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Episode 61 - December 13, 2018 (Light Version)

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Once again, a lot has happened in the world of search this week! We have a lot of recommended reading in this episode. There was a bit of a quality update in early December. We’ll talk about the big important change in Chrome 71, an interesting discussion on whether Google ranks authors according to E-A-T and we’ll show a good example of how to use Google Posts.

In this episode:



Paid members also get the following:

  • What SEL learned when Google deindexed their site for a day
  • WordPress 5.0 – Gutenberg Reviews are in!
  • New Google patent talks about ranking pages based on an author score
  • Google news publishers are still having problems
  • DuckDuckGo claims Google has a filter bubble problem
  • Google finally released a domain to DuckDuckGo
  • Google Analytics admin emails sent to Search Console users in latest bug
  • HTTPS. Everything you need to know!
  • SEOs vote for their favourite paid SEO tool
  • Sundar Pichai explains how search works
  • Looking to get new backlinks?
  • Interview with John Mueller at SearchLove
  • Interesting thoughts on traffic from Bing
  • Local SEO: Google Spamming Business Listings with Irrelevant Events
  • Local SEO: GMB fake review attack: The aftermath
  • Local SEO: GMB experiments with image filters
  • Local SEO: Captain Tim and the Tale of the Hijacked GMB Listing
  • Local SEO: Google Maps Alerts delighting users
  • Local SEO: Great use of Google Posts
  • Local SEO: Here Are Some Great Tips on Getting Support From Google My Businesses
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and local SEO articles

Algorithm updates

December 4-6, 2018 - Mild Quality update

There seems to be an update similar to the August 1 medic update that happened around December 4-6. I am calling this mild as most of the sites that we saw changes in saw just a slight change at this time. We saw drops in some of the following sites:

  • A medical site that we are currently reviewing. This site was hit hard on August 1. Our review is finding that the site has a lot of medical advice that contradicts current scientific consensus.
  • Another medical site. This site has good information and for the most part appears to have good E-A-T. However, they have a few issues that are outlined in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines as potential trust issues (the “T” in E-A-T). They do not disclose their monetization methods and are a bit sneaky in how they funnel users to become leads.
  • A site that competes with large job portal sites. Our review pointed out a lot of thin content for this site. We felt that they did not do much to add value as compared to the sites that are currently ranking well.
  • Another medical site that has serious issues with reputation and lack of E-A-T.

We did see some clients have improvements. This site is a local small business. We helped them fix a bunch of technical issues and also filed a disavow.

You can see that they are doing quite at making improvements since their quality hit:

This site is a loan provider. They saw a bit of an uptick in early December. This site worked hard to noindex thin content, explain the purpose of their business more clearly, and disavow unnatural links.


Google Announcements

Chrome 71 for Mac, Windows, Linux rolling out with ad removal on abusive sites, billing protection

The latest version of Chrome has rolled out and with it comes a few new features that focus on user experience. In the past, Google has worked hard to stop unwanted site redirects for users. Now in Chrome 71, Google is stopping ads that appear to be fake messages that redirect users to another site.

Fake Messages are defined as:

“Ads or other elements that resemble chat apps, warnings, system dialogs, or other notifications that lead to an ad or landing page when clicked”

This targets sites that have an ineffective “close” button that do not actually close the disruptive ad. Another form of protection Google is putting into place, is a “Billing Warning Screen”. Chrome 71 will now detect pages that don’t disclose how information a user entered is being used. This will help users mitigate the risk of a site using their personal information for unintended sign-ups and subscription charges. Chrome 71 will also implement its AutoPlay policies to Web Audio API. Chrome 71 is available now for Desktops and will have a release for handheld devices in the coming weeks.


Introducing the Indexing API and structured data for livestreams

Google’s new indexing API and Structured Data for Livestreams makes it much easier for people to discover live streams in search. With livestream structured data and the Indexing API, you can now let Google know when your videos are live so it will be appear in the SERPs with a red “LIVE” badge. This is great way to get your content out there and to let Google know that it’s fresh be sure to request the Indexing API so that your site can be crawled in time for the livestream.


Google Search Console AMP errors gets more general, less specific

Google Search Console AMP error will become less specific starting on December 10, 2018 meaning that the AMP enhancement report will now combine “over-specific issue types into fewer generalized issue types”. So now you will see an increase in generic issue types and a decrease in specific issue types as the specific issues would be combined into a generic type issue. For example:

This will simplify issue types in a way that is more manageable for site owners. Here is a link to the Google Anomalies in Search Console page regarding the new AMP enhancement report.


Google introduces its Site Kit WordPress plugin

Site Kit by Google is a free, open-source plugin that brings together insights from essential Google products (Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, and PageSpeed Insights) for WordPress sites.

While no new information is available using the plugin (at the moment), for users it provides an all-in-one dashboard of unified insights directly from the WordPress admin panel.

Google is currently seeking interested parties to sign up for beta testing which will commence in early 2019. Based on the feedback gathered from testing, Google says they hope to expand the plugin’s capabilities.


Google to shut down many old Search Console reports

Google has announced that they will soon be removing some of the old Google Search Console Reports.

Some of the reports that will be leaving old Search Console include:

  • Search Analytics
  • Links to Your Site
  • Internal Links
  • Manual Actions
  • Mobile Usability
  • Index Status

These reports have been replaced in new Search Console with similar reports.


Other interesting SEO news

Want to learn more about E-A-T?

It’s finally here! Our E-A-T webinar, part one, will be held Thursday, December 13 at 1pm EST. You can get more info or sign up here:

https://www.mariehaynes.com/eat/eat-webinar-part-one/

If you can’t make the webinar, we will be offering more of these. Also, this will be recorded and we’ll publish it soon.


Google URLs in search results snippets now clickable

The green URLs in the Google Search results are now clickable. If you hover your mouse over the green URL in the SERPs, you can now click on that URL to bring you to the site.


Google+ will be shutting down earlier than expected

Following October’s disclosed security bug, Google has now announced a November data breach that left some non-public data (including names, email addresses, occupation, gender, birthday, relationship status and age) from about 52.5 million users up for grabs from apps that used the Google+ API.

Making this yet another mishap, Google announced that they’ll be shutting down Google+ in April 2019. All Google+ APIs will shut down within the next 90 days.


SEO Tips

What is a good bounce rate for your site?

This is hilarious. Not sure what a good bounce rate is for your site? Find out at whatisagoodbouncerate.com!


Haha


Google Help Hangout Notes

As you may have noticed, we have started once again publishing transcripts of Help Hangouts with John Mueller! This week, we added a feature in which we have not only shared just the most important news, but we have added a quick summary to enable quick reading.

You can read the notes here from the November 30, 2018 help hangout. Here are the important points:

  • Does it help to have unique images on a site? They may help your site be seen more often in image search.
  • What does it mean when you see “crawled but not indexed” pages in GSC? It can be normal for pages to appear here. But, pages that contain content that is already indexed, for example, may be seen here.
  • How long does it take for Google to recognize a change in structured data? It can take a week or so.
  • What happens if you legally need to use an interstitial such as an age verifier? Make sure that Google can see your actual content.
  • Does linking out to authoritative sources help a page rank better? Authoritative external links coming from your articles may help users, but according to Google are not a direct ranking factor.
  • If you are not seeing rich snippets and Google is not showing errors in GSC, then this could be a sign of Google thinking your website is low quality. Or your website may just be really new.
  • If you haven’t yet been moved to mobile first indexing, it may just be that Google has not gotten to your site yet. It could be that you have issues that make your content dissimilar on mobile as compared to desktop.
  • Is it ok to cloak affiliate links? It’s not likely to help, and it could annoy users.
  • Thinking of starting a site in a competitive niche? It’s going to be hard to compete unless you can present your own unique angle.

Local SEO

Google renamed Communications Manager to Site Manager In GMB

GMB Help forums recently announced, "We're excited to announce that the communications manager role will be upgraded to site manager!" This change means over the next few weeks, newly minted site managers will be upgraded with new permissions including: creating and publishing posts, sharing news, editing some business info (hours, addresses, phone number) and managing information about amenities.


Recommended Reading

Measuring the "Filter Bubble": How Google is influencing what you click – DuckDuckGo Blog
https://spreadprivacy.com/google-filter-bubble-study/
December 4th, 2018

What is Google’s filter bubble? Basically, DuckDuckGo describes it as the manipulation and editorializing of search results based on a user’s personal data.


Why Crawler Traps Can Seriously Hurt Your SEO
– Dawn Anderson
https://www.contentkingapp.com/blog/crawler-traps-can-seriously-hurt-seo/
December 4th, 2018

In this article, Dawn Anderson explains the significance of crawler traps and how they can hurt your site. In SEO, a crawler trap, is a structural issue within a website that cause crawlers to find a virtual infinite number of irrelevant URLS.


You Need a Site Audit: How to Tell If You’re Getting Your Money’s Worth
– Jenny Halasz
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/good-seo-site-audit/281071/
December 4th, 2018

Choosing an SEO company to audit your site is always a big investment and if you don’t know what you’re doing it can be really tough. In her article, Jenny takes us through some things that site owners should be looking at and considering before they take the plunge and hire somebody.


A Simple (But Effective) 31-Point SEO Checklist for 2018
‐ Joshua Hardwick
https://ahrefs.com/blog/seo-checklist/
December 4th, 2018

It’s a given that we all want to drive more traffic to our website. We may not all know the best way to do that though. Thankfully, Joshua (head of content for Ahrefs) has decided to share a 31-point plan that he’s seen success with that he hopes will help drive more traffic to your website. We definitely encourage you to check out the nitty gritty details of his plan.


We’ve changed our stance on ads. Here’s why.
– Nicholas L. Holland
https://twitter.com/dohertyjf/status/1070056658368311296
December 3rd, 2018

For HubSpot, customer experience has always been at the forefront. However, with the rate at which the web and accessibility to information is evolving, it seems like everyone has adopted the fundamentals of inbound marketing. As such, ads have been increasingly important to cut through the noise of a crowded information marketplace.


Redirect Sample Code
– Daniel Morell
https://www.danielmorell.com/guides/htaccess-seo/sample-code/redirect-sample-code
December 5th, 2018

Fantastic resource from Daniel Morell for redirect sample code. Check it out!


An introduction to HTTP/2 for SEOs
– Tom Anthony
https://www.distilled.net/resources/an-introduction-to-http2-for-seos/
December 5th, 2018

Before we can understand HTTP/2 it’s important that we understand how HTTP works.


Why I am No Longer a Link Builder But Now a Content Publicist
– Bill Hartzer
https://www.hartzer.com/why-i-am-no-longer-a-link-builder-but-now-a-content-publicist/
December 5th, 2018

Bill Hartzer has changed his whole entire attitude—away from link building, now focused on link earning in the form of a content publicist. He says that it all really started in 2012 thanks to a Danny Sullivan ‘rant’ which went like this, “What you want is to be linked from places where there’s an actual audience that might see your link and click on it directly to visit. Do that, and you’re building the type of links the search engines want to reward.”


How to Build an SEO Business Case That Your Boss Can’t Say No To
Rory Truesdale
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/build-seo-business-case/281231/
December 5th, 2018

Convincing your organization that SEO is important can sometimes be a monumental task. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do, you still have to convince people to take your issues seriously. Unless you’re able to work with other teams and sell your ideas you’re likely not going to get a lot of traction on the issues.


7 tactics to drive more links to your website
– Paddy Moogan
https://searchengineland.com/7-tactics-to-drive-more-links-to-your-website-308763#.XAgtjCwqmwE.twitter
December 5th, 2018

Paddy always has some great insight into creative content driven link building campaigns. That makes it all the more exciting that he has a bunch of tips that we should try applying ourselves.


8 Major SEO Mistakes You Might Make in 2019 & How to Deal With Them – Backed by SEO Experts
– Adrian Cojocariu
https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/20859/major-seo-mistakes/
December 5th, 2018

Going into the new year we should all likely resolve to be better SEOs. There are tons of common mistakes that are made all the time which is why we need to nip them in the butt before they start creating problems.


How To Find The True Size Of Your Site Using GSC’s Index Coverage Reporting (And Why It’s Important For SEO)
– Glenn Gabe
https://www.gsqi.com/marketing-blog/how-to-find-true-size-of-your-site-index-coverage-reporting/
December 10th, 2018

How large is your site? Determining the exact number of pages (precisely) is often a difficult task. While it’s possible to figure out how many pages we have indexed, knowing what’s below the surface is vastly important as well. Short and simple, your goal should always be focused on making Google’s life easier. After all, they have to crawl and process sometimes ten of thousands (or more!) pages.


7 Things to Know Before Updating to WordPress 5
– Roger Montti
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-to-update-wordpress/282117/
December 10th, 2018

A week has passed since WordPress 5.0 has been released and there’s been plenty of varying success when it comes to the upgrade. Luckily, Roger Montti took the time to investigate the issues and has created seven considerations to help make the update as smooth as possible.


PWAs SEO: Developing Optimized PWAs and How to Validate them
– Aleyda Solis
https://www.aleydasolis.com/en/search-engine-optimization/pwas-seo-what-are-they-why-you-need-one-and-how-to-optimize-for-them/
December 8th, 2018

There is some great information in this article surrounding Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and how to optimize them like a pro.


Facebook emails could lead to tougher EU scrutiny
– Aoife White
https://gazette.com/business/facebook-emails-could-lead-to-tougher-eu-scrutiny/article_5a7570a8-f98d-11e8-a3da-27c6f82a282e.html
December 9th, 2018

In the coming months, EU privacy regulators may call on Facebook to changes its privacy terms. Should they not oblige, the regulators have the power to enforce fines for data breaches thanks to the GDPR rollout which happened several months back. Beyond that, the EU is capable of punishment in the form of competition and taxation powers.


How do you optimize for Google Discover?
– John E Lincoln
https://searchengineland.com/how-do-you-optimize-for-google-discover-309244
December 10th, 2018

Google Feed was Google’s first foray into social media feeds. Now called Google Discover, like other social media feeds, Google’s comes in the form of a series of cards that keep users up to date on content that matter to them.


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

Even If A Brand Can’t Do SEO, It Can Still Do Local SEO – Andrew Shotland
https://searchengineland.com/even-brand-cant-seo-can-still-local-seo-236129#.XAbmJ7rOBYM.twitter

This article may be a throwback to 2015, but it came on our radar recently and its key points on local SEO for mid-sized brands still ring true. The problem that these types of brands often face, is that executing national SEO is a low priority, it’s expensive, and is often a complicated process to implement.


Annual Trends in Local Search Ranking Factors Analyzed
– Myles Anderson
https://www.brightlocal.com/2018/12/04/annual-trends-in-local-search-ranking-factors-analyzed/
December 4th, 2018

In this article, Myles gives us some fantastic analysis about how things have changed in local search over the last year. The analysis gives some great insights into what we should be looking into as we move into 2019.


How Local Ranking Factors Changed in 2018
– Rosie Murphy
https://www.brightlocal.com/2018/12/11/how-local-ranking-factors-changed-in-2018/
December 11th, 2018

This article explores how ranking in local search has evolved over the last year and offers some predictions for what we can expect in the coming year.


The Guide to Building Linked Unstructured Citations for Local SEO
– Miriam Ellis & Kameron Jenkins
https://moz.com/blog/linked-unstructured-citations
December 6th, 2018

This article specifically examines how we can use Moz’s Link Intersect tool to help build unstructured citations for local SEO. The article is fairly in depth so we do encourage you to take a closer look if you believe that it may be of benefit to you.


5 Expert Ways to Win More Customers with Local Search
– Karisa Macias
https://www.rioseo.com/blog/5-expert-ways-to-win-more-customers-with-local-search-2/#fbid=K8s76hH-g3c
July 25th, 2018

There’s no doubt that local search is the future, especially with local search queries like “where to buy” rising by 85% over the last two years. Additionally, 76% of these sorts of searches end in a visit to a store on the very same day. The article breaks down five things you can do to maximize your business’ mastery of local search.


Jobs


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • What SEL learned when Google deindexed their site for a day
  • WordPress 5.0 – Gutenberg Reviews are in!
  • New Google patent talks about ranking pages based on an author score
  • Google news publishers are still having problems
  • DuckDuckGo claims Google has a filter bubble problem
  • Google finally released a domain to DuckDuckGo
  • Google Analytics admin emails sent to Search Console users in latest bug
  • HTTPS. Everything you need to know!
  • SEOs vote for their favourite paid SEO tool
  • Sundar Pichai explains how search works
  • Looking to get new backlinks?
  • Interview with John Mueller at SearchLove
  • Interesting thoughts on traffic from Bing
  • Local SEO: Google Spamming Business Listings with Irrelevant Events
  • Local SEO: GMB fake review attack: The aftermath
  • Local SEO: GMB experiments with image filters
  • Local SEO: Captain Tim and the Tale of the Hijacked GMB Listing
  • Local SEO: Google Maps Alerts delighting users
  • Local SEO: Great use of Google Posts
  • Local SEO: Here Are Some Great Tips on Getting Support From Google My Businesses
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and local SEO articles

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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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