30 Days In Search: SEO & SEM News-Recap of September 2019

Summer is over, September is over. The autumn started and we’re ready to rock the last quarter of 2019 - which comes in handy, seen the many features and important updates Google threw at us in just a month’s time. Wanna rock with us? Here’s an overview of the most important updates and changes, of the last 30 days in search.

Google Evolves “nofollow”, And Introduces Two New Link Attributes

September 10, 2019

The nofollow link attribute Google introduced 15 years ago, always has been used as a directive for ranking purposes; to ‘fight content spam’. You add the nofollow attribute to flag advertising-related or sponsored links, and Google would ignore the link for ranking. Recently, the attribute has been evolved and Google now sees the rel=“nofollow” as a hint on how to treat the links, rather than ignoring them. The change from ‘ignore’ to ‘hint’ is due to the fact that Google is now able to collect data on the links, including anchor text.

With that, Google adds two more link attributes to be considered as ‘hints’: rel=“sponsored” and rel=“ugc”. The sponsored attribute is used “to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements”, and the ugc attribute is “for links within user generated content, such as comments and forum posts”.

Updates To Reviews In Rich Results On Google

September 16, 2019

With the algorithmic updates to reviews in rich results, Google wants to make the search results more meaningful. Google therefore now only shows star ratings in search snippets for (1) reviews with certain schema types, (2) reviews that aren’t self-serving, and (3) reviews that have the name property within the markup.

Google Adds “In This Video” Search Feature

September 17, 2019

When searching for content on Google Search, we can get video results - but we don’t really know if the video is what we’re looking for or answers our questions; videos aren’t skimmable. With the new ‘in this video’ feature, we now can see exactly what’s covered in the video, and skip directly to the moment we want to watch.

The greatest thing of all: Google can show timestamps for your videos too - without any difficult or technical coding needed. All you need to do is add a new content section to your video description on YouTube. Something simple like this will already trigger the timestamps to show on Google Search:

00:10 – Intro
02:30 – Step 1
03:15 – Step 2
04:40 – Step 3
05:15 – Conclusion

New Snippet Settings For Search Result Customization

September 24, 2019

By default, Google creates search snippets according to the users’ queries and the devices they’re using. But: with the new snippet settings, you are now able to customize how you want your content to be shown in the search results (expected to go live mid-to-late October). To customize, you can either use robot meta tags or HTML attributes.

Google released four new meta tags that can be used to an HTML page or specified via the x-robots-tag HTTP header: (1) “nosnippet”, to not show any textual snippet for the page, (2) “max-snippet:[number]”, to specify the maximum text length in characters of a snippet for the page, (3) “max-video-preview:[number]”, to specify the maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview, and (4) “max-image-preview:[setting]”, to specify the maximum size of image preview to be shown for images on the page using either “none”, “standard”, or “large”. You can use one meta tag, or combine multiple.

With HTML attributes, you can prevent that a certain part of an HTML page is being shown within the textual snippet. For this, you use the “data-nosnippet” HTML attribute on span, div, and section elements.

Google September 2019 Core Update

September 24, 2019

Every few months, Google launches a new core update - and in September, it was time again. It wasn’t until a couple of days later, that people started noticing the impact of the September core update; from ranking higher and huge increases in traffic, to keywords dropping in positions. With every search ranking update, our site either starts performing better or worse. Knowing when such an update takes place helps us to understand whether our traffic dropped or increased due to the update, or due to the changes we’ve made on our website.

Google Ads: New Features For Recommendations

September 25, 2019

To optimize your Google Ads campaigns, you can use the ‘Recommendations’ section on Google Ads. Recently, Google improved its existing features and added new recommendations to help you improve your account performances. Improved and newly added are the keyword recommendations, the recommendations table view, and bulk apply and dismiss for manager accounts.

SEO/SEM Events

September, 2019

September’s SEO and SEM events were great. Our very favorites of the month: BrightonSEO, the Search Advertising Show, and SEOktoberfest.

BrightonSEO is world’s largest search marketing conference, taking place twice a year - the September edition was on Friday the 13th (yikes). With tons of speaker sessions and training held, it was a huge honor for us to have our very own Pinar on stage. With her speech on “growing revenues with Google Ads, in a declining economy”, her 300+ headed audience left with lots of actionable tips and tricks to implement right away.

One day earlier, BrightonSEO’s fringe-event ‘the Search Advertising Show’ took place. The Search Advertising Show is “a brand new conference dedicated to paid search on Google, Bing and Amazon” had an amazing lineup of PPC-expert speakers - Holly being one of them. With her talk on “machine learning in Google Ads”, she blew everyone away with useful tips, tricks, and best practices to help them deal with machine learning.

Last up, SEOktoberfest (or G50 Summit); one of the most exclusive SEO events of the year - note: within only 168 minutes, the event was sold out. 20 speakers, 30 attendees, and 5 days full of SEO sessions. Prost!

Editor’s Choice: Google Search News

September, 2019

We have a new favorite YouTube series to watch: Google Search News. It’s quick, it’s educational, and it’s fun to watch - especially thanks to the great news-anchorship skills of John Mueller.

News From The Kubixers

On top of Google’s updates and features, we’re also throwing a bunch of Kubix updates on our hectic September month to you. “Keeping up with the Kubixers”!

  • [BLOG] Should we be worried about our future role as Google Ads specialist, with a player as ‘machine learning’ in town? First of all: not really. Second of all: take advantage of machine learning. Let machines do all the boring work - we can now spend our time on what really counts. Here are our tips, tricks and best practices on how to deal with machine learning in Google Ads.
  • [BLOG + PODCAST] If you are a local business, you need to optimize for local SEO. Local landing pages help to rank for nearby searches. To target the right customer in the right place at the right time, you need local landing pages - here’s what goes into a good local landing page for SEO. (Not a fan of reading? Listen to the podcast episode).
  • [BLOG] Let’s say hi to Kubixers Pinar & Serdar; next up, in our interview series. Find out what our Kubixer’s typical day at the office looks like, what year they would travel back to, what surprises people about them, their bad habits, their warning labels, the karaoke songs they would sing, and much more.
  • [EVENTS] We’ve attended BrightonSEO (not only as speakers, but also as guests). We’d like to give you an overview of our favorite speaker slides of the day. And if that inspired you to become a speaker one day too, take a look at Pinar’s tips; from pitching your talk, to doing the actual deed.
  • [BLOG] Are you using YouTube Analytics to grow your YouTube channel? With YouTube Analytics you can track the performance of your channel and videos using lots of different metrics and reports. In our extensive blog posts we teach you how to use YouTube Analytics, and tell you which metrics to measure in which reports.
  • [CAREER] We are looking for interns! We have 2 open internship positions at our office locations in Berlin & Istanbul. If you are passionate about SEO & SEM and eager to bring your digital marketing skills into action, we’d love you to join us!
Jolien Storteler
01 Oct 2019

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