SNYCU Ep. 154 - Oct. 14, 2020 - Light Version

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In this episode we discuss September and October algorithm fluctuations, Web Stories introduced to Discover, Google announcing a new Google Analytics, incorrect dates in the SERPs, and several more great SEO tips!


Marie’s Podcast for this episode

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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • More detail on the September and October Google SERP turbulence
  • Web Stories is being introduced to Discover
  • How does the autocomplete function work in Google Search?
  • Google announces an upcoming event related to Search (Thursday Oct 15th)
  • Why is Google preferring these sites for adult searches?
  • Curious to know why your Rich Snippets aren’t showing in Search?
  • Featured Snippet answers are based on context
  • Google says that incorrect dates shown in the SERPs may be the fault of a site owner
  • How to fix entity info with Google
  • Flow chart on how to deal with a competitor adding keywords to their GMB listing
  • Updated tool: Structured Data Viewer
  • Test your Lighthouse scores from six locations across the globe
  • Compare your site’s page speed to your competitors
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

September and October Google SERP turbulence 

If your site’s traffic was affected in mid September, you are not alone! For several weeks now there has been significant turbulence in the SERPs. Here is a summary of what we know so far. 

Google has shared with us that there were two main issues with indexing. One involved an issue with mobile indexing. The second was a problem with Google wrongly canonicalizing URLs. According to Google, as of October 9, almost all of the mobile indexing issues are fixed now. But they were still working at that time, on the canonical issue.

Glenn Gabe reported on a site that was affected by the canonical bug. It is interesting to see that the number of URLs reported in GSC as valid took a big dip with the bug and now appears to be recovering.

We are monitoring this situation. We think we have found a very interesting pattern in which pages were affected by this bug, but need to do more research before sharing with our newsletter subscribers. In next week’s newsletter, our premium subscribers will be able to read in great detail what we are seeing and how we can use this information!


October 5, 2020 - possible small update?

We did have a number of sites in our profile that saw changes that look typical of what we usually see during a Google update. Our initial assumption is that these changes are likely connected to Google’s indexing issues resolving. At this point we are not calling this a significant update, but we will be keeping an eye on the situation.


MHC Announcements

Watch our link auditing webinar this week! 

We’ll share the link to watch our webinar on our YouTube channel this week. Marie answers loads of questions about using the disavow tool, knowing when to file a disavow and deciding when a link should be disavowed.  Don’t forget, if you asked a question, Marie may answer it during the webinar so don’t miss the Q&A portion. 


Google Announcements

Google introduces the new Google Analytics

Google has just announced a new Google Analytics. So what’s new? They’re using machine learning to help provide insight into trends with your data. They will automatically alert you with these changes, including new predictive methods they will continue to add. Additionally, there will be more information related to how users are interacting with your business. They recommend creating an Analytics 4 property (previously called an App + Web property) before completely replacing your analytics. We suggest reading their whole post so you can learn more about these changes. 


Insights now available within Google Podcasts Manager

Ever wonder how your podcast has fared in Search? Well Google just added insights such as search terms, top podcasts, clicks and impressions that are now available in the Google Podcasts Manager. With the rapid growth of the podcast industry, learning all you can about how you’re doing in the SERPs is a great step towards optimization. 


SEO Tips

The importance of search intent analysis

Dan Shure also notes that Google may be splitting up the intent of “buy” as how to buy and “for sale” as show products for sale. If you’re running an eCommerce site, this is definitely worth testing. 

For more discussion on this, you can listen to Marie’s podcast for this episode (embedded at the top of this post.)


How long does it take for Google to process a reconsideration request (for a manual action)?

After submitting your reconsideration request it can take from weeks up to months before Google processes it. In our experience it typically takes anywhere from a month to six months. During COVID, we’re certainly experiencing several months.


A handful of standouts from the recent Search Off the Record episode

There were some good nuggets of information that cropped up in this week's Search Off the Record podcast. In particular regarding how Google’s Caffeine works. Google Caffeine rolled out in 2017 and was a major shift in how Google was able to crawl the web and store data. The main goal with this update was to create a larger index, and be able to provide fresher results. If you want to find out more about our top tips from this episode, check out this thread


A free multi-part video course from Microsoft on JavaScript core concepts

This 51-part video from Microsoft is an introduction to JavaScript. If you have been wanting to learn the basics and don’t want to spend money on a course, here is a great alternative!


Local SEO

Here’s a look at the local flux the past week. It appears the slight increase that we saw last week has officially decreased. We’re back in the mid to high twos, so nothing noteworthy to report.


Local SEO - Google SERP Changes

Reminder: Google My Business has added plenty of new attributes

GMB recently added several more COVID-related attributes. These have been available to people in the US already, but they seem to be appearing in the UK now as well. 


Local SEO - Other Interesting News

The 2020 Local SEO Blackbelt Quiz has arrived (and it’s packed with plenty of good insight!)

It’s that time of the year again, Sterling Sky has unveiled its local quiz made up of 19 advanced SEO questions. Whether you’re attempting the quiz for fun or would like to learn some new tidbits of information, this is definitely worth your time!


Recommended Reading

When Should I Use a Canonical vs. a 301 Redirect? – Ryan Jones
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/canonical-vs-301-redirect/383124/
October 13, 2020

For anyone confused by where to use a canonical tag and where to 301, Ryan Jones breaks this down succinctly for you: 301 is a directive (literally) and canonicalization is a hint. If content has been relocated or permanently removed, a 301 makes sense. If you have multiple variations of similar content — such as colour variations for a product in an e-commerce store — canonicalization likely works best. If you’re combining content, consolidate and 301 redirect to the URL of choice — don’t canonicalize the old content to the revamped content, as it is a hint and may be ignored, particularly if the content differs. 


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

My 8 Best Local SEO Tips for the 2020 Holidays – Miriam Ellis
https://moz.com/blog/holiday-2020-local-seo-tips
September 29, 2020

As more people are prepping to stay close to home this holiday season, it’s more important than ever for local businesses to start thinking about and implementing their seasonal marketing strategy. How can you tackle this? Here’s 8 pro tips courtesy of local expert Miriam Ellis.


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • More detail on the September and October Google SERP turbulence
  • Web Stories is being introduced to Discover
  • How does the autocomplete function work in Google Search?
  • Google announces an upcoming event related to Search (Thursday Oct 15th)
  • Why is Google preferring these sites for adult searches?
  • Curious to know why your Rich Snippets aren’t showing in Search?
  • Featured Snippet answers are based on context
  • Google says that incorrect dates shown in the SERPs may be the fault of a site owner
  • How to fix entity info with Google
  • Flow chart on how to deal with a competitor adding keywords to their GMB listing
  • Updated tool: Structured Data Viewer
  • Test your Lighthouse scores from six locations across the globe
  • Compare your site’s page speed to your competitors
  • 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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