In this search engine news roundup, we cover Google potentially using Wikipedia to rank websites, GoogleBot no longer supporting robots.txt noindex, and a Search Marketing Benchmark report for you – SaaS edition.
“Search engine marketing and search engine optimisation are critically important to online businesses. You can spend every penny you have on a website, but it will be all for nothing if nobody knows your site is there.” – Marc Ostrofsky
In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
- Is Google using Wikipedia to rank websites? For real.
- Google cancels support for Robots.txt NoIndex – now what?
- Search Marketing Benchmark report for SaaS
Let’s dig in.
Did You Hear That Google Uses Wikipedia to Rank Your Site?
Last month we covered Google’s June Core Update and how it caused two high authority websites to lose ranking.
This month, we decided to do a follow-up and discovered that traffic to alternative health site Mercola had plummeted by about 99%.
Why? According to Dr Mercola’s post, Google’s algorithm seems to be targeting websites that are described with negative sentiment in Wikipedia. His statement is based not only on the articles he read online but also on what’s written in Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines (QRG).
The part Dr Mercola is focusing on is just instructions. They tell quality raters to use Wikipedia to check on the reputation of a website. However, that’s a bit selective, isn’t it? It’s misleading to quote a portion of the guidelines – that only fits his point. (Take a look at QRG’s section 2.6. for further info.)
To use just section 2.6 of QRG to guess that Google is using Wikipedia for reputation ranking is an extreme leap. Why? Because there is nothing in the instructions, including the use of advanced search operators, that indicates Wikipedia is being used by Google’s algorithm.
Google stops support for noindex directive in Robots.txt
Google officially announced that it’ll stop supporting unsupported and unpublished rules in the robots exclusive protocol.
Today we’re saying goodbye to undocumented and unsupported rules in robots.txt 👋
If you were relying on these rules, learn about your options in our blog post.https://t.co/Go39kmFPLT
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) July 2, 2019
What does that mean? It means Google will no longer support robots.txt files with the noindex directive listed within the file.
The company lists a number of alternatives for those who relied on the noindex indexing directive and they are:
- Noindex in robots meta tags: supported in both the HTTP response headers and in HTML. The noindex directive is the most effective way of removing URLs from the index when crawling is allowed.
- 404 & 401 HTTP status codes: both codes means the page doesn’t exist, which will drop such URLs from Google’s index once they are crawled and processed.
- Password protection: unless markup is used to indicate subscription or paywalled content, hiding a page behind a login will generally remove it from Google’s index.
- Disallow in robots.txt: search engines can only index pages they know about. Hence, blocking a page from being crawled usually means its content will not be indexed.
- Search Console Remove URL Tool: a tool allowing you to quickly and easily remove a URL temporarily from Google’s search results.
Search Marketing Benchmark Report for SaaS
Do you know how your results compare to the industry benchmarks in your current search marketing efforts? No?. No worries, we always have you covered.
The marketing and analytics team at Directive – a B2B and enterprise search marketing agency – constructed a comprehensive benchmark report. It includes statistics from over 40 of their SaaS clients in 2018.
The purpose of the report is to provide businesses with benchmark figures from different search marketing efforts; and, also, how they can relate back to different departments.
So, let your data nerdiness out to play and geek out by diving into all the delicious data which will certainly help your team shed light on where you’re at and where you can improve when it comes to your search marketing strategy. Ah, and let’s not forget that by knowing more and comparing your efforts with the statistics, your budget will always be allocated efficiently.
To download the report, visit Digital Marketing Depot here.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas what search engine news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.
In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.