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News from Episode 325

By Site Strategics
September 11, 2019

Digital marketing and SEO is an ever-shifting landscape, which is why we include a news roundup segment in each episode of the EDGE. The latest features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest Mike Blumenthal, co-founder of GatherUp and LocalU sorting through the latest headlines. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 325 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast:


Quality Raters Guidelines Update – This is What Changed

From Roger Montti at Search Engine Journal we learn about the Quality Raters Guidelines Update – This is What Changed. Perhaps the most notable change is that the YMYL section was entirely re-written. 


  • Erin Sparks: Changes in the YMYL section affect news and government related topics. Previously the news topic section was grouped together with public official information pages. The news topic is now in its own section and it provides guidance on how to judge and rate news pages. Maybe some of this is in preparation for the upcoming 2020 election cycle?
  • Mike Blumenthal: The rating guidelines are incredibly interesting, but in my point of view they are several levels of abstraction from whatever the current reality is this month, next month, the month after. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for them to implement these things because these are training of the trainers of the training that goes on for the machine learning. It’s pretty abstracted. Quality prevails. 
  • Erin Sparks: People in the industry tend to neurotically obsess over these changes, so you’d recommend people just relax, don’t overreact, but watch you data to see if there are impacts.
  • Mike Blumenthal: That’s exactly what I’m saying. You hear stories about the Gold Rush, and the people who sold the shovels probably did better than most of the miners. I think that’s probably the case here too. Just figuring out what the shovel is in this case.


Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update On September 4th or 5th?

On Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz is asking: Was there a Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update Around September 4th or 5th? People were previously wondering if there was some kind of change at the end of August going into the Labor Day holiday weekend. If there have been changes, that would be two updates in the space of a week, which would be unusual.

    • Erin Sparks: Most of the chatter about a possible change, unsurprisingly, is coming from people that are seeing drops. There are some spikes, but we also recognize volatility in the search engine result pages. And that happens. A lot of the spikes were over the course of just one day. It’s a post-Labor Day weekend spike as well, so it’s hard to pinpoint what’s a change and what’s just natural volatility. 
    • Mike Blumenthal: I read the forum posts. It was difficult to know what industry it was in. Obviously the people who are gaining aren’t reporting, only the people who are losing. You’re seeing a limited subset of people reporting, and I didn’t see anything notable in the accounts I follow. Obviously in local search it’s not a huge issue, but it’d be nice to know more to see which industries it impacts, what type of sites it impacted. At this point, that wasn’t clear to me. Like you said, sit back, relax, watch your data and see what happens.
    • Erin Sparks: It can kind of feel like Google is constantly yanking our chain, so to speak. And while they’re being more forthcoming about changes, they also tend to say something along the lines of how there’s nothing you can do about it, so just deal with it. What isn’t changing and won’t change, however, is the need for content to be of high quality. Building EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trust) is the focus. 
    • Mike Blumenthal: That’s where I would stand; on good content. Solid partners on the linking front and strong reputation for your business. Those things never change. They didn’t change before we got to digital marketing and they’re not going to change too much in it, either. There are going to be periods where you can manipulate things, but those are few and far between. And they’ll go away.

Connect with Mike Blumenthal, GatherUp, and LocalU

Twitter: @mblumenthal (https://twitter.com/mblumenthal

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mblumenthal 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/professor.maps 

GatherUp website: https://gatherup.com 

GatherUp Twitter: @GatherUp (https://twitter.com/gatherup

GatherUp Facebook: @goGatherUp (https://www.facebook.com/goGatherUp

LocalU website: https://localu.org 

LocalU Twitter: @localuniv (https://twitter.com/localuniv)

LocalU Facebook: @LocalUniversity (https://www.facebook.com/LocalUniversity

LocalU podcasts: https://localu.org/subscribe-to-our-podcasts 

LocalU newsletter: Subscribe via LocalU website

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