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Episode 97 - August 21, 2019 - Light Version

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In this episode, we discuss Marie's thoughts on Google and scientific consensus, recent SERP feature changes, great advice from Google Hangouts, and a collection of other SEO tips to help you optimize your site.


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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • Detailed info on how Google could be suppressing sites that contradict scientific consensus
  • The impact of winning FAQ snippets
  • Check out these SERP changes including pagination, fonts, and snippet placement
  • Wondering what happens if you accidentally disavow a link you didn't mean to?
  • Need ideas to earn yourself good links?
  • John Mueller touches on whether or not you should be concerned about foriegn language sites linking to you
  • Try removing design/UX bias to determine the quality of your content
  • Just because you have structured data markup on a page, doesn't mean that it'll be shown in the SERPs
  • Featured snippets could be the culprit for a drop in traffic but not ranking positions. Here’s a takeaway lesson!
  • Updated: Google’s help document on JS & SEO
  • PPC debate surrounding whether or not to bid on branded keywords
  • Google’s recommendation on displaying medical authorship
  • Are you noticing any truncation happening to your Google text ads?
  • Great tips for improving your homepage, contact us and about pages
  • Link building tips for local
  • Google Maps reviews now prompting users for likeable qualities
  • Google Discover shows product pages, if the algorithm believes that a product may be a good interest for you based on your query
  • Google’s advice on third-party content in the form of subdomains or subfolders
  • WebKit’s new anti-tracking policy puts privacy on a par with security
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

August 12 and August 18, 2019

We had a number of clients with either ups or downs on these days. It does look like Google pushed out some tweaks to their algorithms.

As a reminder, we are no longer doing in-depth investigations of each of these tweaks as usually our conclusions are to improve quality based on the information in the Quality Raters’ Guidelines. 

Barry Schwartz did write about a possible significant update on August 18. We’ll keep a close eye on this and dig in deeper. We will report back next week if it turns out the impact is bigger than we thought.


Leaked document shows more evidence of Google trying to algorithmically fight against sites contradicting scientific consensus

A Twitter account called “Rosie memos” tweeted some interesting leaked documents from Project Veritas. This tweet caught our attention:

Paul Haahr is a Google engineer. According to this document, his main job at Google is to work on the Core Ranking algorithm. His Mission is called, “Less Fringy Search”. It is described as such:

“Fringe ranking: not showing fake news, hate speech, conspiracy theories, or science/medical/history denial unless we’re sure that’s what the user wants.”

In our opinion, this sums up one of the significant changes that happened with health sites in the June 3 Google Update. We believe Google wants to make it so health sites that contradict scientific consensus do not rank well.

If you are a paid newsletter subscriber, the next section contains our current theories on what happened with this June 3 update. I, Marie, am currently writing a thorough article that will eventually be made available to the public, but as a paid newsletter subscriber, you can read the next section to have access to this information now.


MHC Announcements

Did you miss our exciting announcement last week? We are giving away the chance of a LIFETIME (literally, you can win a subscription for life) and there are only THREE weeks left to enter! This opportunity is for our paid subscribers as a thank you for their dedication! 

Be sure to follow along with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as we will share updates, exciting surprises and details for our 100th episode party September 11, 2019! 

Don’t forget that you don’t have to be a paid member to win, as we are also giving away a one year subscription to our free subscribers! 


Listen to Marie discuss the June Core Update with Authority Labs! 

On this webinar hosted by Ashley Segura, Marie is joined by Eli Schwartz, and Jason Mun, as they discuss Google updates in general and dive into their thoughts on the June Core Update, and how sites can recover.  

Don’t forget, you can always keep up to date with our thoughts on algorithm updates on our blog. 


A guide to image optimization

This week, we’re highlighting Alec Brownscombe’s guide for image optimization over at our Wix SEO Lovers site. You’ll find great tips on how to optimize your pages and images to improve image search friendliness as well as a checklist to run through at the end of your optimization process. Image search isn’t going to be a significant driver of traffic for every site, but it often goes overlooked and it can provide opportunities for easy wins over the competition!


Want to keep up to date with the Wix competition? 

We made a Twitter account! Follow along with us as we share where we are ranking, fun and useful information and maybe the occasional gif (or gif page -- it's pretty awesome!). 


Google Announcements

Change to AMP share buttons

Andy Sternberg pointed out that Google is now showing a share button when AMP pages are accessed from the search results.

Barry Schwartz pointed out that this used to be a “link” icon, but it has now changed in a way that makes it more clear that people can share the url. 

It is also important to note that the url shared is from the actual website you are on, and not a Google amp link.


More indexing issues again?

There have been more complaints. Danny Sullivan from Google told us that there could be an issue, but has not confirmed it.

Update: Apparently there is no obvious issue going on. We’ll keep you updated as some site owners are still complaining that their new pages are not getting indexed properly.


Googlebot now rendering using the latest version of Chrome


Google SERP Changes

College information in the Mobile SERPS 

As we get closer to September, students across the country are thinking of what to do after graduation. Google’s College Search Function expands the Mobile SERPs to show information about colleges. Information on 4 year and 2 year colleges as well as programs offered, cost and much more. So if you have college information on your site, you may be competing with Google in the SERPs. 


A featured snippet that is also showing a definition

Barry posted a case where a definition was spotted within a featured snippet. The snippet was explaining a driving with a suspended license and defined  “misdemeanour”. Barry hasn’t been able to replicate this so let us know if you’re seeing anything similar. 


SEO Tips

John’s advice on when to nofollow a link

John Mueller says that you should nofollow links that are there for monetary reasons.

And perfectly timed, the latest in the #AskAWebmaster series features...you guessed it, nofollow links.


The latest #AskGoogleWebmasters – Nofollow links: Does Google count them as backlinks?

In this edition, John says that links using the rel=”nofollow” are noted by Google, but Google does not transfer PageRank across these links. Because they are still in fact links on the web, and user can use these to get to your site, GSC does reflect these nofollow links in the GSC Links report.


Build your own Speed Dashboard courtesy of Google Data Studio

Learn how to create effective dashboards in Google Data Studio which focus on speed metrics. As Brodie mentions, there’s also a free Data Studio template for you to use as well!


Data Studio’s capabilities for Web Migration ranking analysis


Stream your Google Analytics data to BigQuery


Google Help Hangout Tips

Google weighs in on the (fluctuating) strength of geotargeting 

Following Glenn’s tweet, someone asked John for a little more guidance on this. Basically John agreed that the combination of local SEO + schema can help local businesses, but on a wider scale, it’s important to be clear how you want to be found via both your on-site content and your metadata. Even more, be consistent with the information you communicate.


Do pages marked in GSC as "discovered, not indexed" count towards crawl budget?

Here is an interesting quote from John Mueller. Check it out!


Other Interesting News

Google’s lightweight Go search app is live 

The app is designed to find information for low-powered devices and remember your search results if your connection drops. It is just over 7MB and was originally launched in India and Indonesia, but is now available worldwide on the Play Store. It has some cool features including Lens functionality, voice for search and reading pages out loud. It will now be even more important now to have fast pages. 


Local SEO - Google SERP Changes

Knowledge Panels with third party ads

Okay, this might not be new per se, but it sure is interesting! 

As Joy’s colleague, Colan Nielson, suggests, this could be the beginning of something to come...and he’s not alone in thinking that.


Local SEO - Tips

How to kill it at local SEO (Greg Gifford tip)

Five top tips from Greg Gifford on how to execute local SEO well:


When your website’s homepage is no longer your homepage...

More great stuff here from Greg Gifford!


Lawyers take note, Local Service ads are available to you


Recommended Reading

What Is Ethical SEO? – Jamie Alberico
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-is-ethical-seo/318483/
Aug 14, 2019

This is a thought piece that doesn’t strive to provide the answers, does its best to be politically aware, comes from a single source, and serves as a reminder that ethics is best left to a human being rather than a search engine. 

 

Less than Half of Google Searches Now Result in a Click – Rand Fishkin
https://sparktoro.com/blog/less-than-half-of-google-searches-now-result-in-a-click/
Aug 13, 2019

As a lot of people may have noticed a trend that more and more Google searches are returning results that don’t drive search traffic to sites.

 

Image SEO: The Ultimate Step-by-Step-Guide For Ranking In Google Images – James Reynolds
https://seosherpa.com/image-seo/
Aug 9, 2019

From keyword research and choosing the right file types to advanced tips like leveraging an image sitemaps, this article covers plenty of useful tips and tools of everything in between. Brush up on your Image Search fundamentals and put those practical strategies in action!

 

Why Google’s Knowledge Graph suffers from Human Bias - Dixon Jones
https://dixonjones.com/seo/entity-seo/knowledge-graph-bias/
August 21, 2019

At MHC, we are really interested in learning more about knowledge graphs. This post from Dixon Jones is fascinating. He talks about how knowledge graphs are made up of entities. Those entities are taken from trusted databases online such as IMDB, or more notably, Wikipedia. 


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

How to Get a Customer to Edit Their Negative Review – Miriam Ellis
https://moz.com/blog/customer-edit-negative-review
Aug 13, 2019

Reviews act as a communication platform between customers and businesses. This article looks into negative reviews, and the power that can arise from responding to them. Customers can be forgiving and ultimately just want good service.

 

The Secret To Ranking In Local Search: Ranking in Organic Search – Adam Steele
https://loganix.net/local-seo-ranking-case-study/
Aug 13, 2019

Adam from Loganix recently ran a great study on local SEO with the primary goal being to determine whether or not there was a link between a local 3 pack and organic rankings. 


Jobs


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • Detailed info on how Google could be suppressing sites that contradict scientific consensus
  • The impact of winning FAQ snippets
  • Check out these SERP changes including pagination, fonts, and snippet placement
  • Wondering what happens if you accidentally disavow a link you didn't mean to?
  • Need ideas to earn yourself good links?
  • John Mueller touches on whether or not you should be concerned about foriegn language sites linking to you
  • Try removing design/UX bias to determine the quality of your content
  • Just because you have structured data markup on a page, doesn't mean that it'll be shown in the SERPs
  • Featured snippets could be the culprit for a drop in traffic but not ranking positions. Here’s a takeaway lesson!
  • Updated: Google’s help document on JS & SEO
  • PPC debate surrounding whether or not to bid on branded keywords
  • Google’s recommendation on displaying medical authorship
  • Are you noticing any truncation happening to your Google text ads?
  • Great tips for improving your homepage, contact us and about pages
  • Link building tips for local
  • Google Maps reviews now prompting users for likeable qualities
  • Google Discover shows product pages, if the algorithm believes that a product may be a good interest for you based on your query
  • Google’s advice on third-party content in the form of subdomains or subfolders
  • WebKit’s new anti-tracking policy puts privacy on a par with security
  • 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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