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Episode 104 - October 16, 2019 - Light Version

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In this episode, we cover all of the major news and announcements since our team has been back from Pubcon. We've also worked hard to cover some great resources that we learned while at the conference. As Marie is away this week, there is no podcast episode, but it will resume next week as usual.


Marie’s Podcast for this episode

There is no podcast episode for this week.

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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • Why did Google phase out noindex in robots.txt?
  • Google will soon change how some of your content is previewed in Search globally
  • Chrome will soon say goodbye to messages about mixed content
  • Google announces the pre-removal phase for deprecating legacy TLS version (TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in Chrome 81)
  • Bing announces Bingbot is going evergreen thanks to leveraging Microsoft Edge
  • Bing also announces URL & Content submission API (being piloted for select sites)
  • Izzi Smith explains how the SERPs is a dynamic space that is constantly evolving
  • Google clarifies accuracy as a ranking factor
  • Leverage your log files for expert insight on Google’s ‘important pages’
  • Understanding how core updates relate to Google Discover
  • What outdated content marketing approaches should you ditch?
  • Content marketing challenges of 2020
  • Is it still worth making HTML sitemaps?
  • Is your ad-blocker helping or hurting your site?
  • Did you know that it's not just new content that gets shown in Google Discover?
  • Sometimes your ‘SEO issues’ aren’t related to SEO at all
  • Questions about AMPhtml? The latest State of the Web video may help!
  • #AskGoogleWebmasters covers the very popular topic of how to handle multiple h1 tags
  • Links do not expire but become less important over time
  • Patreon accidentally applies noindex to their entire site
  • eComm's, brace yourself! Amazon is offering free shipping on even lower-priced items
  • More from Dmitry Gerasimenko (the Ahrefs founder) on Ahrefs’ plan to build a search engine
  • Tips for crafting great title tags for Local SEO
  • What happens to your Google Maps reviews when your business changes location?
  • Wondering where the leads go from people who use the GMB "get a quote" button?
  • Optimize with this Semantic SEO tool
  • Google is now asking users to post a photo in addition to a review
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates 

This week, we’ve heard talk about a possible update to Google’s algorithm that may have occurred back on October 3rd. Marie is traveling this week and hasn’t yet been able to fully dig into any changes which may have occurred, but there will be a full update with our thoughts on the latest algo changes in next week’s episode.

In the meantime, Glenn Gabe has written a really great article analyzing the September 2019 Core Update in depth. If you recall, this update was pushed out on September 24th and rolled out over the subsequent days. Glenn has shared a few case studies of clients who have seen either increases or drops to their traffic, as well as his thoughts on how this Core Update affected the health and medical niche, the impact on the Discover feed, and how technical issues can be related to quality problems.


MHC Announcements 

It’s been a busy week for the MHC team as we recently returned from Vegas for Pubcon! Thanks to all of the excellent speakers and organizers, along with everyone that came out and chatted with our team. For those of you who gave us such kind words regarding our newsletter, thank you! 🙂

As promised we have plenty of great SEO tips and industry insights to share with you all and that’s why we’ll be featuring the best of the best from Pubcon in this week’s episode and next!

Besides the workshops on Monday, our team was quite impressed with Gary Illyes’ Q&A on the final day of the conference. For those of you who missed it, we summarized the best of Gary’s talk in a blog post which you can find below:

Q&A with Gary IIlyes – Pubcon Vegas 2019 

Here are some of the topics you’ll find within the blog post: 

  • Rel=sponsored and ugc changes 
  • The disavow tool 
  • E-A-T and Core Updates 
  • Information related to medical sites (like determining consensus)
  • Various ranking factors

No MHC Podcast this week 

Please note that with Marie away at SearchLove, there will be no podcast this week. However, she promises a full episode next week with the best tips from Pubcon and SearchLove! 


Pubcon Resources 

Missed a link from Marie’s Pubcon presentation? No worries, she’s linked all of her referenced materials in one convenient spot.


Google Announcements

Changes ahead to how EU press publications appear in the French SERPs

This week, Google is changing the way it presents people in France their search results for European press publications. They say this is due to a new copyright law in France, making it so that Google can no longer show snippets and thumbnail images in the SERPs in France for European publications unless those publishers have implemented specific meta tags that specify that they want this content to show in France's search results (you can do that in GSC here). Expect this to be fully live by October 24th.


Google has added two new reports in Search Console for your videos! 

Under Enhancement reports, you can now see data for your videos, and under the Performance report, you can now see your Video Appearances. Check it out!


Google introduces a new series titled “Search for Beginners’

In an effort to be more transparent and helpful to webmasters, Google announces another new web series, this time for beginners.


Google SERP Changes

Featured snippets carousel in the SERPs?

Interesting find here shows a FS image carousel appearing on mobile. Brodie Clark didn’t any success replicating this over in Australia but Glenn Gabe noted that he saw this in the US and expressed his thoughts saying it was rather confusing and is hopefully short-lived.


SEO Tips

John Mueller busts some myths about backlinks 

If you have content that is NATURALLY earning a number of links from the same domain, that's generally fine! If you’re link profile is natural, then you can’t really control where or how you earn them, so there’s no need to sweat about a ratio per se.


Comparing the amount of compressed JavaScript with the Time to Interactive on a 3G connection

Here's a great visual for you! You can clearly see that the more JavaScript that needs to be executed, the longer it takes for a mobile page to become interactive. If you think this may be an issue for you, we've always found this guide helpful by Addi Osmani on how to deliver JavaScript efficiently.


How "permanent" is a 503 Service Unavailable error? 

Twitter user David Capone asked John Mueller whether it would be alright to have a 503 error that only lasted a few days. While we didn't get an "it depends" answer from John, we did get a "generally": as in, generally a 503 error is fine to serve for a few days while you fix the problem, but eventually Googlebot will assume it's a permanent issue. Don't worry, though... if URLs get dropped from the index because your 503 error persisted "too long", they can still come back.

 


Do you have URLs with a 301 redirect in your sitemap? 

Oftentimes, Google is pretty good at picking up the target URL as the canonical, but as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't have URLs within your sitemaps that redirect.


What’s the deal with emojis in your title tags?

Emojis are fine in your titles; Google just might not show them in the link anchor all the time. As for any notion of Google deindexing pages using an emoji in the title tag, that would be a misconception.


Helpful reminder to those of you with a YouTube channel

Check your account's comment filter -- you may be missing out on helpful comments!


Google Help Hangout Tips

Google News makes their barrier to entry more strict

John recently said that he’s aware of the fact that Google News has made the application process a little more strict. If for any reason you think that you’re not being accepted when you’ve applied, John says that you should create a post in the Google News publisher help forum and seek advice/guidance from peers.


Other Interesting News

How many people outside of digital marketing are familiar with GSC?

Dana DiTomaso recently surveyed a group of marketers and found just a small number had heard of Google Search Console. Considering all the great data and insight that can be pulled from this tool, we would expect this figure to be much higher!


The ad companies Taboola and Outbrain are merging

Not familiar with these native advertising companies? They’re the ones that place rows of square ads and sponsored articles at the bottom of partnered web pages. They stress that this won’t change anything if you read articles online, as it’s just a way publishers get additional revenue against marketers like Facebook and Google. If you do advertise online, this merger may be something to keep in mind.


Local SEO - Google SERP Changes

Google testing search by photos in local

Mike Blumenthal recently discovered that under the local 3-pack on Mobile for local keyword searches now show local results visually based on an image matching the search query. This shows Google’s ability to recognize images and search intent to serve up the exact product based on a user’s query.


Local SEO - Other Interesting News

Have you experienced edits to your GMB not saving?

You’re not alone! Many Local SEO’s have expressed their concerns saying that when they update things such as hours, website URLs or even categories, their edits have not been saved properly. Check out the thread on the Local Search Forum to stay up-to-date with this topic.


Many local SEOs have spotted Q&A missing from GMB

Ben Fisher noted that some of the Questions & Answers have disappeared from several listings that he manages and the same can be seen across many industries across the globe. We’ll keep an eye on things but if you want to monitor things in the meantime, be sure to jump on over to the Local Search Forum.


SEO Tools

10 free local SEO tools

BrightLocal has created a list of the top 10 free local tools to give you expert insight in the industry. You can find tools that help you locate ZIP codes within a city, technical tools, some to help with structured data, finding local sponsorship opportunities, and more. 


Recommended Reading

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO Competitor Analysis – Freddy Barnes
https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/the-beginners-guide-to-seo-competitor-analysis/
Oct 3, 2019

Freddy Barnes at Screaming Frog has written a great beginners guide for conducting competitor research. For those more experienced SEOs this may be information you already know, but we can all use a refresher even once in a while. If you’re new to the search world, this article is well worth the read. Freddy covers from start to finish how to find your competition, including SERP analysis (which keywords you can win), backlink/link quality analysis, competitors top pages and link growth opportunities. 

 

Testing redirects before and after a website migration – Eoghan Henn
https://www.searchviu.com/en/testing-redirects/
Sept 3, 2019

Endorsed on Twitter by John Mueller, this is an excellent guide from Eoghan Henn for testing redirects during a site migration. There is a clear emphasis on testing redirects on a staging site before going live — a great idea, with a few considerations to keep in mind, including ensuring a 404 page exists on your staging site when you’re testing. Otherwise, when you’re combing through URLs during your test, 404’ing URLs may show as 200-status code pages.

 

Audience Segmentation: Where Do You Start? – Shanelle Mullin
https://conversionxl.com/blog/audience-segmentation
Sept 30, 2019

Audience segmentation is a daunting and tricky task that a lot of marketers either ignore or do not spend enough time on. For a large part this is because there are just so many ways to segment the data about your audience (and potential audience). In this comprehensive guide, Shanelle Mullin helps to break down the different types of segmentation, what they are for, and when to use them. She then delves into how they can be used, and most importantly, how to evolve your process for segmenting audience data over time.


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

What to Do If Your Google My Business Listing Is Suspended – Ben Fisher
https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/what-to-do-if-your-google-my-business-listing-is-suspended/
Sept 27, 2019

This article looks into the various kinds of GMB suspensions, how they happen and what to do if you’ve incurred one. To start, a GMB suspension is when your listing on Google/Maps is no longer visible and its validity is being questioned by Google. You likely only have two chances to reinstate your account. So what do you do? Read this article to find out. 

 

Local Legends: Greg Gifford on Pay-to-Play, Real-world Signals and What’s Next for Local Search – Jamie Pitman
https://www.brightlocal.com/blog/local-legends-greg-gifford-on-pay-to-play-real-world-signals-and-whats-next-for-local-search/
Oct 3, 2019

Greg Gifford, the VP of Search at Wikimotive and Bright Local CEO, and Myles Anderson sit down and talk about everything Local Search. We definitely recommend this read or give it a listen! 

 

Fighting Fake Reviews on Google: Tactics and Strategies – Raney C. Hudson
https://blog.grade.us/fake-reviews-tactics/
Oct 3, 2019

Three of the leading industry experts share their tactics with respect to detecting, investigating, and removing fake reviews from their clients’ listings. The trio does a great job of breaking these items down into detail which we recommend you read.

 

What is Yelp’s Actual Impact in the Real World? – Mike Blumenthal
https://gatherup.com/blog/what-is-yelps-actual-impact-in-the-real-world/
Sept 27, 2019

We’ve looked at Yelp and its competitors a few times so this article definitely peaked our interest. Yelp’s approach to reviews is what made them stand out.  It may be worth reading this article if you use Yelp for your business. 


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Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Why did Google phase out noindex in robots.txt?
  • Google will soon change how some of your content is previewed in Search globally
  • Chrome will soon say goodbye to messages about mixed content
  • Google announces the pre-removal phase for deprecating legacy TLS version (TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in Chrome 81)
  • Bing announces Bingbot is going evergreen thanks to leveraging Microsoft Edge
  • Bing also announces URL & Content submission API (being piloted for select sites)
  • Izzi Smith explains how the SERPs is a dynamic space that is constantly evolving
  • Google clarifies accuracy as a ranking factor
  • Leverage to your log files for expert insight on Google’s ‘important pages’
  • Understanding how core updates relate to Google Discover
  • What outdated content marketing approaches should you ditch?
  • Content marketing challenges of 2020
  • Is it still worth making HTML sitemaps?
  • Is your ad-blocker helping or hurting your site?
  • Did you know that it's not just new content that gets shown in Google Discover?
  • Sometimes your ‘SEO issues’ aren’t related to SEO at all
  • Questions about AMPhtml? The latest State of the Web video may help!
  • #AskGoogleWebmasters covers the very popular topic of how to handle multiple h1 tags\
  • Links do not expire but become less important over time
  • Patreon accidentally applies noindex to their entire site
  • eComm's, brace yourself! Amazon is offering free shipping on even lower-priced items
  • More from Dmitry Gerasimenko (the Ahrefs founder) on Ahrefs’ plan to build a search engine
  • Tips for crafting great title tags for Local SEO
  • What happens to your Google Maps reviews when your business changes location?
  • Wondering where the leads go from people who use the GMB "get a quote" button?
  • Optimize with this Semantic SEO tool
  • Google is now asking users to post a photo in addition to a review
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

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Part of the challenge of SEO is staying on top of industry news, trends, and techniques There is so much information out there that it is easy to get bogged down in information overload and trying to disseminate what's truly important from all that noise can be really time-consuming and challenging.

 Marie's newsletter is a game changer because it manages to cut through the fluff and deliver high-quality information that is not only really important for those that do SEO, but it is presented in a format that is really easy to absorb.
If you are looking for a trusted information related to search that is highly actionable I would strongly recommend Marie's newsletter.
Paul Macnamara - Offers SEO Consulting at PaulMacnamara.com


That's it for this episode! Stay tuned for our Youtube video (my channel is here). If you want to follow me on Facebook, here is my page.


 

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