Around the 15th of September, there looks to be quite a large algorithm update. Nothin confirmed by Google.
24th September we saw a large update/ranking fluctuations around this date
September saw many bugs in Google search, a lot more than normal. Nothing we can do anything about, if you are down on traffic maybe wait for a little whilst before changing your SEO.
Content v Usability
Google this month reminded us that major ranking factors are based on content whilst a lesser degree of SEO juice is on the usability of a site.
What I mean on this is that although something like the speed of a site is a ranking factor, it isn’t a larger ranking factor.
However, good quality content that answers the query is a strong ranking factor.
Google this month reminded us that affiliate links are made “nofollow” automatically, old news but good to remind people new to SEO.
Local List Reviews
Google this month changed their documentation on if positive reviews affect your local ranking results.
Previously they said that positive reviews could possibly help your ranking results.
Now, it says it WILL help your local ranking results.
Keep reminding your customers to give you good reviews!
Schema for free shipping
A new Schema was launched that allows you to specify if your product has free shipping. It will be displayed directly in Google results/shopping.
Google can use the surrounding content of a links anchor text as a secondary signal to value that link.
However, the anchor text itself is a primary signal and much more important. Hint hint.
Is Word Count a ranking factor?
In a word, No. Short and long content on pages both rank well, if good enough.