Tom Williams brings you the latest search engine optimisation news, including more on the Fred update, Google tests new features to search results snippets, and why linking to your page is so important.
If your site saw Google traffic nosedive in early March but your content is amazing then you might not have been affected by the Fred update, but by another update altogether, according to Search Engine Roundtable.
Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed to Barry Schwartz that other updates were also released at the same time as Fred, with each update having different tasks and goals to the Fred update.
However, according to Schwartz the majority of sites he saw affected were low-value content. It’s another warning to webmasters to invest in quality content to avoid a drop in traffic.
Noticed anything different about your SERP listings? Google has apparently been experimenting with the position of URLs in search results. Already, there have been tests with URL breadcrumbs at the top of the search results, but now Google has been seen positioning URLs at the top of the snippet. See Search Engine Roundtable for screen shots of how these new search listings are presented.
It’s not the first time Google has tested this listing sequence. In December, the search engine tested URLs at the top, but the user interface was different to the current test.
Yet further tests to search results with Google also testing ‘tags’ within snippets. However, according to Barry Schwartz, these tags don’t appear to offer any additional functionality.
While Google is listing tags relevant to the content of the page, you cannot filter by these tags or click on them.
Google has confirmed it is experimenting with tags, but has not said what they are for or how they work.
See Search Engine Land for screen shots showing the tags.
Show your web pages you care by linking to them, that’s the latest advice to come from Google’s Gary Illyes.
He was reported tweeting: "If you care about that page at all, you should probably link it from the site."
Illyes had previously said that pages could rank without links. However, links, whether internal or external, show that your page is important.
It’s an issue that has long frustrated webmasters and SEOs – Google refuses to label which links are disavowed or no-followed in Search Console. Without this information, it is impossible to know which links are counting towards rankings.
Barry Schwartz asked John Mueller why Google doesn’t provide this information. Here’s what John Mueller had to say:
It is mostly in regards to encouraging people not to focus too much on followed links versus no-followed links. And instead, try to kind of look at the links that are coming to your website, and use that information as a guide to see which parts of your websites people are linking to.
Read last week’s SEO News Roundup: Google Confirms Fred Update