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Episode 49 - September 12, 2018 (Light Version)

Click here for the paid members version

It looks like there has been a little bit of algorithmic turbulence lately. I’m not seeing a whole lot of movement, but others are. We’ve got some good information from recent Google help hangouts in this issue and also some nice local SEO tips for you.

In this episode:



Paid members also get the following:

  • GSC error reporting may be off?
  • John Mueller: Manual Actions expire over time
  • John Mueller: Using Reviews from Google Maps or Yelp does not devalue a page
  • Google Chrome 69 & SEO Annoyances
  • Quick Tips for Speed Improvements
  • Match your Ad density on AMP and non-AMP
  • It’s against Google’s TOS to scrape Google
  • Here is how improper canonical use can mess things up
  • Interesting way to help improve rankings?
  • Can whitespace at the top of your pages cause demotions with the page layout algorithm?
  • Traffic dropped after being switched to mobile first indexing? Plus an update on my site
  • If you are running a lot of Flash on your JS site you may have difficulties getting moved over to Mobile First Indexing
  • More from John Mueller on author E-A-T
  • Local SEO: Positive review juice may diminish if reviewer never returns to your business!
  • Local SEO: U.S. powerhouse HomeAdvisor is appearing in Local Services Ad units…wait, what? Tom Waddington explains
  • Local SEO: You can’t ask for Yelp reviews, but you can do this!

Algorithm updates

September 8-11 update

There may have been a small quality update at this time. Barry Schwartz noticed an uptick in forum chatter about ranking changes. Also, many of the SERP checking tools are showing increases:

Some are speculating that this is a reversal of some of the aspects of the August 1 update:

I checked a large amount of data from sites that have been negatively affected by the August 1 update and while there possibly are a few that have slight increases, there is nothing super obvious. Most of the sites that were hit on August 1 have not seen recovery.

Here is one of our clients that we worked with about a year ago to help improve E-A-T and overall user experience. They have been seeing a little uptick with many 2018 quality updates:


Google Dataset Search

This  looks really cool! Google has announced a way to discover datasets. This looks like it could be an incredible tool for content creators. You can search the datasets of large publishers who have implemented dataset schema.

I played around with it a bit and found lots of opportunities for content creation. You can use the tool here.

Using Google’s suggested example, I searched for “Boston Education Data”. You can see that there is a lot of information here that I can use:

If you are responsible for content creation for a website, I’d urge you to spend time playing around with this information. It looks like the type of thing that would be good for creating content that gets shared and that attracts links.

 


Chrome 69 removes www. and m. from the displayed url

While Google went to great lengths to explain to site owners the changes regarding the displayed security tag for HTTPS and HTTP, it appears that they have made another unannounced change to the displayed url by removing the www. and m. elements.

It is possible to disable this function (as it is to disable to https/http change) by disabling the 'Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Scheme and Trivial Subdomains'. In this instance, the www. and m. are classified as ‘Trivial Subdomains”.

While Google is characterising these parts of the traditional url as ‘trivial’, critics have pointed out some security/phishing issues such as sites like m.tumblr.com, which is not owned by tumblr, now appearing as tumblr.com in the url bar.


New type of manual action?

This is a new one for me:

Apparently you can get this message if Google detects malware on your site. There is more information on this here.


SEO Tests and Experiments

Dan Petrovic from Dejan Marketing ran a really interesting experiment this week whose findings contradict the fairly dogmatic stance of Google regarding tabs/accordions and mobile first indexing.

The above tweet has been pretty much the party line from Google - once you are moved over to mobile-first indexing, items in accordions/tabs (which are very handy for creating usable mobile friendly pages) will not be devalued the way they are by desktop crawlers. However, Dejan Marketing tested a number of very similar pages/sites with equal authority and found the opposite to be true! While slightly cursory a test (the data set is not extensive) but is well worth a read.


SEO Jobs


Local SEO

Joy Hawkins and Sterling Sky have acquired the Local Search Forum

This is exciting news!


Recommended Reading

How Google May Use Reviews to Learn About Entity Attributes - Bill Slawski
September 5, 2018
https://gofishdigital.com/reviews-entity-attributes/

Google’s new patent may soon begin to pair important pieces of information—user generated reviews with that of entities who may otherwise not be willing to share it themselves.

SEO "Dinosaur" Tactics That You Should Retire - Whiteboard Friday - Rand Fishkin
September 7th, 2018
https://moz.com/blog/seo-dinosaur-tactics-to-retire

This article explores some outdated SEO tactics that are still being used and offers up important things you can be doing instead.

How to Build Category Pages that Rank + Convert 10x Higher - Cyrus Shepard
September 9, 2018
https://zyppy.com/rank-category-pages/

Ten useful elements to help you stand out, rank, and better engage your audience. Finally, category pages that Google and your users can enjoy!

Google Correlate: The Best SEO Research Tool You Aren’t Using – Tyler Hermanson
August 30, 2018
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-correlate-research-tool/266341/

Are you using Google Correlate yet? If not, maybe you should be! Tyler takes us through the features of this great tool we add to our SEO toolboxes.

How Brands Integrate Content On Their eCommerce Category Pages - Emily Schmidt
September 7, 2018
http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/ecommerce-category-pages/

An often difficult task for operating an eCommerce site is optimizing product listing pages and intermediary category pages with content. In a perfect world, just the right amount of content should create good user experience, provide value to your customers, and also maintain user interest in purchasing without being distracting. Thanks to Emily, she’s here to give you a helping hand!

Guide To Keyword Research For Beginner SEO’s
August 24, 2018
https://www.daniel-brooks.co.uk/keyword-research-for-beginners/

Keywords, keywords, and more keywords! In this article Daniel Brooks goes over site and the importance of good keyword research and how it can improve your site.

Product Descriptions: 17 Fresh Writing Angles - Marcia Yudkin
September 9, 2018
https://www.practicalecommerce.com/product-descriptions-17-fresh-writing-angles

Ecommerce merchants rejoice! Hats off to Marcia Yudkin for this phenomenal article on creating enticing product blurbs.

Link Acquisition Tactics – Optimisey
September 10, 2018
https://optimisey.com/seo-advice/link-building-tips-stacey-macnaught-at-optimisey/

Back in July, Stacey MacNaught gave a talk at an  Optimisey event. Stacey has some excellent advice for anybody who is looking to shake up their link building game.


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

A Case Study of Winning in Local SEO - Tim Capper

September 5, 2018

https://www.semrush.com/blog/a-case-study-of-winning-in-local-seo/

When looking at Local SEO there isn’t much of a standard order of items to look at when trying to help local business thrive in the highly competitive landscape. Tim points out when dealing with Local SEO there are two types of algorithms to contend with Organic and Maps.

Expert Local Citation Survey – Rosie Murphy

https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/expert-local-citation-survey/

September 11, 2018

In this insightful research piece, 22 local search experts were asked how citations are influencing local businesses.


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)


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Paid members also get the following:

  • GSC error reporting may be off?
  • John Mueller: Manual Actions expire over time
  • John Mueller: Using Reviews from Google Maps or Yelp does not devalue a page
  • Google Chrome 69 & SEO Annoyances
  • Quick Tips for Speed Improvements
  • Match your Ad density on AMP and non-AMP
  • It’s against Google’s TOS to scrape Google
  • Here is how improper canonical use can mess things up
  • Interesting way to help improve rankings?
  • Can whitespace at the top of your pages cause demotions with the page layout algorithm?
  • Traffic dropped after being switched to mobile first indexing? Plus an update on my site
  • If you are running a lot of Flash on your JS site you may have difficulties getting moved over to Mobile First Indexing
  • More from John Mueller on author E-A-T
  • Local SEO: Positive review juice may diminish if reviewer never returns to your business!
  • Local SEO: U.S. powerhouse HomeAdvisor is appearing in Local Services Ad units…wait, what? Tom Waddington explains
  • Local SEO: You can’t ask for Yelp reviews, but you can do this!

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.

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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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