The Featured Snippet: March 2019


The Featured Snippet is the official SEO newsletter of Performics and is dedicated to keeping you update-to-date with the latest SEO industry news, trends, and events – all in an easy-to-read, summed up format. See below for the latest version of The Featured Snippet.

In the March 2019 edition of The Featured Snippet:

  • Google Confirms Broad Core Algorithm Update: March 12, 2019
  • Results from March 2019 Core Update
  • Google No Longer Supports Rel=prev/next
  • Screaming Frog Adds New Structured Data Feature
  • Google Launches JavaScript & SEO Series
  • Google Drops More Reports from Google Search Console
  • Ahrefs to Create a New Search Engine

Google Confirms Broad Core Algorithm Update: March 12, 2019

Google confirmed a broad core algorithm update on March 12, 2019, which has been named by Google as the “March 2019 Core Update.” Below shows the official announcement from the Google SearchLiason account:

Google describes this update as a “broad core” algorithm update – two of which were confirmed last year in April and August. As with all “broad core” algorithm updates, Google does not provide specific information on how to improve sites following the update. Instead, Google recommends that sites are “ensuring you’re offering the best content you can.” Below is Google’s lengthy Twitter thread regarding “broad core” algorithm updates:

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Results from March 2019 Core Update: Inconclusive

The March 2019 Core Update changes generated a lot of speculation. Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable created a survey to collect data from webmasters following the March 2019 Core Update to test rumors about what the changes targeted. Over 500 responses were collected, but the results of the algorithm update remain inconclusive – with no consistent pattern in terms of sites that were affected.

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Google No Longer Supports Rel=prev/next

Google revealed that they have not supported rel=prev/next for years – a tactic they have recommended for webmasters since 2011. Rel=prev/next is a tactic to help indicate the relationship between URLs in a paginated series. Here is the official announcement from Google:

Below shows the updated Google Webmaster Central Blog that notes that rel=prev/next is no longer a ranking signal:

Google apologized for not notifying webmasters about the change and said that for webmasters “nothing has changed” and to continue doing pagination tactics as they were.

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Screaming Frog Adds New Structured Data Feature

Screaming Frog, the popular site crawling tool, updated its platform with a brand new structured data feature. The new feature allows for pulling and testing structured data throughout an entire website – making auditing a site’s structured data at scale much easier.

Below shows an example of the structured data output now available with Screaming Frog:

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Google Announces JavaScript & SEO Series

Google announced they are starting an SEO and JavaScript series to help webmasters better understand how search engines and JavaScript sites work together. The series is hosted by Google’s Martin Splitt and has covered topics, such as what it means to have a JavaScript site and how JavaScript sites are indexed. This announcement is one of many that shows Google’s dedication to help webmasters learn more about how Google works with JavaScript sites.

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Google Drops More Reports from Google Search Console

Google officially retired another set of reports within Google Search Console in March – leaving only a few reports left in the old Google Search Console. The few reports remaining include:

  • Data Highlighter
  • International Targeting
  • Remove URLs
  • Crawl Stats
  • Robots.txt Tester
  • URL Parameters

Below is the official announcement from the Google Webmaster Twitter account:

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Ahrefs to Create New Search Engine to Compete with Google

Ahrefs, a popular SEO tool, announced that they are creating a search engine to compete with Google. Below shows the official announcement from Dmitry Gerasimenko who is the founder of Ahrefs:

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