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Q3 2020 in Review: Google Updates – Kathy Brown & Tyson Stockton // Searchmetrics


Episode Overview:

Join host Ben as he speaks with Searchmetrics’ Senior SEO Manager Kathy Brown and VP of Services Tyson Stockton to review 20202 Q3 developments. Together they examine the Google updates that impacted the last quarter.

Google didn’t release many updates this quarter and spent more time fixing technical bugs from mid-September to early October. The industry initially thought the bugs were an update as rankings fluctuated. However, it turned out to be an indexing issue regarding canonical tagging where Google’s system couldn’t differentiate between duplicate content. This resulted in skewed ranking.

Mobile indexing was also affected, impacting 0.2% of indexed pages. Although it may seem like a small percentage, it affected millions of pages. The issues were fixed relatively quickly but had a sizeable impact on businesses, namely publishers.

Apart from dealing with technical bugs, Google released licensed badges in image search to label images for commercial use. Google pulls license information from image metadata to display license details in a tile for users. The license badges are a step toward helping people protect their creative work.

Meanwhile Google postponed its mobile-first indexing initiative from September to March 2021. The initiative aims to prioritize mobile site crawling first.