03/01/2021: SEO Rewind

Moz: Featured Snippets drop to historic lows. GSC: New Association functionality. Search Central Live recording available. Google: Longer title tags can be beneficial to SEO

03/01/2021: SEO Rewind

Moz: Featured Snippets drop to historic lows

Moz discovered a significant decrease in % of search results with Featured Snippets in their 10K-keyword dataset. This change happened on February 19th.

Source: Moz (https://moz.com/blog/featured-snippets-drop-to-historic-lows)
Source: Moz

Dr. Pete elaborates further that this shift seems to have impacted some industries more heavily - such as Health and Finance. And especially short-tail, highly competitive keywords in these industries.

Featured Snippets Drop to Historic Lows
On February 19, MozCast measured a dramatic drop (40% day-over-day) in SERPs with Featured Snippets. This is the lowest prevalence rate of Featured Snippets in our data set since summer of 2015. What’s driving the losses, and who is most affected?

To see if (and how much) you were impacted, you can use the fairly new “Organic keywords 2.0” report in Ahrefs. With the proper filters, it’ll show you which Featured Snippets you had before this change vs. which you have now.

GSC: New Association functionality

In Setting in Google Search Console, you can now find a new Association page that shows all connections to other Google services - such as Google Analytics, your YouTube channel, etc.

Source: Google Search Central (https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/02/search-console-associations)
Source: Google Search Central

Also, you can now link Domain properties that you have in GSC to Google Analytics.

New Association functionality added to Search Console

Search Central Live recording available

Last week, Google hosted the first installment of their new event series.

Agenda:

  • Fireside chat - Danny Sullivan, Martin Splitt, Cherry Prommawin, Ashley Berman Hale
  • Technical SEO case study - Martin Splitt, Kristina Azarenko
  • and a live session of Search Off The Record - Gary Illyes, John Mueller, Martin Splitt

Recording of the full event is available here:

Are you concerned about the amount of 404s you see in GSC? Don’t be.

For some sites, 30-40% of 404s reported in Google Search Console is perfectly fine and natural, John Mueller answered to a question during the recent Google Search Central SEO hangout.

So don’t worry about Google still trying to crawl URLs that have been gone for months and years. That’s just how hungry Googlebot is.

Google: Fine if 30-40% of URLs in Search Console Are 404s
404 errors are a normal part of web crawling, Google says, and may even amount to 40% of a site’s URLs in Search Console.

Google: Longer title tags can be beneficial to SEO

Gary Illyes from Google said there is an SEO benefit in having title tags longer than what is displayed in the search.

Google: Title Tags Longer Than What Is Displayed Has SEO Benefit
Gary Illyes from Google said in last night’s Google Central Live event that there is a benefit, I assume an SEO benefit, to having title tags longer than what is displayed in the search. He later adde

Google: The Page Experience Update will not be a massive change

According to Danny Sullivan, the Page Experience Update that is supposed to come in May will not be a massive change - at least in the beginning.

It seems logical if you look at how much time they gave webmasters to prepare for the full rollout of mobile-first indexing (the final rollout should happen this month; however, Google first announced mobile-first indexing in Nov 2016).

See you on Monday with the next Rewind!