We hope you are in good health. Here are some of the major SEO news updates of the week you need to know:

Search Related Updates and News from Major Search Engines

Google talks about targeting keywords with zero search volume

Google employees respond to the query of whether or not to try ranking for zero search volume keywords in a Google office hours hangout. The user who posted the question mentioned that they were ranking for terms with no search volume and wondered if they should focus on those for ranking purposes. The answer came from a Googler who identified herself as Lizzi (possibly Lizzi Harvey). Lizzi’s response is consistent with Google’s SEO Starter Guide documentation. It’s also advised in the SEO beginner guide article to consider how users could locate a website.

New HTTPS Report Added by Google to Search Console

A new HTTPS report in Search Console will soon be live, according to an announcement from Google. Google’s Search Central Blog made the statement, which stated that the search engine anticipates the launch process to take a few months. This new report will display the proportion of your website’s HTTP and HTTPS indexed URLs. It is now restricted to HTTPS URL-prefix sites and domain properties.

Will Sites That Look The Same Be Penalized by Google?

John Mueller from Google responded to the query of whether or not Google penalizes sites that are almost identical. The query was whether two sites with similar looks might still rank in Google search. Mueller gave instances of various degrees of site similarity and recommended which one to avoid.

John included that scenario in his response even though it wasn’t stated whether the content was similar.

Google Increases Product Rich Results Eligibility

Using structured data, Google increased the range of users eligible for Merchant Listing search experiences and product snippets. Merchants, product review websites, and product information aggregator websites are all impacted by this move. Product-rich results are no longer available without Merchant Center feeds. Two additional reports have been added to Google Search Console. These include Merchant listings report and product snippets report.

Google releases a core algorithm update for September 2022

On September 12, 2022, Google made a Core Algorithm Update announcement.

According to the official Google list of announced updates, it will take up to two weeks for the improvements to be fully rolled out. Although certain Facebook groups for affiliate marketing were considerably quieter than others, the early response from the search community was largely positive.

Google: Word Count Does Not Indicate Weak or Useless Content

According to a tweet from Google’s John Mueller, the word count is not an indicator or determining factor for what Google believes to be weak material or useless content. Word count is not a measure of a page’s weak content, John claimed in his Tweet. John simply said, “don’t use word count” to assess the quality of your article.

John continued, “You can decide what’s useful for users and what’s fluff. So don’t worry about word count; avoid adding extra words just to compensate for it. Respect your reader’s time, say what has to be said, and then move on.

The primary country of sale and additional countries fields are no longer required in Google Merchant Center

Google has altered how your country-specific feeds function in Merchant Center, doing away with the requirement that you list a primary country and any other countries in favor of target countries. According to Google, the idea of one target country serving as the feed’s principal country is being dropped. According to Google, the terms “primary country of sale” and “additional countries” will no longer be used. The time “target countries” shall be used to refer to any nations that were listed as the “primary country of sale” or the “additional countries.”

New HTTPS Report Added to Google Search Console

Google Search Console now includes a new HTTPS report. This updated report now explains why certain pages are not provided through HTTPS in addition to which ones are. The phrase “a page must be served over HTTPS to be eligible for Good page experience” is explained in a new section titled “Why pages are not being served over HTTPS.”

PPC Related Updates and News

Microsoft Ads uncovers new smart campaign features

On Thursday, September 8, Microsoft Ads unveiled a new, more straightforward setup process for Smart Campaigns. A significant new feature that distinguishes them from Google Ads is also part of the release. Investigating the new experience is worthwhile if you run paid media advertisements. Existing advertisers may be eligible for early access to the capabilities even though Microsoft will begin rolling out the experience migration in the coming months.


Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet is also the CEO of SEO Services company PageTraffic which is one of the leading search marketing company in Asia.