SEO Weekly Digest on 30-03 of November 2023

Google Search Liaison Unveils Insights on Content Feedback

In a candid reveal from Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, the inner mechanics of feedback facilitation between the public and Google’s search team were shared. Sullivan detailed his role in conveying user concerns, suggesting the need for more transparent communication from Google, particularly regarding “people-first” content creation. The company is prompted to refine its guidance for publishers, who find themselves vying for visibility against larger, more dominant players in search results. A proposed “helpful content tool” may become a resource for evaluating content against Google’s quality standards, aiming to alleviate publisher uncertainties about the impacts of content deemed unhelpful.

Major Updates Announced for Google Reviews System

Google is setting a new trajectory for its Reviews System with an update slated for November 2023, signaling a significant shift for SEOs and publishers. The forthcoming changes are expected to introduce a machine learning model, akin to the Helpful Content System, to evaluate the quality of review-based content. In an effort to streamline updates and enhance system responsiveness, Google plans to move away from periodic notifications in favor of a more fluid, ongoing update process. This could potentially lead to quicker recoveries from ranking dips caused by the system’s evaluations.

Clarification on Google’s Helpful Content System

Google’s SearchLiaison, Roger Montti, addressed confusion around the operation of the Helpful Content System, which assigns a quality score to websites using machine learning classifiers. The clarification came after concerns that minor updates to content could negatively influence this score. The issue arose from a somewhat vague passage in Google’s guidelines, which has now been elucidated to indicate that minor but useful changes to content, such as correcting typos or updating facts, will not penalize a site’s ranking. The focus remains on discouraging tactics intended solely to manipulate search rankings.

Google’s Back-to-Back Core Updates

November 2023 marked the roll-out of Google’s second core update in consecutive months, a rare occurrence in the search engine’s update history. These core updates are critical adjustments made to Google’s search algorithms, aiming to enhance the quality and relevance of search results. While Google often advises that most sites will not require drastic changes post-update, it does offer guidance for those who notice significant impacts on their site’s performance. With a total of four major updates this year, Google continues to fine-tune its search systems, emphasizing the importance of high-quality, user-centric content.

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