Ep. 234 - May 12, 2022 - Light Version

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In this episode, we discuss a possible algorithm update on May 6th-8th, 10 reasons why you should implement GA4, image optimization tips, and the latest SEO news from across the industry!

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

  • 10 reasons why you should implement Google Analytics 4
  • What is Google’s stance on “plagiarizing” your own content?
  • Content gap analysis for local businesses
  • Technical SEO checklist for WordPress sites
  • Our tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO articles
You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.

Algorithm Update News

Possible algorithm update May 6th – May 8th

Another week has gone by, and we still have not had an announced core update (not that we’re complaining though). For those keeping track, it was mid-November 2021 when we last had an update to Google’s Core Ranking System. In our experience, these tend to run 3-4 times a year, so one could argue we are overdue! 

Alas, nothing has been announced this week. Barry is reporting some increased chatter in the forums and spikes in the weather tools. We do have a couple of sites that may be starting to see a significant increase in organic traffic starting around May 4, but it is not enough for us to consider analyzing at the moment.

Glenn Gabe reported seeing some movement as well:

There was an interesting little bit of information this week that surfaced from John Mueller in a recent help hangout (bonus: article write-up courtesy of Barry). While not an update, it was an insight into Google’s algorithms that we (at MHC) were not previously aware of. John explained that it is fine to add FAQ markup to questions on a page that are not formulated as a traditional FAQ list. This is not overly surprising from a theoretical standpoint, as schema is meant to help make content more machine-readable as the internet moves towards Web3, but it is helpful to hear directly from Google that this is an option open to webmasters.

MHC Announcements

#LearnSEO now available as a blog post!

In case you missed our #LearnSEO Twitter chat on Semantic SEO & E-A-T, you can now view the entire discussion on our website as a blog.

Make sure you follow us on Twitter @mhc_inc so you can participate and follow along with the next edition of #LearnSEO.


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Local SEO for Ukraine – LIVE by BrightLocal

On Wednesday, May 25, BrightLocal is hosting a special, one-off local SEO event in support of Ukraine.

Local SEO for Ukraine – LIVE will bring together some of the biggest names in local marketing for an info-packed day of talks, Q&As, and specialist panels.

Through this event and further fundraising efforts, BrightLocal is aiming to raise $100k to support grassroots efforts supplying Ukrainian citizens with medical aid, food, and sanitation.

Donations (which include access to 6 hours of live talks!) start at just $25. With every dollar raised, up to $50k, being matched by BrightLocal.

Level up your local SEO knowledge and support a great cause by securing your place today.

Google Announcements

Google deprecating (some) sitemap extensions

In an effort to reduce sitemap errors and complexity more broadly, Google will be removing some of the sitemap extension tags. Starting August 6th, 2022, the following tags will have no effect on indexing or search features: 

  • Image sitemap – caption, geo_location, title, license 
  • Video sitemap – category, player_loc[@allow_embed], player_loc[@autoplay], gallery_loc, price[@all], tvshow[@all]


Google expands its Google Career Certificates program 

The Google Career Certificates program is expanding to better help businesses and individuals access the skills they need. Specifically, Google is launching a new Digital Marketing and eCommerce Certificate. Here’s what you should know about this new certificate:

  • It teaches digital marketing and eCommerce skills (how to find customers, build an online store, analytics, etc.)
  • The instructors are all Google employees that are experts on the subject.
  • There will be hands-on experience with popular tools like Canva, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Shopify, Twitter, Constant Contact, Google Ads, and Google Analytics. 

To make things better, U.S businesses can get up to 500 scholarships for Google Career Certificates until December 2024. Although there are mixed sentiments in the industry about the value this certificate would bring, this is simply another optional training package and certificate for those looking to start to learn more about the realm of digital marketing or are interested in a refresher.  


Google adds troubleshooting for title links & valid page metadata help docs

Google added new help documentation for troubleshooting common issues with title links in search. Google specifically added a section for “No clear main headline” which refers to when a page has multiple large size prominent headlines where it’s not obvious which text is the main headline for the page. Google recommends ensuring that your main headline is distinctive enough.

Google also added documentation for using valid page metadata for processing the HTML markup of your pages. Google recommends using a variety of valid elements in the <head> and has provided a list of such.

SEO Tips

10 reasons why you should implement Google Analytics 4

As most are aware, Universal Google Analytics is going away in July 2023 and GA4 will replace it. The new system and the lack of support for the soon-to-be-retired version are causing some webmasters a few headaches. If you are unsure if you should switch to GA4 right now, check out Krista Seiden’s recent Twitter thread on 10 reasons why webmasters should implement and optimize GA4 for their site, including better data privacy, updates and better features being constantly implemented and free export to BigQuery for all users.

6 image optimization tips for eCommerce sites

Google’s Developer Advocate, Alan Kent, covers a series of image optimization tips for eCommerce sites. Alan suggests the following to help ensure fast and efficient loading:

  1. Eliminate image Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
  2. Correctly size your images
  3. Use the best image file format
  4. Compress images appropriately
  5. Cache images in the browser
  6. Correctly sequence your image downloads

You’ll want to watch the full 15-minute video to absorb all of the information and tips (there are plenty!), but it’s certainly a resource that we’ll be bookmarking and sharing with clients who are facing similar issues.


Tech SEO resources created for and made by women

If you’re not currently following Crystal Carter on Twitter, what are you even doing? Fire up the app and smash that “follow” button. Crystal has worked in SEO for over 15 years and currently is also the Head of SEO Communications at Wix. On her website, she has a long list of resources developed by women in SEO, for women in SEO that we are thrilled to share. If you’re looking for new things to learn or ways to level up your knowledge, then definitely start here with this collection of SEO, PPC, Dev, & Tech resources. Thank you so much, Crystal, as well as all of the women who put so much hard work, creativity, and effort into each and every resource on that list!

Other Interesting News

Advice on winning new SEO clients

Whether you are a new SEO business, looking for new ideas, or even an independent, we suggest reading this article from John Morabito on how you can acquire new SEO clients.

Personally, we liked the advice on utilizing LinkedIn for outreach. Recently we’ve started being more active on LinkedIn so be sure to give us a follow (shameless plug).

Give the full article by John a read on the Semrush blog! You might just find a way to get a new client or think about your approach differently!  

Local SEO - Google Announcements

New option added to Google Maps

Fake listings in Google Maps are something that has troubled the local community for quite some time. But, things seem to be turning around because Google has added an option in the Business Redressal Complaint form to flag businesses that don’t really exist. This new option should be used for fraudulent activity on Google Maps and not other edits.

SEO Tools

Looking to build smart internal links?

We know that internal links are an incredibly powerful signal to Google, and can potentially help with ranking. Sometimes building these internal links on your website can be a long task.

With this WordPress plugin called Link Whisper, you can essentially speed up the process and build smart internal links. Thanks for providing us with this super helpful tool Spencer!

Recommended Reading

Tales of Robots.txt: Uncrawled URLs in Google Search – Adam Gent
May 2, 2022 

This is an interesting case study about understanding why uncrawled URLs are appearing in Google Search. 

The issue in this study surfaced when Adam Gent and his team blocked URLs with a certain parameter using robots.txt directive. When Adam discovered that these URLs were being flagged as “Valid with warnings” in GSC and were then being shown in search, he was confused.



Off-Page SEO Lead – Catena Media (North America)

Catena Media is looking for an Off-Page SEO Lead to be responsible for managing a team and overseeing all their off-page strategies, and activities relating to links such as outreach ideation, prospecting, communication liaising, and negotiating and maintaining relationships with third parties across the Catena US site networks.

For more information or to apply, head over to their job listing.

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

  • 10 reasons why you should implement Google Analytics 4
  • What is Google’s stance on “plagiarizing” your own content?
  • Content gap analysis for local businesses
  • Technical SEO checklist for WordPress sites
  • Our tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO articles
You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.

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