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Feb 28, 2023

Keeping Up With Google: February Edition

Priya Jamba, Content Marketer
Priya Jamba
Keeping Up With Google: February Edition

Contents

Your one-stop shop for all things Google!

As we look forward to kick-starting March, it’s time for a recap of everything that happened in February. Let’s take a look at what went on in the search engine world during the shortest month of the year. 

Google SEO Updates

We will forever remember the month of February because of the Google update about AI content and its impact on the SERPs.

February 1, New Search Console Video Indexing Reports

Google has made updates to its Search Console report for video performance. 

Source

The updates include a new feature that shows the number of daily video impressions over time in the Video indexing report, aggregated by page. 

They have also added a sitemap filter to the report that allows users to focus on video pages that are present in a selected sitemap. The Search performance report now groups video search appearances by property, not URL, which may result in lower impression counts than the Video page indexing report.

February 17, Google Advises not to use 403s or 404s to reduce the crawl rate of your webpages

Google has observed an increase in website owners and CDNs using 404 and other 4xx client errors to decrease Googlebot's crawl rate. 

However, this approach is not recommended as 4xx errors are intended to signal client errors and may result in content being removed from Google Search. 

The only exception is the 429 status code, which suggests "too many requests." 

What can you do about it?

Google suggests using its documentation on how to reduce Googlebot's crawl rate instead, which involves either using Search Console to temporarily reduce the crawl rate or returning a 500, 503, or 429 HTTP status code to Googlebot.

February 8, Google Search’s Update on AI Generated Content

For a long time, SEO professionals and marketers believed that AI generated content is penalized by Google’s search engine algorithms. But that belief has been debunked by the latest Google announcement about AI-generated content. 

According to the latest Google announcement:

  • Google does not penalize AI generated content as long as it follows the Helpful Content guidelines. 
  • The search engine only cares about the E-E-A-T signals you showcase with your website content. 
  • Marketers are free to use AI content generators as long as the final content delivers helpful information to readers. 

For more information about this update, you can refer to our in-depth blog, ‘Google Sheds Light on the Importance of AI-generated Content in Search.

What can you do about it?

If you rely on content marketing to bring website traffic, it is time that you scale your content creation efforts by using an AI content generator like Scalenut. Just make sure that the content you publish has valuable insights on the topic. 

Google Algorithm Update

There was a major update on how Google ranks product reviews and presents the most trusted ones to searchers. 

February 22, Product Reviews Update

The objective of the product reviews system is to enhance recognition for excellent quality product reviews. These reviews should offer insightful analysis and original research and must be composed by knowledgeable experts or enthusiasts who possess a profound understanding of the topic. 

How does the product reviews system affect your site?

The product reviews system ensures that people see detailed product reviews, not just simple summaries. It looks at the content on a page-by-page basis, but if a website has a lot of product review content, the entire site might be evaluated. 

This system applies to certain languages globally. Structured data might be helpful, but it's not the only factor considered.

What can you do about it?

If your content is affected by a product reviews update, it might not bounce back until the next update. Remember, the automated evaluation of product review content is just one of several factors that affect content ranking, so changes can happen at any time for many reasons.

The buzz!

The buzz in the SEO world has been primarily around the Google product reviews update and the volatility it has caused in the website traffic of many websites. 

There have also been rumors of a ranking update released on February 14, but nothing has been announced officially by Google. 

That’s all for the month of February. We will keep a close watch on the SEO world and report back with any changes that might affect you in the next edition of Keeping Up With Google!

About Scalenut

Scalenut is an all-in-one AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform that helps marketers worldwide make high-quality, competitive content at scale. From research, planning, and outlines to ensuring quality content, Scalenut enables you to achieve the best in everything. 
Empower your content marketing campaigns with AI.
Sign up on Scalenut, and start creating content today.

Priya Jamba
Content Marketer
ABout the AUTHOR
Priya Jamba
Content Marketer

Priya Jamba is a Content Marketer at Scalenut. She loves marketing technologies and believes that with the right combination of tools and creativity, every organization can build sustainable brands. She is on a mission to help marketing teams across the globe produce tangible results from their marketing campaigns. Currently, she is working along with the Product team to enhance the AI content quality through prompt engineering.

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