Ep. 110 - Feb. 10, 2021 - Light Version

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In this episode, we discuss possible algorithm updates on January 27th and February 6th, Google handing out more manual actions, some recent Google changes, tips to optimize your page speed, and more!

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The following topics are covered in the premium version of this episode:

  • Google quietly adds new manual actions. Are you at risk?
  • Google simplifies match types in Google Ads
  • Bot traffic spikes in GA continue
  • Google explains what might cause missing data in GSC
  • Link building tip using reverse image search
  • When optimizing page speed, compare this key indicator to measure your efforts
  • Automatically find and broken / orphan links (follow up on this SEOs recent NL item)
  • How in-depth topical hubs can benefit your site
  • Additional insight regarding user-generated comments
  • Google has updated their guidelines surrounding coworking spaces
  • Can appointment-only businesses have a GMB listing?
  • The ultimate local guide for law firms
  • This tool provides actionable steps for improving your GMB listing (beta)
  • Our tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO articles
You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.
I


Algorithm Update News

Possible January 27 and February 6 algorithm updates

We mentioned in last week’s newsletter that there was possibly a significant, unannounced Google update starting January 27, 2021. This update was challenging to analyze as many sites’ analytics profiles were affected by bot traffic spam starting January 31.

In this week’s analysis we can clearly see that something changed with Google’s algorithms starting on January 27 and intensifying on February 6, 2021. A large number of the sites in our profile seeing improvements or losses on February 6 also had similar, but less dramatic movement on the 27th of January.

It is far too early to analyze these updates thoroughly. We suspect, however, that the February 6 update is one that we will be investigating.

Marie will be sharing her very early thoughts on what the data shows so far in her podcast episode this week.

MHC Announcements

MHC closed Monday for family day 

Monday February 15th is family day in Canada and the MHC team will be spending time with ours. We hope everyone enjoys their day, and will be back to respond to emails and messages on Tuesday. Thanks so much! 

 

We recommend Ahrefs’ beginner’s guide to SEO (Sponsored but good for everyone)

If you are new to SEO, it can be hard to know where to even start learning! 

The guide explains how to determine what type of content to produce, how to do keyword research and gives a very thorough explanation of how to use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to its full potential. Even if you are not a subscriber, there is excellent information to help you learn how to analyze your competitors to your benefit.

This article also explains a great deal about on page optimization, optimizing for featured snippets, schema and a lot more. Each of the topics also has links to more advanced articles you can read.

Google Announcements

Upcoming changes to price enforcement 

If you’re using the Merchant Center, beginning April 6th, Google will begin reviewing and enforcing product price accuracy at checkout and making sure the price in the shopping cart isn’t higher than the price shown in the ad or on that product’s landing page. You will receive a 28-day warning to resolve the mismatches otherwise you’ll be subject to suspension once the 28 days has elapsed.

As some of you may recall, in July of last year, Google mentioned how Googlebot can add items to your shopping cart which they said at the time was used to validate prices. Most sites should be unaffected by this but it’s a worthwhile heads up in case this might happen to you!

For the official announcement, head over to the Google Merchant Center Help page.

SEO Tips

This new SERP feature can help spark content ideas!

Great thinking Brian! Looking at similar content or what your competitors are doing is a good way to keep up with the trends, and what users may be looking for. 

We often like to preach SERP analysis for hidden or new opportunities so this is a great addition to the process!

Other Interesting News

ASOS pays £265m to acquire some major retail brands

We’ve covered ASOS before as they’ve had some pretty great marketing tactics. Well now, they’ve expanded and just bought TopShop, a major brand. We’re interested to see how they work this into their marketing! Either way, it’s a big move in the eCommerce space.

Local SEO - Google SERP Changes

Review snippets now appearing the knowledge panel

Tom spotted these star ratings in the review snippets which certainly adds some flare! If you’re a business with plenty of glowing reviews, this will be a welcome addition. Anyone on the other side of the coin, here is another reason to take your review management strategy seriously.  

Local SEO - Tips

Check your GMB listings

The ‘located in’ item appears to be now showing across all listings. Given the importance of your address/location, we’d advise you quickly check your GMB info to ensure the new addition is accurate! 

 

Recommended Reading

Digital PR Strategy: Industry Insights and The Methods That Secure Coverage in 2021 – Surena Chande
https://www.buzzstream.com/blog/digital-pr-strategy.html
February 3, 2021

In this article, Surena Chande does a deep dive on how Digital PR and SEO, when combined, can increase your client’s revenue. When talking about successful Digital PR campaigns, our main goals should be to try and increase the client’s website while, at the same time, trying to improve the client’s brand awareness and reputation. Surena breaks this process down by steps. 

For more information on how to create a fantastic Digital PR campaign, check out Surena’s article. 

 

A modern understanding of SEO – Kevin Indig
https://www.kevin-indig.com/growth-memo/a-modern-understanding-of-seo/
January 30, 2021

In this article, Kevin Indig does a really good job at explaining how SEO has changed in the past 4-5 years with Google using machine learning for their algorithms. As Kevin explains, Google’s algorithms are not longer static sets of code that can be analysed to create a blueprint for SEO success. 

 

NEW SparkToro Feature: Discover the Press/Media Sources That Reach Your Audience – Rand Fishkin
https://sparktoro.com/blog/new-sparktoro-feature-discover-the-press-media-sources-that-reach-your-audience/
January 25, 2021

SparkToro recently launched a new tab (with new data) for all customers that displays mainstream and mid-tier media sources along with engagement metrics for your searched-for audience. Best of all, the tool comes with 10 free searches per month so there’s no reason to not give it a try!

 

How to Fix Shopify Duplicate Content – Chris Long
https://gofishdigital.com/how-to-fix-shopify-duplicate-content/
February 5, 2021

This is a great article from Chris Long that attempts to tackle Shopify’s duplicate content issue by explaining common sources of duplication, why it happens, and how to fix it. For anyone who is working with or on a Shopify store, being aware of causes of duplicate content and how to fix them is a big advantage and can go a long way towards having a higher quality and technically sound website.

Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

7 Phases of a Local Business Reviews Campaign That Makes It Rain – Phil Rozek
https://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2021/01/31/7-phases-of-a-local-business-reviews-campaign-that-makes-it-rain/
January 31, 2021 

Phil Rozek from Local Visibility System wrote up a 7 step review process strategy that should help improve your online review profile. It’s definitely worth checking it out! 

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Premium members also get the following:

It’s well worth the $18 per month!

The following topics are covered in the premium version of this episode:

  • Google quietly adds new manual actions. Are you at risk?
  • Google simplifies match types in Google Ads
  • Bot traffic spikes in GA continue
  • Google explains what might cause missing data in GSC
  • Link building tip using reverse image search
  • When optimizing page speed, compare this key indicator to measure your efforts
  • Automatically find and broken / orphan links (follow up on this SEOs recent NL item)
  • How in-depth topical hubs can benefit your site
  • Additional insight regarding user-generated comments
  • Google has updated their guidelines surrounding coworking spaces
  • Can appointment-only businesses have a GMB listing?
  • The ultimate local guide for law firms
  • This tool provides actionable steps for improving your GMB listing (beta)
  • Our tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO articles
You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.
I

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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


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