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By janice on December 3, 2021
Hello, hello! Can you believe that it’s December already? I can hear Santa’s sled coming. Anyway let’s start off the last month of the year with our usual weekly SEO news. Here’s a breakdown of what we’ve seen in the SEO sphere for the week:
Google’s November Core update has finished rolling out
Google: Pure spam or adult old domains can be a problem for SEO
Microsoft announces that 60,000 unique websites that use Cloudflare have turned on IndexNow
Google: Links going to or coming from small or new websites are fine
Google: URL changes aren’t the reason for SEO decline
It’s been slightly more than two weeks since Google’s November Core update started rolling out and it’s finally completed! It was noted that there were roughly 3 days filled with volatility as there were huge spikes recorded on 17-18th November, 24-25th November and 30th November.
Having rifled through the feedback and comments regarding this update, I have to say that they’re a mix of apathetic to even negative. There were some complaints about rankings or traffic dropping a lot (with some people saying that theirs dropped by 50%). Some people reported seeing no changes. One particular feedback noted was that a lot of spam and bot traffic that was killed by the Spam update has returned.
Someone asked Google’s John Mueller a question about repurposing old domains that had zero traffic or weren’t used but were redirected somewhere else and his answer was that they were harmless. However, he noted that it may cause SEO or Google ranking issues if the domain used to be used for or redirected to spam or adult sites.
It can take Google really long to reclassify a domain as not adult but it seems like Google can’t handle new content or purposes on a domain if it had such a bad history of spamming even though it hadn’t been used in a long time.
So, a couple of weeks back, we talked about Microsoft introducing something called IndexNow and launching it. In less than 2 months since launch, Microsoft announces this amazing milestone they’ve hit.
In case you don’t know what IndexNow is, it’s an open protocol that any search engine can participate in to enable site owners to have their pages and content instantly indexed by the search engine.
You can turn it on by flipping a switch in Cloudfare under the crawler hints section that you can access under the cache tab, then under the configuration section:
Once the setting is enabled, IndexNow “will begin sending hints to search engines about when they should crawl particular parts of your website.”
Google may actually adopt it as they plan to test the protocol for indexing. While Microsoft Bing and Yandex are the only two search engines that have fully adopted it, if Google adopts it, you can expect other search engines to do the same.
People were worried that getting backlinks from a website that has 0 Domain Authority would be considered as getting spam backlinks which is bad for SEO.
Google’s John Mueller said that it was fine and that it was understandable for many sites to start off small. People shouldn’t immediately assume that sites with low Domain Authorities are spam sites. You should not worry about linking to these sites or about these site sites linking to you.
That being said, I’m still kind of confused about Google’s stance on link building because sometimes, it seems like they’re alright with it while sometimes they straight out discourage it. What do you think?
One person talked to John Mueller about undoing a URL site migration change that was made a year ago. They said that they considered doing this due to their traffic falling and they just thought that it had something to do with this change. However, John Mueller said that he does not think that the traffic change is related to the URL changes. This seems to imply that he thinks that there were likely other causes and that the traffic dropping after the URL change was just a coincidence.
Well, that’s it for this week’s SEO news. Have you guys gotten around to buying your Christmas trees yet? I want to get a huge one this year just to reward myself after such a challenging year.
Updated: 22 January 2022
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