Within the month of July, we have some new SEO Updates to discuss. At the end of the month, two big items were introduced including a Google Product Reviews Update and the first update to the Quality Rater Guidelines that we have seen this year.
Product Review Update: July 27th
The Google Product Review Updates of the past couple years have been relatively dramatic in SERP Volatility. Per usual, Google did not reveal exactly what is included in this update, instead they provided a link about writing high quality product reviews. Their intention with this was to help shoppers discover product reviews that have been left by other customers when they are searching on Google. This works to improve how users understand products and the overall user experience. This new update did not seem to cause a lot of fluctuation in the SERPs as reported by Rank Ranger, the custom SEO and Digital Marketing Software company. However, some review sites with less reviews on their services displayed some dramatic dips.
Quality Rater Guidelines Update- July 28th
Google never discloses what is in its algorithm to the public. However, the Quality Rater Guidelines are the closest thing we have available to what Google considers important things to have on your website in order to rank highly. The Quality Raters help the Google Algorithm perform better by delivering a human look to thousands of websites on the internet. The Quality Raters use these guidelines to evaluate the websites they visit.
For this recent update to the Guidelines in July, we gathered a few big takeaways of things that Google considers important in your website contact. The big changes focus on Your Money Your Life related sites (YMYL), which emphasizes the necessity to focus on topics with high levels of accuracy. Prior to this July 28th update, Google broke down Your Money Your Life topics to include the following topics:
- Civics, Government, & Law
- News & Current Events
- Health and Safety
- Groups of people
Now those topics are now completely gone. Google currently defines YMYL as topics that could present a “high risk of harm” and can “impact health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society.” Google also asks quality raters to think of YMYL topics in terms of how the content could potentially harm individuals or society in terms of health or safety, financial security, society, or “other”. In the guidelines, Google provided a table diagram of considered YMYL topics.
Google added supplemental clarifications to Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) guidelines to look at the purpose of the page and how low page quality can impact the rest of the website. Low-quality pages can happen on any kind of website including government websites, academic sites, nonprofits, or any site designed to provide information.
However, in this context, “Low-quality characteristics do not depend on the purpose or topic of the page. Shocking or exaggerated titles, or a mildly negative reputation for the website or the content creator is reason to assign a Low rating for any page.” This is why you should improve your E-A-T on any site and especially on sites which are meant to provide information. Those who are content creators should ensure they have strong author bios that help show their expertise. E-A-T is demonstrated on a per-page basis, not as an entire website.
Google additionally noted that throughout the Quality Rater Guidelines document it changed the language so it could be applicable to all devices. They also updated screenshots and examples of concepts that are no longer relevant.
Video Insights in Google Search Console
Video content is a trend that will continue to remain everywhere you go. We constantly see TikTok, Reels, Shorts, and product video content all over, to the point where social media sites are changing their algorithms around it. Google has noticed this shift. So as marketers are increasingly adding video to their websites, Google is helping you keep track of it and how the search engine views it.
We are seeing a video indexing report within Google Search Console for the first time ever. This will become available over the next couple months. The report will tell you how many indexed pages on your website contain video content. It can also help you understand the performance of your videos with Google Plus and how to improve them to show up better in Search Results.
From Search Engine Journal, below is a screenshot of what the report looks like.
It works a lot like the other reports in Google Search Console. The report will tell you how many videos Google has indexed successfully. It additionally tells you some issues that could prevent the indexing of videos and it includes the URL inspection tool to state when there were issues with indexing the video. The report is intended to help you make better strategic decisions on how you can get your videos to show up in Google Search. As the popularity of video content continues to grow, Google will definitely be finding new ways to display video content in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).
Google My Business App Gone And Will Not Be Returning
The Google My Business standalone app no longer allows you to edit your Business Profile or make any changes. So essentially it serves no purpose, but the app still exists for those who have it. Instead, Google is leading you to manage your profile, view performance, and connect with customers through the Google Maps or Google Search apps.
Twitter Nofollow Attributes are Back
If you recall from last month’s update, Twitter unexpectedly decided to remove the Nofollow attribute from their Tweets, meaning tweeting links gained some SEO value. However, as quickly as they made this change, Twitter decided to take it away again at the beginning of July.
Google never stated if they would follow the links posted during that small window of time. Though, when counting new links for your website, Twitter and other social media should not be counted.