March 2024 Google Core Update Case Study

Google March 2024 Core Update Case Study: A tale of four tremors, reversals, and a great example of the counterbalancing of systems

This is my second post in a series about the March 2024 broad core update. Again, it was a huge update with many moving parts, so I wanted to cover several interesting things that went on versus writing just one post. For this post, I’m going to cover a very interesting case study that underscores … Read more

How to remove content and links from Google's AI Overviews

How to remove content and links from Google’s AI Overviews by using ‘preview controls’ like nosnippet, data-nosnippet, and max-snippet [Case Study]

Update: May 21, 2024 – My post is BACK in the AI overview, even when using nosnippet. I have provided more information below about that, including a screenshot. Update: May 22, 2024 – Google’s John Mueller replied to me after checking with the team working on AI overviews. The link card should drop out over … Read more

March 2024 core update and the transition of helpful content system to core

The March 2024 Google core update and how the transition of Google’s helpful content system to its core ranking system is supposed to work

I cover the old HCU(X) classifier, site-level quality algorithms, the counterbalancing of systems, and how the transition has been as smooth as a bed of razor blades… This is the first post in a series about the March 2024 broad core update. The update was one of the largest and most complex core updates Google … Read more

How to export Merchant Listings data via Analytics Edge

How to bulk export Merchant Listings data from Google Search Console via Analytics Edge in Excel

Don’t settle for the one thousand row limit in GSC. In this tutorial, I explain how to get all of your Merchant Listings data from GSC, while covering some other ideas for working with the data via Analytics Edge. Merchant Listings can be incredibly powerful for ecommerce retailers. They are free product listings that show … Read more

Shifting signals, links, and canonicals.

Shifting Signals: How GSC’s Inbound Links Report Can Reveal Third-Party URLs Being Canonicalized To Your Own

While helping a company that was heavily impacted by several algorithm updates in the fall of 2023, I started by scanning GSC reports to get a feel for the situation. And when digging into the inbound links report, I started noticing something funny across a number of links. There were some relatively powerful referring domains in … Read more

Wikipedia Reliable Sources List

Is Your Site Reliable? Meet Wikipedia’s Reliable Sources List: Another Proxy For Google’s Quality Raters

From “Generally reliable” to “Blacklisted”, you can find scores and discussions for many sites whose reliability is frequently discussed by Wikipedia editors. And as a bonus, I’ll explain how to find when a site is used as a source across Wikipedia. Based on helping many companies over the years that have been impacted by major … Read more

The evolution of Google's HCU

5 ways that Google’s helpful content system could evolve based on the evolution of previous punitive algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin

Update March 20, 2024: Helpful content system baked into core ranking systems.The March 2024 core update rolled out alongside a spam update on March 5, 2024, and Google announced the helpful content system is now part of Google’s core ranking systems. That means there will not be additional helpful content updates (and the way the … Read more

Google Note experiment

How to find Google Notes for your website and what those Notes could signal about quality, UX, the ad experience, and more

Google released Notes as an experiment on November 15, 2023, which is essentially a global commenting system that can appear in the search results, in Discover, and now while browsing a webpage via “SGE while browsing”. It enables anyone that’s part of the experiment to post a note for a specific url and read Notes … Read more

How to find embedded YouTube videos that have been removed using Screaming Frog

How To Find Embedded YouTube Videos That Are Unavailable or Marked Private Using Screaming Frog

There’s nothing more frustrating than coming across articles containing YouTube videos that have been removed for some reason. It’s extremely frustrating for users and can easily elude site owners (especially on large-scale sites). And from an SEO perspective, addressing unavailable videos can avoid UX barriers and unhappy users. So join me as we go hunting … Read more

How to use data-nosnippet

How to use data-nosnippet to block specific content from being used in a Google search snippet [Experiment]

For whatever reason, I’ve seen an uptick in site owners reaching out to me recently about search snippets appearing that they aren’t happy about. For example, Google is selecting text for a search snippet that they simply don’t want to be displayed in the search results. The site owners reaching out didn’t know if they … Read more

Highly visible and low-quality. A most dangerous SEO combination.

Highly Visible and Low Quality (or Unhelpful) – A Most Dangerous SEO Combination

As I’ve been helping companies that were heavily impacted by the “2023 Fall of Insane Algorithm Updates”, I have once again heard from several site owners that had their highest levels of traffic right before getting hammered. I’ll cover more about that soon, but it’s something I have seen for a long time. And now … Read more