Google Revamps Quality Raters Guidelines, Bing adds IndexNow API

SEOForLunch issue #251 covers a few official updates from both Bing and Google in addition to articles written by the SEO community.

Hi Lunch Buddies!

Last week was rough. On Wednesday our family said goodbye to our nearly 15-year-old dog, Shady. It’s crazy to reflect how my wife and I got her just a few months after getting married and the memories we have of raising our kids with her by their side. Make sure to give all your furry family members a big hug as they simply don’t live long enough.

This week is full of project catch-up after missing a few days but that’s all part of the freelance life. I hope each and every one of you crush this week!

Let’s jump into this week’s #SEOForLunch.


The Ratio of Wix Sites with Good CWV Scores Increase by over 10x


HTTPArchive has made some exciting updates to its CWV Report, one of which being the ability to filter by geographical location. 

The graph below shows the percentage of Wix websites with good CWV, filtered to the US market. We can see that over the past year, the ratio of sites built on Wix with good CWV scores has increased by over 10x. Wix expects this upwards trend to continue as they roll out additional updates to their platform. 

You can change the filter to see your specific GEO and stay on top of CWV trends at the Core Web Vitals Technology Report from Google Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). 

To learn more about how Wix prioritizes CWV, check out their webinar hosted in partnership with Google.

Search Engine Updates


Bing (and Yandex) Introduce the IndexNow protocol

What's Important:
Bing formally announced a new API that will allow webmasters to instantly communicate to both Bing and Yandex when your content has been published or changed.

Nick's Take:
Google, it’s your turn. So many websites still struggle with getting the content of their sites indexed. IndexNow helps search engines avoid the need to crawl the internet to discover URL-level updates. While A Google version would be ideal, can you even imagine the level of spam we could expect to see in the SERPs if the world’s largest Search Engine releases a similar protocol?


Google Released An Update To Its Quality Rater Guidelines

What's Important:
Google employs 10,000 individuals across the world to test its search results against a set of search quality guidelines. In this article, Google explains what this process is, who uses these guidelines and how often the guidelines are updated.

Nick's Take:
Both Jennifer Slegg and Lily Ray covered various changes they noticed when reviewing the newest version of the guidelines. I highly encourage you to read the full 172-page document (here) but at minimum Jennifer and Lily’s write-ups are absolute must-reads for this week.


Google: Let’s talk Core Web Vitals

What's Important:
Google’s Search off the Record podcast has Annie Sullivan and Vivek Sekhar talking about core web vitals. What is it and why is it important. Most importantly, why is it so hard to optimize?

Nick's Take:
This isn’t a debate on whether or not CWV impacts your organic search rankings/performance. This podcast gets into the nitty-gritty about the speed index and what metrics are best for measuring CWV. I also enjoyed their explaining lab data vs real-time data that can differ depending on device or internet connection.

Top SEO Resources From Last Week

How to Create a Winning Blog Content Strategy in 7 Steps

Written by Katy Mrvova, Ahrefs

Too often we write content for the sake of it “being good for SEO.” Katy walks us through her 7 step process for developing a content strategy that goes beyond the words for word’s sake strategy.

A Guide to Microsoft Bing Search & How to Optimize Your Site for It

Chima Mmeje, SEMRush

Chima’s post comes at a great time as the search engine (as mentioned previously) released its new IndexNow protocol. While the entire post is great, if you are pressed for time, make sure you read the Bing vs Google feature comparison table.

How to identify ranking gaps in Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) SERP feature using Semrush

Written by Glenn Gabe,

Let’s keep the Semrush love going. Glenn writes about tactically identifying “People Also Ask” gaps within the search results using the Semrush toolsuite. Something I hadn’t considered before is identifying PAA by country. It’s only natural that questions will differ based on location. Great tips, Glenn!

The Impact of the Great Resignation on the SEO Industry, and the Key to Retention

Article by Adam Audette,

Most of you know I left a 10+ year career in agency SEO to go freelance full-time. Like Adam (and many more) I came to the realization that the difference between good and bad SEO job spans miles. If you want the TLDR scroll down to the 7 fundemental factors that matter most in retaining key talent.

3 Key Types of Link Building Metrics & How To Use Them Successfully

Written by Paddy Moogan, Search Engine Journal

We know that inbound links are valuable and help increase our rankings. However, it’s important to know that not all links are treated equally. Paddy does a great job of explaining various metrics you can use to measure the value of a link and how to leverage these metrics to establish the value behind your current link profile.

Finding Internal Linking Opportunities for New Content with Screaming Frog

Written by Eric Mandell,

I believe internal linking is one of if not THE number 1 underutilized SEO tactic. I consider myself a power user of Screaming Frog and I never thought of this use case… custom extraction to identify unlinked mentions of text within your site. Smart! Thanks for the tip, Eric.

Introducing the 3rd Annual Women in Tech Festival!

[#SEOForLunch Partner]

My friend, Areej AbuAli is putting on the 3rd annual Women in Tech SEO festival on February 25th, 2022. This is sure to be a killer event with some of the search industries brightest minds. If you’re going to be in the London area, you’ll want to check out more details about grabbing a ticket to this event.

You Made It To The Bottom. You’re AWESOME!

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