Can you believe we have already completed the first month of 2021? So much has happened in a month that it’s hard to keep up with everything.
I already have the impression that the year is passing and that a lot is already happening around the world. Lockdown 3.0, Biden’s new presidency, Elon Musk surpassing Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world, Bernie Sanders goes viral, Burger King’s logo change and most recently, the passing of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
It all happened in just a few short weeks and I’m sure there are plenty more to come this year.
And the world of digital marketing? If you’re like me and signed up for newsletters from big SEO players like Search Engine Journal, Land search engine, Moz and Semrush, endless blogs will come to your inbox every day.
We know the intention is there, but who really has the time to follow them? Especially in this current climate, time has never been more precious, which is why I have listed the most remarkable SEO highlights of January 2021, starting with the mother of research, Google.
Google’s SMITH wins over BERT
To quickly get back to basics, Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times a year. Some updates are more sophisticated than others and come with some great names, but they are all aimed at improving how it returns the most relevant webpage on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) based on the search query for a user.
BERT was one of them, which rolled out towards the end of 2019 and aims to better understand the complexity of human language, occasional search queries, and long-tail keywords.
BLACK-SMITH arrived last November and claims to be better at understanding longer-form content than BERT. Simply put, SMITH understands passages of an entire document and page, while BERT can only understand words and a few sentences.
Does Google really use SMITH in its algorithm?
As with all updates, Google keeps its maps close to its chest and doesn’t reveal the specific algorithms it uses. Until Google formally announces that SMITH is in use, it is purely speculative to say if it is live.
Google Question Center
Content creators, you will love this. Google recently launched its Question center, which is a tool that highlights unanswered questions that you need to solve.
How it works?
When a user searches for something specific or asks a question, Google will save it to their Question Center, ready for. content marketing kings and queens to see when they log into their Google account.
Gone are the days when you didn’t know what to write about, especially if your business or client operates in a niche industry. It will definitely improve your keyword and content strategy.
The only downside at the moment is that it’s only available in the US, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
When will he arrive in the UK?
Google didn’t say it, but I personally signed up for the waitlist, which is on the Question Hub page, so I’ll be notified when it launches in the UK, so watch this space.
Google My Business Performance Reports
We’re talking, Google My Business keeps its promises. Over the years, digital marketers felt that its information section was somewhat lacking, but now performance reports have been deployed and are now ready to be used for your Local SEO.
Some statistics available include the number of calls and messages you received in a given time period, as well as the search terms used to find your listing in Google search and Google Maps. The data can now be viewed six months ago instead of just three months, which is significantly more useful.
However, the reports lack valuable information like website clicks, photo views, and some other stats that were previously available. This may explain a rushed release, but hopefully all data points will eventually be migrated to the new platform. Another space to watch.
Google Search Console coverage reports
January seems to be the month of insights because Google has also updated Search Console coverage reports, which now better educates digital marketers about issues that could prevent Google from crawling and indexing web pages.
Specifically, Google has added more granular index coverage statuses and categories among other changes so you can figure out exactly what the problem is and how to fix it.
Google supports Black History Month
To support Black History Month, Google updated shopping search results with a new ID tag black-owned businesses following a 600% increase in search interest over the past year.
Businesses can now add the black property attribute to their products in Google Merchant Center to make it easy for people to find them. However, this is currently only available in the United States and while it is to celebrate Black History Month, it is a feature that is here to stay, so fingers crossed it will be available soon. the UK.
Mueller promotes digital public relations
John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google, recently praised Digital PR on Twitter, to go as far as that can sometimes be more vital than technical SEO.
The Twitter chat came to fruition after a tweet was posted about raising digital PR salaries and this talent is starting to be recognized. Mueller then responded that he appreciates what digital PR is doing and that « it’s a shame that it is often swallowed up with the type of spam link building. «
It’s nice to see that SEO reputation goes beyond keyword rankings and traffic and works in harmony with digital PR to build quality and real backlinks to build trust, authority and expertise.
Duplicate content is not a negative ranking factor
Speaking of Mueller, he recently broke the myth that duplicate content is a negative search ranking factor.
He specifies that it is normal that the sites have a degree of duplicate content and that Google’s algorithms are smart enough to handle it. This means that having repetitive content isn’t something that would cause a site to rank lower in search results. It’s just that Google will show one page and not the other, not that the rankings will drop. Music to our ears.
Backlinko’s new SEO guide
Backlinko founder Brian Dean posted the new ‘Definitive Guide to SEO in 2021‘and if it isn’t already, it should be at the top of your playlist.
Away from your average SEO trend forecast blog post, this guide will cover everything you need to know about Strategies That Already Work, Google Core Web Vitals, Domain Authority, Visual Search, Intent users and much more.
Yoast SEO News
Yoast is one of my favorites WordPress plugins that help you optimize your web pages technically, for content and keywords, as well as improve the readability of your content.
Yoast updates are published every two weeks, so as long as the plugin is updated, you can take advantage of its new features, tips and tricks on a regular basis, making sure your content is the best it can be.
Recent versions include more languages (Norwegian and Turkish) and estimated reading time, which allows your website to tell your visitors how long it will take them to read your content. Defining your readers’ expectations up front is always a plus.
Shopify is recruiting
Shopify, market leader e-commerce platform, has huge news. He plans hiring of 2021 engineers in 2021 in order to “Remove the barriers that prevent entrepreneurs around the world from starting and growing their businesses.”, which is really positive to see given these unprecedented times.
Whether you specialize in the front end or the backend website development, data science, research and development or production, there will be a technical role available and they are open to everyone as Shopify adopts a remote policy.
Psst… Hallam is also hiring and we’re as good as Shopify.
DuckDuckGo hits new record
DuckDuckGo recently celebrated a milestone of hitting 100 million searches in a single day and is also on track to reach 90 million average daily searches in January 2021, 73% more than last year.
Continuing with these amazing results, the search engine also reached 7th place in the iOS App Store for free apps and # 1 for utility apps, as well as # 2 in the US mobile search market. , overtaking Bing and Yahoo. It looks like 2021 is already the year of DuckDuckGo.
It’s an envelope
Here ends the SEO highlights of January 2021 and I hope you found them more useful than going through all the deleted newsletters from your blog or looking for news you didn’t even know existed. While there is more going on in the SEO world this year so far, I hope this has given you a good place to start, but if you have any questions or need more advice , feel free to Contact us. Stay tuned!