search newsletterSearch News You Can Use
Episode 38 - June 25, 2018 (Light Version)

Click here for the paid members version

It looks like we have had a significant Google update this week. I suspect that this was a link related update. In this episode, I’ll share examples of sites that were hit or saw improvements. We’ll also give several content creation tips, a discussion on using the internal links report in GSC, more info on the March 9 update and how it has been affecting news sites and we’ll talk about Google’s removal of anonymous reviews.

In this episode:



Paid members also get the following:

  • Video Carousels are taking over image thumbnails in the SERPs
  • Info from Google on keyword stuffing
  • How long does it take to get unfiltered by Safe Search once you have removed adult content?
  • John Mueller describes how Google passes PageRank between canonical pages
  • How long does it take for Google to complete rendering of JavaScript?
  • Ways to use the internal links report in GSC
  • New site aggregate feature in PageSpeed insights
  • Good content creation tip
  • GDPR implications for WHOIS data
  • More videos in the SERPS = less spaces for organic first page rankings
  • Web light statistics probably are counted in Google Analytics
  • Is your news site declining in rankings?
  • Good tip for new sites just starting out
  • Do you have Google alerts set up for your name and brand?
  • A great tip to improve E-A-T and get links
  • Anonymous reviews officially gone
  • Google Project Beacon
  • ‘Follow’ button appearing on branded searches
  • What Google thinks about ‘Near Me’ queries
  • How reliable are GMB insights?
  • A fix for Service Area Business on GMB
  • 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.

Are you subscribed to my newsletter?

Get the lite version for free:

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


Algorithm updates

June 17-18, 2018 - Significant update. Could be related to links

There were several sites which we monitor that saw changes on June 17 or 18 of 2018 in Google analytics. Several of these were sites that we had done a link audit for in the past. However, we did also see changes in a few sites that did not have a history of link issues. As such, it’s hard to say that this update was completely about links or perhaps has a quality component as well.

The other interesting thing is that SEMRush does not reflect a lot of the changes that we are seeing. That makes reporting difficult as I can only share GA data for some of these sites.

Here is what I am seeing for changes in sites I monitor:

  • An eCommerce site for which I did a link audit a couple of years ago is seeing moderate increases. (I’m not saying that our disavow is the cause, but rather, the point here is that this site is in a niche where unnatural links are often an issue.)
  • A site with no obvious link issues saw a slight decline. This site has been seeing improvements with quality updates as they have been working on improving overall site quality. The site is in a competitive travel niche. While this could be a quality issue, I’m suspicious that competitors could be seeing improvements after filing a disavow. It’s a tough call though.
  • An eCommerce store in a very competitive niche is seeing nice increases. This site has been working on improving quality issues (after having a site quality report done by the MHC team), especially when it comes to cleaning up thin content. This is Google organic traffic only and is not a seasonal change:
  • Another site for which I did a link audit a couple of years ago is seeing a slight increase.
  • A site which saw a massive drop in late May (which I suspect may have been due to a manual action for unnatural links as this site was involved in some risky article marketing link building) saw further drops on June 17.
  • A site in a very competitive financial niche has seen nice increases. We recently did a site quality review for this site and had recommended some disavow work. I am hoping that the disavow file was responsible for this nice increase:
  • An eCommerce site for which we have been working on site quality issues AND have recently filed a disavow for is seeing fantastic increases. SEMRush shows a little bit of increase, but GA is showing much bigger gains.

Usually I do not have this many examples of sites with changes on a particular day. As such, I think that June 17-18, 2018 was likely a significant update. The main question that I have is whether this was an update to the Penguin algorithm, or was a general quality update.

Added: After tweeting about this being a possible link related update, Glen Allsopp tweeted the following:

This reminds me of something that I saw a few times in the old days of the Penguin algorithm. I saw a few people who claimed to see recovery after a Penguin hit after implementing https. I believe that what happened here is that Google saw the https migration as a site move. However, in each of these cases, they eventually became suppressed again, most likely as the algorithms reassessed the link situation for this “new” site.


Google’s guide to getting verified

Google released a guide this week on how to get verified with GMB and announced that coming with recent updates, more entities such as persons, organisations, sports teams, events and media properties will be able to verify themselves.


New prayer time boxes launched


You can now add directories to GSC

This is a great feature that can be utilised in the new search console. While previously only a very basic trend of indexing could be seen in GSC, the new index coverage reports allows SEOs to look a lot closer at which specific urls are being indexed. Some of the drawbacks are the small download limits for url results (max 1000), but as Glenn Gabe has highlighted there are a bunch of ways that you can squeeze more data and insights out of the tool. One of the most exciting of these is the ability to add subdirectories to GSC, which give you a much more nuanced and granular view of any issues on your site which is particularly useful if you are working with a really big site.


Crawl Errors for Google News are gone

Google announced at the start of the month that with the new, revamped Google News platform, a couple of features that they saw as ‘deprecated’ would be being removed, and it looks like one of those features is the ability to see news crawl errors reported in GSC.


New Search Console features

These features were announced this morning (June 25th) and include a new url inspection tool to let you look more specifically at how Google renders individual urls; a recipe report to help debug issues with recipe structured data; and new filters that let you view data for different browser appearances such as Web Light and Google Play Instant. These new features are being rolled out slowly and we are still waiting to see them appear for any of the sites we monitor.


Are you getting AMP error reports?

It looks like some webmasters have been getting inundated with error reports for their AMP pages from GSC.


Credo launch their Digital Marketing Job Board

With Inbound, and several other job boards, shutting down recently there has been a gap in the market for a dedicated job board for digital marketers. John Doherty from Credo has sought to fill this void with his newly launched job board which will cater to both part/full time job seekers and companies looking to make their next permanent or contract hire. You can read more about the new service here.


SEMrush’s organic research section moves into BETA


Optimising site speed

Google have released a comprehensive guide for using their webmaster developer tools to conduct audits of slow sites and how to make improvements on them from there. The guide stresses the importance of starting with a site audit to a) help you establish a baseline for measuring any improvements you see and b) to help find the areas in which your efforts will provide the most improvement. In particular Google show you how to use their Lighthouse 3.0 audit tool and how to action the common page speed insights that it provides such as enabling text compression, image optimisation and specific ways to simulate tests for mobile devices.


Google is now highlighting fact checking in the SERPs

As Danny Sullivan points out, this is a fairly under-utilized feature so far but one that is easy to implement with ClaimReview markup. If used, when your fact checked article appears in the SERPs it will be coupled with a snippet stating by who the article was checked and what the result was.


Local SEO

GMB guidelines update

The update clarifies that the sharing of confidential information such as financial information & government issued ID numbers is prohibited on the platform. As Joy Hawkins observes, this is not a new policy as posts/reviews including this information are very often taken down by Google, but it is good to have clarification that this is indeed a policy.


Location and Location Icon

Google is now displaying a location and location icon in the SERPs for news stories. These tags look similar to the ones you see on Google Maps, but they are not for local results, instead they appear to be letting the user know where the news event took place.


New filters on Google Hotel search

Google has been using hotel highlighted icons for a while now to let searchers see their hotel options on a geographical layout and they have now added new filters to this feature that allow you to filters these results by options such as ‘top choices’, ‘guest favorites’ or ‘budget options’’.


There is a bug for claiming Service Area Businesses in GMB


Tip to make sure you are in the search radius for the city you are listed in!


Another GMB locations and Adwords Bug


SEO Tools

See the mobile and desktop version of a page side by side


Recommended Reading

Five Years of Google Ranking Signals - Bill Slawski

June 22nd, 2018

http://www.seobythesea.com/2018/06/google-ranking-signals/

In this very comprehensive article from Bill Slawski, he summarizes all of the Google ranking signals that have become known over the past five years and in particular he looks at the ranking signals that he has learnt about through his very well known, and really awesome Google patent research. While a fairly long post, this is really worth taking the time to read through.

SERP Analysis for Content Strategy - Russ Hudgens

June 18th, 2018

https://www.slideshare.net/RossHudgens/serp-analysis-for-content-strategy-seerfest

This slide deck from Russ Hudgens’ SEERFest presentation is about how to analysis the SERPs to help craft and structure your content.

An 8-Point Checklist for Debugging Strange Technical SEO Problems - Dominic Woodman

June 19th, 2018

https://moz.com/blog/checklist-strange-technical-seo-problems

In Dominic Woodman’s words, this is the checklist for the “situations [that] defies a checklist”.

Should you keep your best content on your site or send it away? - Julie Joyce

June 19th, 2018

https://searchengineland.com/should-you-keep-your-best-content-on-your-site-or-send-it-away-300362

Julie Joyce weighs the pros and cons of having your content published on other people's sites.

How to factor trust into your link building strategy (without ripping it up and starting again) - Stephen Kenwright

June 1st, 2018

https://www.branded3.com/blog/google-trustbox/

In April, Bill Slawski reported on a Google patent that appears to suggest an update to PageRank to take into account more elements of link trust. In this post by Stephen Kenwright, he looks at this new patent and discusses how to re-work current link building strategies to include elements of trust.

The Entity and Language Series: Translation and language APIs Impact on Search (3 of 5) - D. Nyagolova & Cindy Krum

June 22nd, 2018

https://mobilemoxie.com/blog/the-entity-language-series-translation-and-language-apis-impact-on-search-3-of-5/

This is part 3 of an ongoing series from Cindy Krum at Mobile Moxie discussing the more and more prevalent concept/theory in search based around entity-first indexing. You can read our summaries of parts 1 & 2 in this newsletter.

 

Moz’s Mid-Year Retrospective: Exciting Upgrades from the First Half of 2018 - Neil Crist

June 20th, 2018

https://moz.com/blog/2018-mid-year-retrospective

Neil Crist writes on the past 6 months of update’s to their tools and their new releases.

Meet the man whose job it is to reassure people that Google search isn’t evil - Jillian D’Onfro

June 23rd, 2018

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/22/danny-sullivan-on-being-google-new-search-liaison.html

A year into his role as ‘Google Search Liaison’, this profile on Danny Sullivan by CNBC gives an interesting insight into the life of a man who is credited with coining the term ‘search engine marketing’ and has been working in and around search since the mid-90s.

The Proven Formula for Doubling your Blog Traffic in 3 Months (without creating new content) - Nat Eliason

June 21st, 2018

https://ahrefs.com/blog/double-your-blog-traffic/

Nat Eliason, founder of Growth Machine, writes about how to increase your existing blog’s traffic without creating new content.


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

The right way to use call tracking numbers in Google My Business - Darren Shaw

June 14, 2018

https://www.callrail.com/blog/call-tracking-google-my-business/

Call tracking numbers are a great tool that marketers have been using for a long time to gather consumer data, but often there is concern about using these numbers in your web presence in case you mess up your citation profile.

Q&A: Lost your Anonymous Google Reviews? The Scoop on Removal and Moving Forward - Miriam Ellis

June 21st, 2018

https://moz.com/blog/lost-anonymous-google-reviews

In this Q&A from Moz, Miriam Ellis answers questions about the recent disappearance of anonymous Google reviews which has dropped the reviews count for many users.


SEO Jobs


Where to find Marie

We are now live with our podcast on iTunes and Google Play Music

iTunes

Google Play Music

Youtube (weekly live updates)


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Video Carousels are taking over image thumbnails in the SERPs
  • Info from Google on keyword stuffing
  • How long does it take to get unfiltered by Safe Search once you have removed adult content?
  • John Mueller describes how Google passes PageRank between canonical pages
  • How long does it take for Google to complete rendering of JavaScript?
  • Ways to use the internal links report in GSC
  • New site aggregate feature in PageSpeed insights
  • Good content creation tip
  • GDPR implications for WHOIS data
  • More videos in the SERPS = less spaces for organic first page rankings
  • Web light statistics probably are counted in Google Analytics
  • Is your news site declining in rankings?
  • Good tip for new sites just starting out
  • Do you have Google alerts set up for your name and brand?
  • A great tip to improve E-A-T and get links
  • Anonymous reviews officially gone
  • Google Project Beacon
  • ‘Follow’ button appearing on branded searches
  • What Google thinks about ‘Near Me’ queries
  • How reliable are GMB insights?
  • A fix for Service Area Business on GMB
  • 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.

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! Stay tuned for our Youtube video (my channel is here). If you want to follow me on Facebook, here is my page.

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