiders.
For more on Google Search Console, see our resources below:
- Google Search Console Errors: How to Find and Fix Them on Your Site
- How to Set Up Google Search Console to Take Your Brand’s SEO to the Next Level
Google Improves Documentation on Preventing Spam on Your Site
In an ongoing effort to consolidate its help documentation, Google has updated its page on preventing spam or abuse on your website. Google has excelled at detecting spam links across the internet, but website owners taking action to prevent it altogether is more effective.
Here are some of the tips on the updated page:
- Identify spammy accounts
- Use manual approval for suspicious user interactions
- Block automated account creation
Google Adds a New HTTPS Report to Search Console
On September 14th, Google announced the addition of an HTTPS report to Search Console. The rollout is expected to take a few months, so if you don’t see it today, be patient.
Created to answer common questions received after the Page Experience Report was launched, the new report will provide insights about your secure pages shown in Google search results, including issues that prevent pages from being served and sample URLs.
Search Console’s Page Indexing Bug Fixed by Google
A brief bug within Search Console that was wrongly showing unindexed pages as indexed was fixed on August 17th, Google announced on social media. Per the Google Search Central Twitter account, which posted, “Today we fixed a Search Console issue that affected many properties: we were reporting pages that are not indexed as being indexed.”
Your Index Coverage Report may have displayed a noticeable drop in your indexed pages. Google’s issues page also noted the following sentiment: “This does not reflect a change in user behavior, only a correction in the reporting.”
Tying It All Together: September 2022 SEO News
In the world of September 2022 SEO news, Google pushed a new core algorithm update to support last month’s Helpful Content Update, rolled out a new video indexing report in Search Console, shared insights on how word count and language impact SEO, and more.
Organic search best practices are always changing as Google releases new algorithm updates and new best practices are revealed. The SEO experts at ROI Revolution stay on top of all the latest news to help our clients drive ecommerce revenue. Reach out to our team today to explore how we can uncover opportunities for your brand to grow profitably through search engine optimization.
- Google Search Central Developers Site, Google Search ranking updates.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google September 2022 Broad Core Update Is Live – What We Are Seeing Now.
- Google Search Central Blog, What site owners should know about Google’s core updates.
- Google Search Central Documentation, Write high quality product reviews.
- Google Search Central Developers Site, Google Search ranking updates.
- Search Engine Land, Google’s new helpful content update targets sites creating content for search engines first.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google: Word Count Is Not A Sign Of Thin Or Unhelpful Content.
- Search Engine Land, Google: Best to have a primary language one a page and not mix languages.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google: Billions Of Redirects Are Fine But Site Moves Do Impact Rankings.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Search Console Video Index Report Now 100% Live.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google: Adding Video Structured Data Won’t Make Your Video More Prominent.
- Google Search Central Documentation, Prevent abuse on your site and platform.
- Google Search Central Blog, The new HTTPS report in Search Console.
- Twitter, Tweet from official Google Search Console Twitter account @googlesearchc.
- Google Search Console Help, Data anomalies in Search Console.