Marie Haynes' Newsletter - October 20, 2022 - Light Version

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I’ve changed up newsletter to hopefully make it more helpful! In this new format, all readers will see “What SEOs need to know this week” – a quick rundown on the things I think were the most important news this week. You’ll also see the most important stuff right in your email.

If you’re a paid reader, you’ll see part two of the newsletter, “Marie’s thoughts this week”. This is where I’ll include the most tips, tools, new SERP changes and conversations about Google’s algorithms along with my thoughts on what is important and why.

I am thankful for those of you who pay to read this newsletter.🙏  It amazes me that people are willing to pay money to hear my thoughts on Google. In the weeks to come, I have plans to offer more to help you learn and be even better SEOs including some webinars and group zoom sessions that will be included in your membership.

If you subscribe, you’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one. I’ve been writing this newsletter for YEARS so you’ll have a lot of reading to catch up on!


This week in SEO: What you need to know

Another Google update! The October 2022 Spam update is live

Spam updates sometimes are specific to links, but most are not. In this announcement, Google links to this documentation on spam updates. They do a spam update when they are making “notable improvements” to how their spam systems work. 

In April, Google told us about SpamBrain. I don’t think I have given SpamBrain the attention I should. It sounds very interesting. Google says they launched it in 2018 and continue to improve it. 

They tell us that “besides spam, [they] also work hard to reduce low quality content and ranking manipulations that attempt to narrowly avoid violating [their] quality guidelines but are still manipulative in nature. The example they give is improving product review rankings to favor genuine, hands on reviews over rewritten product descriptions.

The webmaster guidelines have been renamed and republished

We covered this last week. Since then, I wrote an article for Search Engine Land talking about how we can craft our SEO strategy around these newly named Search Essentials. They’ve consolidated the core update questions, product review questions and helpful content questions into one really amazing article along with the previous webmaster guidelines. If you read one SEO article this week, it should be this one new page:

Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content

I have often said that Google’s core update questions are the document I reference the most in my client reports. That will now be replaced with this document!

New important SERP change: Sitenames

Google announced a new SERP feature. Businesses will have their “Site name”, their business name appear in the search results. 

In this tweet below you can see what a sitename looks like. Search Engine Journal has one. The site above them in the rankings may want to consider reviewing Google’s documentation which includes instructions on how to use structured data to improve the chances of having a sitename shown on mobile searches.

Some site owners have been having issues getting their favicons to show in search. This will likely impact whether you get a site title. 

These SERP changes are visible in image search:

Edgar Sánchez noted that this change is live in Google ads as well.

You can read more here about business names and logos appearing next to ads.

As of this morning, sitenames are being seen in languages other than English as well.

This sounds very related to E-A-T to me. Having a brand that is recognized is important. We know the knowledge graph is filled with information to describe your entity. And Google has put a strong emphasis on first hand expertise. They want to show searchers legitimate businesses as brands. 

What we need to know:

  • Sitenames have rolled out on mobile for English, French, Japanese and German searches. (and possibly other languages too.)
  • It’s automated.
  • You can use structured data to tell Google your preferred site name.
  • Structured data has to be on the homepage and it has to be crawlable.
  • They’re supported at the domain level, not subdomain/subdirectory.
  • Choose a name that accurately reflects your business.
  • You can use “alternateName” if you use an acronym.
  • Use your site name on your homepage.


New info from Google to help us dive into Search Console data

This guide explains things like what is a click vs an impression and how things like click through rate are calculated.


What's included in the paid version?

You’ll be noticing changes over the next few months as I’m focusing on making this newsletter as helpful as possible. If you want to be on the cusp of understanding how Google is changing and what their algorithms are rewarded, this information should help you stay ahead of the curve.

They won’t always be as long as this one though…wow this was a busy week.

What follows for premium readers is a brief summary and my thoughts on a lot of things (I think I did too many this week) including:

  • The latest discussion and helpful information about the Helpful Content Update, September Core Update and September Product Reviews update including my summary and thoughts on the most recent articles published around the web on these updates.
  • Was there an unannounced update October 13? (There’s not much info on this yet though)
  • You can learn interesting things looking at the rankings for “best female SEO expert”. Hints based on info in the QRG.
  • A whole lot of the most helpful tips I could find on Twitter this week.
  • The most interesting SERP changes spotted this week…there are a bunch! Google is really doing things especially with how they display products in the SERPS.
  • What SEOs should be paying attention to in terms of AI use and news.
  • My interesting conversation with AI software that helped me better form my theory on Google using entity information to determine if content is substantial or interesting.
  • The most helpful SEO tools and resources I discovered this week.
  • What I’m reading. My summary and thoughts on:

I soon hope to be holding some webinars that will be free provided you are a newsletter subscriber. I would love to have some good discussions with my newsletter subscribers where we can brainstorm on what’s working in SEO right now. We’ll most likely start with some discussions on recent updates. If you want to suggest a topic, reach out to me on Twitter. My DM’s are open.

Local SEO

Old reviews are now getting published

A few people are reporting this.

More here.

Got Zocdoc appointments appearing in your knowledge panel?

In this thread Danny Sullivan gives some advice.

Last week's Podcast

Analyzing the September Core update

The September Core update feels different to me! In this episode I share my thoughts after analyzing many pages that won and lost following this Google core update.

The most important thing a site can work on if hit is ensuring that you are the best option to meet the immediate needs of the searcher. If we thoroughly understand the intent of searchers, we can create content that helps them meet that need better than other sites.

In this episode I review two pages that did well following the September core update. They may look like they are lacking E-A-T, but I think Google promoted them because they quickly met searcher needs.

My talk at SMX Next

I was supposed to record this talk last week and then Google went and changed the Webmaster Guidlines (now Search Essentials). I’m changing some slides and will be recording in two weeks now. You can watch it and engage with me on November 15th. There’s more info here. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Google potentially using machine learning to weight ranking algorithms and how we can take advantage of this knowledge.

Marie's upcoming speaking and articles

New SEL article

When Google announced the new Search Essentials, SEL asked me to write an article. I give a lot of practical tips in this one:

7 tips to turn Google’s Search Essentials into strategy 


Marie Haynes and Brian Dean talking about Google’s algorithms at Demand Curve

SEO Jobs

Looking for a new SEO job? is a job board curated by real SEOs for SEOs. Take a look at five of the hottest SEO job listing this week (below) and sign up for the weekly job listing email only available at

I hope you have enjoyed this slightly different format of newsletter. Stay tuned for even more improvements to come!

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