This week in search engine optimization image

This Week’s Top Stories in Search Engine Optimization

Say goodbye to Halloween and hello to the official Holiday Season. As winter approaches the online marketing climate continues to change. Everyone in the SEO game is obsessed with Google’s algorithms, rightly so since best practices evolve along with core updates every few months.

This week has offered insight into new marketing trends and proven strategies. Our weekly roundup gives you fresh stories hot off the press so you can stay up to date with the latest need-to-know news.

Top Stories:

  • Google Rolls Out Its Latest Spam Algorithm
  • New Banned Words List in Place
  • New Desktop Ranking Systems for 2022
  • Long-Form Content Continues to Win
  • Inbound Marketing Trends for 2022

Google Rolls Out Its Latest Spam Algorithm Update

New AI advancements upped the ante in the spam wars. After making significant headway in the fight against hackers over the past few years, Google claimed that “hacked spam was still rampant in 2020.”

Information from Google’s Webspam Report showed a 60% increase in spam detection as of April 2021. Much of this is attributed to the rise of misinformation about both COVID-19 and the current political landscape.

Google's latest spam fighting algorithm news post

Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search at Google, confirmed the rollout of the latest spam-fighting algorithm on Wednesday. The new guidelines should take one week to take full effect but industry experts already expect to see some websites in the top positions drop in the ranks.

New Banned Words List in Place

Google revised its list of banned words and terms blocked from its index. Google’s John Muller stated that the new “collection of terms” will be “removed wherever possible (including old blog posts).”

The list of new terms hasn’t been released as of yet but the Google developer documentation style guide can give you a good idea of the type of words that are banned. Take a look at the current style guideline word list for more information.

John Muller word style guideline post

When asked if the word style guidelines word list was a direct ranking signal, Mueller replied, “Not completely – not everything that Google publishes is an SEO thing.” This means that it’s more of an issue for developers but the syntax of compound words and modifiers like “&” may prompt crawlers to ignore pieces of written content.

As usual, webmasters and editors are encouraged not to use words or phrases that promote violence, sex, profanity, or hate speech (in every language). Download the current bad words list to see terms that result in penalties.

New Desktop Ranking Systems for 2022

SEO continues to integrate with user experience as the discipline grows. Google rolled out a mobile page experience update from June to August of 2021. This week Google Search Central’s blog announced plans to implement page experience into its desktop ranking system.

Desktop Rankings System for 2022 - Core Web Vitals example

The changes are scheduled to deploy between February and March of 2022. According to the article, “this work builds on top of the [mobile] page experience update.” This means core web vitals (loading, interactivity, and visual stability) will be more of a ranking factor.

Long-Form Content Continues to Win

SEO never stops changing. But there are still tried and true link-building strategies search engine optimization professionals rely on. In a new blog post by Moz, data shows publishing long-form content is the preferred backlink strategy for the majority of marketers.

In a survey of just over 400 participants, 57% of respondents claimed that publishing long-form, report-style content was the most effective way to earn backlinks.

Long form content post from Moz

Moz co-founder Paddy Morgan noted that “the results were a little surprising…it’s usually the larger, more visually appealing content pieces that generate attention. Clearly, there is much more to long-form content than meets the eye.”

Inbound Marketing Trends in 2022

HubSpot’s latest insights suggest B2C marketing trends are promising for companies invested in social media marketing. Although publishing long-form content still seems to be one of the most worthwhile SEO tactics, data from HubSpot indicates more companies use social media to generate business than ever.
Hubspot marketing trends image
According to a survey of 1500 marketers conducted by HubSpot in 2021, nearly 70% of participants claimed a social media first approach to marketing. This supports HubSpot’s prediction that the more universal social media becomes, the more savvy online marketers will need to “be more human, creative, personalized, social-driven, and experimental than ever before.”

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