SEO Monthly Roundup September 2019

October 11th in SEO 4 minute read

The SEO world was a hive of activity over September and not just down in Brighton. Unsurprisingly, Google led the news with algorithm updates and new guidance on H1 tags. 

At Zeal, we’ve compiled all of the relevant news into one useful blog to make sure you don’t miss out on any important announcements. 

Google releases a broad core algorithm update

In the SEO world you have to be constantly on the ball, as Google likes to release updates out of nowhere. In September, they launched a broad core algorithm update which was announced via Twitter, you can see the Tweet here:

Google Tweet

This is the second occasion Google has given a warning for a core update. Broad algorithm updates can affect anything from the following:

  • You may see drops or gains in search rankings.
  • Broad by name and broad in nature, they don’t affect anything specific, they improve Google’s systems on a whole.
  • Pages that see drops in rankings aren’t being penalised, they’re being reassessed alongside other web content that’s been published in the time since the last update.
  • They’re focussed on ensuring the user is provided with the best possible content.

Broad algorithm updates happen every few months so it’s definitely worth keeping your eye out to ensure you’re ready. 

Google offers guidance on the importance of H1 Tags

On a recent Google Webmaster hangout, a user asked Google about the roles of H1 tags. Google’s John Mueller responded by saying they’re useful but not a critical element. 

One of the main rules SEO content writers have followed is to always add a H1 title to the top of a page to signal to Google what the content is about. 

The question presented to John Mueller was the following:

“Is it mandatory to just have one H1 tag on a web page or can it be used multiple times?”

And he responded by saying:

“You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There’s no limit, neither upper or lower bound.”

“Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.”

So, essentially what John is saying is use H1 tags if you wish, but it won’t necessarily have a positive or negative impact on your content. 

Watch – Structured Data Properties

In this episode of the #AskGoogleWebmasters video series on YouTube, John Mueller talks you through whether it’s better to use structured data through Google’s Developer site or add more properties from Schema.org to improve your site’s SEO.

Bing to adapt Chromium-based Edge browser to run Javascript and render pages

Bingbot is set to become evergreen with Bing adopting the Chromium-based Edge browser to allow it to render pages and run Javascript. So why does that matter to us?

The new evergreen Bingbot is built off the same platform as Google’s Chrome browser and Googlebot. This essentially means that SEO’s and Developers should have an easier time reaching the pages crawled by both Google and Bing without researching or troubleshooting for each crawler. 

Keyword stuffing may affect your ability to rank

Google’s John Mueller recently suggested that the reason category pages may not rank is due to the excessive use of keywords otherwise known as keyword stuffing. Mueller was quoted as saying:

“Another thing that I sometimes see, especially with e-commerce sites that kind of struggle with this kind of a problem is that they go to an extreme on the category page in that they include those keywords over and over and over again.

And what happens in our systems then is we look at this page and we see these keywords repeated so often on that page that we think well, something is kind of fishy with this page, with regards to these keywords, well maybe we should be more careful when we show it.”

We believe that what Mueller is insinuating at when he refers to a page as ‘fishy’ is that the information on the page is not trustworthy. Essentially,  it’s been created as a base to stuff keywords to force the page to rank and not to provide the user with any form of knowledge. 

Mueller went on to recommend moderation when placing keywords within an article. He also encourages SEO’s to focus on the quality of the content rather than seeing how many times they can fit a keyword within an article or page. 

SEO takes over Brighton 

People from across the world flocked to Brighton in September to host the twice annual Brighton SEO event. The event saw talks from people spanning across the industry offering their insights into the world of SEO. 

Myself and James attended the event. You can read our catchup of all things Brighton SEO here

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