Join our technical SEO whizz as he delves into the top news in SEO from June...
ClickThrough’s June SEO Roundup
What’s the news in SEO? In this article, I’ll delve into the biggest stories in the world of SEO from June. Find out the latest about the Google June 2019 core update, using Google Tag Manager for SEO and more in this month’s SEO roundup.
1. The Google Core Update for June 2019 Shows the Winners and Losers
On Monday 3rd June, the Google core update for June 2019 began rolling out – and the early data suggested some serious impact.
Data providers Sistrix, RankRanger and Moz released information on the impact of the update. In the blog by Sistrix, they published the sites with significant increases in visibility (mirror.co.uk, thesun.co.uk and autoexpress.co.uk being the top 3) and the sites with significant drops in visibility (mercola.com, dailymail.co.uk and nuffieldhealth.com being the top 3 in declines). RankRanger provided insights on rank fluctuations by niche, with the gambling sector taking the biggest hit. See what Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz had to say on Twitter:
Seeing big gains for a few health sites yesterday, including Healthline and Verywell Health
In the SEO community, a lot of people saw changes of approximately 30% in their traffic in the first couple of days after the update. Here’s what the team from Google had to say about the update:
@methode @JohnMu how long until this update is fully rolled out? Thanks :)
@methode (Gary Illyes)
That's utterly hard to estimate. Out can go anywhere between 1 day and a couple weeks, depending on factors like data center health, network congestion and quality, etc.
If your site was hit by this update, Barry Schwartz advises that you; “need to step back, look at your site and evaluate if you want to make substantial changes to the content and structure of the site”.
2. Google Change Their Mind On Using Tag Manager For SEO
In the past, Google have always advised against using Tag Manager for SEO purposes. However, it appears that this is no longer the case. SEMRush published an article on how you can add a FAQ schema markup to any page using Google Tag Manager and the response from Google wasn’t what we would have expected…
Upon being asked about the article, Google’s John Mueller’s response looked like this:
@Suzzicks (Cindy Krum)
So now it IS recommended to use Tag Manager this way (...since the @googleanayltics team RT'd it)? @JohnMu wasn't this previously considered mis-use of Tag Manager and specifically recommended against?
Reading the linked article, it seems quite complete and balanced - I think it's fine. It also touches on the aspect you mentioned, using GTM vs on-page markup. Happy to see more sites trying out new structured data types!
The moral of the story? Just keep on testing as even companies like Google can change their minds!
3. New Google Search Console Update – Indexing Information
Announced on Twitter on the 26th June, Google has added mobile-first indexing information to reports and tools. You’ll be able to see what crawler is currently indexing on your site – to do so, just go into settings on Google Search Console. If you’re on a smartphone, it will say the date that it has switched over.
For even more information on this, you’ll be able to see which crawler the report is using in the top right corner in the reporting and tools section. Underneath the bar chart, you’ll be able to see when your site was switched to mobile-first indexing – which will indicate how it may have affected your site.
A handy tool for the SEO community!
4. Is the Google FAQ Schema Making Your Site Lose Traffic?
Last month, Google launched a new feature where you can markup your FAQ content and show them in the snippets. Understandably, this has resulted in a drop in traffic for some websites.
But is this definitely a bad thing?
Some people have argued that it’s actually a good thing. Here’s what has been said on Twitter:
@hellemans (Arnout Hellemans)
In some cases it's worth it. If it helps users and prevents them from contacting the helpdesk there could be a use case for it.
At my previous employer I worked together with customer service to create highly optimized contact pages. Google became so good at returning that info in search (before FAQ schema was launched) that customer calls were reduced by just over 1/3 - saved tones of $$$
Interesting argument, but if you still want traffic it might be a good idea to test the schema for a while, and then reassess whether or not you’d like to remove it.
If you have any queries or feedback on this month’s news in SEO, let us know. If not, make sure to join us for next month’s SEO roundup!