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Episode 51 - September 26, 2018 (Light Version)

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Google announced some upcoming changes to search which sound exciting. In this episode, we’ll talk about a possible bug in GSC indexing numbers, we’ll look at some log file examples to determine when mobile first indexing happened, and also, we’ll cover some excellent tips for you to use to help with your SEO efforts.

In this episode:



Paid members also get the following:

  • If you got a mobile first indexing email, the switch likely happened some time ago
  • Are you more likely to be moved to mobile first indexing if you get a lot of mobile traffic?
  • How will the above the fold layout algo change with mobile first indexing?
  • Does Google give preference to fresh content?
  • Google vs. Donald Trump and his travel ban
  • Revamped: Ahrefs keyword explorer
  • AnswerThePublic is no longer free. Even more, some feedback says that it’s glitchy behind the paywall
  • Canadian Firm Hit with First GDPR Notice
  • Helpful hint! You can look up Page Titles in Google Analytics
  • TripAdvisor set to become world’s first ‘travel-feed’
  • Robots can be funny too!
  • Local SEO: Google Posts by the numbers: What percentage of verified businesses are using it
  • Local SEO: How to create ‘poor-reputation-management-and-look-spammy’ all at once
  • Local SEO: Google’s warning for violating its review content policy
  • Local SEO: Google My Business short description - Can it be modified?
  • Local SEO: Does it make sense to have more than one website?
  • Local SEO: Is Google removing local results for criminal attorneys?
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm updates

September 19, 2018 update?

Barry Schwartz noted that there was more forum chatter about a possible update on this day.

I am not noticing significant changes in the sites that we monitor. Last week we reported on a possible update on September 17. I think that this could be the same thing that Barry was noting.

We saw a lot of clients that saw nice changes on September 17. This one is the most interesting to me as the only thing that we did for this site was a link audit as they had a lot of self made SEO links:


Google Stories will soon be a thing

Similar to Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories, Google is looking to join in on a piece of the action. Google is hoping to tap into the story market which is comprised of hundreds of millions of people. The intention is to use artificial intelligence to create stories of content that’ll be housed in search and images. Essentially they’re aiming to present search information and news in a more visual way that is ultimately more appealing to users. To begin, Google will be rolling out stories about people—mainly celebrities and athletes—in what this article says, is to ‘[provide] a glimpse into facts and important moments from their lives in a rich, visual format.”

It will be interesting to see how widely adopted this will be.


Possible bug in old GSC indexing stats?

I am not sure, though, whether this is a real bug. Paul Macnamara also mentioned that he is seeing odd indexing numbers for August 26. I am seeing that on a few of my properties that I monitor:

This really shouldn’t be this significant, but I included it in case some of you are wondering what is going on.


A series of updates to Google Search

In addition to stories, Google has a just rolled out a number of updates. New features include collections, activity cards, and featured videos. Here’s what you need to know:

Featured Videos – Drawing on AI, smart videos will start to play one after another in the search result, showing you the small portion of the video as relative to our search. Like the video? Simply tap on it to watch it in full.

Activity Card – Displayed at the top of search results, the pages you’ve visited, as well as certain queries are now showcased.

Collections – Go ahead and save content from your activity card. Based on things you’ve saved and your history, Google will recommend new content for your collections.

Enhancing Topics – Basically delivering quality content surrounding your searches. Searching for ‘pug’? Google will display tidbits like names, training details, and even information on how to purchase or adopt.

Discover – Recommended content based on saved preferences. Interests will now fuel related topics for you to follow as well.

Preferences for Language – Select your content by language. For example, if you’re feeling Spanish-language recipes, but enjoy say, news in English, this feature is for you!

Additional Related Content – Adding on to the Discover feature, displayed as cards, will highlight related information you may find useful surrounding your search.

Image Search – Sort things faster with the help of tags. Now items will be linked together. Finding stock images and DIY tutorials has never been easier.

Google Lens – Identify certain objects within an image to view images relating to what you've selected.

Pathways – Designed for job seekers, this will allow people to learn new skills related to the job they desire. Training programs and available jobs in your area will be featured here.

Here is more from Danny Sullivan on some upcoming changes:


Blue checkmarks in the SERPS? Could this be related to trusted seed sites?

Michael Postorino noticed these blue checkmarks appearing in the search results:

I have not been able to replicate this. I am wondering if perhaps this could have a connection to “trusted seed sites”. I hope to be writing more soon about the trusted seed sites that are mentioned in a Google patent. If Google is using the information from this patent, these seed sites are the ones that Google wants to count when it comes to link equity.

I’ll keep you updated if I get more information on this.


Move to Mobile First Indexing Expected to Take Years

In a recent help hang out John Mueller has confirmed that Google will likely want to move everything to mobile first indexing instead of desktop indexing. This is a laborious process which is expected to take years. Also mentioned is that due to this fact Google does not currently give ranking preference to mobile-first indexed sites or desktop sites.


Local SEO

New format for the local search forum

We reported last week that Joy Hawkins of Sterling Sky has purchased the local search forum. They’ve just launched a new design and I really like it:

If you are looking for a place to ask practicing SEO’s questions, I highly recommend this forum!


Is Yelp going against Google’s TOS for marking up third party reviews?

This is a fascinating discussion. Sadly, Google has not responded as of yet.


SEO Jobs


Recommended Reading

The Magically Moving Meta Robots Tag And The Potential SEO Danger It Brings [Case Study] - Glenn Gabe
September 19th, 2018
https://www.gsqi.com/marketing-blog/magically-moving-meta-robots-tag-seo-danger/

In a recent case study, Glenn investigates a client’s site where code that has been placed in the header seems to move into the body of the page when it is rendered.


Prototyping automated product feeds for retailers
- Richard Baxter
September 20, 2018
https://builtvisible.com/protoyping-automated-product-feeds-for-retailers/

Richard finds himself in a position he’s never been before. However, he relished in problems like these and fortunately for you, he’s willing to share his insights.


The Big Secret of Celebrity Wealth (Is That No One Knows Anything)
– Malcolm Harris
September 19th, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/19/style/richest-celebrities-in-hollywood.html

Celebritynetworth.com has recently come under fire for falsely reporting the accumulated wealth of celebrities.


How Many New Backlinks Do Top
ranking Pages Get Over Time [New Data by Ahrefs] – Tim Soulo
September 18th, 2018
https://ahrefs.com/blog/backlink-growth-study/

Ahrefs.com recently conducted an experiment to test a theory at scale: that top ranking pages gain links at a faster rate and are therefore impossible to beat in SERPS.


When users log into Gmail or YouTube, they’re now also logged into Chrome
- Greg Sterling
September 24, 2018
https://searchengineland.com/when-users-log-into-gmail-or-youtube-theyre-now-also-logged-in-to-chrome-305801

Google’s latest version of Chrome (Chrome 69) has sparked a lot of negative publicity. The reason? Its new sync feature that connects with Google websites including Gmail and YouTube, automatically syncs with Chrome.


How e-commerce can compete for informational queries by optimizing for intent
– Bill Sebald
September 18, 2018
https://searchengineland.com/how-e-commerce-can-compete-for-informational-queries-by-optimizing-for-intent-305431

Ranking well when you’re an e-commerce site can always be a challenge. What many people forget about is your potential customer’s search intent.


Become Google's Trendsetter - How I Increased Organic Revenue By €850,000+ By Predicting A Keyword's Future Latent Intent
– Tom Rayner
September 23, 2018
https://raynernomics.com/predict-keyword-latent-intent/

The research covered in this article is a must read for anyone interested in how Google measures ongoing sentiment and how it adjusts SERPs based on perceived latent intent for keywords.


Time to Consider that Links Matter Less for SEO?
– Roger Montti
April 11, 2018
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/links-matter-less/248679/

This is a slightly older article from earlier this year, but we still thought it was relevant to include it.


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

Research Reveals The Sad State of Google My Business Listings - Bill Hartzer
September 18, 2018
https://www.billhartzer.com/local-search/research-reveals-sad-state-google-business-listings/

According to recent study, it appears as though many local businesses are not making the most out of Google My Business.


The Whacky World of Reviews: A 5 Star Spam Review “Attack”?
– Mike Blumenthal
September 21, 2018
https://gatherup.com/blog/the-whacky-world-of-reviews-a-5-star-spam-review-attack/

Mike takes a look at a bizarre attack on a client’s Google reviews: a 5-star spam attack.


Is it harder to run an Agency in 2018?
– Mike Blumenthal, Carrie Hill, David Mihm
September 12, 2018
https://localu.org/2018/09/12/video-deep-dive-is-it-harder-to-run-an-agency-in-2018/

Local SEO certainly has changed a lot in the last 10 years and has a lot of people asking if it has gotten harder.


Local Link Building with Python and the Places API
– Jake Ratliff
September 21, 2018
https://gofishdigital.com/local-link-building-python-places-api/

Jake has shared a great script built in Python that uses Google’s Places API to build a list of sites that might be able to help you with local link building.


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Paid members also get the following:

  • If you got a mobile first indexing email, the switch likely happened some time ago
  • Are you more likely to be moved to mobile first indexing if you get a lot of mobile traffic?
  • How will the above the fold layout algo change with mobile first indexing?
  • Does Google give preference to fresh content?
  • Google vs. Donald Trump and his travel ban
  • Revamped: Ahrefs keyword explorer
  • AnswerThePublic is no longer free. Even more, some feedback says that it’s glitchy behind the paywall
  • Canadian Firm Hit with First GDPR Notice
  • Helpful hint! You can look up Page Titles in Google Analytics
  • TripAdvisor set to become world’s first ‘travel-feed’
  • Robots can be funny too!
  • Local SEO: Google Posts by the numbers: What percentage of verified businesses are using it
  • Local SEO: How to create ‘poor-reputation-management-and-look-spammy’ all at once
  • Local SEO: Google’s warning for violating its review content policy
  • Local SEO: Google My Business short description - Can it be modified?
  • Local SEO: Does it make sense to have more than one website?
  • Local SEO: Is Google removing local results for criminal attorneys?
  • 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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