SNYCU Ep. 137 - June 17, 2020 - Light Version

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In this episode we discuss algorithm turbulence early June, information on Google's nofollow changes, what John Mueller says about linking in guest posts, what impact Recipe structured data can have on your site, tips for SaaS sites, what indexed but blocked by robots.txt means, and so much more. It is a packed episode!


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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • June 7-9 Turbulence
  • More from Google on the nofollow changes
  • Can rel=sponsored and rel=ugc can be used for ranking purposes?
  • John Mueller discusses links in guest posts
  • Do you own two or more similar sites that are competing in a similar space? You might want to hear this!
  • Can Google overlook issues with older content on your site?
  • Explaining “Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt” in Google Search Console
  • How to change your user agent in different browsers (useful for audits)
  • How much of an impact can Recipe structured data have on your site’s performance?
  • SEO tips for SaaS websites
  • John comments on SERP volatility for new sites
  • A competitor has created thousands of spammy backlinks to your site, how should you handle this?
  • Interesting observation - sites with Google Ad misinformation issues also affected by the May core update?
  • Is Etsy giving poor link building advice to merchants? (MHC’s thoughts)
  • How to flag user profiles for abuse in Google Maps
  • GMB is notifying a listing manager when a review is removed from your business profile
  • A visually appealing and easy to use dashboard to integrate with your Google Search Console
  • Handy tool to flag Google My Business virtual offices
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

Another hint from Google that might explain why you’re struggling to get content indexed

This was another vague tweet by Gary Illyes: 

It may mean nothing, but we thought it was similar to this one:

It makes sense to us that Google would want to limit which content gets indexed. The volume of new urls Google sees each day is massive and there is only so much room for storage. 


MHC Announcements

Recent Manual Action removals

At MHC, we’ve had great success with removing penalties for unnatural links clients. In most cases, it can take several months to hear back from our reconsideration requests, so don’t panic if you haven’t heard back. Recently, we have had 8 penalties successfully lifted. If you need help with an unnatural links penalty, you can contact our team. We are also releasing a 2020 version of our manual actions book to help you through the process if you’d prefer to do it yourself. Stay tuned! 


Google Announcements

Monitor the performance of your Recipe structured data in Google Search Console’s Performance Report

For the recipe site owners out there, if you have Recipe structured data on your site, here is a new way to monitor your traffic using GSC. Simply check the search appearance tab and you’ll find new options to track performance! 


Google SERP Changes 

How-To schema testing on desktop appears to now be over

Beginning mid-May, the how-to schema rich results test is now over. Other SEOs have confirmed seeing this in their GSC profiles as well. It could mean the next time this appears it will be as a permanent feature. Keep an eye out for how-to schema on desktop! If you haven’t marked up your pages with how-to schema, here’s Google’s documentation on implementation


SEO Tips

Can you still rank some pages on your website while under a manual action for unnatural links?

You should definitely focus on getting your manual action lifted, however, it is possible to rank pages while penalized. That said, a manual action is unfavourable so you’re better off not earning yourself one at all!


A better understanding of how Google treats links on YouTube for Search

John Mueller provided some clarity on Twitter regarding how Google treats links in YouTube comments: “We don’t use links on YouTube for search”. Link building in YouTube comments is simply ineffective. If you think this is a good strategy, all you’re accomplishing is making searchers unhappy.


Other Interesting News

Is there still success in disavowing?

In our podcast episode in which we interviewed John Mueller, John mentioned that while some sites could see improvement with disavowing, even if they didn’t have a manual action, he would consider it “rare” for that to happen.

We have had several sites see nice improvement within a few weeks to months of filing a thorough disavow. In some cases, it can be hard for us to prove that the disavow was the reason for the improvement as we usually are working on changing several things to help improve the quality of a website. However, we have had a couple of cases where the only thing we did was file a disavow. While it’s still conceivably possible that these sites improved for other reasons, we do feel that the disavow helped. In each of these cases, the sites were ones that had been working for years on building in-article links just for SEO.


Can jumplinks in a table of contents impact your ability to earn or lose a featured snippet?

Lily posed this question on Twitter, and we haven’t seen any examples so far. The common consensus seems to be that jumplinks are great for fraggles and sitelinks, but you can use schema such as itemlist as an alternative to a table of contents. If you’ve seen this happen, share an example on the thread below. 


Local SEO - News from SterlingSky 

Local rankings have been quiet again this week.  Nobody is complaining about that on our end, that's for sure!

flux week of june 11

With quiet ranking flux comes the ability to do more testing and research. One of those being Joy’s testing of the merge of two GMB listings.


Are there any benefits to merging multiple Google My Business listings?

Joy recently explored the benefits of merging 2 listings and found there is some boost if you can clean these up and merge them into one. Duplicate listings generally trigger a filter that can remove one or both of your listings from visibility - you're basically competing with yourself at that point. By merging the 2 listings - you'll see some lift - especially if both listings are using the same primary category.


New attributes visible in GMB

We're seeing some new attributes show up in Google My Business - Online Appointments is now available to most businesses where it would make sense. We're seeing it in a wide variety of categories from lawyers to insurance agents and doctors to marketing companies.


Mobile knowledge panel has welcomed new additions

Tom Waddington noticed that services are being pulled into the mobile knowledge panel - not on a tab - and has also noticed that "ownership" info is being pulled into the Local Knowledge Panel. In this case, the ownership info is sourced from a Facebook post. It might be worth considering a task to clean up your unstructured info about ownership on various authoritative websites.


A handy guide for interpreting GMB insights

Google My Business Insights continues to evolve - but interpreting the data can be a bit of a quagmire. The general rule is to not draw any parallels between insights and Google Analytics data - they do not relate. Joy has compiled and updated her post "How to Interpret Google My Business (GMB) Insights" over the last year or so and recently updated it with data we've learned in the last few months.


Ask the local experts! Upcoming AMA hosted by GatherUp

GatherUp is hosting a Local Search AMA on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 2PM ET. This is your opportunity to ask local search experts anything you'd like - get those sticky problems solved!  This month's guests are Joy Hawkins, Krystal Taing, Aaron Weiche and the webinar is hosted by Mike Blumenthal.


Recommended Reading

Optimize Website – Page Experience – Core Web Vitals – Samuel Schmitt
https://samuelschmitt.com/optimize-website/
June 7, 2020

By now you should be aware that Google is introducing Core Web Vitals metrics into the algorithm sometime in 2021 by integrating this data with various existing user engagement signals. Now that we have that out of the way, how comfortable are you with understanding Google’s intent behind this, how to analyze the new metrics, how to find issues that matter most and improve these metrics, and how to track this data longer term? We think this is a must read for anyone who wants to take Core Web Vitals seriously!

 

Understanding & Fulfilling Search Intent - Whiteboard Friday – Britney Muller
https://moz.com/blog/understanding-fulfilling-search-intent
June 12, 2020

In this week's Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller dives into more nuanced ways of assessing searcher intent. Google is getting better and better at determining what a searcher is really looking for when they type in certain keywords or questions. She advocates for utilizing the SERPs to determine what information users are actually looking for when they search. This is incredibly valuable data about what actually is ranking for your target keywords!

 

Solving Fragmented User intent – Kevin Indig
https://www.kevin-indig.com/solving-fragmented-user-intent/
June 2, 2020

This is a great read by Kevin Indig that lays out the issue of “fragmented user intent”, or ambiguous queries with multiple meanings. You’re definitely going to want to go read the article, as Kevin details his process. He has a whole list of SERP features that a user intent has been attributed to, and then outlines how he pulls the data from a rank tracker (any will work) and edits it in Excel. The goal is to see what the average user intent is -- so, which one shows up the most often for that particular keyword -- which can then be tracked over time, to see how (if at all) the intent changes. With this method, you can use keyword metrics in combination with SERP features to effectively monitor what Google perceives the user intent is for a given keyword. Handy!

 

How to Deal with Paginated Pages – Ryan Jones
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/googlebot-paginated-pages/371132/
June 9, 2020

This article from Ryan Jones is short, to the point, and we like its conclusions! In most cases, paginated archives containing important content should be self-canonicalized and fully indexable. If you need help with paginated pages, this is the resource for you!


Jobs


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • June 7-9 Turbulence
  • More from Google on the nofollow changes
  • Can rel=sponsored and rel=ugc can be used for ranking purposes?
  • John Mueller discusses links in guest posts
  • Do you own two or more similar sites that are competing in a similar space? You might want to hear this!
  • Can Google overlook issues with older content on your site?
  • Explaining “Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt” in Google Search Console
  • How to change your user agent in different browsers (useful for audits)
  • How much of an impact can Recipe structured data have on your site’s performance?
  • SEO tips for SaaS websites
  • John comments on SERP volatility for new sites
  • A competitor has created thousands of spammy backlinks to your site, how should you handle this?
  • Interesting observation - sites with Google Ad misinformation issues also affected by the May core update?
  • Is Etsy giving poor link building advice to merchants? (MHC’s thoughts)
  • How to flag user profiles for abuse in Google Maps
  • GMB is notifying a listing manager when a review is removed from your business profile
  • A visually appealing and easy to use dashboard to integrate with your Google Search Console
  • Handy tool to flag Google My Business virtual offices
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

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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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