Another day, another update.
This time it’s the November 2023 Core Update. Updates won’t be stopping anytime soon either with Google already teasing that a Reviews Update is coming soon.
I regularly get asked if I’m changing anything with I’m building sites after this Core Update, that HCU, this Reviews, that Spam, you get the idea.
Sure, I tweak things here and there, but my overall focus has always been and still continues to be about branding. I talked about brand-building a few weeks ago in the newsletter post-HCU.
Instead of chasing after ways to cut corners when building a site, chase after ways to make a better site. I think we all know what Google preaches:
Create people-first content. Avoid search engine-first content.
It’s a broken record and the answer for so many of the questions asked of them.
There are no clear people-first examples from Google either. I get it.
Give a few examples out and there will be people jumping up and down yelling “what about this?” or “that’s not ‘people-first’.” They’re in a no-win scenario.
So…what do we do? Simple -
Build a brand. Prioritize quality. Play the long game.
If you do that, you’re going to worry less about all these updates. The short-term ups and downs will be less of a concern because you’re building something larger that people trust and will stand for a longer time.
Don’t look for the loopholes to get quick rankings. Those are far and few between. Those holes also get filled up eventually.
And if you find one…shut up about it (except to me 😉 ). You want to tell everyone about it? Your valve will get shut off very quickly.
Use what you have and make some money in the short-term, but don’t use it as a long-term strategy. Use that money to build something larger.
And how’s my new site doing that I launched last week? Here’s my Day 9 Google Search Console snapshot.
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In addition to the Core Update release, they also posted a “Q&A on Google Search Updates” blog post. Why is the blog post important? Because they say this:
We expect an update to our reviews system to start rolling out next week. That will also mark a point when we'll no longer be giving periodic notifications of improvements to our reviews system, because they will be happening at a regular and ongoing pace.
Yes - a Google Reviews Update is coming and there will be less notifications in the future.
Aleyda Solis identifies three types of SGE snapshots—Duplicative, Summarizing & Complementary, and Accelerators—each posing a different level of threat to organic traffic. She explains how these AI-generated search results could change the way users interact with the SERPs and, crucially, what digital marketers can do to adapt. Here are the key takeaways from her analysis:
Duplicative SGE Snapshots: Represent a low risk to current traffic as they tend to replicate existing organic results.
Summarizing & Complementary SGE Snapshots: Carry a low to medium risk, offering overviews that encourage users to click on top-ranked pages for full information.
Accelerators SGE Snapshots: Pose a medium to high risk by potentially bypassing traditional search result pages, leading users directly to product listings.
Aleyda’s insights offer valuable foresight for SEOs and site owners looking to stay ahead of the curve with Google’s evolving search landscape.
Amanda Chicago Lewis expresses concern over the quality of Google's search results, suggesting that they've become less useful and authentic, filled with content aimed more at selling than informing.
She hints at a growing public dissatisfaction, implicating both the tech giant for its algorithmic gatekeeping and SEO professionals for exploiting these algorithms, contributing to a web that prioritizes profit over genuine information sharing.
Danny Sullivan is mentioned quite a bit in the article, so…
Danny Sullivan critically addresses The Verge's portrayal, especially the insinuation of a less transparent Google SEO era. He emphasizes Google's commitment to unbiased 'Honest Results' and their extensive support resources for SEOs.
He counters by highlighting the wealth of documentation and the larger team now engaging with SEOs compared to when Matt Cutts was there, showcasing Google's efforts in maintaining clarity and support for SEO best practices.
Dr. Peter J. Meyers from Moz digs into the mechanics of Google's search result algorithms. Meyers provides insights into the nuances of how Google goes beyond literal keyword matching to offer more relevant results, impacting both searchers and marketers. Some of the takeaways:
Google corrects around 5% of search queries transparently, with notifications like "Did you mean" or "Showing results for."
Minor modifications without user notification occur in a mere 0.27% of cases, subtly altering query results to match common or synonymous terms.
Medium modifications show Google’s capability to equate brands and entities, like recognizing a corporate sponsorship change for a sports arena.
The study found that Google aims to resolve ambiguity in queries to match searcher intent, rather than strictly adhering to the exact query terms.
Meyers argues that Google's modifications, while potentially controversial, generally serve the searcher's intent and are not primarily driven by commercial incentives.
Danny Sullivan as @searchliaison on X/Twitter tries to reassure everyone that “some small sites are the best sites” and “We want to reward great content…People who search with us are happy.”
Here, Danny Sullivan as @searchliaison on X/Twitter shares insights into how user feedback is funneled back to Google. He shares a few screenshots from a nine-page report addressing community concerns, suggestions, and themes from recent interactions.
There was a "Code Yellow" at Google in 2019, as Ben Gomes, former Google Search chief, expressed concern over the Search team's ad-heavy focus. This alarm, set off by revenue targets, sparked a debate on balancing user interests with Google's financial objectives.
New updates to Google Search and Lens are aimed at students tackling STEM subjects. Now, complex problems in math, physics, and geometry are more easily solved with interactive tools and 3D visualizations, making learning more intuitive and engaging.
David Pierce at The Verge covers Google's top moneymakers in search queries. From iPhones to insurance, a document from the US v. Google case reveals Sept. 2018's most lucrative terms, highlighting how ads and specific searches fuel Google's vast revenue streams.
Google announced they found and fixed a Google Discover bug from the Oct. 2023 Core Update. So if your site lost Discover-related traffic then, you might have it back when they fixed it on Nov. 1, 2023.
Marie Haynes gives us the heads-up on potential Google updates in December, fresh off the November Core update heels. During Pubcon Austin in September, Google’s Gary Illyes said “The thing about not doing updates around major holidays is an old thing.”
Ryan Law shares a practical guide for producing more blog content efficiently. He emphasizes the importance of simplicity and focus in content briefs, helping writers to create effective articles without overwhelming them.
Law also provides a step-by-step template, ensuring clarity in communication between content creators and the ultimate goal of their writing. He offers five templates from others too.
Dana Nicole covers the essence of B2B writing, highlighting its significance and economic impact. Her insights reveal how B2B content extends beyond mere communication, shaping brand authority, nurturing customer relationships, and driving economic benefits.
She covers 10 B2B content types, from blog posts to press releases, and best practices for crafting impactful B2B content. Plus, she touches on crucial metrics to gauge your content's success.
Tory Gray dives deep into the potential of User-Generated Content (UGC) for SEO in their latest article on Moz. Gray offers practical steps for initiating a UGC strategy that can scale with your brand, emphasizing the need for clear goals, audience understanding, and the right mix of automation and human oversight to ensure quality and SEO effectiveness.
Danny Goodwin sheds light on Google's Bard AI debacle, questioning Google's denial that they hurriedly released Bard to overshadow Microsoft's AI announcement. With Google caught in a PR mishap and facing skepticism over its 'trustworthiness', Goodwin calls out what appears to be a reactionary move by the search giant.
Kristi Hines breaks down OpenAI's update to ChatGPT with the new GPT-4 All Tools feature. Users can now access advanced capabilities like DALL·E 3 and direct document analysis without juggling plugins, streamlining their digital workflow. Say goodbye to third-party extensions; ChatGPT's got it all in one place!
Grok, a chatbot by Musk’s startup xAI, set for early access to X Premium Plus subscribers. It promises more humor and real-time web info access. Musk's AI pursuit has intensified post-OpenAI, aiming for a "maximum-truth-seeking AI."
CEO Tim Cook emphasizes its foundational role in Apple's tech, like iOS 17's Personal Voice and Live Voicemail (they don’t like to use the word “AI”). Cook confirms hefty investments in generative AI, teasing future product advances centered around these technologies.
Paul Sawers reports that President Biden is putting AI in the hot seat. With a shiny new executive order, the Prez is setting the stage for some serious AI safety and security standards. It's not just about keeping the cool tech vibes rolling; it's about keeping Americans safe as AI flexes its digital muscles.
In the Authority Hacker Podcast, Mark Webster chats with digital PR whiz Gabby Covay from Bright Valley Marketing, who reveals the secret sauce to snagging 33 high-domain links, including DR 90s.
They deep-dive into the nuts and bolts of a successful campaign that any site owner could replicate, sharing a treasure trove of actionable details you won't find elsewhere.
Si Quan Ong's offers a link building playbook for boosting your site's authority without crossing into black hat territory. Techniques include reactive PR, broken link building, and more to keep your SEO game strong and ethical. Here’s the full list:
Content marketing to generate links
Competitor analysis and targeting
Broken link building
Chasing brand mentions
Google VP Dan Taylor announces significant AdSense updates. Google's shifting to a new revenue-share model and per-impression publisher payments for better transparency and consistency.
They reinsure your earnings shouldn't dip, and these changes are paving the way for simpler, more transparent monetization for content creators. Here’s how they describe the revenue share:
For example, when Google Ads purchases display ads on AdSense, Google Ads will retain on average 15% of advertiser spend. There are variations because Google Ads does not take a fixed, per-impression fee, as many advertisers choose to pay based on user actions, like a click or conversion. Overall, publishers will continue to keep about 68% of the revenue.
Glen Allsopp unpacks the shifting landscape of affiliate SEO in his comprehensive analysis of 10,000 product review search results. His report offers a revealing look at the current dominance of certain platforms in the SERPs.
This deep dive by Allsopp reveals the tough competition for affiliate marketers and underscores the importance of strategic SEO practices in today's digital marketing arena. Some key insights:
Reddit's Surge: Reddit has jumped from 635th in July to 10th in October 2023 in overall rankings, now dominating the space for product review queries.
Top Domains' Hold: The analysis confirms that only a small number of independent sites rank well, with major conglomerates owning the majority of the top 100 domains.
Evolving Rankings: Notable shifts include The New York Times and Amazon both significantly increasing their first-place rankings and overall presence in search results.
New Entrants: While there's an influx of new domains appearing in SERPs, they struggle to rank high or appear frequently.
Independent Success: Despite the dominance of big players, 157 independent content-focused sites are still making a significant impact through affiliate sales.
Matt Diggity dives into the nitty-gritty of making a six-figure income through Google, offering actionable advice for anyone with a toe dipped in the affiliate marketing pool. He emphasizes the often-overlooked tactic of renegotiating affiliate commissions once you have a track record of sales, essentially doubling your income with a well-crafted email to your affiliate manager.
His approach underlines the importance of not just driving traffic but maintaining quality, converting traffic that's attractive to affiliate managers. The cycle of optimize, negotiate, and replicate becomes a formula for exponential growth in affiliate earnings.
In this Income School video, Ricky talks about various products and services, as well as pricing strategies to generate income through:
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