Last Updated on April 8, 2021 by Dustin Bow
Google Algorithm Update
Another day, another update. In the past (what’s feeling like the distant past these days) major algo updates happened a few times per year. SEO’s would only panic once in a while so to speak. But that pattern has dramatically changed. There’s been a lot of chatter around Google’s core update patterns lately. Some sources known to us report that there have been “updates of significance” as much as 2 times per week. Keep an eye out and please report to us anything you find to be relevant.
Search Console Gets an Upgrade
SEO’s around the world can rejoice. There are now more ways to “slice and dice” organic traffic data within Search Console. Google added what’s referred to as “regular expressions” and data filtering options to the performance reports.
Regular expressions are an advanced way to perform find and replace. Regex (a fancy term for these regular expressions) let’s you find/replace strings of words or queries.
Here’s how Google explained this – “Let’s say your company is called ‘cats and dogs’ but is sometimes also abbreviated as ‘cats & dogs’ or even ‘c&d’. You can use a regex filter to capture all of your branded queries by defining the regex filter: cats and dogs|cats & dogs|c&d”
They’ve also gone ahead and improved data filtering when working with the comparison table. You now get a larger view of the table to see all of the data clearly and this “fully supports cases where more than a single metric is selected.”
We’d love to hear what you think of these performance report upgrades. How are you slicing your organic traffic data to help your SEO efforts? Let us know in the comments.
Making the Most of Google’s Autocomplete Feature
We’ve got a fantastic technique to share regarding the auto-complete feature. This one comes straight from a real SEO pro and you’ve gotta try it.
When you’re doing keyword research it’s worth your time to actually look at the SERPs. Don’t just get stuck in a tool. They’re great and have their place, but reviewing the actual results for a given search query can uncover real SEO gold. In this case, we’re going to manipulate the auto-complete feature to do just that.
Where most SEOs focus almost entirely on the auto-completed “ending” to your search query, you can get beginning and middle auto-completed suggestions too!
Most of the time SEOs focus on only “ending autocomplete options”, but also there are middle and pre autocomplete options. You can check them with a simple “+” sign.
— Koray Tuğberk GÜBÜR (@KorayGubur) March 24, 2021
How Does Google Treat Words With Hyphens and The Same Words Without Hyphens?
Sadly, the only real answer to this question is – “it depends.” Google can understand words with or without hyphens, but hyphens can sometimes change the meaning of a word. The algo learns how to treat different combinations of words over time. The key takeaway when it comes to hyphens vs no hyphens is that they’re not ignored. John Mueller confirmed this by saying the following on Twitter – “No, by default we don’t ignore hyphens in words. Sometimes we learn they’re synonyms, sometimes we learn that they’re not.”