Ep.247 - August 11, 2022 - Light Version

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Hold on to your hats! Google announced some big upcoming changes that are likely going to have a huge impact on the world of SEO. They’re going to use the power of MUM to improve featured snippets and promote content from reliable sources that aligns with general consensus. We also discuss the product reviews update — this is an odd one, new pros and cons structured data and much more!

SNYCU Podcast

There is no podcast this week, but if you missed last week’s you can catch them here:

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In the premium episode this week, Marie goes into great detail on her thoughts regarding MUM changes, the types of product review sites that were affected and much more about the indexing issues that followed an electrical fire at a Google data center.

Premium readers also get information from a former Google quality rater, info on a possible June algo update that was mostly ignored and the best SEO tips that we curated from Twitter this week.

You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.

News about Google’s Algorithms

Big news! MUM is now used to improve featured snippets

Oh boy, this sounds important. Just before publishing newsletter, we got the news that Google has announced big changes coming to search, mostly to featured snippets.

In the premium version of newsletter Marie breaks this announcement down and gives her thoughts on how this could be either great, or devastating to sites that do not align with general consensus such as alternative medical sites.


Huge indexing issues this week – and it’s *not* because of a datacenter fire!

Late on August 8, 2022 there was a serious fire following an electrical incident at a Google data center in Iowa. A few hours later, Google suffered serious indexing outages and a disruption of many of their services. 

However, Cnet reported that the outages were not related to the electrical incident.

The indexing issues cause an unprecedented spike in the Semrush sensor and other SERP monitoring tools.

More discussion on this in the premium version.

MHC Announcements

Updated QRG

In case you missed it, the Search Quality Raters’ Guidelines have updated and there is a LOT we can learn from the changes made:

Marie also summarized these changes in a Youtube video: 5 Things I learned from the July 2022 QRG update.


Our QRG book is discounted

Many SEO companies and freelancers use our book on understanding the QRG as a checklist when doing site audits. It is essentially a checklist to help you assess your site like a quality rater. This is important because Google tells us that “assessing [our] own content in terms of E-A-T criteria may help align it conceptually with the different signals [their] automated systems use to rank content.” Also, as mentioned earlier, Google’s blog post on using MUM in featured snippets tells us that they try to find content that demonstrates E-A-T. We’ve done our best in the book to help you do this.

We’ve reduced the price from $99 to $20 (which was apparently a good idea because we’re selling lots of books!)

You can get a digital copy here.

Google Announcements

New pros and cons structured data

Google announced new structured data we can use to demonstrate where our content displays pros and cons:

See the premium version for more discussion on what this means for SEO.

Advice from Google to help eCommerce sites


The tips boil down to the following

  • Check what title Google is displaying in the SERPs. “Low quality title links can harm a user’s impression of your site.”
  • Don’t put dynamic info in titles (i.e. changing prices)
  • Experiment with using different titles and check performance in GSC
  • Use high quality images, at least 1200 pixels wide, that showcase your products (We think this will be even more important as MUM is utilized more!)
  • Use structured data to help Google better understand your pages
  • Share pricing data with Google – they may show price drops in the SERPs! Make sure you use “offer” in structured data
  • Clearly identify the products you sell – they recommend using Google merchant + structured data on pages
  • If you have a physical presence, create a Google Business Profile


Chrome will keep using cookies until 2024


Google was aiming to eliminate third party cookies earlier, but are delaying the phase out, most likely until the second half of 2024. Google says in a blog post, “The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions. This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.”

SEO Tips

Noindex on one URL in an Hreflang cluster can impact the whole cluster

If you have pages related to each other by Hreflang and one of those pages have a noindex tag, that might impact all of the pages in the cluster.

Additional tips discussed for premium readers include a tip for using GSC query data to find big SEO opportunities, tips for cutting down the noise on GSC email notifications, a great content creation idea, an example of good faceted navigation and a very interesting tip to make your information in accordions more searchable.

Other Interesting News

Great public speaking tips

If you get the chance to speak at an SEO conference, we’d highly recommend it. For me, Marie, my first SEO speaking engagement was at Pubcon. I felt severe impostor syndrome – like who would want to listen to what I had to say? It turns out it was an incredible experience and lead to a lot more speaking which opened up so many opportunities for me.

Recommended Reading

Brand SEO: Search engine optimization for popular brands
Olaf Kopp
August 8, 2022

A business can be considered a brand when it has popularity (awareness), trust (credibility), and authority. Olaf explains how being a brand in the offline world does not always translate to being one in the digital world. He postulates that signals such as search volume, co-occurrences, brand mentions and engagements like likes, comments and shares can all contribute to becoming known as a brand online.


Indexing and keyword ranking techniques revisited: 20 years later

Mike Grehan
August 4, 2022

A very interesting read! We found this challenging to summarize but do recognize reading this!



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