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Episode 47 - August 29, 2018 (Light Version)

Click here for the paid members version

This is a really long newsletter! There were a good number of excellent articles written on SEO this week and we have done our best to summarize them for you. We’ll talk more about the local aspect of the July 31/August 1 update. We’ll also talk extensively about whether author E-A-T is something you should pay attention to. There are lots of great tips for paid subscribers in this episode as well.

In this episode:



Paid members also get the following:

  • HTTPS no longer marked as secure in Chrome 69
  • Google converts files like PDFs, DOCs and XLS to HTML for crawling
  • Google uses service workers to make searches on Chrome and Android faster
  • Is author E-A-T really that important?
  • Info from Google on whether it’s ok to get a followed link from sponsoring a local team
  • A good idea for archiving older news content
  • Information from Google on whether it’s ok to change the anchor text of your internal links
  • Should you be using structured data (schema) to add dates to your articles?
  • Watch out for this WordPress email scam
  • John Mueller: Googlebot rarely uses Cookies
  • Google apparently wants to get rid of urls
  • Is it ok to use icons instead your mobile nav?
  • It takes longer for Google to understand the content of a page that is all in JavaScript
  • Look out review sites...there is a new competitor
  • John Mueller: Remember your alt-image tags… They matter!
  • .EDU links are often ignored by Googlebot
  • Should you use schema markup for category pages?
  • Don’t be concerned if you don’t see a Google cached page for your site
  • Another quote from John Mueller on whether you need to disavow spammy negative SEO attack attempts
  • The Wix blog is...uh….WordPress???
  • Manipulating Google = Pure Spam penalty?
  • Local SEO: Changes to BBB reviews
  • Local SEO: Moz Local no longer includes Factual?
  • Local SEO: Can you nudge Google to have them change info in your Knowledge Panel?
  • Local SEO: A round up of the new categories in GMB
  • Local SEO: Funny five star review
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and local SEO articles

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Algorithm updates

From what I can tell, there were no significant Google updates over the last week. However, there is some discussion on Search Engine Round Table about a possible update happening as I write this (September 6, 2018).

I am not seeing any obvious changes in sites I monitor. I’ll update you further on this next week.

Also, I had noted last week that it was possible that August 29, 2018 was a significant update. Now that we’ve had more time to analyze sites that saw changes, the changes seen appear to be mostly seasonal. I do not think that a major update happened at this time.

More information on the Jul 31 Local Update

We have reported before that there appears to have been a big local update on July 31, one day before the massive organic August 1 update.

Joy Hawkins has written a great post on her findings on the local update. Here are the important points:

  • This was not likely to be related to links.
  • There were changes to ability to rank for city keywords. In some cases, sites found it harder to rank for the main city, but ranked better in their suburb.
  • There appears to be less of a correlation now between organic and local rankings. Some sites that saw drops in local saw gains in organic and vice versa.
  • Video carousels increased for local search terms. This can mean that your organic rankings are pushed down and could result in less traffic.
  • Joy is also noticing the same thing as we have in that YMYL sites were hit the hardest, especially in industries related to healthcare.

New GSC now has the manual actions viewer

This section of GSC was previously only in the “old” version.

This is most likely because…. GSC Beta is no longer in Beta! According to a post this week, GSC is ‘officially graduating’, and adding most of the features from the old GSC to the new, standard view.


Google makes changes to user management and rights in GSC

It is important for site owners to review these changes, which Barry Schwartz has summarized nicely, to assess how they may impact your site’s operations. These changes include allowing all users access to see critical site messages, the ability to better track which users made site-changing alterations, and changing the access that restricted users have to read-only status.


Google officially launches its structured data tutorial

This has been available for quite some time now, but never linked to from elsewhere and is well worth a read.


More image carousels are appearing

According to Stat, there are more image carousels in the SERPS. These are mostly near the  bottom of the page.


Local SEO

More additions to the GMB KP

It seems like every week we are spotting more and more additions being made to the features of the knowledge panel. These are usually from Google either testing out new ideas to see how they are received, or implementing long term changes. Either way - things in GMB appear to be moving fast!


The latest version of the GMB API has been released

Version 4.2 includes a ton of new features including the ability for merchants to verify their businesses directly from their native platforms, new options for chain-stores to associate themself with individual outlets, and for API users to now make product posts. More can be read about the update here.


Listen to Marie on the SEMRush Search Marketing Scoop

In this podcast, I talk about schema use for Last Updated and Last Modified and go over what the Quality Raters’ Guidelines say. Also, there is some great PPC discussion from Gianluca Binelli and also a fantastic content discussion lead by Mark Traphagen from Stone Temple Consulting. This part of the discussion, which is in the last 10 minutes is about how Stone Temple took a piece of evergreen content and work to keep it evergreen and ranking well.

It’s definitely worth a listen! I learned a bunch of stuff in this talk.


SEO Jobs

7cups is looking for a content marketing manager

This is a great job opportunity!


Recommended Reading

How to use XML Sitemaps to Boost SEO - Jes Scholz

August 29, 2018

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/xml-sitemaps-seo/266907/

In this article, Jes Scholz aims to ‘cut through the noise’ around sitemaps and what the most up to date thoughts are on how to implement them for SEO.

Building Better Customer Experiences - Whiteboard Friday/Dana DiTomaso

August 31st, 2018

https://moz.com/blog/building-better-customer-experiences

This week’s whiteboard Friday from Dana DiTomaso from KickPoint is about building better customer experiences.

Changing our Approach to Anti-Tracking - Mozilla

August 30th, 2018

https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2018/08/30/changing-our-approach-to-anti-tracking/

In this press release from Mozilla, the company reveals it’s latest planned update for the Firefox browser.

Google AMP Case Study - Leads Dropped by 59% (how to disable it) - Brian Jackson

August 8th, 2018

https://kinsta.com/blog/disable-google-amp/#settings_saved

This is an interesting case study from Brian Jackson regarding a site that they recently moved over to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and saw some drastic traffic drops.

Google and MasterCard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales - Mark Bergen and Jennifer Surane

August 30th, 2018

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-30/google-and-mastercard-cut-a-secret-ad-deal-to-track-retail-sales

In this Bloomberg article, Mark Bergen and Jennifer Surane report on a previously undisclosed partnership that has been brokered between Google and MasterCard over the past 4 years.

Meet Newsguard, A Team of Quality Raters for News Publishers - And Another Way to Check Site Trust, Credibility, and Transparency - Glenn Gabe

August 30th, 2018

https://www.gsqi.com/marketing-blog/newsguard-raters-news-publishers/

Glenn Gabe has written this great little article about a new service that has come to light after the August 1st ‘Medic’ Update.

WIX SEO: I moved my website from WordPress to WIX and WOW! - Mark Preston

https://www.markprestonseo.com/wix-seo

In this article, Mark Preston writes about his experience in switching his website over from WordPress to Wix.

7 “White Hat” Link Types That Can Get You Penalized in 2018

https://diggitymarketing.com/white-hat-link-penalties/

This article features a forward written by Matt Diggity of Diggity Marketing and is written by Rick Lomas.  In the article, Rick confesses that before 2012 he was a “Black hat spammer and link builder.” Since then, he has worked on hundreds of Manual Actions. Rick goes on to list 7 “White hat” link types that google will penalize in 2018.

 

Internal Linking & Mobile First: Large Site Crawl Paths in 2018 & Beyond – Tom Capper

September 3rd, 2018

https://moz.com/blog/internal-linking-mobile-first-crawl-paths

In this article, Tom Capper discusses the tight knit and often tedious relationship between internal linking, mobile-first indexing, and website UX.

SEO Quick wins: finding meta data optimisation opportunities with Data Studio - Jan-Willem Bobbink

September 3, 2018
https://www.notprovided.eu/quick-wins-finding-meta-data-optimisation-opportunities-with-data-studio/

Designed to make your life easier as a marketer, Data Studio is a useful tool for optimizing your meta data.

Google's 20th Anniversary: How the Search Giant Went From a Stanford Dorm to the Top of Tech - Glenn Fleishman
September 4, 2018
http://fortune.com/2018/09/04/google-20th-anniversary-history/
“Google has gone from zero to nearly a trillion in 20 years—in pages and value.” Well said, Fortune.

Google AMP Can Go To Hell

September 5, 2018

https://www.polemicdigital.com/google-amp-go-to-hell/

This article is vintage Barry Adams. 🙂  He discusses why some people may want to consider ignoring what is described as Google’s attempts to artificially keep AMP alive.

Which CMS platforms perform best on Google? – What I discovered by crawling one million websites - Danny Richman
September 5, 2018
https://www.seotraininglondon.org/which-cms-performs-best-google/

On his hunt for the best Content Management Systems (CMS), writer Danny Richman admits it was an SEO study that went “horribly wrong.”


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

http://www.localseoguide.com/structured-data-can-mehseo/

This article written by Andrew Shotland presents some interesting insight on structured data.

SEO Split-Testing

These slides are from Will Critchlow from a presentation at SearchLeeds 2017. He describes the past and present of Google and goes into depth about SEO Split-Testing.

Want to Guess How Many Local Businesses Use Google My Business Posts? - Phil Rozek

September 5, 2018

http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2018/09/05/want-to-guess-how-many-local-businesses-use-google-my-business-posts/

In this blog post, Phil Rozek breaks down the popularity of Google My Business (GMB) posts among business owners.


Where to find Marie

I’ll be speaking at a few events in the upcoming months:

Optimisey in Cambridge - September 26 - I’ll be talking on Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines

Brighton SEO - September 28 - I’m thrilled to be speaking for my first time at Brighton SEO! My talk is called, “Super practical nuggets from Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines.”

Pubcon Vegas - October 16-18 - This is going to be fun as I am bringing some of my team members with me! If you’ve worked with us in the past, we would love to meet you in person in Vegas. I’ll be doing a few talks at this conference including a site review session in which we look at your link quality, another site review session in which we look at your international SEO, and also a talk I’m very excited about. This talk is supposed to be on “local link building”. However, I will be going into great detail about what we know about which links Google truly counts these days.

Digital Dealer - October 17 - More info on Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines

You can also find our podcast on iTunes and Google Play Music:

iTunes

Google Play Music

Youtube (weekly live updates)


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • HTTPS no longer marked as secure in Chrome 69
  • Google converts files like PDFs, DOCs and XLS to HTML for crawling
  • Google uses Service Worker to make searches on Chrome and Android go faster
  • Is author E-A-T really that important?
  • Info from Google on whether it’s ok to get a followed link from sponsoring a local team
  • A good idea for archiving older news content
  • Information from Google on whether it’s ok to change the anchor text of your internal links
  • Should you be using structured data (schema) to add dates to your articles?
  • Watch out for this WordPress email scam
  • John Mueller: Googlebot rarely uses Cookies
  • Google apparently wants to get rid of urls
  • Is it ok to use icons instead your mobile nav?
  • It takes longer for Google to understand the content of a page that is all in JavaScript
  • Look out review sites...there is a new competitor
  • John Mueller: Remember your alt-image tags… They matter!
  • .EDU links are often ignored by Googlebot
  • Should you use schema markup for category pages?
  • Don’t be concerned if you don’t see a Google cached page for your site
  • Another quote from John Mueller on whether you need to disavow spammy negative SEO attack attempts
  • The Wix blog is...uh….WordPress???
  • Manipulating Google = Pure Spam penalty?
  • Local SEO: Changes to BBB reviews
  • Local SEO: Moz Local no longer includes Factual?
  • Local SEO: Can you nudge Google to have them change info in your Knowledge Panel?
  • Local SEO: A round up of the new categories in GMB
  • Local SEO: Funny five star review
  • 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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