Google Shares What Webmasters Should Know About “Core Updates”

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Issue #139
August 6th, 2019

Hey, lunch buddies. I want to start out by thanking all of you for your support in visiting, reading and sharing the most recent blog post regarding WordPress site speed optimization. Not only did the post get a ton of visits but it received mentions in a lot of key SEO newsletters such as Marie Haynes Consulting, WhiteSpark, Jeffalytics, Revue, the podcast, Sparktoro site and Google Chrome for mobile “suggest content”.  To say I was excited about the response to the post is an understatement. In fact, I’m already working on my next post. More on that in next week’s issue. This type of success wouldn’t have been possible without all of your support. Thank you!

I would also like to announce that the #SEOForLunch has a new sponsor. The team at has agreed to sponsor the newsletter throughout the entire month of August. My favorite component of Ahrefs is its site explorer feature. I’m regularly combing through my sites, my client’s sites as well as my competitors to understand what links are pointing to each site and how I can leverage this data to build more authority to my sites. I’ve been an Ahrefs customer for many years and it’s one of the few tools I consider an absolute “must-have.”  You can try out Ahrefs for 7 days for just $7.00.

Sponsorships such as ahrefs help cover the overhead of this newsletter and ensures that it always remains free for everyone to enjoy. I really appreciate you supporting both this newsletter and its sponsors. Now let’s get on to the news!
– Nick


What you need to know

Article: What Webmasters Should Know About Google’s “Core Updates”

What’s Important:
Google makes updates to its ranking algorithm nearly every single day. Some days the algorithm updates are much bigger than others. These larger updates are referenced internally at Google as “core updates”. This blog post, from Google, explains what you need to be aware of when it comes to its core algorithm updates.

Nick’s Take:
Ever woke up to see a huge increase or (sigh) decrease in organic traffic? It’s very likely that you’ve been through a core algorithm update.  While I adamantly believe you should never “chase” algorithm updates, it is key to understanding the direction Google is going in their updates. Reading this post and the resources linked within will give you a really good idea of what Google is valuing. If you aren’t familiar with these concepts then it’s very likely your site has been impacted.


Sponsored Content: A Simple Guide to Canonical Tags (AHREFS)
Looking to understand why, when and how canonical tags should be leveraged on a website? Ahrefs, an #SEOForLunch sponsor published a blog post providing everything you need to know since their inception back in 2009.


Interesting Reads in Your Spare Time

How long does it take to rank in Google? – SiegeMedia (YouTube)
This question makes every single SEO cringe. It’s nearly impossible to tell a client the right answer and how an SEO approaches this question determines the success of the overall relationship. While some folks promise results quickly, I tend to underpromise and overdeliver with a “6+ month” answer.

A guide to dealing with expired content – SearchEngineJournal
The first two links in this week’s newsletters cover two hot topics in the SEO space. Ask any three SEOs the answer to how to deal with expired content and I can almost guarantee you’ll receive three unique answers. The answer (IMO) really depends on the authority and size of the site. What do you guys think!?

65 brilliant blog posts ideas – SocialMediaToday
I’ll be honest, I’m kinda over infographics. I think some are really well executed while many are poor attempts at linkbait. What I like about this infographic (and post) is the value behind the ideas. If you are in a content generation slump then take a look at this graphic and see if it helps you break through your writer’s block.

Do duplicate images hurt your SEO? – RebootOnline
I love detailed and carefully executed case studies. Have you ever wondered if the use of your stock images is impacting your sites SEO? This study by the RebootOnline might make you consider it as you continue to select imagery for your site’s content.

How to identify a sites low-quality indexing problem – gsqi
We started this newsletter off discussing Google’s core updates so it’s only appropriate we highlight a post that addresses how to identify core update issues. Glenn discusses how Google can ignore a user-declared canonical tag and how it can wreak havoc on your site. I highly recommend you read the entire post and execute his step by step analysis on your site. It’s important to remember that canonical tags are a hint, not a directive. When Google gets it wrong, it can cause a lot of trouble. Don’t give Google the opportunity to mess this up.

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Nick LeRoy
Nick LeRoy
Nick has 10+ years of SEO consulting experience building and executing strategies for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar consumer packaged goods to fashion entities with hundreds of physical store locations. He also writes the weekly SEO newsletter #SEOForLunch that allows you to stay up to date with industry updates in the amount of time it takes you to eat your lunch.

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