1. Start & End Dates For Google Algorithm Updates Are Approximate – Netizens have asked Google for clarification as to why there is an unexplained gap in start and end dates for Google Algorithm updates on what is published on Google’s official website and what is announced on social media. 

John Mueller of Google replied on Mastodon saying, “It’s hard picking a date for some of these (especially afterwards). For many (not all) updates, the update rolls out, it takes a while to be visible (which is when we call it a start), and it takes a while to be in most queries / URLs / datacenters (which is when we call it done). There’s no binary border for start / stop, it’s more about “starts being visible” and “mostly settled down”. It’s a bit like timing when bread rises when you bake it.

Later Alan Kent from Google tweeted, “Done” is a grey definition as systems roll out across multiple data centers and and process backlogs at different rates. So its really do we say done at 99.9% or 99.99% or … (I’m done)

So do not take the dates literally. Just know that the updates are happening and take necessary proactive steps. 

2. How Long It Takes To Recover From Google Penalty? – Like I always say that “prevention is better than cure.” But what if you accidentally get penalized by Google due to an oversight or by actions of a contractor or agency? Ever wonder how long it takes to recover from a Google penalty? Well you are in luck because in a recent Google SEO office-hours  Google’s John Muller  said that it will be a “a couple of months, a half a year, sometimes even longer than a half a year, for us to recognize significant changes in the site’s overall quality. Because we essentially watch out for …how does this website fit in with the context of the overall web and that just takes a lot of time.

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. So your first step is to clean up your website, remove thin content, create good, helpful and relevant content before Google decides to penalize you.

3. Google Recommends Multiple Date Signals On Webpages – Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan reminded the recommended practice of including multiple date signals on webpages to avoid Google picking up the wrong date on the search results page. After all, inaccurate or outdated dates can lead to confusion and dissuade users from visiting the site. To make sure Google has the correct information for your published articles, update your articles’ structured data markup (“datePublished” or “dateModified” fields with the correct time zone). You can also use the “byline date” – the date that Google estimates that the web page was updated or published.

4. Google Removes The 110 Character Limit For Headlines In Structured Data – Google updated the article structured data help documentation to remove the hard character limit for the headline property. Google says you should write “concise” article headlines. The 110-character limit has been eliminated.

5. Don’t Blindly Follow Google Ads Recommendations – The first thing we do when we start working with a new client is to turn off and pause all Google Ads recommendations. And now you have one more reason to keep these recommendations turned off. On Jan. 4, Google Ads announced that starting January 19 the “Remove redundant keywords” will suggest redundant keywords within the same ad groups and they will removing redundant phrase and exact match keywords in favor of broad. At marketANDgrow we eschew using “broad match” unless there is a specific reason (market research) for us to use it.

When you choose broad match for a keyword Google will show your ad to people who type in all kinds of variations of your keyword, as well as the keyword itself. For example, let’s say your keyword is ceramic pots. If you set this keyword to broad match, your ad won’t just show up for people who type ceramic pots into the search bar. Google will also show it to people looking for blue ceramic pots, ceramic cooking pots, and cooking pot ceramic. Your ad can even show up when people type in synonyms of your keyword, like pottery cookware.

6. Is Core Web Vitals (CWV) A Google Discover Requirement? – Google Discover is a mobile experience that lets you discover content you didn’t even know you needed. It is a totally different search experience, meaning the searching is mostly gone. If the system learns enough about you, you can simply keep swiping to keep the fresh content flowing. 

Think of it as Instagram or Facebook feed but in text format. So a lot of people are interested in getting their content on Google Discover because it gets your content in front of your intended audience.

Google John Muller wrote on Mastodon that “many people ask me if the site’s loading speed must be high to enter Google Discover? Or should our urls be fine in CWV?” And then he went ahead and wrote “we don’t have that connection documented anywhere. I’d be surprised if CWV were a requirement for Discover.” If you are interested in getting your website, article or blog shown in Google Discover then review Google Discover content policies and the Get on Google Discover help documents.