Thoughts on sites impacted by the link spam and also helpful content update, is there a snippet ban, Google Optimize going away - Episode 271 (January 27, 2023) - Light version

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In this episode, we talk about a site that was impacted by Google’s link spam update, another impacted by the helpful content update, GSC’s content ideas section, and what Google’s plans are for the future of AI. Google linked to an  interesting research paper talking about AI chat. Google Optimize is going away and there may have been a big Bing update.

Covered in the paid version:

  • An example of a site impacted by the December 14 link spam update including my advice
  • Thoughts on Lily Ray’s report on 2022 winners and losers
  • My thoughts on a site that is seeing big gains since the December helpful content update. But isn’t it a negative classifier?
  • How continuous scroll impacts GSC
  • How the knowledge graph is used
  • Is there such a thing as a snippet ban? My thoughts on why it happened to this site
  • Yahoo! about to re-enter the search game?
  • More sightings of GSC’s content ideas section
  • An analysis of Forbes’ organic ranking success
  • Should your authors have their own dedicated pages?
  • Google manual action recovery case

AI news:

  • How Google is working on developing responsible AI
  • Interesting papers linked to from Google’s AI announcement including a sneak peek at what is likely Google’s ChatGPT competitor
  • A look at a search engine that is doing what Google likely will with AI chat
  • Dr. Pete’s thoughts on whether ChatGPT will replace Google

If you’re on the fence about joining, I’ve made a recent paid version free so you can compare:

Episode 267 Full

Episode 267 Light

Google Optimize is going away


Odd things are happening with multilingual content

It appears that several people are getting Google results shown in different languages than expected. I’ve had some reach out to me with this issue as well.

Google says they haven’t made any changes but many are saying something is definitely different.

Possible Bing update January 18/19

I do not keep as close an eye on Bing updates as I’d like. Glenn has noted a possible big change.

I am not on many people’s Bing Webmaster Tools. (I should add here that Bing Webmaster Tools is really good. If you have not set it up, it is worthwhile doing so.) However, I did check analytics for several clients and some do have a nice increase in Bing organic traffic starting on January 19:

Bing organic traffic showing increases January 19

I probably should start paying more attention to Bing. They will likely introduce and AI chat dialogue to search before Google does. It will be interesting to see what the impact on websites is.

Join me Next week to discuss the Helpful Content and Link Spam Updates by Zoom

Let’s do another call where we share our experiences in understanding the impact of the December link spam and helpful content updates. Any paid newsletter subscribers can join the call. There is joining info in the paid version. The call is Thursday, February 2 at noon EST.

Last time we had a small group of us ranging from freelance SEO’s, agency SEO’s to business owners who know some SEO but don’t do it for a living. It was such an enjoyable call. I learned a lot about how the helpful content and link spam updates are acting, but I still have a lot more to learn!


Helpful for local businesses

You can add a video to a Google review

More justifications appearing in local results

Why Google might make you re-verify your business

Looks like Apple maps is still going to be full of spam

Google Business Profiles appearing in organic SERPS?

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


Marie's News

Traffic Drop Assessment tool

I’m chugging along with this. I got a little stuck on a design element and may reach out for help. But for now I’m really enjoying the challenge of creating this using only ChatGPT as my assistant. I don’t have an estimated date of completion. It all depends on how much Google does and how much time I can dedicate to this. But it will get done. It’s going to be so helpful to so many.

Book and course

I wrote several chapters of my book this week. I’ve put together a theory that should really help SEOs have a much more solid understanding of how Google’s algorithms work. It explains how many (most?) SEOs are completely missing the boat by optimizing for Google’s algorithms as they existed over a decade ago. Again, there’s a lot to be done here, but I am really enjoying writing this.

I am writing my course modules as I develop my tool. Hopefully this will be my focus next week if I can get the silly design issue solved. For example, when I run a site through the tool that was impacted by the link spam update, I’ll write the modules in my course that contain my advice on diagnosing and treating sites impacted by this change.


I really miss podcast. I have been planning a special episode. It really should happen in the next few weeks. I need to focus on getting my tool to a certain level before I can dedicate a few days to podcast regularly again!


On top of all of this I’ve got a site review to do this month. I have put a hold on consulting until my projects are completed, but this client snuck in under the wire, signing a proposal I had sent out a while back! No worries…once again, as I review this site, I will be writing my book and course while their report develops.

If you need SEO consulting, here are a few options:

  • Sign up for my waiting list when I start doing site reviews again.
  • Contact me for a recommendation to a professional. (Please know I’m only in email 1-2 times per week now so there may be a bit of a delay in my response.)
  • Add your site to the list for me to use as I test my tool. You’ll be amongst the first to get a link to test it once it’s ready.

Hope you are having a great week!


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