search newsletterSearch News You Can Use
Episode 25 - Feb 19, 2018  (Light Version)

Google made some relatively big announcements in the last couple of weeks. There are changes to image search, there is news on http sites being marked as non-secure, and some news about AMP as well. We’ll talk about the new Lighthouse site audit feature by Google, and much more.

In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • Chrome’s ad blocker is now live
  • Is Google showing fewer featured snippets now?
  • Possible GSC issue for AMP pages
  • Google makes changes to their recommendations for images on AMP pages
  • Can keyword cannibalization hurt your site?
  • Is Google buying links?
  • Are links obtained via sponsor opportunities unnatural?
  • Marie’s insight into how we can take advantage of AMP stories as SEO’s
  • Do you need to have schema on both your mobile and your desktop site?
  • More evidence that folders are better than subdomains
  • How to find internal linking opportunities
  • Important news for site owners who use Disqus comments
  • Browse as if you are on mobile, but on your computer
  • GSC shows position zero
  • Is your font size big enough?
  • A possible reason for GSC to show a #1 ranking, when that’s not true
  • A great tip on writing
  • Forbes is making changes in how they pay their writers
  • Link Building Tips
  • Local SEO: How to deal with duplicate addresses in GMB
  • Local SEO: Quick responses to Q&A may help boost rankings
  • Local SEO: How many competitive local keywords have ad packs?
  • Local SEO: Make sure your pin is in the right place
  • Local SEO: Can you run a contest to get more reviews?
  • My tl;dr summary of several awesome SEO articles published recently

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.

Are you subscribed to my newsletter?

Get the lite version for free:

Or Subscribe to the full version for $18/month:


Algorithm updates

For the first time since starting this newsletter last year, I don’t have any obvious updates to report on. I have looked back at a large amount of client data and I do see a number of sites that were either up or down on February 13, 2018. However, this may be due to the changes in image search that I have written about below.


Starting in July of 2018, Google will be marking all http sites as not secure

We have been talking about this for a long time. Google announced that in July of 2018, with the release of Chrome 68, all sites that are http will be marked as not-secure.

What this means is that when people visit an http site using Chrome, they’ll see the following in the browser bar:

This does not mean that http sites will necessarily have a ranking demotion. Google did announce years ago that https sites had a ranking boost, but the boost is extremely small...essentially a tie-breaker.


Changes to Google image search

The internet is abuzz this week with changes to Google image search. Google removed the “view image” button seen on image searches:

Previously, this button would open up an image and allow users to download it. Now, this button is removed. If you click on the image, you will be taken to the page on which the image is hosted:

A lot of people are upset at this change, but really, it is a change that should result in more traffic and potentially more ad revenue for those who get paid based on ad views.

Google’s announcement of this change on Danny Sullivan’s new Google Search Liason Twitter account says that Google also removed the function to search by image. However, the wording of this is a little bit unclear.

At this point, you can still download the image or do a reverse image search by right clicking on the image:

If I click on “search Google for image”, it still works as expected:

Similarly, you can still go to images.google.com and drag an image there to search for it:

To me this seems like a good thing for webmasters. I have updated my Google update list to include this change as it could cause sites to see more traffic.

These changes were made in response to copyright claims by Getty Images:

Google has worked closely with us to address many issues raised by Getty Images around Google Images, the image search functionality of Google. Moving forward, Google has agreed to make changes in Image Search, including making the copyright disclaimer more prominent and removing the view image button. This is a benefit to all image owners globally and we expect this to have a positive impact on traffic to our site.”

If you don’t like this change, there is a solution to give you back the old interface:


AMP for email

If you are an AMP publisher, you have some additional options to use in email communication now too. There is more information on implementation here.


Google added Lighthouse SEO audit section to Chrome Dev tools

This is an interesting tool that adds good information to a site audit. To use this tool, you’ll need to install the Lighthouse Chrome Extension. Then, when you inspect a page in Chrome (cmd-option-I on a Mac, or CTRL-shift-I on a PC), you’ll see this audit option:

This gives us some interesting information.

First, there is speed information along with help on how to improve speed issues:

Next, there is information about accessibility:

There is also a section on best practices. I found that some of these tips are a bit technical for the average person to understand:

But, they all do have interesting information on what these tips mean and how to make good changes. For example:


The Indexed, Low Interest section of beta GSC was removed

I’m disappointed about this:

We found that this section of the beta GSC was really helpful when trying to convince our larger site owners to consolidate, remove or noindex low quality posts.


Intelligent answers on Bing

Bing announced some changes recently about something they call “multi-perspective answers”. These look like featured snippets, but with multiple answers:

I don’t see any of these live as of yet (https://www.seroundtable.com/bing-multi-perspective-answers-25200.html).


“People also search for” boxes appearing when you return to a SERP

I first started seeing this appear a few months ago, but it looks like it is live for everyone now:

How can we take advantage of this?


New from Google: AMP stories

There is more and more push towards AMP lately. The latest is AMP stories. Here is a video of them in action:

These stories work on both mobile as well as desktop. They allow a publisher to create an image rich story that users can swipe through. Here is an example:

https://mic.com/stories/262/the-art-of-an-organized-refrigerator

I had a hard time understanding how these would be displayed in the search results, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this becomes another feature that crowds the top of the SERPS, pushing down organic results.

Here is what I see when I try to search for for some of these. I could only get them to appear by searching for their titles in quotes:

Still, this is something to pay attention to.

Paid members get Marie’s insight into how we can take advantage of AMP stories as SEO’s.


Google sending notifications out to sites without a high quality favicon

This is something I haven’t seen before:

I’m wondering why Google is doing this...as everything that Google does comes with some type of motive.


 

Local SEO

Get notified about new Q&A questions in your GMB dashboard

According to Mike Blumenthal, site owners now have the option of getting notified when someone leaves a question on their profile.

It is a good idea to check your Settings and make sure that this is checked off:

However, in the comments section of Mike’s post, no one has actually received such a notification yet.


SEO Tools

Google Data Studio

I am not sure how I have not investigated Google Data Studio yet. This appears to be a totally free tool and it looks amazing way to create client reports:

There is a good writeup here on this tool.


Amazon Polly WordPress plugin

This looks interesting. This tool will allow you to turn blog posts into spoken word that sounds like a real human is reading the content. I haven’t used this myself, but it sounds like a great way to make a podcast with very little effort. There is a good writeup on this here.


SEO Jobs

Marie Haynes Consulting

I am hiring! Our team is currently a four person team. We spend most of our days either learning about Google’s algorithms or doing site improvement assessments. No experience is necessary as we’re going to train you from square one how to help us with these site reviews.

We have a lot of fun. We’d love to have you join us!

The Financial Times

This looks like a great job, based in London, England. If you’ve got SEO plus newsroom experience, it looks like a wonderful experience.

Work on the Google webspam team

I would love this job!


Recommended Reading

Should you write longer meta description tags?

https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/write-longer-meta-description-tags/

Unconventional Content: PR Stunts for SEO

https://www.distilled.net/resources/unconventional-content-pr-stunts-for-seo/

It’s not about ranking number one: The Monopoly Strategy

https://imfromthefuture.com/serp-monopoly-strategy/

David Deering Interview: All About Structured Data for Local SEO

https://www.pigzilla.co/blog/david-deering-interview-all-about-structured-data-for-local-seo/


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Chrome’s ad blocker is now live
  • Is Google showing fewer featured snippets now?
  • Possible GSC issue for AMP pages
  • Google makes changes to their recommendations for images on AMP pages
  • Can keyword cannibalization hurt your site?
  • Is Google buying links?
  • Are links obtained via sponsor opportunities unnatural?
  • Marie’s insight into how we can take advantage of AMP stories as SEO’s
  • Do you need to have schema on both your mobile and your desktop site?
  • More evidence that folders are better than subdomains
  • How to find internal linking opportunities
  • Important news for site owners who use Disqus comments
  • Browse as if you are on mobile, but on your computer
  • GSC shows position zero
  • Is your font size big enough?
  • A possible reason for GSC to show a #1 ranking, when that’s not true
  • A great tip on writing
  • Forbes is making changes in how they pay their writers
  • Link Building Tips
  • Local SEO: How to deal with duplicate addresses in GMB
  • Local SEO: Quick responses to Q&A may help boost rankings
  • Local SEO: How many competitive local keywords have ad packs?
  • Local SEO: Make sure your pin is in the right place
  • Local SEO: Can you run a contest to get more reviews?
  • My tl;dr summary of several awesome SEO articles published recently

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.

Want to see the full newsletter?

It's well worth the $18 per month!

You can subscribe to Dr. Marie Haynes' newsletter by clicking on the Paypal button below. You'll get an action packed email every two weeks.

You'll also have access to past episodes, including this one.


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! As always, I'd love to hear your feedback on what you'd like to see more (or less) of in the newsletter. Also, I'm now starting to do Facebook Live videos to inform people of the latest Google News. If you're not already following me on Facebook, here is my page.


Watch this episode on video

Don't have time to read the newsletter? Here is everything you need to know:

Google update newsletter

Want an update when Google makes a big algorithm change or other announcement? Sign up here!

This is a weekly newsletter. We will never send spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit