SNYCU Ep. 130 - April 29, 2020 - Light Version

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In this episode we discuss important information concerning GSC data, new Google features, and how to solve common international SEO concerns. Plus, find advice from Google on redirects and internal linking, and some of the best tips from digital marketers the past week.


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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • Google announced they were launching a pilot project in the US to expand the question hub feature in GSC
  • A wider roll out of Google's advertiser identity verification program (started initially in 2018 for political advertisers)
  • New How-to schema treatment spotted by Brodie Clark
  • Google is suggesting alternate searches
  • Further testing of left side navbar in Search
  • How long does Google advise your redirects be in place for?
  • Is internal linking across your topic silos beneficial?
  • Guide on how to get ready for Google Shopping
  • The cost effective, prioritized approach to whether or not you should implement hreflang
  • 301 redirects covered by #AskGoogleWebmasters
  • Templates for replying to reviews
  • The most common international SEO issues and how to solve them
  • You can use Google Trends for your SEO projections
  • Essential website architecture elements for law sites
  • Important reminder, HTTP images could be causing you to lose your HTTPS status
  • Which access is required to request a URL for indexing in GSC?
  • Can hreflang help one of your multiple websites rank better in that specific country?
  • Cloudflare is now more fully integrated with Shopify
  • “Better than Google Alerts”; Monitor your online mentions
  • Alternative to Google Trends
  • Track Interesting Finds with this SEO’s handy tool
  • Moz launched their "Keyword Research Master Guide"
  • "Local News" carousel is now showing in the mobile SERPs for some searches
  • Telehealth links are now being shown in some places
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

Once again, we were thrilled to see that quite a few of our clients saw very nice improvements in traffic from Google over the last week. Many of these sites saw their increases start around April 23, 2020. However, at this point, we do not feel that this happened because of a significant Google update, but most likely due to parts of the world starting to relax a little in terms of social distancing. 


MHC Announcements

Listen to one of MHC’s own discuss SEO and our business 

One of our senior auditors, Callum Scott, was recently on Traject’s podcast discussing the changes in MHC and SEO amid COVID-19. They discuss how we have adapted as an agency, the changes in diagnosing search traffic, and much more! Have a listen here


Google Announcements

Important notes related to GSC data

There have been some anomalies causing missing data in some facets of Search Console the past few weeks. The missing data has since been replaced retroactively with April 26 data. The Performance metrics within GSC were unaffected, so the data there on clicks, impressions, position and CTR wasn’t impacted. 

For performance reasons, Google is also now reporting a smaller number of pages within the AMP, Speed, Mobile Usability and Rich Results tools. We’re noticing this with a few clients who have around 5-10% fewer reported pages in the mobile usability tool and/or rich results tests. Google has added an annotation to GSC marking this date.


Google Search Console introduces copy to clipboard button

Webmasters have asked and Google has listened! You will now see a “copy to clipboard’ button alongside the current “Open in New Tab” and “Inspect URL” buttons. Hopefully this shortcut helps many of you.


SEO Tips

Martin Splitt's Lightning Talk

The very first Lightning Talk is out and covers links and JavaScript. Follow Google’s Developer Advocate as he explains how Google uses links to discover pages on the web and how to utilize JavaScript in your favour without causing any concerns.


SEO report template courtesy of Advanced Web Ranking

Self-described as the “ultimate reporting template for in-house and agencies,” this article covers items to consider for your summary page, your organic growth summary, keyword performance, and more using a Google Data Studio template. 


Using HTML to show a different image in dark mode

Really cool workaround here if you want to change the image appearance when using dark mode. Definitely something we’ve been wanting! 


Other Interesting News

SparkToro has recently launched!

This past week, SparkToro launched. This is a free (or upgradable to paid) tool called the Audience Intelligence Tool, which can be used to get data about your online audience in order to find out things like an audience overview, or which people are influencing your audience in order for you to better engage with them. Rand Fishkin, formerly of Moz and now one of the founders of SparkToro, also published a really nice blog post alongside this launch, detailing the product and its capabilities:


Local SEO - News from SterlingSky 

We saw a bumpy ranking road last week and into the weekend across a few categories, but it seems that things have mostly recovered to "pre-flux" positions.  

ranking flux april

Today (Tuesday) we're seeing a bit more flux again. If we drill into categories it looks like most volatility can be attributed to a few categories - Bars & Pubs, Car Dealerships, Locksmiths, and Restaurants & Cafes. Those are industries where we tend to see a bit of movement naturally - so this is, as usual, a case of "Take 2 Beers and check back in 48-hours" as Mike Blumenthal always says.

Reputation.com put together a whitepaper on the impact of COVID-19 on your GMB listing that has some good insights. It is behind a "wall" and you have to give your email address to read it, but it's worth having in your arsenal as clients ask you questions about COVID-19 and GMB.

The links for Virtual Office Visits are finally showing up in the "wild." We're seeing "Get Online Care" links visible on mobile business listings in the US markets. This is unfortunate as it needs to be available world-wide - and we'd speculate that the most at-risk populations might not be comfortable seeing or booking appointments via their mobile device. Hopefully, this rolls onto desktop soon in more than the US market.

Joy Hawkins put together a glossary of "jargon" that the Google My Business team uses - but doesn't match what we in the real world call things. Ever heard of a "Place Topic"? We call these review summaries and they're the little word bubbles that appear at the top of reviews for terms that appear frequently across multiple reviews. Place Topic?

Mike Blumenthal is reporting over at the GatherUp blog that Q&A is starting to return to Local Knowledge Panels. Like reviews, we're only seeing Q&A on a few categories - right now it looks like they're only available on some retail & restaurant listings.


Local SEO - Google Announcements

Updates to the Google My Business COVID-19 page

Have you seen the recent updates made to the Limited Google My Business functionality due to COVID-19 page? Thanks to Ben Fisher for bringing this to light. It looks like GMB is offering updated info on new listings, edits, and also letting you know that reviews are gradually rolling out. 


Local SEO - Other Interesting News

Google Q&A is starting to return

Around mid-march (due to COVID-19), Google stopped showing Q&As in GMB profiles, and stopped allowing new questions to be asked. It looks like as of Wednesday, April 23rd, Google began allowing Q&As again. Spotted by Mike Blumenthal: old Q&As are being shown again in GMB, and new questions are being asked and appearing in the GMB profile.


SEO Tools

SERP analysis tool

Andrea Volpini and WordLift have produced this python code (and guide) that’ll help you use machine learning to do the following:

  • Crawl the first 1-2 pages of the SERPs and extract the text behind them
  • Source terms and concepts from the content on these pages
  • Compare two queries
  • Narrow in on individual queries
  • Summarize the top results for a query
  • Build a question-answering model that’ll help grow or validate the query’s information in the Knowledge Graph


Recommended Reading

How to Use Structured Data to Support E-A-T – Lily Ray
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-to-use-structured-data-to-support-e-a-t/362946/
April 22, 2020

Need one underutilized method for improving E-A-T and organic performance? Leverage your structured data effectively! Lily discusses the benefits of structured data to demonstrate E-A-T, provides many expert level quotes on the topic, as well outlines the various types of schema to get acquainted with.

 

How Google May Answer Better Questions by Rewriting Questions – Bill Slawski
https://gofishdigital.com/rewriting-questions/
April 24, 2020

Google is getting good at providing us with Featured Snippet Answer Boxes in a variety of different forms, but determining which type of answer box to provide us with for a certain query is a task all in itself - especially if the query is not all that clear to begin with! This is another fantastic article from Bill Slawski on where Google is potentially headed with regards to better responding to answer seeking queries like this. 

 

How to work with developers to get your SEO recommendations implemented – Maria Camanes
https://builtvisible.com/how-to-work-with-developers-to-get-your-seo-recommendations-implemented/
April 20, 2020

Maria Camanes outlines a few things to keep in mind as an SEO professional working with a client’s developer team.

 

Video SEO on YouTube and Google in 2020: How to Rank Your Videos Online – Carolyn Lyden
https://searchhermit.com/blog/youtube-video-seo/
April 21, 2020

The Search Hermit recently released a post that lays out the importance of video for SEO and explains the important factors that marketers need to think about.  There is a ton of crossover between YouTube and Google for video content, if you are creating any visuals, this article is a fantastic primer to get started on the right foot. 

 

The Ultimate SEO Guide to Magento 2 – Steven van Vessum, Vojtěch Zach & Susanne Baartman
https://www.contentkingapp.com/academy/magento-seo/
April 20, 2020

This is a very comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about Magento 2 SEO. One really good note (of many) in the article: canonical URLs are turned off by default and will need to be switched on. The guide covers off everything from indexing/crawling to URL structure, page title, headings, and speed optimization.


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Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Google announced they were launching a pilot project in the US to expand the question hub feature in GSC
  • A wider roll out of Google's advertiser identity verification program (started initially in 2018 for political advertisers)
  • New How-to schema treatment spotted by Brodie Clark
  • Google is suggesting alternate searches
  • Further testing of left side navbar in Search
  • How long does Google advise your redirects be in place for?
  • Is internal linking across your topic silos beneficial?
  • Guide on how to get ready for Google Shopping
  • The cost effective, prioritized approach to whether or not you should implement hreflang
  • 301 redirects covered by #AskGoogleWebmasters
  • Templates for replying to reviews
  • The most common international SEO issues and how to solve them
  • You can use Google Trends for your SEO projections
  • Essential website architecture elements for law sites
  • Important reminder, HTTP images could be causing you to lose your HTTPS status
  • Which access is required to request a URL for indexing in GSC?
  • Can hreflang help one of your multiple websites rank better in that specific country?
  • Cloudflare is now more fully integrated with Shopify
  • “Better than Google Alerts”; Monitor your online mentions
  • Alternative to Google Trends
  • Track Interesting Finds with this SEO’s handy tool
  • Moz launched their "Keyword Research Master Guide"
  • "Local News" carousel is now showing in the mobile SERPs for some searches
  • Telehealth links are now being shown in some places
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

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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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