SNYCU Episode 116 - Jan 22, 2020 - Light Version

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In this episode we cover the latest from the January Core Update, including our observations and the type of sites that were hit. We also look at changes and myths with recipe sites, Google's secure cookie settings, and so much more!


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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • More detailed information on MHC’s observations of the January 2020 core update
  • Google is changing the online shopping landscape
  • Further cookie talk from Google -- this time on secure cookie settings
  • Google debunks some myths surrounding ranking factors for recipe sites
  • Google apologizes for some confusion re some messages they sent to webmasters re: TLS 1.0 / 1.1 support in Chrome
  • Tip to avoid JavaScript rendering issues
  • Unsure if it’s worth it to report spam to Google?
  • Before you kill your mobile subdomain…
  • John Mueller gives his two cents on handling a complex site migration
  • How successful can you be implementing structured data via Google Tag Manager? Here’s what you should know
  • Can an excessive amount of outbound 404 links cause issues?
  • How do you become eligible for Google News
  • Anyone can use any ccTLD they want but you can't geo-target them for other countries
  • Mega thread of Google Sheets tips and tricks
  • The latest from Google on the topic of widget links
  • What you should know about tag pages
  • Workaround available for restoring your SERPs to the former design and feel
  • Comscores 2020 voice search stats
  • Brands appear to be getting Knowledge Panels
  • Some countries are beginning to see a new feature atop their SERPs
  • What does your site cost? Find out!
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

The latest on the January 13, 2020 Core update

This has been an interesting update. While we don’t have a solid handle on exactly what changed in Google’s algorithms we have made some interesting observations. If you’re a paid member of the newsletter, in the next section you will get an early look at MHC’s observations. We have seen interesting things for affiliate sites, sites with trust issues (as outlined in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines), and sites that have exceptional content as compared to competitors.

Danny Sullivan told us that the rollout of this update is almost complete and also that it is global (i.e. not just affecting certain countries.)


Important for recipe sites, especially if your traffic went down November 8, 2018

If you missed it, we wrote a big article on our thoughts on the November 8 Google update. In it, we theorized that Google got much better at determining which links are true mentions and which are there for SEO reasons. Many recipe bloggers that actively took part in reciprocal linking schemes saw drops. 


MHC Announcements

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Google Announcements

Reminder: “legacy” mobile app properties for Google Analytics will be shut down on Jan 31


Data-vocabulary.org markup will be deprecated in the coming months

On April 6, 2020, Google will be shifting their focus entirely on a single structured data scheme: schema.org. This’ll mean that data-vocabularly.org markup will no longer be eligible for Google rich result features, and in the meantime, Google will be issuing warnings vis GSC to notify users of soon-to-be outdated markup that needs updating.


Bing says that they’ll be deprecating the average position metric from Microsoft Advertising in a few months time

Following Google’s change last year, it appears Bing will also be depreciating the average metric position. This change is due to the feedback and insight in industry standards in determining that prominence metrics are the best to measure page prominence. Who would have thought? 


SEO Tips

A compilation of top tips from Pubcon Vegas

Greg Gifford interviewed some great SEOs at Pubcon and we’ve pulled some of their tips for your viewing pleasure: 

  • Navah Hopkins makes an interesting statement about how message mapping is going to benefit your online presence.“This is going to be the year for message mapping. You absolutely are going to leverage your audiences for display, for search, customize your ads and make sure that those really qualified leads are to the exact right landing page and potentially even filtering out organic so you're not wasting your hard-earned marketing dollars on folks you get anyway. Make it the year of message mapping!”
  • Jason Barnard advocates that all your online decisions should serve one or ideally, all of the following three pillars:
    • “Understanding: Helping google understand what it is you do and who you are, what your solutions are for its users.
    • Credibility: To get above your competition 
    • Deliverability: To have the content in the right format for google to deliver it to the user in the context in which they find themselves.”
  • Mat Siltala suggests creating a podcast for content. Podcasts are a great content medium.
  • Ryan Jones gives an awesome tip that works for any type of business: Find your unique value, why you are better and become the expert, the authority. This gives people a reason to choose you over your competitors. 
  • Ashley Segura suggests auditing your social media quarterly. Social media should be part of your major decisions, which happen often quarter to quarter. Your business goals and questions should also be asked with your social media strategist. This allows you to see if you need to change or create new content. If you only do this on a year to year basis, you will not only lose audience, but you will also end up with tons of social media content that did not help your business. 

How to ask for a link

Mark Rofe has a great short clip on how to ask for links. Did a journalist or any publishing medium make a report of your work but they didn’t link you? Write them back thanking them for the interest and ask if they could, possibly, link your content so users can have the full story! 


Submitting a disavow file that won't upload? This might be why

This was a really great question! Oftentimes it may be an indication that there’s an odd hidden character somewhere in the document. The best way to correct this would be to copy the content in full in a G doc, save it as a text file, and you should be on your way in no time! 


#AskGoogleWebmasters: Tips on how to optimize your images in Search

Johnny Bananas shares some very interesting tips on how to rank images on Google. According to John, you shouldn’t optimize for images because they exist, you should always do it with a specific goal in mind. For images, you should always provide high quality ones on prime locations of your page. Using descriptive page titles, alt texts, captions and filename also help to improve ranking! 


ASOS is back at it again with incredible value add

We’ve loved a lot of what ASOS has been doing in recent months and this new feature is no different. As a woman, buying the right size of clothing can be difficult as there doesn’t seem to be a standard sizing chart from store-to-store. The good news is ASOS has thought of this and has decided to use various sizes of models to show users what the clothing looks like on. Great work here which we highly recommend if you’re in the apparel industry as well!

We’d also like to add that this feature appears to be in early development so you won’t find every possible body type. Also, people have noticed that the models may have photoshopped dresses rather than actually wearing the product itself so hopefully this will be corrected over time as well. Nonetheless, it’s a great idea.


Tips on going freelance or stepping up your side hustle

If you are thinking of becoming a Freelancer Digital Marketer, Luke Carthy wrote a very interesting blog post on things to consider before making the leap. He talks about the importance of networking with those people who inspire your work, not only because it will help you build a great network, but also because it will elevate your profile. This can be very important as digital marketing business often tends to come from word-of-mouth. Among other things, he also points out how crucial it is to find an easy way to explain to others what you do, that you have to find a clever way of marketing yourself! 


Search for Beginners ep 6

Google Search Console is a super under-utilized tool which is shocking because it’s free and can seriously benefit your business by helping you make sensible business decisions. GSC provides site owners with valuable metrics and allows you to monitor the health and wealth of your online presence.


Other Interesting News

Did you know there’s a game you can play when you’re waiting for Google Analytics or Data Studio to load?

Freshen up on some trivia questions while you’re waiting for your data to load. Buffer Buddy is a Chrome extension that makes waiting a little more fun. 


Local SEO - Google SERP Changes

Google has began displaying a ‘more’ link since they’ve hidden review details 

Jason Brown spotted this on desktop late last week but it appeared to disappear over the weekend. Most SEOs in the thread noted their distaste for it and hope that it truly is just a test!


Local SEO - Tips

The data from GMB Insights is unreliable

Multiple threads on the local search forum are indicating that you should not trust the data showing in GMB Insights. It’s showing unreliable insights and Joy suggests that using UTM codes can be a great source of reliable data.


Recommended Reading

How to Scale Organic Traffic (Without Writing a Million Blog Posts) – Kevin Indig
https://cxl.com/blog/scale-organic-traffic/
Jan 14, 2020

Courtesy of Kevin Indig, is a really insightful look at at scalable “feature-driven” organic SEO growth opportunities. Kevin looks at Quora Spaces, Youtube Hashtags, Twitter Moments, and Amazon Q&A among others as examples of sites who have rolled out “features” that scale, helping these sites rank for thousands if not millions of new keywords. New product, template or information features can unlock the key to explosive growth after years of stagnation. Writes Kevin: “If successful, feature-driven SEO opportunities can help a company expand vertically, by targeting more verticals, or horizontally, by offering new services.”

 

Answer All the Important Questions: Actionable Tasking – Alan Bleiweiss
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/actionable-tasking-seo-answer-important-questions/342423/
Jan 8, 2020

Alan took to SEJ to address the growing concern that he’s been finding in his recent audit work -- that people have a lack of understanding when it comes to content creation and links. This detailed article outlines the seven common fail points, nearly a dozen tasks that are required to help you excel, as well as an excellent bonus section on creating quality evergreen content (courtesy of Google’s blog post from August). This is an article not-to-miss as Alan lays down some seriously good points and provides plenty of guidance throughout. You may even want to bookmark this one!

 

How to Use Tools to Determine Which Content to Re-Optimize: A Step-by-Step Guide – Jeff Baker
https://moz.com/blog/content-reoptimize-guide
Jan 14, 2020

Following the series of articles across the industry preaching that you should re-optimize your content, Jeff has decided to teach you the seven steps that you’ll allow you to do it effectively. From finding the right keywords to tracking your performance, it’s important to understand the selection process (ie. the pages and keywords to target). This is a rather easy read and should help you improve your rankings!

 

How Google May Map Image Queries – Bill Slawski
https://gofishdigital.com/mapping-image-queries/
Jan 14, 2020

This is a really neat article from Bill regarding how Google is tagging images based upon ontologies.

Ontological tagging can be seen when you search for an ambiguous image search, such as jaguar, where there may be several different images that could be served. In this example the car or the big cat? What Google has started doing is serving universal search results with a mix of the two, and then provide a number of category or ontology tags to choose from to help the searcher narrow their search. This article is well worth reading if you are interested in a bit of a deeper dive into where Google may be going with image search, and potentially how to optimize for it. 

 

What Do High-Performance E-Commerce Websites Do Differently? Results from the 2020 KPI Study – Alan Coleman
https://moz.com/blog/2020-e-commerce-kpi-study
Jan 15, 2020

Two interesting findings from Wolfgang Digital’s e-commerce KPI study: This is the first year that paid search revenue has eclipsed organic search revenue, and also the first year that a majority of revenue came from mobile devices. The study also found that one of the strongest conversation correlations is “transactions driven by social” — meaning, the top performing sites were significantly better than the rest at generating traffic that converts from social.

 

Case study: The true value of informational content for e-commerce SEO – Eoghan Henn
https://searchengineland.com/case-study-the-true-value-of-informational-content-for-e-commerce-seo-327692
Jan 16, 2020

If you own or manage an e-commerce site, this is definitely a case study you’ll want to spend some time on. This is a mid-sized e-commerce website with about 60,000 product pages, and had created about 25 informational content pages in order to provide contextual internal links to their product category pages -- these pages naturally attracted backlinks, (despite not having an active link building strategy) but their contribution to sales was quite small. So when the corporation who owns this site decided to combine it with a bigger direct competitor they also owned, the decision was made to no longer use the informational content. 

 

The True Value of Top Publisher Links – Kristin Tynski
https://moz.com/blog/the-true-value-of-top-publisher-links
Jan 20, 2020

This was a really interesting study on determining how you can leverage receiving media coverage. Kristin examines the impact on domain authority when linking, the top 15 publishers that give links, and how you can use her method to help grow your organic rankings. The goal of this article is to help you optimize your content based on writers and audiences to obtain impactful links. If this is something that interests you, check out the article. 


Jobs


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • More detailed information on MHC’s observations of the January 2020 core update
  • Google is changing the online shopping landscape
  • Further cookie talk from Google -- this time on secure cookie settings
  • Google debunks some myths surrounding ranking factors for recipe sites
  • Google apologizes for some confusion re some messages they sent to webmasters re: TLS 1.0 / 1.1 support in Chrome
  • Tip to avoid JavaScript rendering issues
  • Unsure if it’s worth it to report spam to Google?
  • Before you kill your mobile subdomain…
  • John Mueller gives his two cents on handling a complex site migration
  • How successful can you be implementing structured data via Google Tag Manager? Here’s what you should know
  • Can an excessive amount of outbound 404 links cause issues?
  • How do you become eligible for Google News
  • Anyone can use any ccTLD they want but you can't geo-target them for other countries
  • Mega thread of Google Sheets tips and tricks
  • The latest from Google on the topic of widget links
  • What you should know about tag pages
  • Workaround available for restoring your SERPs to the former design and feel
  • Comscores 2020 voice search stats
  • Brands appear to be getting Knowledge Panels
  • Some countries are beginning to see a new feature atop their SERPs
  • What does your site cost? Find out!
  • 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.

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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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