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Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great holiday and ready to make your website perform better than its ever done before!
So, let’s get right to it, enjoy!



Google has confirmed that they released a new local search algorithm update at the start of November 2019 as I reported last month (see our SEO report for November 2019).
They said it was a global update for all languages. The update essentially looks at the language of the query and search results pages, so, not the normal signals we are used to.

There looks to have been a sizable algorithm update by Google at the start of December 2019. Around the 4th/5th days.

Another update looks to have happened around 12th/13th and 15th/16th December too. More information on this as I find out.



A little more news on the BERT algorithm, Google has confirmed that it does not affect indexing at all.
Just a little tip on BERT, it’s all about content and language, look at your competitor’s pages that are out ranking you and create a better page.

Google also confirmed that BERT now uses more than 70 languages and affects about 10% of searches.
BERT is real folks so get optimising for it!
Oh wait, you can’t optimise for BERT. So you best create the best content you can then.

A little bit more info on BERT and the quality of your content, it doesn’t just mean the quality of the pages content but the sites content. Another thing to consider is that is the design and infrastructure of the site, so make it the best it can be for the type of site you have.
Think about getting the searcher to the content they want as quickly as possible and the minimum amount of clicks.



Google confirmed again this month that they automatically ignore links that look unnatural. They also said you don’t need to disavow the links too.
A reminder not to chase links from unnatural sources!


Google News

This is big news, previously if you wanted your site to appear in Google News you would have to submit your site to be included. It was quite hard to be considered a News source, lots of good content needed to be written regularly.
Now you don’t need to submit your website to Google News, if Google thinks your article is newsworthy they will include into their News section.
Why is this big news? Google News can create serious traffic to your site.
I expect this change is down to BERT, so, again, create the best content. See a theme here? I think I will be saying this all through 2020.


Search Console

It seems that Google has been under-reporting the number of pages that are indexed. Where they have been reporting that pages have been crawled but not indexed was incorrect.
They have made an update which now fixed this so you should see a higher number of pages indexed within Search Console.


Mixed Content

Finally, an important change that will be started to rollout in January 2020. Google will over the next few months either stop non-secure resources of your webpage from loading or change the secure padlock icon to non-secure.
What this means is if you have a website which is using SSL (starts with HTTPS and not HTTP) Chrome (and other browsers) will show a padlock by the URL. However, if your webpage gets data – whether image, scripts or iFrames – from a non-secure source Chrome will not load that part of your webpage.
Initially, they will automatically check that there is a secure version of the resource and use that, but if it can’t find one then it’s a “No Show”.

It is good practise to check all your resources are secure after all if those resources are hacked it will show up on YOUR website too!

Here is the Google announcement.

If you need any help with this just get in touch.