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Weekly News Roundup (12-16 July): SEO

Weekly Roundup

It’s the most wonderful time of the week! That’s right, it’s time for our weekly news roundup. This week, we’ve got three fascinating new SEO trends, insights and updates from our talented SEO team. From local SEO challenges to core algorithm rollouts, our search engine optimisation experts are here to drop some serious digital marketing knowledge on you.

1) The Jobs Schema Update

This week Google announced a further update to its job posting guidelines, the directApply structured data property and editorial content policy, which will improve the job application experience for users. The recent rollout of Core Web Vitals page metrics was billed as an effort to improve page experience, so we aren’t surprised to see Google is also making positive changes elsewhere – after all, it’s no secret that user experience plays an important role in SEO.

The new directApply property is going to differentiate job listings from those sites where the user is offered a short and straightforward application process on the page, and those where unnecessary steps have been added to the process. This means job boards and aggregators will come under more pressure to provide a simplified job application process, or face a reduction in visibility on Google. The update will also have an impact on large corporate employers whose jobs sit in their Applicant Tracking Systems, with the user typically having to complete a lengthy application. Employers and recruiters will now need to look to integrated approaches that provide seamless application processes.

This is not the first time Google has updated its job schema requirements. Before the pandemic, Google added the jobLocationType TELECOMMUTE for remote and work from home positions. We’ve seen this increase in popularity over the last 18 months as the world adapted to remote and hybrid models of working. In a candidate-driven market it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve and your competitors.

To improve job seeker trust, Google is also adding a new editorial content policy for job listings. Since launching Google for Jobs, Google has recommended using the Indexing API to keep jobs up to date. The updated content policy will pull job listings in line with what is widely accepted as best practice for writing highly converting job adverts, such as:

  • Include accurate information
  • Follow basic grammar rules
  • Don’t unnecessarily capitalise words
  • Only use abbreviations that are widely understood 

Google first launched structured data for job listings back in 2018 in the UK. When applied correctly, the schema gave a job greater visibility on Google and was designed to help job seekers find relevant open positions. These latest editorial updates will come into effect from 1 October 2021; you can start using the new property straight away but may have to wait to see results until after Google has integrated the information. This is another positive step to improve the job application process for users and increase the accountability of employers and recruiters, ensuring they provide accurate information in job listings.

If you need help with updating your site’s structured data or would like to find out more about how SEO can impact your careers site, get in touch with the SEO team here at Passion Digital.

2) Overcoming Enterprise Local SEO Challenges

Local search engine optimisation helps businesses improve the visibility of their website based on organic search results. Having a structured strategy in place is vital, so it is important to recognise the main challenges that surround it.

According to a Search Engine Journal article about the challenges of local SEO, there are five main issues every business needs to be aware of:

  • Prioritising their local opportunities
  • Using a single trustworthy and accurate source for local data
  • Optimising store locators, such as location page content and main categories
  • Google My Business (GMB) optimisation
  • Growing a local search presence for service area businesses

We strongly agree and think it is a useful means of understanding the whole landscape of a local SEO strategy. We also believe it’s vital to address the issues listed above as a top priority.

At Passion Digital, we’ve taken on a variety of local SEO projects for our clients in the past and we’ve got the know-how and experience to help them achieve great results. So if you’re looking to improve your local SEO, shoot us a message and let us show you how we can help!

3) The July 2021 Core Algorithm Rollout is ‘Effectively Complete’

Since launching at the start of the month, the July core algorithm update was announced as ‘effectively complete’ by Google SearchLiaison on 12 July. This means search results impacted from this release should now remain relatively stable. As a core update, this will impact websites across all regions and languages.

This was a two-part update, launching a month after the June 2021 core update. Interestingly, Google has shared that if your site was impacted by the update in June, you may see the changes reverse in July:

Speculations on impact

There has been discussion this month in Local Search Forums about rank changes. Fluctuations in the BrightLocal tool suggested a relation to local search, but this theory was rejected by Google:

Another consideration was an increase in the appearance of People Also Ask (PAA) results.

As usual, Google did not reveal specifically what the update targets – just that core updates involve changes across the indexing and ranking processes. They also posted a new article in June, offering general guidance around how and why they do regular algorithm updates.

This has been the seventh confirmed update by Google since April. Over the past few months they have been focusing on reducing spam and slanderous content from appearing in the SERPs, so it is a possibility that the June to July update may be related to Google’s recent innovations in spam-fighting AI.

And that does it for our weekly news roundup! We hope you enjoyed the SEO trends and updates this week has brought – and don’t forget to check out last week’s weekly news roundup from our fabulous Insight and Strategy team! Next up? Our marvelous Marketing team! Stay tuned – or, if you’re already sold on how well we know our stuff, give us a bell if you’d like some digital marketing support.