Google Algorithm Update
Google is continuously updating its algorithm to ensure the highest quality of search results. Although there were no new ranking algorithm releases in January, there were a few important updates to note.
January 3, Google removed the 110-character limit for headline property
On January 3, Google removed the earlier 110-character limit for the headline property in structure data. Users can now have longer headlines for their articles.
What can you do about it?
If you are a website owner that publishes detailed structured data with all of your articles, this change may benefit you. However, as mentioned above, longer headlines may be truncated on small-screen devices. We would advise you to continue using the 110-character limit for headlines as it ensures that the full title of your articles and blogs is visible on every device.
January 12, Link Spam and Helpful Content updates roll-outs done
In December, Google released Link Spam and Helpful Content Update, both aimed at prioritizing good-quality content in SERPs over black hat SEO links and low-quality keyword-stuffed content.
Both these updates were entirely rolled out on January 12. The Link Spam update took a total of 29 days to finish rolling out, and the Helpful Content update took 38 days.
Google Ads Update
Google Ads are an important part of almost every marketer’s paid promotion strategy. The sheer reach of the Google Search platform makes it an awesome source for marketing your products and services to a wider audience. In January, Google Ads made some noticeable changes.
January 5, Google Ads applies Remove Redundant Keywords Recommendation across match types
Currently, the “remove redundant keywords” recommendation works with the same ad groups, locations, bidding strategy, and match types. Ad publishers have to repeat the keyword filtering and sorting process for every match type.
However, all of this will change from January 19, when the “remove redundant keywords” recommendation will start working across match types. Advertisers can see the new filtered match type reports by clicking on “Segment” in the “search keywords” report and selecting the “search terms match type” option.
This change will not affect your ad performance negatively. In fact, it is aimed at increasing the cost efficiency of your ads across match types. For example, suppose you are creating an ad group with a phrase match keyword “men’s leather shoes” and broad match keyword “shoes for men.” Google Ads platform will recommend removing the phrase match keyword, as the broad match will already contain those keywords.
What do you need to do about it?
There isn’t much to do about this update except track the impact of the new keyword filtering system on your ad performance. If you witness a negative impact of publishing broad match ads, you can always go back to categorizing your keywords as phrase match and broad match phrases.
January 25, Google tests a new “trusted store” badge
On January 25, Brian Freiesleben, an SEO expert, noticed a new “trusted store” badge on Google search. This looks like an ongoing test from Google that highlights advertisements published by trusted merchants.
A trusted store is likely to give a better purchasing experience to Google searchers. This may include faster shipping and easy returns, combined with user ratings and other factors that build trust between an online store and customers.
Since there hasn’t been any official announcement about it from Google Ads, we do not have a lot of information about the trusted badge feature. If you notice this badge in your Google search, be sure to hover over it and read about it.
The buzz in the SEO community was largely about the Search Central Virtual Unconference to be conducted on February 17, 2023. The registrations are closed for the event.
That covers every Google update for the month of January 2023. Keep creating helpful content, and stay away from black hat SEO techniques!
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