A mysterious disturbance got the SEO internet community all excited while some interesting changes have been made to Google’s new Search Console. Let’s take a closer look at the big SEO stories from the last month.
Rumours of Google Algorithm Disturbance
Early November saw a lot of online chatter amongst SEO experts regarding a strange disturbance in Google’s algorithm. The disturbance began around November 3rd and continued for a day or so. Trackers and SEO commentators noted that there seemed to be a huge decrease in online traffic, especially in the US.
One commentator stated: “USA traffic has been way down since the weekend. I’m sure the election has something to do with it, but seeing that only my home page and my top landing page have been affected I think an update at Google is more likely, otherwise it would be an across the board drop. I have had a sustained drop in just those two pages since the weekend and during that time the SERPs have bumped up and down. Today I lost five top3 ranking terms.”
The strongest rumour is that Google initiated some kind of update, though they have not confirmed or even hinted at this. It is possible that a temporary update was initiated to cope with the surge of traffic instigated by the recent presidential election.
Google Change Disavow Link Location
November saw a couple of significant changes made to Google’s new Search Console. Firstly, they have migrated the disavow link tool while adding the ability to download files and see any new errors that are related to them.
The disavow link tool will now be available in a direct link to the Search Console, rather than from a Webmasters URL. Both the new location and old location are currently still functional, but after January 19 next year the older link will simply redirect to the new disavow link.
The disavow link tool is important for site owners who believe bad links are hurting their ranking. The disavow tool lets site owners give Google a list of URLs or domains they want Google to ignore.
Google offered guidance on how to use the disavow tool, saying: “If you have a manual action against your site for unnatural links, or if you think that you’re about to get one because of paid links or link schemes that violate our quality guidelines, ask the other site to remove those links. If you can’t get these links removed, then disavow those sites using this tool.”
New Search Console Updates Crawl Stat Reports
Another change to the new Search Console is a revamping of the crawl stats. They will now provide reports to enable actionable and useful data to crawling issues. Google say the new update will make it easier for developers, webmasters and SEOs to identify issues with Google crawling.
The updated crawl stats will now report on the total number of requests grouped by response code, crawled file type, crawl purpose and Googlebot type. There will be detailed information on host status and URL examples to show where in your site the requests occurred. There will also be a comprehensive summary for properties with multiple hosts and support for domain properties.
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