Is your site up to date for Google Maccabees?

Did you know that, in December, Google broke one of its most reliable unwritten rules? There had never been a significant algorithm update in the run up to Christmas, until last month!

This, naturally, took the Digital world by surprise, but only because of the timing, not the actual update and what it focused on. At least, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone. We were quick to act and inform all of our clients of the update and what they needed to do, but there is naturally going to be a number of you out there who haven’t had such information provided.

That’s why, today, we’re going to run through what Google Maccabees is and what it looks for.
What in the world is Google Maccabees?
The most common answer to that question is “a new Fred update”, but honestly, that doesn’t explain much. Why? Because Google announced that, as far as they are concerned, all future updates will be named “Fred”.

That’s why, when an update appears to be significantly different than the current updates, the SEO industry names it instead.

Google Maccabees, therefore, was a significantly different update that deserved its own name. You see, Maccabees directly targeted specific (old) optimisation practices. In fact, these are practices that we are constantly fighting against, as so many people still believe they are the best way to rank a website.

Well, not anymore! Google has finally stepped up and will now penalise you if any of the following are true for your website.

  • Keyword Permutations
  • Non-mobile friendly websites (to an extent)
  • Lack of (or incorrectly implemented) Schema

Whilst the effect on non-mobile friendly websites has been a point of conversation, there has been very strong changes in Desktop ranking, suggesting that this may be the first step to testing the Mobile-First Index.

However, a bullet point list of bad practices isn’t really why you came here is it? So let’s look at each one in more detail.

Written bybrave

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