SNYCU Episode 118 - Feb 5, 2020 - Light Version

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In this episode we discuss a Google indexing theory, info from G on affiliate links, a recap on the guidelines for using affiliate links, part three of our E-A-T webinar on February 20th, featured snippets, and more!


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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • Additional guidelines for affiliate links
  • Is Google suppressing sites that give potentially harmful information about Coronavirus?
  • SEOs have spotted the right side snippet no longer getting de-duplicated
  • A great example of Google’s dynamic SERPs
  • Advanced eComm tips from Luke Carthy
  • What’s the future of SEO copywriting?
  • Guide for adding custom HTML tags using Google Tag Manager
  • A really great visualization of why it's so important to care about accessibility
  • Useful bookmarks for Excel Spreadsheets
  • How to highlight images without alt text
  • Recap: Google summarizes their top Search news of January 2020
  • You migrated to a new CMS, changed all URLs, and now you’ve seen a drop -- what’s the culprit?
  • The length of time it takes Google to recognize and index your site changes
  • Say goodbye to Jumpshot, Avast shuts down the marketing analytics subsidiary following data privacy backlash
  • Microsoft expressing the importance of SEO
  • Can a Service Area Business use a virtual office address to verify their listing?
  • Lazy-loading for images likely to come to WordPress 5.4 (plus an early access option)
  • Knowledge Graph search engine
  • SeerInteractive's favourite SEMrush features
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

Possible minor updates on January 27 and February 3, 2020

We have several clients in our profile that saw either slight improvements or slight declines in Google organic traffic starting on either of these dates. At this point, we are not seeing evidence that this is a significant update that we need to analyze. Our hypothesis right now is that these dates may represent slight tweaks to some of the changes that Google made with the January 13, 2020 Core Update

If we see more significant changes, we’ll spend more time analyzing which types of sites were affected.


Is Google dealing with low quality content even before it gets indexed?!?!?

We have had some interesting news recently this week in regards to Google not indexing content. Several people have reported that their new content was not getting indexed, even after requesting indexing via Google Search Console. 

John Mueller told us very clearly on Twitter that “There’s no issue with indexing new content.”

Then, he made this interesting comment:

We then remembered this cryptic tweet by Googler Gary Illyes recently:

We think it is possible that Google has become so much better at identifying which content is truly valuable, that they may be making it so that some content that is not the best of its kind doesn’t even make it to the index. If so, this is big news!

There will likely be a lot of discussion on this in the weeks to come. Many SEOs are claiming that they cannot get content indexed and that they feel the content truly is good as opposed to spammy. Many are claiming that there must be an issue with indexing on Google’s side. 

If you are a paid subscriber of the newsletter, in the next section you’ll have some tips for how to determine why your new content is not getting indexed.

We also wanted to add some interesting discussion from the blackhat community. This thread in blackhatworld has over 80 pages of people complaining that they cannot get content indexed. Here are some interesting quotes:

  • You guys are playing a whack a mole game with google. The game will get you nowhere and trying to index what google is deindexing is a waste of time.
  • My traffic is down again and some of my pages disappeared from the serps again :mad:. This is turning into a daily game of re-indexing. 
  • Some of my pages got deindexed again wtf google! I manually asked for them to be re-indexed 3 days ago and suddenly traffic went back up and I got some of my old positions back yet today it's the same shit.

Also, Twitter user SEOwner took three domains and created spun articles. In theory, these should be considered low quality posts. After a few days, some were indexed and some were not. 

This is still very much a theory, but we are wondering if Google can now decide whether to index a post based on whether it is likely for that article to ever be helpful for anyone. If true, we imagine this will cause quite a stir in the SEO community. It can’t be that simple though as others are still able to get unhelpful content indexed:

What is Google doing?!?!?!?


More info from Google on the use of affiliate links

In our article on our observations of the January Core update, we noted that many sites that saw drops in rankings with this update were affiliate sites that did not make it clear to searchers which links were there for the purpose of monetization. 

John Mueller was asked whether Google could consider it deceptive if a site cloaked their affiliate links. A common practice amongst some affiliate sites is to make it so that when a user hovers over a link, instead of them seeing the affiliate url, they’d see a “pretty url” such as yoursite.com/product rather than amazon.com/product-page&aff=YourAffiliateID. Users clicking on the yoursite.com/product link would then be redirected to the appropriate page on Amazon.

John also said this:

Now, Google did not come out and say that having cloaked affiliate links is definitely a sign of low quality. Our thought is that the main goal of the site owner should be to make it so that users are quite clear that they are clicking on an affiliate link. As mentioned in our January core update article, having an affiliate disclosure at the top or bottom of a page may not be enough in Google’s eyes.


MHC Announcements

Register now for part 3 of our webinar series

It’s official, we are hosting the third part of our E-A-T webinar all about trust. If you haven’t watched the first two, you can find them on our YouTube page. Be sure to register ahead of time here for the upcoming webinar on February 20th. You can also vote for your preferred time in the thread below: 


Google Announcements

GTM verification in GSC is fixed

You may not have even known this was broken, but no need to worry, Google was on it rather quickly. 


New smart thermostat feature

Very cool feature here that may be something local businesses want to keep an eye on. Essentially, when the thermostat detects a problem, it will email you and suggest a local business for service. For smart devices, having this type of value add separates them from the competition and will soon become necessary in the industry. 


Google SERP Changes

‘See the connection’ feature in the SERPs

Entity extraction at its prime here! Google has recently unveiled a new Knowledge Panel feature which will allow users to see the connection between two famous people. We’re curious if this will soon expand to other KP’s outside that of celebrities!


SEO Tips

The relationship between voice search and featured snippets

Featured Snippets are far more important than you think! According to Danny Sullivan, Google Assistant often reads featured snippets, so if you wish to block your content from showing up in the SERPs as a featured snippet, you will also block it from being able to be accessed by users doing voice search. 

Here are a series of threads that include Google’s input:


Google Help Hangout Tips 

The importance of image filenames

A question was asked regarding duplicating image filenames for multilingual sites, and John says it isn’t necessary. Filenames are not a large factor for G, as they can discern information from more important sources like the page itself.  


Other Interesting News

Big name publishers are publishing fewer articles and seeing better results

Less if more when it comes to publishing! Many major companies are beginning to notice the positive impact it can have to focus on producing and indexing high-quality content.


Local SEO - Google SERP Changes

Third-parties auto-populating the booking link

Postmates has been taking over several local listings with its order link which is not overly uncommon says Joy. If this (or another third-party booking site) has appeared on your listing, there is speculation that Google may have a hand in placing it. We would suggest that you jump over to the forum and join the conversation providing feedback as many SEOs are beginning to dig into the matter more.


Local SEO - Tips

What benefits can you earn by adding a service area to a non-service area business?

According to Joy, it doesn’t do anything worthwhile. For more on this, read Joy’s six tips on the change to the for service area businesses. 


SEO Tools

Ahrefs now has organic traffic data in their API

Good news! This past week Ahrefs has added organic data in their API which should leave many SEOs busy researching. 


Recommended Reading

Why Google Backtracked on Its New Search Results Look – Daisuke Wakabayashi & Tiffany Hsu
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/technology/google-search-results.html
Jan 31, 2020

This is an interesting article on the recent changes Google made to the SERP appearance. It appears that the change caused a lot of confusion between what was distinguished as a paid ad versus an organic result. This article says that users have found the change has made ads less distinguishable from the the rest, and it is as if Google is attempting to conceal what the ads are. 

 

How to Find (and fix) Duplicate Content Using the Index Coverage – Roey Skif
https://www.tldrseo.com/duplicate-content-index-coverage/
Jan 30, 2020

Tapping into Search Console’s Index Coverage Report can offer plenty of insight regarding how Google views your content. If you find that at times it can be a little overwhelming, give this article a read as Roey breaks down the meaning of duplicate content, how it impacts SEO, and a handful of options for finding thin content. We highly recommend this read!

 

SEO and Intent 2020: New Study Reveals True State of Search – John E Lincoln
https://ignitevisibility.com/seo-and-intent-2020-new-study-reveals-true-state-of-search/
Jan 30, 2020

A recent study of over 500 persons between the ages of 25-60 revealed some interesting results when it comes to how users navigate, explore, and make decisions in the SERPs.


Jobs


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Additional guidelines for affiliate links
  • Is Google suppressing sites that give potentially harmful information about Coronavirus?
  • SEOs have spotted the right side snippet no longer getting de-duplicated
  • A great example of Google’s dynamic SERPs
  • Advanced eComm tips from Luke Carthy
  • What’s the future of SEO copywriting?
  • Guide for adding custom HTML tags using Google Tag Manager
  • A really great visualization of why it's so important to care about accessibility
  • Useful bookmarks for Excel Spreadsheets
  • How to highlight images without alt text
  • Recap: Google summarizes their top Search news of January 2020
  • You migrated to a new CMS, changed all URLs, and now you’ve seen a drop -- what’s the culprit?
  • The length of time it takes Google to recognize and index your site changes
  • Say goodbye to Jumpshot, Avast shuts down the marketing analytics subsidiary following data privacy backlash
  • Microsoft expressing the importance of SEO
  • Can a Service Area Business use a virtual office address to verify their listing?
  • Lazy-loading for images likely to come to WordPress 5.4 (plus an early access option)
  • Knowledge Graph search engine
  • SeerInteractive's favourite SEMrush features
  • 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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