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News from Episode 327

By Site Strategics
October 2, 2019

No one can keep totally up-to-date with the constant stream of digital marketing headlines, 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 Tim Soulo, CMO and Product Advisor at Ahrefs. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 327 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 

Tim Soulo on EDGE of the Web


Google’s new snippet settings give webmasters control over their search listings display

From Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land we learn that Google’s new snippet settings give webmasters control over their search listings display. Google has released new snippet settings to allow webmasters to control how Google search displays your listings, the company announced on the Google webmaster blog These settings work either through a set of robots meta tags and an HTML attribute.

  • Erin Sparks: Three new meta tags allow for controlling the max length of a text preview, duration of a video preview, and size of an image preview. An HTML attribute is also available to help with this, which is the “data-nosnippet” tag that allows you to exclude specific portions of an HTML page from appearing in a snippet, meaning you have control over what you don’t want to appear as part of the SERP (search engine results page).
  • Tim Soulo: I wonder what the rate of adoption is for these kinds of new tools. When so many websites are using content management platforms like WordPress, I wonder what those platforms are going to provide their customers in terms of actually using these new tools. I don’t think most people are up-to-date enough that stuff like this even exists, let alone will actually use them. Google bills at as more control for webmasters, but I wonder if what they’re really doing is trying to find out if people like manual editing of metadata or if people are willing to go with what Google’s algorithms come up with.
  • Erin Sparks: And yet the people who do adopt and use these tools will have some kind of advantage, right? Even though on some level we might be little more than lab rats for Google.


Google Released a Broad Core Algorithm Update on September 24th

According to Matt Southern on Search Engine Journal, Google Released a Broad Core Algorithm Update on September 24th. According to Google’s Danny Sullivan, the update would begin to roll out within hours and take a few days to complete.

  • Erin Sparks: The early chatter on this update has people thinking it’s mostly to do with links and how those paly into the focus on authority and trust, especially as indicated by the latest update to the Google Quality Raters Guidelines.
  • Tim Soulo: Ahrefs, while we do a lot of link analysis, we don’t try to track Google updates or try to figure out which sites have gone up or down and try to figure out why. In general Google keeps the details of what their updates are meant to do beyond saying it’s about improving search results. Our own research has always shown that links are incredibly important. This latest update doesn’t mean links are losing their importance or gaining in importance. What each update indicates, in my opinion, is an increase in the sophistication of what Google does.
  • Erin Sparks: And yet with Google’s continued push towards EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trust), it seems like we’ve got to pay more attention than ever to our links and try to understand how Google is evaluating those links.
  • Tim Soulo: If you go out into the SEO community – and let me make it clear this is not my opinion or the opinion of Ahrefs – there are quite a few people who aren’t buying into EAT. The think it’s just an invention of Google that looks good and makes people think they’re doing really sophisticated analysis. These people say you don’t have to dig hard to find ways to rank without authority and trust. It’s Google’s agenda, sure, but it doesn’t have as much to do with what works and what doesn’t as Google wants people to believe.
  • Erin Sparks: In other words, maybe we shouldn’t just follow Google like a bunch of lemmings.


September 2019 Google Update – Winners and Losers

On Search Engine Journal, Roger Montti reports on the September 2019 Google Update – Winners and Losers. While there were some reports of traffic collapse, the overall narrative in many online discussions were a mix of recoveries and mild wins and losses on the order of 10 to 20 percent, nothing catastrophic as in past updates.

  • Erin Sparks: It seems like the biggest losers are sites that have problematic links, but we’re only a week into it, so it’s impossible to say what else might be happening with this update. Before people start making panic-filled decisions, it’s better to sit back and see how it plays out in your data.

Connect with Tim Soulo and Ahrefs

Twitter: @timsoulo (https://twitter.com/timsoulo)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timsoulo

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

Instagram: @timsoulo (https://www.instagram.com/timsoulo/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDidoS6DWZVYk-PdNtcY9PQ 

Ahrefs: https://ahrefs.com 

Ahrefs Twitter: @ahrefs (https://twitter.com/ahrefs)

Ahrefs Facebook: @Ahrefs (https://www.facebook.com/Ahrefs)

Ahrefs YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWquNQV8Y0_defMKnGKrFOQ

Ahrefs Instagram: @ahrefscom (https://www.instagram.com/ahrefscom)

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