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Episode 37 - June 18, 2018 (Light Version)

Click here for the paid members version

This is a big newsletter with many Google related changes discussed. We had a couple of possible small algorithm updates, and what appears to be a big wave of manual actions. There is some discussion on “Web Light”, on what to do if you get a big influx of adult links, on whether social signals can affect your SEO, and also a great tip to help you build not only links, but brand E-A-T.

In this episode:



Paid members also get the following:

  • Links disappearing from GSC link count
  • Does Click Through Rate help with rankings?
  • Search for future students
  • GDPR causing a lot of concern in the email marketing sector
  • Should we be concerned about AMP pages causing duplicate content?
  • Google will recrawl your 404 pages for a long time
  • If you get an influx of adult links pointing to your site, should you worry?
  • Be cautious when splitting/merging a site
  • What does it mean when you see “ok google” as a keyword in GSC
  • Neat tweet about the impact of internal links
  • Is translated content considered duplicate content?
  • Tip! Using SEMrush to determine how many subdomains a site has
  • New AI research from Google
  • AMP mobile traffic data differences by country
  • Link building (and E-A-T building) tip for brands
  • More image result appearing in the SERPs
  • What are the most ignored SEO tactics?
  • Analysis of Nofollowed links for contributor-driven content sites
  • SEO Tools: Regular Expressions 101
  • MetaFilter is struggling
  • Tip! Find out your on-site search terms via Google Analytics
  • Do social signals affect SEO?
  • Top Stories feature is an Organic search feature
  • Moz Metrics are off
  • Local SEO: ‘Near me’ is the new city search
  • Local SEO: Fake secondary GMB listings
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome SEO and Local SEO articles

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Algorithm updates

June 8, 2018 - Likely quality update

I reported briefly on this update in the last newsletter. This looks like it was a small quality update.

I have a couple of sites which I monitor that are up slightly on this date, and one that has had a big increase. But, most sites did not see much change.

June 16, 2018 - Possible small update

Barry Schwartz has noticed extra chatter about algorithmic turbulence over the weekend. Personally, I do not see any obvious changes in sites that I monitor, but I will keep an eye on this date for you.

It is possible that this turbulence is not an algorithm change, but rather, due to a big wave of manual actions (see below).


Google sent out a bunch of unnatural links manual actions over the weekend

I have heard a lot of chatter from people saying that they have received an unnatural links penalty this weekend. I tweeted about this and am not sure whether this is a confirmation from John Mueller or just a silly tweet:

There is a discussion in BlackHat World on these penalties. Here are some quotes:

  • My site got a Manual Penalty today. All my keywords dropped to the 50-60th position from 1-3 positions!”
  • Recently I bought a package of .edu backlink [from a seller from this marketplace] and I got a manual penalty.
  • Lots of people posted that they got manual penalty since 2 days.

It is hard to say exactly what the culprit is. I suspect that Google targeted a specific company (or perhaps a few companies) that sell blackhat links. A couple of people sent me links to places where they purchased links. I’m not going to out those companies though.

Manual actions fascinate me these days as Google is really good at just ignoring a lot of links. These days, if Google gives out a manual action it’s usually because there is a type of link that they are not able to identify algorithmically (yet).


Web Light filter for Search Console

Google have released a new feature to Search Consoles performance report which allows you to filter results by how many people viewed your site via the Web Light search appearance.

Web Light appearance is a feature that Google uses to convert a website on the fly for users who are on slow internet connections. The site can be loaded over 50% fast this way. When we first saw this announcement there was a little confusion and I thought that the feature was new, however, as John Mueller clarified it is the search console reporting that is new. The feature has been around for a while.

John is right, living in Canada the likelihood of us noticing these pages being served is small. Cindy Krum has an interesting idea of how these pages are being created:

There was some discussion about whether Web Light is another example of Google stealing a site’s content and serving it as their own. At this point I’m not worried. It seems that if Google is showing Web Light content, then it means that the person reading the content would not be able to do so without Web Light as the content was too large to be served over a poor data connection.


Google Webmasters clarify details on MFI

After months of speculation across blog posts, conferences, and webinars about how Mobile First Indexing works, the Google Webmaster team have stepped in to clarify some points that they think we have been misunderstanding. See the whole thread for some great insights!

 

Here are the highlights:

  • With mobile first indexing, it’s the mobile version that is indexed even if it’s different from desktop.
  • You might see an increased crawl rate while Google is moving you over to MFI.
  • Cached pages will show a 404 error. This is a bug and they’re working on it.
  • The mobile speed update in July is not connect to mobile first indexing.
  • Using hamburger menus and accordions on mobile is fine.

The Google Search Console API finally has access to 16 months of data


More coaxing from Google to encourage site owners to switch to https


Google Shopping/Adwords announce new advertising features

Keynote speaker Surojit Chatterjee, lead of product for Google Shopping, announced these new features at this weeks SMX advanced. Some of the features include new competitor price comparison tool, allowing retailers to inform their own pricing based upon others in the market and potentially bid them down. Affiliate location extensions in Search and Display have also been added, allowing advertisers on sites like youtube to direct customers to a map of nearby stores selling the advertised product when it is clicked on. These will be coupled with new local catalog product cards and additional systems to help retailers set up local inventory feeds to assist with local ads. You can read Adwords official statement about the features here.

Mike Blumenthal has reported on seeing one of these features, ‘What’s in Store’, popping up already and others have been sharing their personal favorite additions to these new features,


Bing begins supporting AMP and JSON-LD

At this weeks SMX Advanced, Bings principal program manager Fabrice Canel made a couple of announcements. The first is that Bing will now be loading AMP pages in its mobile search results (much like how Google does) and secondly that JSON-LD will now be supported in Bing’s webmaster tools - allowing webmasters the capacity to debug their JSON-LD sites for Bing search.

Glenn Gabe has provided an example of what the new JSON-LD debugging tools look like:


Media Actions replace ‘Music’ and ‘Tv and Movies’ feature pages

The Media Actions feature will "enable users to initiate media content (e.g. songs, albums, movies) on content provider applications via Google Search and the Google Assistant.”. Initially the feature will only be available to Google Partners, with individual publishers needing to request separate access. This will be the first time when Google is supporting a stand-alone structured data feed of JSON-LD data instead of just ingesting schema markup from sites. You can read more about media actions here.

 

 


Video Carousels being seen more often in the SERPs

This will either be good news for you if you post a lot of highly rated video content. In other cases this may be seen less favourably as more page 1 real estate is lost for organic results.


Local SEO

Some new local insights added to the GMB dashboard


Warnings over transitioning to the new GMB agency dashboard!

Google My Business recently launched a new agency dashboard to allow agencies that handle multiple GMB listings for companies with several locations to manage those locations all together without the need to log-in and out of each one. Sounds fantastic right?!

While the initial buzz around the release was that of excitement, very quickly the local SEO community started to report issues with migrating to the new platform.

Joy Hawkins has shared some of her most pressing frustrations with the new system


Google is now showing returns policy in the Knowledge Panel

The following thread has some great insights in it, including a couple of observations that suggest this content is being inputted manually and not through scraping websites for their terms of service pages (at least not all the time). It is also interesting to note that having a good, easily accessible returns policy is part of the quality raters guidelines for YMYL sites.


New GMB Attribute for venues that show sports


SEO Tools

Chrome Extension to easily view page archives and cache

This looks like a handy little chrome extension that could save you some time. We are certainly going to be giving it a try!


SEO Jobs


Recommended Reading

Link Building Strategies that Scale in 2018 - Ross Hudgens

July 8th, 2018

https://www.siegemedia.com/marketing/link-building-strategies

In this video from Siege Media, Ross Hudgens covers some legitimate link building strategies. This is all white hat advice that won't land you with a penalty and is solid advice if you or your client needs to build a valuable link profile.

Leveraging Machine Readable Entity IDs for SEO - Mike Arnesen

June 7th, 2018

https://www.upbuild.io/blog/machine-readable-entity-ids-seo/

Although a fairly out there idea, or as Mike Arnesen calls ‘a bleeding edge’ concept, this is a really good article about how ‘Machine Readable Entity IDs’ can/could be utilised for SEO.

Feed the Machine: Newsweek and the race to fill Google with suicide news - Bijan Stephen

June 12th, 2018

https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/12/17448816/newsweek-anthony-bourdain-seo-headlines-suicide-contagion

Bijan Stephen from The Verge reports on a distasteful SEO tactic employed by Newsweek that has been highlighted in the wake of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain's suicides last week.

Is Bing Really Rendering & Indexing Javascript? - Dan Sharp/ScreamingFrog

June 13th, 2018

https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/bing-javascript/

While Google has been making faster leaps towards being able to crawl, render, index and rank JavaScript pages over the past few years (in particular at this years Google I/O) Bing has been a little slow of the bat. In this article the founder of ScreamingFrog Dan Sharp investigates Bings latest claims at PubCon Vegas last year that the search engine is now able to and actively crawling and indexing JavaScript pages.

Reducing the time it takes to write meta-descriptions for large websites - Paul Shapiro

June 13th, 2018

https://searchengineland.com/reducing-the-time-it-takes-to-write-meta-descriptions-for-large-websites-299887

While there are numerous SEO issues when working with large websites (often either related to technical problems, or problems of scale), Paul Shapiro writes about one particular issue of scale - writing vast numbers of meta-descriptions.

What Happens When a Werewolf Bites a Goldfish, SearchLeeds April 2018 - Hannah Smith

June 13th, 2018

https://www.slideshare.net/HannahBoBanna/what-happens-when-a-werewolf-bites-a-goldfish-searchleeds-april-2018

This slideshow has been circling a lot in SEO/marketing circle. It is from Hannah Smiths SearchLeeds presentation this year where she answers the question ‘Where do you get your ideas’ for the fantastic content she creates.

Things aren’t always what they appear to be - Patrick Stox

June 13th, 2018

https://www.slideshare.net/SearchMarketingExpo/things-arent-always-what-they-appear-to-be-by-patrick-stox

This the the slideshow from Patrick Stox’s presentation at SMX advanced in Seattle this week. It revolves around the different things you should be checking to diagnose a technical issue that is causing a site drop.

How to protect your contents credibility in the era of fake news - Noelle Schuck

June 12th, 2018

http://www.verticalmeasures.com/content-marketing-2/how-to-protect-content-credibility/

Noelle Schuck takes a look at what it takes to produce valuable, informative and most importantly  factual content.

When Bounce Rate, Browse Rate (PPV), and Time-On-Site are Useful Metric... and When They Aren’t - Rand Fishkin/Whiteboard Friday

June 15th, 2018

https://moz.com/blog/useful-not-useful-metrics

In this week’s Moz Whiteboard Friday talks about when bounce rate, browse rate and time-on-site metrics are useful, and when they are not.

Conflicting Website Signals and Confused Search Engines - Rachel Costello

June 14th, 2018

https://www.slideshare.net/RachelCostello10/conflicting-website-signals-confused-search-engines-rachel-costello-technical-seo-at-deepcrawl/1

This presentation is from SearchLeeds where Rachel Costello spoke about how Google (and other search engines) make sense of the mismatched signals that the come across when trying to crawl and index the web.


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

Google My Business Guidelines Are like Traffic Signals To New Yorkers - A (Very) Rough Suggestion - Mike Blumenthal

June 11th, 2018

http://blumenthals.com/blog/2018/06/11/google-my-business-guidelines-are-like-traffic-signals-to-new-yorkers-a-very-rough-suggestion/

In this humorous blog post, Mike Blumenthal comments upon an annoying but prevalent reality of local search - what GMB say you can/should be doing, and the reality of what people get away with, are very different.

Reviews and Lawsuits: You can win for losing and lose for winning - Mike Blumenthal

June 13th, 2018

https://www.getfivestars.com/blog/reviews-lawsuits-can-win-losing-can-lose-winning/

Mike Blumenthal writes about the two strange cases that have been in the news recently about lawsuits regarding reviews.

How does Yelps review solicitation penalty work? - Joy Hawkins

June 14th, 2018

https://searchengineland.com/how-does-yelps-review-solicitation-penalty-work-299893

Joy Hawkins writes about the Yelp review solicitation penalty.

Proven link building strategies for local business - Rosie Murphy/Bright Local

June 15th, 2018

https://www.brightlocal.com/2018/06/15/proven-link-building-strategies-for-local-businesses/

This is a webinar from BrightLocal with Casey merit from Juris Digital, Matt Lacuesta from Earned & Owned, Myles anderson from BrightLocal. The webinar discusses the tactics they employ to get the best backlinks they can for local search.

Vancouver lawyer gets $1 in damages after suing Google Plus ranter - Jason Proctor

June 14th, 2018

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/lawyer-defamation-google-plus-1.4706419?cmp=rss

In this news artcle from CBC, Jason Proctor reports on a lawsuit in British Columbia brought by Lawyer Kyla Lee against a former client who left a negative review on her G+ profile.


Where to find Marie

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Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Links disappearing from GSC link count
  • Does Click Through Rate help with rankings?
  • Search for future students
  • GDPR causing a lot of concern in the email marketing sector
  • Should we be concerned about AMP pages causing duplicate content?
  • Google will recrawl your 404 pages for a long time
  • If you get an influx of adult links pointing to your site, should you worry?
  • Be cautious when splitting/merging a site
  • What does it mean when you see “ok google” as a keyword in GSC
  • Neat tweet about the impact of internal links
  • Is translated content considered duplicate content?
  • Tip! Using SEMrush to determine how many subdomains a site has
  • New AI research from Google
  • AMP mobile traffic data differences by country
  • Link building (and E-A-T building) tip for brands
  • More image result appearing in the SERPs
  • What are the most ignored SEO tactics?
  • Analysis of Nofollowed links for contributor-driven content sites
  • SEO Tools: Regular Expressions 101
  • MetaFilter is struggling
  • Tip! Find out your on-site search terms via Google Analytics
  • Do social signals affect SEO?
  • Top Stories feature is an Organic search feature
  • Moz Metrics are off
  • Local SEO: ‘Near me’ is the new city search
  • Local SEO: Fake secondary GMB listings
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome 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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