SNYCU Ep. 155 - Oct. 21, 2020 - Light Version

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In this episode we discuss the September indexing issues, Google's SearchOn event and what we learned, changes to the Quality Raters' Guidelines, and a compilation of the latest SEO news and tips.


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In this episode:


Paid members also get the following:

  • The latest on the September indexing issues (including September 21)
  • October 13, 2020 - Possible update (but likely not)
  • Predictions about future Google updates based on the SearchOn event
  • What has changed in the updated QRG?
  • Mixed content in Chrome is ‘no longer really a thing’
  • Reminder: if it is not on your mobile page it will not count for indexing
  • Google relies on consistent signals from across the web
  • It seems How-to schema has fully rolled out on desktop, plus some interesting findings related to it
  • Brush up on your Google Search operators
  • How to measure and optimize Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • Interesting comments about frequent changes to your meta robots tags
  • Could slower URLs be negatively impacting the rest of your site?
  • A great summary of what is new regarding the recent ‘new’ Google Analytics announcement
  • Possible data anomalies in Google Search Console for Web Stories
  • Is there any ‘indexing time’ related to backlinks?
  • WordPress owners, say goodbye to Facebook and Instagram support for WP embeds
  • How to get a place label or icon in Google Maps
  • Asking webmasters to submit examples -- possibly inaccurate wait times showing in restaurant GMBs
  • New Microsoft Site Explorer shows how Bing sees your website
  • Core Web Vitals report from Ryte is arriving soon
  • My tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO and Local SEO articles

Algorithm Updates

Here’s what we learned from Google's SearchOn event

This event got us really excited about what Google has planned for upcoming algorithm updates!

You can read Marie’s tweet thread summary of the event for a rundown of everything Google announced:

Google announced a new product, Pinpoint, that will help journalists find information across thousands of documents. They were kind of vague in their description, but when they described using AI to find connections amongst vast amounts of data, it sounded very interesting!

Google also announced future improvements to Google Lens whereby a searcher can take a picture of a piece of clothing and then be shown where to buy it, and items to style it with. 

We were super excited to hear that you can now hum into your phone and Google will tell you what song you are humming! With that said, either this feature needs work, or we are really bad at humming because it is not too accurate just yet.

In the next section, our premium readers will read our exciting predictions about what the next core Google update will look like, based on what we learned from the SearchOn event.


MHC Announcements

Need help with a manual action?

We recently published our updated version of our guide to unnatural links penalties. The book will help you understand what a manual action is, how to have one removed, and a thorough guide to unnatural links. Be one of the first to purchase a copy here


Google Announcements

Google launches Journalist Studio 

This is an awesome tool for journalists to work more effectively and it includes a series of useful tools. Our favourite tool has to be the fact checker explorer which’ll allow you to search fact results from the web related to an entity. At times we use this tool as a quick way to show clients that their YMYL content may not align with scientific/general consensus.


Chrome Dev Summit is scheduled for December 2020

The eighth annual instalment of Chrome’s Dev Summit promises developers an opportunity to learn about the latest tool and updates coming to the Google Chrome browser. On the site’s FAQ page, it breaks this down to “...Platform updates, architectural guidance, developer tooling, case studies, and opportunities for increased reach and engagement on the web.”

This year’s two-day virtual event (held December 9-10) will have publicly available sessions, however, those of you looking to partake in the workshops, office hours, or join the live Q&A, we would encourage you to request an invite. 


Google SERP Changes

Free Shopping tab listings are now launched globally

Rolling out as a part of the SaG release, Brodie has noticed free shopping tabs now available. It’s unclear when this will be available globally, but we are seeing the start. 


SEO Tips

A series of small things a new brand can do to help build trust  

Carrie Rose has created a list of tasks that will help a brand build trust. Check out the thread for more!


Google Help Hangout Tips

Google discusses E-A-T and how it relates to health and medical sites

In a recent help hangout, John said that Google can be a bit more critical on sites that are medical in terms of the information they find there. John recommended looking at what those in the SEO community have said about E-A-T and follow their advice. Marie has a great article on everything encompassing E-A-T as well as a guide to scientific consensus that are both great places to start.

Marie went further and created a thread on everything from the recent hangout that discusses E-A-T. Some of the main takeaways: show the searcher that you can be trusted by having the signals that indicate this. This means taking action. Don’t hope the rankings will change, Google needs to know that you are worth ranking. 


Other Interesting News

“Request Indexing” in GSC is not working

As of the morning of October 21, we still are not able to request indexing via GSC. We are not sure whether this is related to the indexing problems Google has suffered in the last month. Hopefully our ability to request indexing returns soon.

John Mueller did follow up to clarify that this does not affect regular crawling or indexing of pages.


Justice Department set to file long-awaited antitrust suit against Google

This lawsuit was filed with claims that Google is responsible for anticompetitive conduct that monopolizes their own entities related to Search. This has long been speculated by others as Google has had various methods of ensuring that their products stand above any others within their platforms. “There is little opportunity for competitors to make inroads”, according to the government. Google has stated that their competitive edge simply comes from the desire users have to use their products. This is a very lengthy article, but if you’re interested in more detail we recommend reading it in full.

This Verge article has indicated that these charges were filed October 20th. It will be very interesting to see what comes of this lawsuit. 


Local SEO

The last week has been quite steady for local flux. Everything is relatively low, meaning there were no significant algorithmic changes in the local sphere. Each week we’ll reference these numbers to keep you posted on any rumbling of algorithm updates that could affect you.

local flux


Recommended Reading

How to Maximize your Pages’ CTR in Search Results Besides Improving your Rankings – Aleyda Solis
https://www.aleydasolis.com/en/search-engine-optimization/improving-pages-ctr-search-results/
October 16, 2020

In her article, Aleyda suggests a few alternatives - that do not involve better ranking -  to get a better click-through-rates. There is a ton of great information and tips in here, so we recommend reading the article in full. 

 

Image Packs in Google Web Search – A reason you might be seeing high rankings but insanely low click-through rate in GSC – Glenn Gabe
https://www.gsqi.com/marketing-blog/image-pack-rankings-in-google-web-search/
October 14, 2020

Glenn Gabe explains exactly why you may be seeing great impressions but little actual traffic. Glenn explains how this may occur for knowledge panels that feature images as well. This is yet another reason why only looking at aggregate data can be quite misleading. If you’re ever wondering why you can see great rankings in Search Console but extremely low CTR, this may be the reason. 

 

YouTube Dominates Google Video in 2020 – Dr. Peter J. Meyers
https://moz.com/blog/youtube-dominates-google-video-results-in-2020
October 14, 2020

This Moz study was able to confirm how much real estate YouTube takes on Google Videos. By having such a massive cut of Google Videos, YouTube’s dominance raises the question: Is this fair and/or is Google favoring their own platform? Read the article to see what Dr. Pete says. 

 

How Pinterest runs Traffic-based Interlinking experiments for SEO – Pinterest Engineering
https://medium.com/pinterest-engineering/how-pinterest-runs-traffic-based-interlinking-experiments-for-seo-9cb2cbdba6f8
October 8, 2020

Pinterest’s “growth search traffic team” recently shared the details of the A/B tests they ran in order to verify their hypotheses about the benefits of a new internal-linking algorithm. First, they needed to prove that a page with an internal link will net more search traffic than an equivalent page without an internal link. Next, they needed to verify that in order to remove a link to one page and link another instead, the traffic gains of linking to the new page outweigh the traffic loss of not linking to the old page. Third, having assigned priority scores to destination pages, they needed to prove that linking to the higher-score pages would lead to more gains than linking to the lower-score pages. Once these three hypotheses were validated, they were able to proceed with the new interlinking algorithm. Very cool!

 

How to Succeed in Enterprise SEO – Patrick Stox
https://ahrefs.com/blog/enterprise-seo/
October 8, 2020

The challenges of enterprise SEO are manifold: training and knowledge sharing, organization, achieving buy-in, securing and effectively marshalling the required resources, data collection and reporting. Patrick Stox at Ahrefs provides great high-level advice here on how to handle these challenges, whether you’re working in-house or as part of an agency. Patrick also provides a thorough list of project ideas — from content creation and optimization, to internal/external link building, to various technical SEO tasks (broken link reclamation, redirect correction, sitemaps, schema). 


Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

What’s behind the badge that powers Google’s local trust layer? – Justin Sanger
https://searchengineland.com/whats-behind-the-badge-that-powers-googles-local-trust-layer-341987
October 13, 2020

Google has unveiled a new designation for Places in Google -- trusted and untrusted. The difference? A Google guaranteed badge. It’s been touted as the new era of Google My Business and will see GMB shift to a world where monetization plays an important role. With this change, it now means that Local Services Ads (LSAs) are not the only players that can carry the ‘Google guaranteed’ designation. 


Jobs


Want More?

Paid members also get the following:

  • The latest on the September indexing issues (including September 21)
  • October 13, 2020 - Possible update (but likely not)
  • Predictions about future Google updates based on the SearchOn event
  • What has changed in the updated QRG?
  • Mixed content in Chrome is ‘no longer really a thing’
  • Reminder: if it is not on your mobile page it will not count for indexing
  • Google relies on consistent signals from across the web
  • It seems How-to schema has fully rolled out on desktop, plus some interesting findings related to it
  • Brush up on your Google Search operators
  • How to measure and optimize Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • Interesting comments about frequent changes to your meta robots tags
  • Could slower URLs be negatively impacting the rest of your site?
  • A great summary of what is new regarding the recent ‘new’ Google Analytics announcement
  • Possible data anomalies in Google Search Console for Web Stories
  • Is there any ‘indexing time’ related to backlinks?
  • WordPress owners, say goodbye to Facebook and Instagram support for WP embeds
  • How to get a place label or icon in Google Maps
  • Asking webmasters to submit examples -- possibly inaccurate wait times showing in restaurant GMBs
  • New Microsoft Site Explorer shows how Bing sees your website
  • Core Web Vitals report from Ryte is arriving soon
  • 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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