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Peak Ace on Air #25: Organic Search November 2020 Update

At last, we’ve made it to December – 2020 is nearly over! To see you through to the end of the year, Bastian and Domi prepared a roundup of the latest in organic search – here are some of the highlights.

A health portal launched on Germany’s Google search results

Following the sea of misinformation that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, the German government joined forces with Google to introduce a new “health portal” to the search results. It will appear on the left-hand side of the search panel alongside disease-related search terms, e.g. “corona”:

In the UK for example. there are over 2,000 search terms related to diseases – the health panel provides extra content related to the search results. This new feature caused a bit of a stir in November, as some wondered why and how this information was necessary in the first place. However, given the necessity of providing context-based, comprehensive information in the face of a lot of fake news and rumours, it’s not surprising that governments got involved here.

Google Webmaster Conference Lightning Talk

Google has been pushing their Webmaster Conference Lightning Talks on YouTube, and you should definitely take advantage of them. From their November series, one stand-out was Google’s Search Advocate’s Daniel Weiber’s talk about how to remove content from Google’s search results fast. Weiber talks about methods e.g. the Search Console’s removal tools and permanent removals, so we highly recommend the talk for SEO experts, content marketers and anyone who needs to remove content now and then.

Google’s revamp of Search Console & Crawl Statistics Report

One update which also caused a lot of debate was Google’s revamp of their Search Console. The Crawl Statistics Report now has a variety of new features like detailed information of the host status – this makes it much easier to keep up to date if you have lots of different hosts.

We’re also excited about the new URL examples, showing where in the site the requests were made. This makes Google’s crawling much more transparent and understandable. Check out the article and the new-look Google Search Console yourself to explore all the new features!

Speaking of Google: Bing – it now has a new tool called the Index Explorer, which makes it easier to understand the Bing Bot inventory (i.e., the URLs that have been crawled).

5 Hours Technical SEO by SEMrush

5 Hours of Technical SEO is a series of expert talks organised by SEMrush, which took place in November. Nine experts took the virtual stage and talked about schema markups, worst technical SEO nightmares, pagination and problems behind indexing.

All the talks, with accompanying slide decks, can be rewatched on YouTube via the SEMrush website. (Virtual events do have their perks!)

Bartosz Góralewicz, CEO of Onely, was one of the speakers at the SEMrush event – and here’s a coincidence: he’ll join Bastian in giving a talk at the SEJ Summit on January 12th! The two will talk about core web vitals and all the practicalities of optimising your website. Interested? Simply check the schedule and register here. It’s a virtual event and will be held according to USA time – we can guarantee it’s worth staying up and watching.

And while we are talking about events featuring Peak Ace, you can still get your hands on early bird tickets for SMX Munich in March 2021. Bastian will deliver a really unmissable talk on technical SEO, (not to mention all the other great speakers), so head over to the website and book your tickets!

Website Auditing Resources from Sitebulb

Sitebulb has compiled a great selection of website auditing tools, for everyone from beginners to advanced users. We perform lots of technical SEO audits for a number of clients and prospective clients every year, but if you’re not such a regular auditor, these resources are a great way of keeping up to date with best practices.

Request Indexing feature is removed from Google Search console

Google had some technical issues with request indexing, so they decided to kill it. This did not go down well with the general public, so Google is actually looking for ways to bring it back. Request indexing is (or was) a great tool for quick checks, even though there were other methods – we’d be happy to see its renaissance!

Google updated search quality rater guidelines

This update actually happened at the end of October (sorry) but it’s still worth mentioning. Jennifer Slegg wrote a great summary of the update on Sempost, saying that it’s really a matter of focusing on how well the search results meet the needs of the searchers.

In this update, Google has tweaked its understanding of the user’s intent, so that the SERP results will be more accurate to what the user actually wants to see. That means reminding yourself of that core commandment of SEO: keep the user’s intent in mind when choosing the keywords to use! 

Change in storytelling for the Q4 campaigns

Lastly, Dominique pointed out how brands are generally putting out encouraging, inspiring messages through their advertising. This has been the toughest year for everyone, globally, for quite some time; and while brands should not gloss over this in their advertising, no one wants to see an ad confirming that everything is terrible.

As no one can really stop advertising, the pandemic has definitely altered the angle that advertisers are taking, especially for the holiday season. The cleverest brands are avoiding purely sales-oriented messages and instead focusing on promoting positivity, hope and connection.

Coming Dec 15th: The Peak Ace on Air Christmas Special!

We can now announce our two very special guests appearing on our final Peak Ace on Air of 2020: Arnout Hellemans from the Netherlands and Nick Wilsdon (UK). We’re delighted to welcome two such SEO experts on our Christmas special – tune in on December 15th to watch live!

That’s it for the recap of November 2020. Next week, Bastian and Domi will talk you through creating content marketing campaigns from start to finish. Follow us on Facebook or Linkedin or subscribe to our Youtube channel to get a notification when we go live!

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