Welcome to episode #65 of the SEO Newsletter by #SEOSLY!

Hello and welcome to this week’s SEO newsletter! I have scoured the internet to bring you the top SEO news and updates from the past week. Whether you’re an experienced SEO professional or just starting to learn about search engine optimization, I hope you find this information valuable and helpful.

If you enjoy this newsletter, please consider following me on the following platforms to help me grow my community and continue providing top-quality SEO content:

I appreciate your support and look forward to sharing more SEO insights with you in the future. Thank you for reading!

P.S. As you have probably noticed, I have changed my surname (fortunately to a lot easier one to spell and pronounce) and am now Olga Zarr.

SEO Newsletter by SEOSLY

Join me LIVE on Monday (December 19) at 5 PM CET with David Kaufmann from SEOcrawl

Join us for a live YouTube event where we’ll be discussing the latest SEO news, sharing some of the latest SEO tips and tricks, and answering your questions.

Top Google SEO News

Here is the most important news from the world of SEO from last week. A lot has been happening!

E-E-A-T – “Experience” Added To Revised Search Quality Raters Guidelines

Google has announced updates to its Search Quality Raters Guidelines, including the addition of the “experience” factor to the E-A-T assessment. Along with expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, the content will now be evaluated for the degree of experience it demonstrates. These changes to the guidelines will help Google better assess the quality of its search results. More information on the inclusion of E-E-A-T in the guidelines is available for those interested in learning more.


Google December 2022 Link Spam Update

Google has released its December 2022 link spam update, which aims to reduce the impact of unnatural links on search results using the power of SpamBrain. The update will be rolled out over the course of the next two weeks. This update is expected to greatly improve the quality and accuracy of search results for users


Google introduces the Google Search Status Dashboard

Google has introduced the Google Search Status Dashboard, a tool for the public to understand the current status of systems that impact search, such as crawling, indexing, and serving, and to communicate disruptions in these systems transparently.


Visual Elements of Google Search

The Visual Elements Gallery is a new resource that helps people understand and identify the various UI elements that appear in Google Search. It includes illustrations of common and impactful elements, such as featured snippets and People Also Ask boxes, and provides information on how to optimize websites for these features. This resource is intended to help people better understand and optimize their website for Google Search.


No upcoming Google Core Updates this year

John Mueller from the Google Search team has confirmed that there will be no more core updates for the remainder of the year, despite speculation and concerns from SEOs following the ongoing rollout of the Google December 2022 link spam update and helpful content update.

Interesting Google Experiments & Tests

Featured snippets shown not in position one

Google is testing the display of featured snippets, also known as position zero, not at the top or in the first position, but rather further down the page below position one. This behavior was previously observed in April 2020, but it is unclear if it was a bug or intentional.


Content ideas directly in Google Search Console

Google Search Console is testing a new feature called “content ideas,” which brings Question Hub-like functionality directly into the platform and is currently labeled as experimental.


Special SEOcrawl Deal For You

SEOcrawl is a professional SEO software for SEOs and companies. It’s made of 8 unique SEO tools that can help you improve your SEO on many levels. The tools include, among others, an SEO dashboard, rank tracking, SEO reporting, SEO monitoring, SEO visibility, SEO opportunities, an SEO crawler, and more.

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New content for you from me

I’ve been busy producing new content for you. Here is what I have for you today.

#14: Weekly SEO News: Google Helpful Content Update, Continuous Scrolling, ChatGPT & More

Make sure to check last week’s video recap of the SEO news I made for you.

#15: YouTube SEO Secrets & Tips With Paul Andre de Vera From SEO Video Show

Episode #15 of the SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY features a special guest – Paul Andre de Vera who is best known for his awesome SEO Video Show. Paul was so kind as to share tons of YouTube SEO tips & tricks with me. He dropped thousands of SEO knowledge bombs.

#16: Entity SEO, Schema, & Knowledge Panels With Erin Sparks From Edge Of The Web Radio

Episode #16 of the SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY features a special guest – Erin Sparks from the Edge of the Web Radio @EdgeoftheWeb. Erin shares tons of tips on entity SEO and Schema.

#17: Enterprise SEO & Edge SEO With Nick Wilsdon (For Real Geeks Only)

Episode #17 of the SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY features a special guest – Nick Wilsdon from Torque. Not only has Nick shared a ton of tips on enterprise SEO but he also geeked out a lot about edge SEO. You don’t want to miss that episode!

Ahrefs [Sponsor]

The SEOSLY newsletter is proudly sponsored by Ahrefs, my favorite SEO tool.

Have you already set up Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for your website? AWT lets you improve your website’s SEO and monitor how your site is doing, including how many backlinks it has, for how many keywords it is visible, how its visibility grows, and more!

Check Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

What’s new at Ahrefs? Ahrefs has introduced the new side-by-side SERP comparison feature, News mode in Content Explorer, and more. Check this out.

Top SEO Tips 

And here are the SEO tips for you.

#1: Expired & Repurposed Domains Are SEO-Flotsam

According to Google’s John Mueller, using expired or repurposed domains for SEO purposes is “SEO-flotsam, index-cruft,” and search engines have had plenty of experience in dealing with such tactics appropriately.


#2: 500/503 HTTP Status Code On Robots.txt Can Remove Your Site From Google Search

Gary Illyes from Google has warned that a robots.txt file that returns a 500/503 HTTP status code for a prolonged period of time will cause a site to be removed from search results, even if the rest of the site is accessible to Googlebot. He also noted that network timeouts can have the same effect.

#3: Disallowing Crawling Is Not The Way To Deindex A Site

According to John Mueller of Google, disallowing Googlebot from crawling a site will not immediately result in deindexing, and it may take a long time for the entire site to be removed from search results. To expedite the removal of specific pages, he suggests using the site-removal request feature in Google Search Console.

Don’t Miss These Resources

Here are the resources that will help you stay updated with the world of SEO.

SEO news recap by Barry Schwartz

SEO news recap by Garrett Sussman

Don’t Miss These Articles

Here are the best articles about SEO I’ve selected for you this week.

How to Optimize Existing Content for Featured Snippets — Whiteboard Friday

On this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Communications at Wix, discusses how to optimize existing content for featured snippets in order to increase organic reach and visibility on the search engine results page (SERP). Crystal explains that featured snippets show up in several different parts of the SERP, including the main featured snippet, the People Also Ask section, voice queries, Google Lens, from sources across the web accordions, and knowledge panel dropdowns. She then provides tips on how to optimize existing content for featured snippets, including using long-tail keywords, ensuring the content is of high quality, using lists or tables, and optimizing the page for featured snippets. Read more on Moz.

How To Boost Your Organic Traffic By Using Entity-Based SEO – Kalicube Case Study

Kalicube is a digital marketing agency that has used the platform Kalicube Pro to optimize Brand SERPs and manage Knowledge Panels for businesses. The company decided to use WordLift to add schema markup to its content and build an internal Knowledge Graph in order to improve its SEO efforts and increase its website’s organic traffic. By using WordLift’s FAQ schema markup and VideoObject, Kalicube has seen improvements in rich FAQ results in Google search results and increased brand awareness through better visibility in video search results. The company has encountered challenges such as difficulty understanding certain concepts in WordLift and the temptation to over-tag content, but has also seen opportunities in using the platform to drive traffic to its own website and better understand the concept of “entities.”. Read more.

Featured Snippets Gone Wild: Introducing the New Featured PAA Snippet

This article discusses a recent test that Google has been conducting with its Featured Snippets in the search results. The test involves changes to the positioning of the Featured Snippets, as well as a blending of the Featured Snippets with the People Also Ask (PAA) box. The article also discusses how the test includes a second Featured Snippet lower on the page, a question to support the snippet and additional labeling for the second Featured Snippet. The article notes that this test is a departure from the usual placement of Featured Snippets, which have historically only appeared on the first page of search results. The article also provides tips for checking if a site is participating in this test using the Semrush tool. More on Brodie Clark.

Why Marketers, Creators, and Brands Should Start Using Mastodon ASAP

Rand Fishkin argues that using Mastodon, a decentralized social media platform, is beneficial for building a following and gaining influence because the network is currently growing quickly and has a low learning curve. Mastodon also offers similar value to Twitter and the opportunity to be an early adopter, and it is more ethical and secure. The author also discusses the benefits of Mastodon’s decentralized structure and its potential to become the mainstream replacement for Twitter. Read more.

How to Perform a Competitor Link Analysis in 3 Steps

This article is about how to perform a competitor link analysis, which involves assessing the link profiles of major competitors in order to gain insights into their link-building strategies. By implementing some of these strategies in your own link building, you can improve your search engine rankings and increase business outcomes. The article explains how to perform a basic audit, as well as how to scale the process to get more insights using larger data sets. The scaled process involves identifying niche-specific links and local link opportunities in order to find more link-building opportunities. Read more on Ahrefs.

Our latest update to the quality rater guidelines: E-A-T gets an extra E for Experience

The article from Google is about how the concept of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) is being updated to include a focus on “experience” (E-E-A-T) in order to better assess the quality and relevance of search results. The updated search rater guidelines also emphasize the importance of creating original and helpful content, and acknowledge that helpful information can come in various formats and from different sources. These updates aim to better capture the nuances of how people search for information and the diversity of quality information available online. The guidelines are used by Google’s search raters to evaluate the performance of search ranking systems, but do not directly influence ranking. They can also be useful for creators looking to understand how to create successful content for Google Search. Read more on Google Search Central.

Programmatic SEO: Your missing link to 1M+ sessions

This article discusses programmatic SEO, which is a strategy for publishing unique, high-quality pages at scale using a template and a database. The goal of programmatic SEO is to create content that is as in-depth and thorough as a traditionally published article, but repeated many times at scale. Programmatic SEO can help businesses win keywords at scale, produce in-depth content quickly, and gain low engineering lift. However, it also has drawbacks such as difficulty with indexing and a high risk of poor execution hurting site growth. The article provides a four-step guide to implementing a programmatic SEO structure, including keyword research, building a content roadmap, connecting the database to the template, and publishing the content. It also discusses considerations for programmatic SEO and provides tips for success. Read more on Search Engine Land.

How to use Google Search to help manage uncertain times

Google is updating its search experience to make it easier for users to find information about financial assistance and food support in the US. It will provide at-a-glance information on eligibility criteria, how to apply, and locally relevant contact information for services like Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, is providing pro bono teams of Google.org Fellows to make websites providing financial assistance more accessible and easy to use in states across the US. The search giant is also working with Feeding America, the country’s largest charitable food system, to help deliver 50 million meals to families across the US. Read more on blog.google.

SEO Twitter nuggets

And before we end, here are a few Twitter nuggets for you. We don’t know if Twitter is going to be here in the future, so let’s use it while it still is here.


Thank you for reading my newsletter! I hope you found the information useful and informative. If you enjoyed this issue, be sure to check out the next one next week.

I’ll also be going live on YouTube tomorrow to discuss the latest SEO trends and answer any questions you might have. Feel free to join me and get your questions answered in real time.

If you’re looking to improve your website’s SEO performance, consider hiring me to do an SEO audit for you. I’ll analyze your website’s current SEO strategy and provide recommendations on how to improve your rankings and drive more traffic to your site. Feel free to contact me to learn more.

Thanks again for reading, and I look forward to connecting with you in the future.

I can help you with SEO.

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.