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Can blocking countries with slow internet improve core web vitals score? Google explains

January 15, 2021 by Alfie Lewis

Google Core Web Vitals are set to become an important search engine ranking factor in 2021. Although online businesses are preparing for core web vitals, not all websites will be fully prepared for that.

In that case, is it possible to block traffic from countries with slow internet speeds and see an improvement in core web vitals score?

This question came up in a recent SEO Office Hours video:

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Alfie Lewis

Google’s new SMITH algorithm (and how it outperforms BERT)

January 11, 2021 by Luke Harniman

Google has a new search engine algorithm, SMITH. And according to Google, it is outperforming Google BERT in understanding long-form queries and content.

It remains a mystery whether or not Google is using the SMITH algorithm. It is important to note that Google rarely says which specific algorithms it is using at a given time. Therefore, Google may or may not be using SMITH as of now.

That, however, does not diminish its value and the need for understanding how this algorithm works. In my opinion, this gives a fascinating insight into the direction Google is moving as a search engine and how it sees the future of online content and content consumption.

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Luke Harniman

Passage indexing isn’t live yet, Google confirms

January 9, 2021 by Alfie Lewis

Earlier this year, Google announced multiple AI updates to its search engine ranking algorithm. One of the highlights in that announcement was the introduction of passage indexing.

With this update, Google would be able to rank pages based on specific passages on a page. This is especially helpful in the case of long-form content, where relevant answers to specific questions often get buried in thousands of words.

This is what Google said when the search engine announced the update:

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Alfie Lewis

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