SNYCU Ep. 146 - August 19, 2020 - Light Version

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In this episode we discuss another Google ranking glitch, Google Search Console's new Insights beta, synonyms in search, advanced SEO tactics and great insight from Google to help you improve your site!


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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • On August 15/16, 2020 there was another temporary ranking glitch
  • Google discusses the use of synonyms and related words in Search
  • Identify and fix AMP Signed Exchange errors in Search Console
  • Search Console Insights - Interesting info about the links pointing to your site
  • Advanced SEO tactics for 2020
  • The benefits of internal linking
  • A guide to internal linking
  • Defining ‘high quality’ and ‘relevant’ content
  • Does Google care if you have machine translated content on your site?
  • Tips for image migrations
  • Does Google monitor sites in a disavow file?
  • Another important lesson regarding h-tags
  • Checklist for URL changes and web migration within the same domain
  • Lighthouse SEO scores for every Shopify theme
  • The likely culprit if you’ve lost rich snippets after the May 2020 Core Update
  • Do outbound unnatural links manual actions result in traffic losses?
  • A classic example of why Google may have decided to treat nofollow as a hint
  • Check your GMBs! You might be missing something important…
  • How to ask for local business reviews
  • How to appropriately reply to a negative review from non-customer
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

Odd turbulence in the algo continues

We reported last week that there was an odd outage at Google on August 10, 2020 which caused many lower quality websites to suddenly perform really well. Something similar appears to have happened on August 15/16 as well. However, in this case, we can’t really determine a pattern when we look at which sites saw improvements or declines.

If you are a premium subscriber to Search News You Can Use, in the next section, you’ll read our theories on this glitch (although they’re not earth shattering in this case) and what you can do to assess pages that saw changes during this time.


This week’s exclusive SEMrush offer

Every week SEMrush has shared exclusive deals for our SNYCU readers who are new to SEMrush. These are only available week-to-week so best not to wait! 

This week we are sharing a one week Guru trial alongside their Competitive Intelligence add-on.  We’ve been told that SEMrush never shares trials to their CI add-on, so it’s not one to miss! It allows you to access their traffic analytics and market explorer tools which usually cost $200/month! 

You can always find our most recent SEMrush offering at mariehaynes.com/semrush


Are you making use of SEMrush Sensor? (sponsored)

While there are several tools available that tell us when Google’s algorithms seem to be updating across the web, the SEMrush Sensor will show you whether your particular SERPS are seeing turbulence. In our experience, the SEMrush Sensor is fairly accurate when it comes to detecting algorithm updates.

If you are a member of SEMrush, it is really easy to set up position tracking for your most important keywords. SEMrush will then monitor the rankings of those keywords, along with your competitors’ rankings and then alert you if a significant change seems to have occurred. A low score tells you that not much has changed. A high score is often indicative of an algorithm update. 

Here is the personal SEMrush Sensor data for a client of ours. You can see that on August 15-16, this particular site saw a lot of changes amongst rankings for their most important keywords.

You can then click through to position tracking to find out which keywords saw changes in rankings (and to what degree). If you’ve set up competition tracking, you can also see how your competitors’ rankings changed at this time as well. 

Probably our favourite part of this report is the section where you can see a screenshot of what the SERP looked like previously. In many cases, we can see that it was not actually rankings that dropped for a client, but rather, a new SERP feature was added such as a featured snippet, a local pack, or a People Also Asked box. If you notice that this has happened, then this could represent more opportunities for SEO wins. For example, if a SERP now has PAA boxes, and you are not featured in those boxes, you may be able to win a position there by changing how your content is worded, or presented to users.

From what we can see, SEMrush sensor is available to everyone for use. But if you want to set up personal tracking, you’ll need an account for that. You can use the promo link listed elsewhere in this newsletter for a free trial.


Google Announcements

Fast page labels land on Chrome (plus a reminder from John)

The labels may be new but that shouldn’t be the motivation you need to have a fast performing website. The labels just so happen to be for sites with high quality UX (based on the Core Web Vitals metrics) and this will roll out in Chrome 85 Beta.

Sure, it’s a great reminder to have a fast site and the labels could help improve CTR, but John reminds us that fast sites are great regardless of a label!


Search Console Insights is rolling out to a closed group of beta testers this week

This likely impacts a very small number of readers but at least it’s a start and it should include more users in the coming months. If you’re unaware of Search Console insights, it’s touted as a “new experience tailored for content creators and publishers and can help them understand how audiences discover their site’s content and what resonates with their audiences.”With the help of GSC and Google Analytics, it’ll help answer questions about their content.

One of our clients was one of the lucky few who are part of the beta. Here’s some behind the scenes:

We thought that the section that shows you referral traffic is extremely useful. Premium readers can see in the next section how this can help your link building efforts.


Google SERP Changes

ScrollToText Fragments may appear in your GSC by means of Google Images now (possibly a test)

It looks like Google has implemented -- or is at least testing -- the ScrollToText fragments for Google Images. You’ll may see the classic #:~:text= URLs being listed in GSC as they typically tend to source the closest nearby text. If you’re curious about an unusual spike or increase in your data, this could possibly explain things!


SEO Tips

Can too many outgoing links hurt your site?

Kevin Indig points out that many SEOs have claimed having too many outbound links can somehow affect the way Google views that domain. John Mueller clears this up: outbound links do not change your ability to rank.


Google's SEO Mythbusting discusses canonicalization

On this week’s episode of SEO Mythbusting. Martin Splitt and Rachel Costello talk about some of the most common canonical misconceptions as well as some things Google pays attention to when picking up a canonical


Tips and tricks for Google Sheets

This is a great resource for saving time in Google Sheets! It even garnered John’s approval as it helps you find duplicates super quickly. You will find tips for importing page titles, meta descriptions and H1 tags, flip around your tables of data, find and match up data and more! 


Server-side tagging for Google Tag Manager is now available

While it’s outside our area of expertise, we understand there are a number of major benefits to server-side tagging within GTM — from validation, to privacy control, to cleaner payloads, to control/ownership of your data in Google Cloud. This is a pretty exciting development!


Google Help Hangout Tips

Does Google have any preference if you manually implement structured data or instead rely on a plugin?

No, of course not! As long as it’s valid, Google doesn’t care.


Other Interesting News

Hotjar and Google Optimize combine forces

Hotjar recently partnered with Google’s Optimize services to better allow users to understand and optimize their visitor conversion rates and overall visitor behaviour, as well as to identify any issues and blockers users are dealing with. The feature works under the “recordings” tool that shows real actions taken by users of the site, including mouse movement, clips, pages scrolled etc.   


Local SEO - News from SterlingSky 

We had a little bit of excitement in the Local Rankings over the long weekend starting on Thursday the 13th of August, but everything seems to have righted itself. There's no indication which dials Google was turning - but we're not seeing any lasting impacts.

august 12 ranking flux


The ultimate guide to local (3-pack) ads

Joy outlines what needs to be present to trigger your ad in the Local 3-pack results and how Google's "Unfair Advantage" rule for PPC doesn't seem to apply to Local Pack ads. Basically you can have a regular Search ad AND a local pack ad for the same result.


How to optimize your Google Local Knowledge Panel

George Nguyen discusses the steps you should take to optimize your Google Local Knowledge Panel (aka your Google My Business listing). From claiming to optimizing the elements contained in the listing, he discusses every aspect of GMB optimization.


Google My Business rolling out new direct edit experience

Google has rolled out the ability for GMB account owners to edit their listings directly from the search results. They've also added in performance metrics visible within the SERP for a 6-month timespan - up from the previous GMB insight's 90-day cap. These two articles outline the changes and implications.


Google My Business asks “Did you use this Business?”

Google my business has added a question for reviewers to further qualify them for eligibility to leave a review. Now the question "Have you used this business?" prompts a yes or no answer during the process of leaving a review.


SEO Tools

An SEO suite with 40+ tools

When Aleyda recommends a tool, we know it must be good! We haven’t tried SEOZoom’s tool ourselves, but it looks like it has a diverse offering. Check out Aleyda’s tweet for what she loves about it: 


Recommended Reading

Google Penalties Research: Detecting and Dealing with Unnatural Inbound Links – Elena Terenteva
https://www.semrush.com/blog/google-penalty-unnatural-inbound-links/
May 19, 2020

In May 2020, Elena from SEMrush published a great research article on unnatural links penalties. In the study, they used their Backlink Audit tool to analyze 830 backlink profiles from sites that had previously been issued an unnatural links penalty. The analysis uncovered a lot of very interesting details. The info given here is super helpful and if you’re dealing with a manual action, check out the full post. 


Jobs


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • On August 15/16, 2020 there was another temporary ranking glitch
  • Google discusses the use of synonyms and related words in Search
  • Identify and fix AMP Signed Exchange errors in Search Console
  • Search Console Insights - Interesting info about the links pointing to your site
  • Advanced SEO tactics for 2020
  • The benefits of internal linking
  • A guide to internal linking
  • Defining ‘high quality’ and ‘relevant’ content
  • Does Google care if you have machine translated content on your site?
  • Tips for image migrations
  • Does Google monitor sites in a disavow file?
  • Another important lesson regarding h-tags
  • Checklist for URL changes and web migration within the same domain
  • Lighthouse SEO scores for every Shopify theme
  • The likely culprit if you’ve lost rich snippets after the May 2020 Core Update
  • Do outbound unnatural links manual actions result in traffic losses?
  • A classic example of why Google may have decided to treat nofollow as a hint
  • Check your GMBs! You might be missing something important…
  • How to ask for local business reviews
  • How to appropriately reply to a negative review from non-customer
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Note: If you are seeing the light version and you are a paid member, be sure to log in (in the sidebar on desktop or below the post on mobile) and read the full article here.

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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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