We present the latest news and critical updates that made the headlines on Google and in the SEO world. Happy reading.

1. Google says new websites on old domains aren’t automatically mobile-first

If you buy and old domain name for your new website, it might be that Google uses the indexing settings of the old site with your new site until your new website has been checked. That’s what Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter:

We basically keep a list of the domains that we feel aren't ready yet. If you launch a new site on an existing domain, it doesn't automatically change the status of the domain — we'll still check to see if the domain overall is ready before removing it from that list.

—  John  (@JohnMu) August 18, 2020

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

 

2. Google uses multiple signals for canonicalization

Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that Google uses many different signals for canonicalization: redirects, internal and external links, sitemaps, hreflang, canonicals, cleaner URLs, and other signals.

If the same page is available at different URLs, Google tries to find the standard version of the page. That standard version is the canonicalized URL.

Redirects are a signal for canonicalization, but they're not the only one. Internal, external links, sitemaps, hreflang, canonicals, cleaner URLs, etc — all play a role. Make everything align, give it time to settle, and leave cookies & almond-milk for Googlebot.

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) July 31, 2020

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

 

3. Bing uses user engagement metrics for ranking websites in search But Bing looks at these signals in a holistic manner for ranking purposes

Not too long ago, Bing documented its search ranking factors at a very high level. One of those signals found interesting was the user engagement metrics; including click throughs, pogosticking, clicking on different results, changing the query and more.

User engagement metrics are useful signals

Fabrice Canal, principal program manager at Bing, Microsoft, said “We do what is the best for the customer. If we found that this is very useful data and we believe it is useful data for the ranker, why not use this data. What’s preventing this. People are searching, providing insights on what they are looking for. We do believe that this is useful data that is helping us to help them to retrieving the best content, satisfying customer or driving the best content on the internet.”

Christi Olson, Head of Evangelism at Microsoft, added “and the way to look at it Barry, like when Fabrice and I and Frederick and I talk about this, you can have an amazing page that ranks really well, but if users spend a second or two on the page and they click back, there’s something wrong with it. Is it a load issue? Is there a 500 issue? Is something happening? Because if it doesn’t matter the content’s amazing, if users aren’t staying on that site, maybe they’ve put a pop-up in. There’s something going on there, that is a signal that regardless of what content is on the page, the users are saying it does not add value.”

But is it always a good metric?

What if the searcher gets the answer they are looking for and leaves the site quickly. Then, after getting the answer they wanted, they go on with new searches.

Christi said it is not like Bing uses those metrics individually. Bing looks at them in a “holistic” manner. “That’s when you tie that in with [whether] they then adjusted the query to something slightly different or did they then click on another result. It goes back to being holistic, tying multiple things together, so if you spend very little time on page, you click back, you click on another result, click back — how they all come together is more about the holistic picture,” Christi explained.

It is a direct signal but …

Does Bing use this as a direct ranking signal that is fed directly into Bing’s ranker. Fabrice said yes, it is correct to say that. He did warn about two caveats: that the machine learning is changing on a daily basis and intent plays a role in this.  So, if you search for Facebook and the user engagement metrics for Facebook.com are not great, Bing still will serve Facebook.com because that is what users intend to see when they search for Facebook.

 

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

 

4. Google Says No Such Thing As Too Many Outbound Links

Google's John Mueller was asked if there is such a thing as having too many outbound links, even if those links are natural. John said "I'm not aware of anything like that." He did add that maybe there is a situation where you are lacking content because you have so many links, i.e. like directories.

But in general, there is no sort of penalty for linking out too much. In fact, outbound links are not a ranking factor. I mean, if you link to a lot of bad places, you can get a manual action from Google but having tons of outbound natural links won't be something Google penalizes you for.

 

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

 

5. Why you should take control of your SEO (and save money)

Many people hire SEO agencies to do their SEO work. While this can be a good solution for some companies, there are several advantages of optimizing your web pages for yourself.

1. It's your business

When you hire an external SEO company, you hire a company that does not know your customers as well as you do. They also do not know your business processes as well as you do. Optimizing your website means that many different things have to be done. If everything is done in-house, things can happen much faster.

2. It's more efficient

Communicating with an SEO agency can take a lot of time. In general, it takes some time until the agency understands what you really want. They also have other clients and you might not be their top-priority.

If you optimize your website for yourself, you can implement things much more quickly. Your in-house team knows what's important and your team knows your customers. It's much easier to get results then.

In addition, in-house search engine optimization is much more transparent. You have all of the data and you know exactly what's going on.

3. You get more for your money

As mentioned above, SEO agencies can be a good solution for many businesses. Unfortunately, SEO agencies are also quite expensive. Fortunately, you can automate many things that SEO agencies do for you with the right tools.

 

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

 

6. How to make your website faster

Google wants to show fast web pages in the search results. For that reason, your web pages should be as fast as possible:

  • Users will leave websites that are too slow, frozen, or not available.
  • Most consumers expect a web page to load in a few seconds.
  • Many consumers abandon websites that do not load within five seconds.
  • Each second that your web pages need longer to load can have a negative impact on the conversion rate of your website.

If your web pages do not load quickly enough, you will lose customers. In addition, Google won't rank your web pages as well as they could be ranked.

Best practices

Google recommends several things to ensure that users of mobile devices can view your web pages without problems:

  • A web page should load within 3 seconds.
  • Your web server should send the first byte within 1.3 seconds after a request.
  • The number of files that are needed to display a page (images, external JavaScript files, CSS files, etc.) should be below 50.
  • Mobile pages shouldn't be bigger than 500 KB.

Google found out that the majority of websites are much slower and bigger than that. If your website isn't that fast, you're not the only one. Of course, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't improve your pages.

How to make your web pages faster

The are several things that you can do to make your website faster. Some things are very easy, other things require the help of your web host.

First of all, you should choose a reliable web host with a fast internet connection and fast servers. You can do the following to make your web pages faster:

  • Optimize your images: Optimizing your images is an easy way to make your web pages fast. Most image editing tools a "save optimized version for web" option. Use that option to create smaller images. Further information about image optimization can be found here.
  • Reduce the number of plugins on your website: Check if you really need all plugins and widgets that are used on your web pages. Many just slow down your website without adding value to your site.
  • Optimize the code of your web pages: For example, only use tracking scripts if you really need that data.

There are many other things that you can do. Check the speed of your website here. Google's tool will show you the elements that you have to improve to make your web pages faster.

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

7. US Congress Investigation Suggests Google Uses Clicks & User Data In Search

Rand Fishkin went through a lot of the US Congress documents from the hearing on "Online Platforms and Market Power: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google". He saw this document that suggested Google users "user signals, like clicks" in Google Search.

He posted this on Twitter:

The line he is referencing says "Continued investment in user signals, like clicks. Our search users create the first level of network effect of search quality and we are investing in this heavily."

No where does this specifically say Google uses this as a "direct" ranking signal in search. Google has said it uses click data as an indirect signal. Meaning, Google will look to see if its algorithms are doing well and doing what they are suppose to be doing by looking at user signals, like clicks. But no where does this say that Google is feeding this directly back into ranking algorithms. In fact, Google has said numerous times it does not use this directly in rankings, but does use it indirectly. Apple does use it and so does Bing, but not Google - if you trust what Google has been saying for two decades.

 

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

 

8. Google Says Negative Review Sites Don't Hurt Your Sites Search Ranking

Google's John Mueller was asked in a recent Google webmaster hangout video if negative search results about a brand can hurt that brand's web site from ranking in Google search. John said no - it shouldn't. John also talked a bit about if there is a need or not to do reputation management in general.

 

At the 9:01 minute mark into the video, the question asked was:

when I Google my brand name, on the first or second page of the results, there's a site review website that pops up. And it has a rich result snippet with the rating and stuff, and it's just a lot of user submitted reviews about the website. And I'm not sure what impact this actually has, whether directly, or I suppose there would be an indirect impact if a user sees the reviews, and they are looking for reviews about the website. So I know there is that aspect of it, but I was wondering if there is any other aspect, or any other impact on my site based on links that are maybe shared in the reviews. Or I know BERT can sometimes be used to understand context of a page. So if there's a negative sentiment generally on the page, could that have any sort of impact on the performance or ranking of my website?

John Mueller of Google responded "I don't think you'd see any effect on the ranking of your website from that."

She then asked again at the end of the conversation "so basically, don't need to worry about that too much?" John responded "yeah, I wouldn't worry about it"

Here John is saying if you have some bad reviews about your brand online, it should not have any effect on the ranking in Google search.

Then John went on to discuss the need, or lack there of, for doing online reputation management. He said:

"I think, at most, what might happen is that people stumble across that in the search results for your company name. They're like, oh, what does this mean, and then they get lost in that website. But it's not that the existence of such a page would negatively affect your site"

Even if there are some negative reviews on there. I mean, on the internet there are all kinds of things. So that's something where I wouldn't directly assume that would have a negative impact. Sometimes, it makes sense to try to create other kinds of content that can go up, especially for things like a query for your company name. But it's always a question of where you invest your time. If people are already searching for your company name, they know where to go anyway. So I don't know. It's not always straightforward to say, oh, you should create more pages with your company name on it just so that you can cover the whole search results with your favorable content.

 

Previous news:

SEO and Google News Update - July 2020

SEO and Google News Update - June 2020

SEO and Google News Update - May 2020

SEO and Google News Update - April 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - March 2020

Top Internet and Google News Update - February 2020

Google News Update - January 2020

 

9. Which Website Structure is Best for Your Website

A solid website structure helps search engines to understand your website content. The easier it is to find out what your web pages are about, the more likely it is that your web pages will get high rankings.

A well organized website helps your users to find what they are looking for, and it helps search engines to understand the purpose of your website.

Flat websites vs. deep websites

The two most common website navigation structures are flat sites and deep sites. Flat websites are websites that try to make each web page available with very few clicks. Deep websites are websites that use long paths to access specific pages on the site.

A deep website structure enables you to create very exact and targeted topical pages on your website. The disadvantage of a deep website structure is that website visitors and search engine crawlers take longer to find the content they are looking for.

A flat website structure makes it easier for website visitors and search engines to find all pages of your website. The fewer pages your visitors have to go through before finding the content they are looking for, the better.

The best structure for your website

Help your website visitors and search engine bots to get maximum results. All pages on your website should be accessible with a maximum of four clicks from the home page of your site.

In addition, the navigational elements on your website reflect the importance of the linked pages. It usually makes sense to create your website structure like this:

  • Create an overview of all pages of your website.
  • Break the content into core categories and create a top level navigation that hold the different content types of your site.
  • Create logical sub categories.
  • If necessary, create another sub category level.
  • Link the targeted pages from the sub category pages.

If you need a public sitemap of your website so that your visitors can find all pages then your regular website navigation is not good enough.

Although a sitemap can help search engines and website visitors to find pages on your site, the regular navigation of your website should be so good that a sitemap is not needed.



Monday, August 31, 2020





« Back

Powered by WHMCompleteSolution