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SNYCU Ep. 236 - May 26, 2022 - Light Version

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In this episode, we discuss our early investigation of the latest core update chatter, our new blog post on Google Analytics 4, plenty of valuable SEO tips, and the latest news from SEO world!

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

  • 6 tips for JavaScript optimization
  • Use your own first-party data to find great content marketing topics!
  • How do you view “exit pages” in Google Analytics 4?
  • How to handle out-of-stock products
  • Should you still optimize for “near me” phrases?
  • See how your Core Web Vitals stack up against competitors!
  • Our tl;dr summary of some awesome recent SEO articles
You’ll also have access to all past episodes, including this one.

News about Google’s Algorithms

Google announced another core update is happening now!

It’s been 6 months since the release of the last core update but, it’s finally here. We will be monitoring the effects of this update closely and will report back in next week’s newsletter with our thoughts. 


Something significant and unannounced happened with Google’s algorithms around May 16-18, 2022

The MHC team has been monitoring possible Google updates for over a decade now. In the last few years, we have seen an incredible amount of turbulence. We no longer thoroughly analyze every one of these changes. However, we believe that whatever happened at this time was significant. 

We had so much to share on what the search community is seeing that we wrote an entire article on the changes that we and the SEO community are seeing. You can read the article here

To summarize, here is what we have noticed:

  • There is much more chatter than usual about this Google change. You can read the many comments on Barry Schwartz’s Search Engine Roundtable article.
  • Many of the sites affected were created solely to write articles containing affiliate links. However, there are plenty of examples of sites seeing changes that are not affiliate sites. We do not think this change was specifically geared towards affiliate sites.
  • Many of the pages affected contained product reviews. Google has not said this change was connected to the product reviews update, but if you were affected, we would recommend reviewing their documentation on writing good product reviews.
  • Many, but not all of the sites affected did have backlinks that were clearly made just for SEO purposes. We do not feel this is an update penalizing for link manipulation at this point though.
  • Lily Ray pointed out that some giant authorities like the CDC and FDA saw huge increases in visibility, possibly resulting from being shown in the new “Things to Know” SERP feature. Others have noted seeing that People Also Ask boxes are now outranking them. Your losses may be due to this. However, in the sites we manually reviewed, this was not the case.
  • It is possible that Google has changed the algorithm to more strongly prefer authority and experience for YMYL queries as they mention in their guide to how they fight information that they may do when the world is in a “time of crisis.”

If you were affected, we would encourage you to read our full article . If you have seen traffic drops, you may be interested in MHC’s new traffic drop assessment report that tells you specifically what content and keywords were affected and gives our opinion on whether recovery is possible. The report includes strategic advice from the MHC team of site auditors on where to focus your recovery efforts. If you are interested in having us do a traffic drop assessment for your site, you can contact us here.

Update: Once we had finished our analysis, Google officially announced that they are rolling out a broad core update on May 25th.

MHC Announcements

Rest in eternal paradise Bill

As many of you are aware, the SEO community lost a great mind last week. Bill selflessly gave so much to the SEO community and strongly stood by his words “sharing is caring”. The stories of how much he has helped others in the community are a true testament to the person he was and inspiring to read. 

Rest in eternal paradise Bill. You will be greatly missed. 


Have questions about Google Analytics 4?

We certainly did! Especially since we are getting closer and closer to moving toward the interface. That’s why we did a #LearnSEO with Dana DiTomaso. In case you missed the Twitter chat, we recapped the discussion in one convenient blog post.

Missed our previous chat on Semantic SEO and E-A-T? We have that as a blog as well. Be sure to join us next week on Twitter for #LearnSEO! 

SEO Tips

Do you have video content on your pages? See what John has to say

Lily Ray recently asked about how Google may view a page that contains a series of embedded videos. 

Google’s video best practices state, “To give your videos maximum exposure, create a dedicated page for each video, where the video is the most prominent subject on the page.”


Want to know if navigation changes will impact your rankings?

Changing aspects of your site can highly improve your SEO but also has the potential of affecting your rankings, if done incorrectly or if the new features provide less value. If you’d like to run a test before applying any changes, check out this quick and handy tip by Mark Williams-Cook on Twitter! 

Mark suggests using Sitebulb’s tool that allows webmasters to get a URL rank metric that gives insights into the page’s overall quality. 

Step-by-step instructions on Daniel’s technical SEO checklist

If you’ve been following our newsletter, you would have seen that in episode 234 we mentioned the awesome technical SEO checklist for WordPress by Daniel K Cheung. From our standpoint, we found ourselves nodding our heads in agreement with everything included in his checklist. 

Daniel has now simplified it even further by including instructions and explanations for his checklist, breaking things down step-by-step. 


Where is my traffic coming from? What site referred me? Here’s how you can do it all in Google Analytics 4 

Inspired by Barry’s tweet, Krista Seiden outlines how webmasters can see referring sites in GA4. Below you can learn about the two types of Acquisition reports and how to adjust dimensions to build familiar reports.


Do slow server responses impact rich results?

According to this user on Twitter, they had a bug and a slow server response time which coincidentally was around the same time they lost 90% of their recipe rich results (ouch!). After fixing the bug, the rich results still didn’t come back.

As we suspected, John Mueller confirmed that rich results would not go missing because of a slow response from the server side. The two are essentially unrelated and it just happens to be a coincidence.

On the flip side, another user piggybacked off this question to ask if slower response times from the server would cause indexing issues. John added that if URLs are taking a lot more than 10 seconds to access, indexing is the least of your worries.


Hung up on toxic links?

Are you worried about toxic links? Are you using tools that indicate you have toxic links? As Barry covered in his article, John recently reiterated in a Reddit thread that you do not need to be so concerned with toxic links. 

Generally, the notion of toxic links stems from tools that identify low-quality spammy links and suggests having them removed. As we have said a number of times at MHC, these are the types of links that Google is typically pretty good at ignoring (unless there truly is nothing of quality left on your site after ignoring the low-quality spammy links).

Marie wrote a fantastic article a few months ago that also talks about toxic links and why they can be ignored. If you find yourself in a position where you are questioning if you should worry about them, we recommend giving our article a read. 

Local SEO Tips

Want a call from a business on Yelp? Now you can request one!

Search Engine Land covered Yelp’s new feature that should hopefully generate more qualified leads for local businesses.

What they’ve done is introduce a “request a call” button onto their business pages which is equivalent to Google’s business profiles (GBP). The business will then receive a notification that someone has requested a call and the business can then respond with the following:

  • Confirm the call time so that the user knows when they can expect the call 
  • Request to reschedule to a different time than what was selected by the user.
  • Businesses can also request to receive more information from the user before the call so that they can be better ready to assist with their needs.

This is a pretty sweet UX feature that should fix issues with missed phone calls because ultimately, missed phone calls are lost leads.

SEO Tools

110 free SEO tools!

Using the right tool for the right job can be incredibly helpful to SEOs – as long as you aren’t solely relying on them and understand their extent that is! 

In this article by Jon Clark on SEJ, we get a list of 110 free tools that you can add to your own tool belt. Personally, we liked to see some of our favourite tools such as Redirect Path, Webpage Test, Ryte Structured Data Helper, Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator, and many more. What’s your favourite tool?

Recommended Reading

Next Search Intent – Ola King 
May 20, 2022

This week, Ola King was featured on Moz’s Whiteboard Friday discussing the “next search intent”. This is the next step a user would make after their initial query is met. In order to maximize your SEO efforts we not only need to meet the searchers’ intent, ideally, we would like users to stay on your website and continue their journey by moving them further down the conversion funnel. Check out the full article for more!


Expertise in Link Building – Dixon Jones 
May 11, 2022

Dixon Jones from Majestic suggests that “expertise” might be the easiest component of E-A-T to build and demonstrate on and off-site in the form of link building. Read the full article on Majestic to find out why!


Lucid visibility: How a publisher broke into Google Discover in less than 30 days from launch – Glenn Gabe
May 18, 2022

Glenn Gabe’s new article for Search Engine Land details a recent Google Discover experiment where a website, no more than 4 weeks from its launch, managed to get itself a Discover spot and how that visibility behaved in the following weeks. Read the full article on Search Engine Land to find out how!

Recommended Reading (Local SEO)

5 Things to Check When Your Google Business Profile Rankings Drop – Colan Nielsen
May 16, 2022

This article includes a super easy and quick checklist from Sterling Sky for those stressful times when your Google Business Profile rankings drop. Read the article to get this checklist for yourself!


Hiring your first employee?

Check out this insightful thread on what Kim Herrington advises to do even before posting the job! 

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

  • 6 tips for JavaScript optimization
  • Use your own first-party data to find great content marketing topics!
  • How do you view “exit pages” in Google Analytics 4?
  • How to handle out-of-stock products
  • Should you still optimize for “near me” phrases?
  • See how your Core Web Vitals stack up against competitors!
  • 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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