Monday Morning SEO Recap (September 12th – 18th)

Welcome to the inaugural Monday Morning SEO Recap presented by Elevation Scholars! Every Monday — with a few exceptions — we will be recapping notable events that occurred in the world of search engine optimization the week prior.  So without further adieu, let’s get started!

The week of September 12th – 18th was an exciting one in search. In this specific recap, we’re going to be covering the following topics:

Google algorithm update chatter

Over the past couple of weeks, SEO and webmaster forums have been a twitter with grumblings of a Google algorithm update. On September 2nd, significant changes in Google’s search results began being reported and while many people believed the unconfirmed algorithmic tweak to be Penguin 4.0, Google stated otherwise.

Then, on Tuesday the 13th, more SEO and webmaster chatter signaled by a shift that seemed to have peaked on the 15th/16th. Once again, Google denied that it was Penguin-related:

Whatever the case may be, it is clear something big is happening. Here are some screenshots from various SERP trackers to help visualize the flux over the past couple of weeks:

Mozcast

Accuranker

RankRanger

Image search box lowered in web search

On September 14th, Mozcast posted on tweet stating that it appeared Google had lowered the image search box that appears for many queries in desktop results.

To help corroborate this, we took a look at the Mozcast features chart for images:

Sure enough, an almost 50% drop! It seems Google has pushed down the image box more towards the middle of the organic results, and in some cases, removed them entirely.

Google Schema for courses

Sometime between September 10th and the 16th, Google added a brand new search-based schema markup to the Google Developer’s Search Gallery specifically for courses that will trigger a rich card in the search results if properly implemented.


According to Google, this new markup will “include the course title, provider, and a short description. They appear in a provider-specific list.” Below is a representative screenshot of how the rich card will look:

Also, here is a screenshot of some sample courses markup for those interested in testing it themselves:

Google Mobile showing image thumbnails

In August, Google began testing the display of image thumbnails in mobile search results. Their test results must’ve proved positive as they now seem to be rolling out to everyone. However, it seems to come up mostly for product-based queries, which leads us to believe that sites with properly implemented product schema/markup are poised to benefit the most.  

Here are some screenshots from my iPhone SE:

Google Keyword Planner showing ranges

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