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Episode 26 - Mar 7, 2018 (Light Version)

In this episode, we’ll take a look at the latest Google algorithm updates as well as my most interesting takeaways from my time at Pubcon Austin. Although this was a small conference, I learned a LOT of new things! There is also news on featured snippets, ad filtering, Local SEO news and tips, and much more.

I'm gearing up to speak at a few more conferences in the next couple of weeks. If you'll be at Engage Portland or SMX West, I'd love to meet you!

In this episode:



Paid members also get the following:

  • Some simple but solid SEO tips from John Mueller on reddit
  • My process for using GSC keyword data to optimize pages
  • A look at the new sorting options in GSC
  • Chrome is now stripping out URL parameters for sharing
  • Some good information on the best way to deal with expired products
  • Does the Google Sandbox exist? New information from Google
  • The GSC API can still only access 90 days of data
  • Great tip on bulk image compression for WordPress sites
  • Can Fetch and Render see hashbang urls?
  • Can a meta refresh be seen by Google as a redirect?
  • Will fetch and render see a popup that displays after a delay?
  • Not all submitted pages are indexed
  • You can use inspect element to quickly see title tag length
  • Implementing a Duck Duck Go search box instead of Google’s
  • Local SEO: Do call tracking numbers cause SEO problems?
  • Local SEO: Can adding photos to your GMB listing help rankings?
  • Local SEO: Great information on how to get the most out of Google posts
  • Local SEO: Yelp will sometimes hide listings
  • Local SEO: Interesting information on Amazon and local search
  • Local SEO: Which Sites Should You Focus on for Reviews? – Whitespark Weekly
  • My tl;dr summary of several awesome SEO articles published recently

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Algorithm updates

February 20, 2018

This was likely a sizeable core quality update. The SEMRush sensor was quite high. Also, Search Engine Round Table has a good discussion on changes that people have seen.

Here are some quotes from the 87 comments on Barry’s post:

  • Most of my sites got hit kinda hard this month as I ran the numbers. I had some gains but mostly losses in rankings. Mostly in the copier industry.
  • We are seeing positive results. Lots of low quality blogs being replaced with .edu URLs, our site, and our competition.
  • Been seeing it since Tuesday night, and it's literally a disaster in the entertainment sector. Bogus outlets from the Ukraine and other parts of the world are leapfrogging legit sites in the U.S. and fake entertainment news about certain celebrities has dominated Top Search.
  • There was an update. Not a good one, a lot of low quality sites gained some spots.

In my own client data, I am seeing several sites that saw improvements.

All of these were clients of ours who with whom we have been working tremendously hard to improve overall quality:

At this point it is too early to see any common factors. I think it’s safe to assume that this was another update that had to do with overall site quality.

March 1 - 2, 2018

I didn’t notice any obvious changes in traffic at this time, but there is a discussion on Search Engine Round Table saying that several people noticed volatility on this day.


Chrome ad filtering is live now

https://www.gsqi.com/marketing-blog/chrome-ad-filtering-in-action-first-examples/

Glenn Gabe has been tracking Chrome’s new native ad filtering feature over the past month and showing us how it will work along with some examples. It appears Chrome is completely removing ads from sites that violate Google’s Better Ads standard and is also serving notifications about the blocked ads to users on both mobile and desktop.

As of late February, Google has begun rolling this out on the stable version of Chrome and this will continue gradually over time. If you weren’t already aware, this should have the attention of all websites currently relying on ad revenue! If you’re unsure about whether your site’s ads pass the standard, request an ad experience review within Google Search Console.


Google makes changes to featured snippets to allow for multi-faceted answers

https://www.blog.google/products/search/providing-more-comprehensive-results-your-questions-search/

Last week, Google announced it had begun rolling out multifaceted featured snippets for multi-intent queries. The blog announcement provides an example for the query, “garden needs full sun?”

Google has also announced that the next step with multifaceted snippets will be to expand them to include “guidance-seeking” queries such as “should I replace my faucet?”

If you’re looking to win more featured snippets, it is worth asking yourself if your site’s content could be improved to answer additional questions searchers may have -- as well as figuring out what exactly those questions might be. Use Google search suggestions to your advantage here!

 


Pubcon Austin Recap

This was my first year attending Pubcon Austin. It was a great one day conference. The highlight for me was that I got to spend almost an hour chatting with Gary Illyes from Google. He answered so many questions for me. While I can’t share everything that I learned with Gary, I have some really good tidbits, both from our talk, and from his keynote presentation to share.

If you are a paid member, you can see my summary of Gary’s important points in the paid version of the newsletter.


Local SEO

Reserve with Google is now live in Canada

Sergey Alakov has a good overview of this topic. If you use a supported scheduling partner, customers can now book appointments with you right from the Google search results.


There may be a bug affecting GMB menu listings

According to Tim Capper, this bug has been happening for six months now. In some cases, a restaurant can add their menu url in their GMB dashboard, but not their menu itself. There is a temporary workaround described in the post which involves changing the category from “Italian Restaurant”, etc. to “Restaurant”.


Google is now sending an email when someone adds photos to your GMB listing


Advice from Google on what to do if your GMB listing is suspended


You can see Google Analytics data in your GMB dashboard

I have not done this for clients yet, but I could see it being helpful:

tially just another barnacle page that businesses can take advantage of. Here is a good sum-up post in that thread:

 


SEO Tools

Tool to find unused CSS on your sites

This looks like a really helpful tool. The idea is that this tool can help you find CSS on your site that is not being used. In theory, removing this CSS should help to improve page performance.

However, I tested several sites that I am sure have unused CSS and each of them showed no unused CSS. I still wanted to include this tool, however, as I think it has real merit if it does work.

Detailed.com

I love what Glen Allsopp is doing here. You can go to detailed.com and get lists of important mentions of websites in your industry. For example, these are all sites that have recently mentioned Moz:

This looks like a great little tool to help with content curation and more.


Jobs

If you are in the Ottawa, Ontario area, I would love for you to come and work with me! I am currently hiring for entry level positions. No experience is necessary. This is not a remote position. You need to come into the office on March Rd in Kanata and have fun with us every day.

https://mariehaynes.com/jobs/


Marie speaking on Google algorithm updates with Matt Medeiros

If you need a refresher on the basics of Panda, Penguin and Fred, you’ll enjoy this:


Recommended Reading

Your Google Rank Doesn’t Matter Anymore

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/your-google-rank-doesnt-matter-anymore

This is a compelling article from Matthew Howells-Barby about the always-shifting ground in SEO industry, in particular as it pertains to tracking keyword rankings.

How to Rank Boring Pages: 16 Link Building Experts Weigh In

https://theupperranks.com/blog/ranking-boring-pages/

There are some great perspectives here on how to get links to pages that are “boring” and tough to invigorate (category pages for a certain product, etc) but nonetheless important to make rank!

Incredible resource on Javascript and SEO

http://www.stateofdigital.com/javascript-seo-the-definitive-resource-list/

This is a great list of resources for information for javascript information for SEOs.

The Google Ranking Factor You Can Influence in an Afternoon [Case Study]

https://moz.com/blog/influence-googles-ranking-factor

Jeff Baker wrote out an interesting case study about quickly ranking your content.

How to deal with fake negative reviews on Google

https://moz.com/blog/fake-negative-reviews-on-google

Joy Hawkins wrote a helpful post on how to deal with fake negative reviews.

Are Yelp ads worth paying for? How to figure it out

https://searchengineland.com/yelp-ads-worth-paying-case-study-292521

Here’s another in-depth post by Joy Hawkins where she attempts to see how well Yelp ads perform vs Google Adwords.

Crawling & Indexing: Technical SEO Basics That Drive Revenue (Case Study)

https://rozhon.com/blog/crawling-indexing-technical-seo-basics-that-drive-revenue/

Courtesy of Robin Rozhon comes this interesting case study on deindexing large amounts of duplicate and low quality content on an ecommerce site leading to some amazing results.

7 Practical Tips for Cheating at Design

https://medium.com/refactoring-ui/7-practical-tips-for-cheating-at-design-40c736799886

I won’t summarize this article as it is really worth a read itself. Even though this is not an SEO article, it contains information that most of us will find extremely helpful.

My Last Day at Moz. My First Day at SparkToro.

https://sparktoro.com/blog/last-day-moz-first-day-sparktoro/

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, has now left Moz and started a new company, Spark Toro. This article is an interesting read about Rand’s hopes for his future.

We Analyzed 10,000 Google Home Results. Here’s What We Learned About Voice Search SEO

https://backlinko.com/voice-search-seo-study

Brian Dean looked into the role that 11 things he targeted as potential ranking factors (such as pagespeed, schema, and HTTPS) had on the results of 10,000 Google Home search results to see if these gave any insight into how to optimize a site for voice search.

How to Diagnose SEO Traffic Drops: 11 Questions to Answer

https://moz.com/blog/how-to-diagnose-seo-traffic-drops

This is a good starting checklist to work through if you are dealing with a drop in organic traffic -- and how to confirm it’s a real traffic drop as opposed to just normal variance.

How to Promote Your Blog to 1,000,000+ Yearly Visits

https://www.siegemedia.com/strategy/how-to-promote-your-blog

Here is a piece from Ross Hudgens of Siege Media with some really great advice on how to promote your blog by driving consistent traffic through a general framework of search, SEO, and content marketing.

Ecommerce Link Building (Without Cold Emailing For Backlinks)

https://sumo.com/stories/ecommerce-link-building

Kevin Indig, wrote an detailed article about building a great backlink profile for your e-commerce shop by analyzing how some of the major US retailers do it (Apple, eBay, Target etc.).


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Some simple but solid SEO tips from John Mueller on reddit
  • My process for using GSC keyword data to optimize pages
  • A look at the new sorting options in GSC
  • Chrome is now stripping out URL parameters for sharing
  • Some good information on the best way to deal with expired products
  • Does the Google Sandbox exist? New information from Google
  • The GSC API can still only access 90 days of data
  • Great tip on bulk image compression for WordPress sites
  • Can Fetch and Render see hashbang urls?
  • Can a meta refresh be seen by Google as a redirect?
  • Will fetch and render see a popup that displays after a delay?
  • Not all submitted pages are indexed
  • You can use inspect element to quickly see title tag length
  • Implementing a Duck Duck Go search box instead of Google’s
  • Local SEO: Do call tracking numbers cause SEO problems?
  • Local SEO: Can adding photos to your GMB listing help rankings?
  • Local SEO: Great information on how to get the most out of Google posts
  • Local SEO: Yelp will sometimes hide listings
  • Local SEO: Interesting information on Amazon and local search
  • Local SEO: Which Sites Should You Focus on for Reviews? – Whitespark Weekly
  • 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.

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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! 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.

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