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SNYCU Ep. 238 June 9, 2022 - Light Version

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In this episode, we discuss more on the May core update, title algorithm update, how to report on your SEO efforts, and the latest in SEO news from across the industry.

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The following topics are covered in the premium version of this episode:

  • Marie’s thoughts on the May 2022 core update
  • Improving author E-A-T!
  • What are Google’s timeframes for data used in core updates?
  • New author markup best practices
  • eCommerce Essentials: 8 tips for mobile-friendliness
  • What is your entity known for?
  • Does changing your name impact your entity presence?
  • Our tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO articles
You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.

News about Google’s Algorithms

It has certainly been a long week for a lot of webmasters, with many reports coming in on traffic losses across a variety of niches. 

A lot of SEOs have been good enough to share their analysis. Malte Landwehr has provided some interesting observations following an analysis of the Sistrix top 100 data. One of the big shifts he’s reporting is that sites providing video content have seen a dramatic increase in visibility. 

This is not super surprising. Core updates, amongst other things, try to better match searcher intent, and intent is a shifting target. I think it’s safe to say though that more and more people are interested in consuming video content. The ability of Google to match queries with relevant video content could suggest they have integrated more machine learning around parsing out video content.

Malte also highlighted news publishers are generally down 4-5%, with eCommerce stores up a similar amount. 

At MHC, we have seen slight suggestions of this, but not with a level of confidence that we would say it was a hard and fast finding. 

Thomas Brodbeck also noted a number of major fluctuations with Semrush data. 

The Semrush sensor has been very turbulent as well.

This happens around core updates, but the level of ranking changes is quite noteworthy. 

Mordy Oberstein gave us a full write-up in the Semrush blog of what they have seen with their data. Mordy notes the following: 

  • Volatility is way up across the board (similar levels on mobile and desktop).
  • Real estate verticals saw a noticeably higher rate of change.
  • Similar levels to the November core update in terms of overall change, but the November update had more impact on actual ranking shifts when you look at pre-ranking data.
  • Some verticals like Books & Literature, Hobbies and Leisure, and Pets and Animals saw big shifts.

It’s important to also note that as of this morning, the May 2022 core update has completed rolling out. Premium subscribers have access to Marie’s thoughts on the core update.


Added June 24, 2022: Here’s our analysis of the May core update.

MHC Announcements

SMX Advanced 2022

Did you know that Marie is going to be presenting at SMX Advanced 2022? 

Join her on June 14th and 15th in this online conference where she will talk about semantic search and E-A-T and have a little coffee chat. Register for free today!

Google Announcements

May 2022 core update roll out complete!

We had our newsletter ready to publish but had to pump the brakes when seeing this announcement. As of this morning, the May 2022 core update has finished rolling out.

How did you do with this update? We want to hear from you!

Title algorithm update for multi-language or transliterated titles

This past week, Google announced they’ve introduced a new “algorithmic improvement” for title selection and search result snippets as they relate to title elements written in a different language or script from its content. More specifically, Google can choose a more fitting title based on the language and script of the given document. For most of you reading this, Google  will still tend to favour the title element on the page, but in cases where misalignment is caused by multilingual titles or transliteration, “[Google’s] systems may seek alternatives that match the predominant language of the page.”

Google SERP Changes

Do you have a search box in the SERPs for your page?

Although this isn’t a new SERP feature, it was quite interesting to see this pop-up.

Essentially, by using Website schema markup, you can potentially get a search box in the search results which can then send traffic directly to your website. While it may not be useful for every website, nor would Google likely show it for every website, it can potentially be useful for eCommerce or big box stores. One thing is for sure, when we replicate it for a few stores (Home Depot, Lowes, Staples, Apple) it certainly catches your eye and takes up a little more space in the results. Read more on website schema here.

But of course, as Kevin mentioned in his tweet, it can be removed as well:

SEO Tips

Are you wondering how to report on your SEO efforts?

Would you believe that a recent Twitter poll suggested that 41% of SEOs only use a dashboard with data for SEO reporting? Well, the amazing Aleyda Solis discusses how to provide effective SEO reports that go beyond the SEO dashboard (which can be a great visualization resource within a more robust report) and is broken down into three main areas:

  1. Use only meaningful KPIs that communicate your results – this is about showcasing only the bits that are most important. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the report audience and their SMART goals and work on validating the data you’re communicating. Don’t forget to confirm the scope, frequency and format of your SEO reporting. 
  2. Ensure clear KPIs presentation to facilitate progress understanding – aim for easy to understand instead of just plain pretty. Aleyda jumps into some data presentation and visualization best practices here.
  3. Leverage data storytelling to explain and drive action with your SEO reports – create a compelling narrative that allows the audience to understand your efforts and drive action. It’s important to tell the whole story and create a three-act structure:
    1. Setup: What happened? (i.e. KPI result vs. expected goal progress)
    2. Conflict: Why did it happen? (discuss the why and includes the positive or negatives)
    3. Resolution: How to proceed? (outline the next steps and summarize the priority items)

As always, Aleyda provides some excellent visuals, tips, and resources to help you get started on improved reporting of your own. 

Do nofollow links pass any PageRank?

Google stated starting March 2020, “All the link attributes—sponsored, UGC, and nofollow—are treated as hints about which links to consider or exclude within Search. We’ll use these hints—along with other signals—as a way to better understand how to appropriately analyze and use links within our systems.”. Recently, there was a bit of chatter on Twitter about how Google may be using these new “hints” and if nofollowed links could potentially pass PageRank. Danny Sullivan replied explaining these links do inform Google but are a very weak signal at best. 

Are you using 410 status codes?

While the two status codes serve the same purpose in the mid-to-long run, advice from John Mueller in the past has suggested 410 status codes could lead to a slight time advantage in getting pages removed from the index and reduce the crawl frequency of them as compared to 404s. Anecdotal testing of our own has generally found this to be the case, although we’ve never really tested this at scale at MHC.

If nothing else, using the 410 status code by the book for your permanently, intentionally discarded URLs can allow you to track the 4xx notices that are by design and those 404s that crop up accidentally due to technical mishaps.

Danny Sullivan suggests that we link in ways that would feel human

Commenting on a Twitter thread about citing your sources but trying to avoid linking to sources that target your same keywords, Danny Sullivan argues that this shouldn’t be part of the equation.

Several users mentioned how link-hoarding can be an issue for large organizations and these sites don’t necessarily put these linking recommendations into practice. Danny responds in such a way that could imply Google has recognized this issue but still maintains a focus on doing SEO for humans (for premium users, this tweet will be a repeat). 

Redesigning your website? Take a look at this checklist! 

Search Engine Journal has a great article that covers things to consider when redesigning a website. A lot of the tips here have to do with the work involved before and after the launch of a redesign. 

Specifically, before a launch, you should make sure you have goals in place, have content planned out (like the content architecture of the site and on-page optimization), and that your plan for redirects is in order. After the launch, you want to make sure the live site performs the same as the staging site. This means, checking that your redirects work accordingly and that pages are carried over properly. From there, the XML sitemap should be submitted and the site should be monitored regularly (for technical issues, ongoing SEO work, etc.).

Site redesigns can be a complicated topic with a lot of moving parts. Even the smallest of changes can have the greatest of consequences, so make sure you have the proper experts executing the redesign. Or make sure you do your research and use great resources like this!

Using iconography in external links

Using icons beside external links on a page is such an underrated user feature but can be extremely helpful in informing users what they can expect. Lucky for us, Jon Henshaw gives us some quick tips on how they can easily be used.

  • Ever click on a hyperlink and then surprise, you’re downloading a PDF? Using icons to depict the type of document users can expect can help differentiate between if a user is going to be met with a PDF or any other document type. 
  • Icons can help identify which type of social platform the anchor text will lead to. If it is someone’s name, does the anchor text go to the Twitter profile or, does it redirect to their LinkedIn?
  • Considering having a clear distinction between main content and affiliate links is in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines, using icons to distinguish between this can be very helpful in making this clear.

Think you can make use of iconography with your external links? Read the entire article to get started.

Supercharge your internal links

You’ve likely heard us say on several occasions that internal links are incredibly important and powerful. Internal links are a strong signal to Google about which pages are important. With that in mind, how can you maximize your internal linking efforts?

Using Google’s NLP (Natural Language Processing) API, you can supercharge internal linking by focusing anchors that go to pages that support the text classifications generated -= and do it at scale. Super handy tip that we recommend playing around with.

How to effectively apply keywords

We aren’t suggesting keyword stuffing here but this is a quick reminder on how you should be using your keywords.

Not only do you want to use your keywords in your main content, but you also want to include them in your URL, title tags, anchor texts, and meta descriptions. Think of it this way, if you’re writing content about car insurance, what signals are you giving to Google that indicates your content is about car insurance if you don’t tactfully sprinkle in your keywords? 

Seems straightforward but you would be surprised with how often this little tip is overlooked – just don’t overdo it!

John states (again) that toxic links are made up

Hung up on the concept of toxic links again? Once again, John Mueller has said you can ignore this notion of toxic links as they are made up by SEO tools.

As Marie pointed out, most sites don’t need to worry about toxic links. These are often the types of links that Google is ignoring anyways. If a link points to a 404 page, you don’t need to worry about those either because they point signals to nowhere!

Still have questions? Read our in-depth article on toxic links and why you can ignore them. Let us know if you have any questions. 

Other Interesting News


Ahrefs invested $60 million into building a brand new search engine called We knew that they wanted to build a search engine, but this was mega news!

How will they differentiate from Bing and Google? Well, Ahrefs wants to be better at rewarding the content creators that are providing the search results. Their profit sharing module is supposed to look like 90/10. On the official search engine page, it reads “We built Yep from the ground up so that we can give 90% of ad revenue to content creators.”

They also plan to differentiate by being way less infringing on privacy. While they will track search data, what they claim they won’t do is create profiles for targeted advertising.

Local SEO - Other Interesting News

Fluctuations in Google Business Profile categories?

There has been quite a bit of fluctuation noted for GBPs in the legal industry specifically. 

Doug Bradley on Twitter mentioned that Google has been suggesting alternative categories for his legal business clients. One GBP for a law firm went from being categorized as “Personal Injury Lawyer” to “Law Firm” then a few days later Google suggested that they switch to “Employment Lawyer”.

Based on some Twitter chatter, it appears that these suggestions and recommendations are coming from the user’s side and this tactic is known as a “category attack”.

Recommended Reading

A bit more than an introduction to E-A-T – Olaf Kopp 
June 1, 2022

Olaf Kopp’s newest article on E-A-T provides immense value on the key items within E-A-T that can influence (positively or negatively) a site’s rankings. 

For a full breakdown of the current state of E-A-T and how this signal can affect your site, check out Olaf’s article! This is an exceptional article!

How We Increased Traffic 110% By Reducing Content Cannibalization – Andy Chadwick 
May 31, 2022

Andy Chadwick presents a great case study for how they managed to increase their client’s traffic by 110% by reducing content cannibalization.

This article does a great job of outlining their processes for identifying the problem and fixing it.

Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

Why E-A-T Inspires Local Content Creation – Melissa Popp
May 26, 2022

You may have wondered if E-A-T matters for local content – or you may have completely dismissed the idea altogether. Melissa Popp gives us some insight in a recent article from Bright Local that explains why it is important! 

Want More?

Premium members also get the following:

It’s well worth the $18 per month!

The following topics are covered in the premium version of this episode:

  • Marie’s thoughts on the May 2022 core update
  • Improving author E-A-T!
  • What are Google’s timeframes for data used in core updates?
  • New author markup best practices
  • eCommerce Essentials: 8 tips for mobile-friendliness
  • What is your entity known for?
  • Does changing your name impact your entity presence?
  • Our tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO articles
You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.

Note: If you are seeing the light version and you are a premium member, be sure to log in (in the sidebar on desktop or below the post on mobile) and read the full article here.

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