Overall November was a quieter month in the SEO world. Many might fear that it’s the calm before the storm. (I’m one of those people). We only had a couple newsworthy items to report. But let’s get into it.
Google Strength of Backlinks Predictions
For years now, we’ve heard the phrase coming out of SEO predictions that “link building is dead”. And year after year, that hasn’t been the case. Links play a different role than they did some years ago. But link building continues to remain an important piece of the SEO puzzle.
All that being said, Google’s John Mueller said on the Search Off The Record podcast, that he believes that over time, links will not be as important of a ranking factor as they are today. Essentially, links won’t carry as much weight as they do now. And today, they don’t carry as much weight as they did some years ago.
Mueller said “And to some extent, links will always be something that we care about because we have to find pages somehow. It’s like how do you find a page on the web without some reference to it? But my guess is over time, it won’t be such a big factor as sometimes it is today. I think already, that’s something that’s been changing quite a bit.”
You can watch the entire podcast here. The piece about backlinks starts around the 13 minute mark.
Help Your Products Show Up Online
In recent months, Google has worked to support the consumer trend of how popular e-commerce and online shopping has become. That’s not changing, and Google is working to capitalize. However, most of their innovations are actually helpful for small businesses. In November, Google announced a new section for Shopping tab listings within Google Search Console to help online store owners show their products in the Google Search Results.
For online store owners who have implemented Merchant Listings and Product structured data, they will start to see a new section in Search Console called Shopping tab listings. This means site owners won’t need to submit a product feed to Google. But just keep structured data up to date, streamlining the process to get new products on the Shopping tab of Google. You can read more about Google’s announcement here.
Google Title Changes
Please raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by Google changing your H1s or Titles in search results?
We’ve talked about this update and frustrations many feel around Google not picking up their designated Title tag or other elements being changed in search results. But in a Tweet conversation, John Mueller strikes again saying that Google changing your title is not a sign of good or bad quality. Some pages might have good titles that get changed, and some bad pages might have great titles.
Of his own opinion, Mueller says that most of these rewritings aren’t quality signals of a website. Of course some are fixed because of issues like keyword stuffing or just poorly written. But essentially, he says we shouldn’t take it personally. Not necessarily making us feel better if you’ve spent time adding keywords, branding phrases, etc. But helpful to know that it’s not a sign over how Google views a website overall.
Looking at https://t.co/H3qKn8c4uK while some of the items seem kinda quality-related (keyword stuffing), independently of Google, I wouldn’t consider most of those to be quality signals. Good sites have bad title elements, bad sites have good title elements.
— John Mueller is mostly not here 🐀 (@JohnMu) November 2, 2022
And that’s it for November news. We’ve seen some updates in early December that we’ll touch on next month. But for now, we wish you another month of good rankings and solid content creation ahead!