SEO NEWS AND UPDATES : THE ULTIMATE LIST

seo news and updates
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SEO News and Updates: SEO is an every changing and evolving industry. Just until a few years ago, link building was easy! Now look at us? Only natural link building is accepted and as google is getting smarter and so many engagement metrics and alot more factors that we aren’t even aware of!

Added to that now there’s so much competition. So many blogs are being released every single day and there are thousands and thousands of SEO’s breaking their sweat to compete for the organic traffic!

So, to stay ahead of the competition, get the top SEO news, updates and strategies every single week/month!

September – October 2020 SEO NEWS:

ON SITE SEO

  • NOW YOU CANNOT EMBED FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM POST ON YOUR WEBSITE UNLESS :
    • FB and insta is dropping support for embedding these content on web pages unless they have
      • FB developers account
      • Registered FB app
      • OEmbed Product added to app
      • Access Token
      • Fb must be in live mode
  • GOOGLE CAN SUBSCRIBE TO PUSH NOTIFICATIONS to identify abusive use and block them
  • Loginizer WordPress vulnerability affects 1 Million plus sites
  • WEB LAYOUT : A RANKING FACTOR:
    • Changing the web layout can affect ranking! Even if the content and URL structure remain the same. 
  • GOOGLE’S INDEXING PROBLEM :
    • Random URLs gets vanished from search results : Need to submit them. Back in search console
    • TWO ISSUES:
      • Mobile first indexing : If the page is not optimized, it’s not indexed at all
      • Canocalization :
  • FAQ RICH RESULTS :
    • FAQ Rich results have an average CTR of 87%
  • MERA DESCRIPTION REWRITE:
    • Google ignores meta descriptions over 70% of the time for pages on the first page
  • GOOGLE WEB STORIES ARE NOW ON DISCOVER SECTION:
    • Google Web Stories are coming to the Discover section of the Google app on iOS and Android
  • Bing site explorer has new added tools for SEO : Better than google search console
    • Website structure 
    • Errors with deep insights
    • Every little technical SEO details and metrics is available here
  • Bing’s enhanced Robot. Txt testing tool

TOOLS:

  • Google Analytics to unify website and app measurements
  • Google Analytics gets 4 new powerful features
    • Smarter insights into trends
      • Now we can identify where exactly the conversions came from : organic, paid, YouTube, etc
    • Deeper integration with ads
    • Customer centric data measurement
      • Now they can understand the customer life sycle in depth and get insights into what where and where CTAs happen
    • More granular data control
  • Ahref released a webmaster tool and it’s free : with free on site health score and backlink data. 

LOCAL SEO:

PPC:

  • GOOGLE MAKES SHOPPING ADS FREE WORLDWIDE:
    • You heard it right! 
  • Google Ads announced Max performance campaigns
    • These campaigns run across all google properties (display, , discover , YouTube) 

August 2020 SEO NEWS:

ON SITE SEO

  • NEW ON SITE FACTOR?
    • Search Quality Raters
      • Basically when Google wants to make improvement to SERP ( Changes in rankings), : Googl Quality Raters are given two versions of the page and are asked to evaluate the page based on EAT and reputation of source
      • But googl claims that it’s not a ranking factor
      • This is just a data point/metric that Google uses to measure the quality of its search results
  • Core Web vitals : 
    • Less than 15% of sites meet the basic bench mark for Google’s core Web vitals
      • LCP : Largest contentful Paint : 2.5 seconds
      • First input delay : Measures the speed at which users are able to interact with a page after landing on it. This should occur within 100 milliseconds.
      • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. Pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
    • Web vitals exists purely to make user experience better
    • Most sites (99%) pass FIR test bit CLS and LCP more than half of the websites don’t pass the test! 
    • Anyways Core Web Vitals will not be a ranking factor until 2021
    • Also most of core Web vitals focuses on load speed which is already a ranking factor!
  • SITE MIGRATIONS:
    • Here are a few important points to remember:
    • Remember to 301 redirect all images in the site
    • Traffic drop:
      • There won’t necessarily be any traffic drop of you are just “shifting” everything without changing anything
      • Basically making changes while shifting is a problem
    • Domain history:
      • If the new domain had any past bad spam history : that might be a problem
    • Change of address tool:
      • Th change or address tool is just another way to let Google know of a move.
    • Revert back if major loss?
      • Check if there’s technical issues first. Google acknowledging the redirects and Google crawl errors.
      • Reverting back should be your last option.
    • Unblocking URLs:
      • No need to unblock the blocked URLs

WEBSITE:

WORDPRESS:

WordPress 5.5 Problem:

  • Now jQuery migrate is disabled which is causing alot of sites/plugins and themes to crash!
  • Sometimes we need to wait for theme upgrade or install : WP jQuery Migrate Help
  • Themes have gone down from 2500 to 250 with only 5 themes with decent downloads
  • You can check the error in chrome developers console! OR using other developers tools
  • Note : Installing jQuery migrate doesn’t fix the problem : It just makes your site work again : We need to make sure we fix the problem

WordPress 5.5 Pagination Issues:

  • Pagination is when a single page has loads of elements that we have number tabs 1,2,3.. or other navigational methods to access these excess content
  • Now wordpress breaks in pagination and alot of websites have crashed/stopped working.
  • Solution
    • disable the redirect_canonical() function for these requests, that is attached to the template_redirect action by default.”
  • PLUGINS:
  • Facebook messenger plugin for websites update :
    • Now anonymous users can use this plugin without having to login!
  • Reporting bugs and security issues:
    • Google now has a better way of attending to security issues and bugs that requires immediate attention
    • Go to search consoles help section → “Report a security issue” [ CTA ]
    • Now there are already existing Google Support tools and mechanisms. Those needs to be your first options
    • If those methods fail, come here.

TOOLS:

  • SEARCH CONSOLE
    • Google search Console insights(beta) now has in-depth information on content to better understand the numbers! 

OFF SITE SEO:

  • LINK DISVOW:
    • John Mueller advises that we do not need to disvow links unless there’s a manual action!

July 2020 SEO NEWS:

ON SITE SEO:

WEBSITE

  • HEAT MAPS AND SEO: How heatmals can help SEO
    • Click maps:
    • Heat maps
    • Hover maps 
      • Check the mouse movement behavior
      • Can let us know about the layout
    • Things we can optimize for:
      • User intent: know parts of pages that gets most play
      • Which sections do they care about?
      • At what point do they drop off?
      • Better optimize content on landing pages using this data
      • Optimize Page Layout: Basically know where their eyes go and place CTAs and images there for most effective results
  • GOOGLE MAPS PROFILE:
    • Everyone doesn’t need to have a public profile
    • You can restrict accounts and only allow certain accounts to view content after approval
    • Settings can be adjusted in profile page
  • LARGEST CONTENTFUL PAINT (LCP)
    • Is a measure of how long it takes for the content of this page to be downloaded and be ready to be interacted with
    • Basically images, elements, text ,heading, div and form elements
    • SVG and video elements don’t count 
    • Added note : 
    • Intrinsict size : The original size of the image
    • Visible size : the visible size ( Usually we reduce size using HTML or CSS)
    • The shortest of these two would be taken for calculating LCP
    • BUT make sue intrinsic size = Visible size : Faster loading. High CCP
    • how to optimize for it?
    • Any visible element on port would be used to calculate this.
  • 3 factors:
    • Slow servers
    • Issue 1: Shared/ VPS hosting : scraper traffic
      • Use WordFence plugin to find such onslaughts
    • Issue 2: Amount of memory alloted to PHP
    • Issue 3: Outdated PHP/CMS software
    • Fixes:
      • Catching
      • Optimize image
      • Preload assets
      • Render block Java Script and CSS
    • Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS
    • Slow resource load times
  • 3 Field tools:
    • Page Speed Insights
    • Search Console
    • Chrome User Experience report : This might need a Google Cloud Project
  • 3 Lab Tools:
    • Chrome DevTools
    • Lighthouse
    • WebPageTest.org
  • GOOGLE WEB STORIES:
    • Content guidelines
    • can have 4-30 pages
    • Each page only has around 10 word
    • Videos can’t be more than 15 seconds
    • Should be portrait and not landscape..
    • All videos should have captions
    • Font size minimum 24
    • Can’t have more than 300 characters
    • Should be portrait
    • All videos must have captions
    • With a minimum font size of 24
    • Can’t have more than 300 characters
    • Traffic
    • Can be a new source of traffic : Long form content is made as attachable link
    • Use : Webstories wordpress plugin
      • Long form content can be linked
    • Use wordpress Plugin :Web stories wordpress plugin
  • GOOGLE ANALYTICS UPDATE:
    • Bot traffic would automatically be filtered out of app+web analytics
    • There used to beanual bot filtering for normal web properties .
    • Web+ App properties can be used to track the user’s journey through two platforms
    • Can get many insightful data
  • IMAGE TRAFFIC UPDATE:
    • Google is adding more context to images in search results
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    • More context = more clicks
    • This is like adding meta description to images!
    • But the added facts and context comes from different sources!
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    • So we have little control over what google displays here
    • But it takes the facts from google knowledge graph : which is being fletched from different sites across google.
    • Claim your business’s knowledge panel!
  • GOOGLE TESTS THUMBNAIL IMAGES :
    • Both in SERPs
    • And google suggest
    • Image needs to be declared in structured data
    • Or should be declared in open graph protocol meta tag 
    • Should have a aspect ratio of around 16: 
  • AUTOMATIC ALT TEXT WITH PYTHON:
  • WORDPRESS BANS THIS:
    • wordpress bans blog links to commercial websites (sites that sells plugins, themes and other services) from official documentation
    • If your resource answers all questions why link to external website is the argument here.
  • KEYWORD RESEARCH FOR PRODUCT PAGES:
    • Certain keywords shows more intent ⇒ more chances of having product pages IN SERPs
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  • INTERNAL LINKING AUDIT:
    • Helps us understand how pages are related to each other. (content context)
    • Simple tips:
      • Three click rule debunk: All webpages should be atleast three clicks away from homepage. Now the basic idea is : Don’t bury your pages deep!
      • Page depth : Shows importance in google : The deeper we bury it, the less important it is. 
      • Avoid orphan pages : Pages that has no internal links pointing to them.
      • Anchors: Have meaningful internal link anchors. It’s still used by Google!
      • Remove internal links to 404 and other broken pages.
      • First link priority rule : If two links point to page B, the first link is the priority : So make them anchor text rich
      • Image links warning : Don’t have image links without anchor ttex
    • Website structures:
      • Flat:
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      • This is cool for smaller webites
      • Pyramid
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      • Similar content should be interlinked to each other.
      • Thematically structered :
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      • A huge pillar page supported by subordinate pages that support the pillar page
  • TF-IDF : SEO Factor?
    • TF : Term frequency
    • IDF : Inverse Document Frequency
  • RICH RESULTS TEST TOOL
    • Use this to test your rich results!
  • SEARCH CONSOLE GEMS:
    • URL inspection : It’s basically like submitting your new blog for crawling and indexing
    • Coverage area: Shows errors in pages 
      • No indexed pages
      • Redirects
      • Crawled but not indexed
      • Crawl anomalies ( need to dig deeper)
      • Look out for number of pages : Sometimes in console it might show as double the number  : Probably caused cause of a search feature installed
      • Soft 404 : Empty page published. Can also be shown as 200 page error.
    • Deeper Keyword Analysis:
      • Performance → +New → Query containing
      • Enter keyword to see what pages are ranking for this
      • Dive deeper into this section → Find out opportunity areas.
    • URL removal tool:
      • Removes URL from google
      • But be very careful while doing this cause this might really mess up your site if you don’t know what you are doing.
  • CHROME 84 HANDLES 3RD PARTY COOKIES DIFFERENTLY:
    • Basically it blocks out insecure (HTTP) third party cookies.
    • So this is increased security for users!
  • Generate structured data automatically with computer vision.
  •  GOOGLE DISCOVER UPDATE:
    • Google discover shows large images for Non- AMP pages

OFF SITE SEO

TECHNICAL SEO:

  • CRAWL TRAP:
    • CRAWL trap is when the Google crawler gets struck in a particular part of your website and finishes up the crawl budget for your website → results in valublr pages not getting indexed!
    • Usually happens when crawler picks up alot of URLs that doesn’t result in unique ccontent.
  • QUICK INSIGHT : HOW GOOGLE CRAWLER WORKS:
    • Google, when it crawls the websit, it does it through different IP addresses : multiple ways and multiple times.
    • COMMON CASES OF CRAWL TRAP:
      • Usually websites track user data using cookies
      • But in some cases they use session IDs
      • So when google crawls your site through different ips, it creates different sessions : different URLs with same content
      • Well, we can block the session ID in URL paramaters!
    • But sometimes session IDs are embedded in the path of URL
    • FACETED NAVIGATION:
      • TIPS
      • Convert URL parameters to fragments cause crawlers ignore URL fragments
      • Convert relative link to absolute link
  • PREVENTION:
    • Hardest way is to :
      • Run On demand SEO crawl until it hits the trap
    • Look for 414 errors in server logs : URLs become longer than the engine can take.
      • Or look for characters more than 2000 in server logs 
  • TIPS TO OPTIMIZE FOR CRAWL BUDGET:
    • Frequency in which the crawlers go over our page
    • Btw it’s not a ranking factor
    • Fact : SEO is not about changing one big factor and making it work : It’s about making alot of small positive incremental optimizations.
    • Allow crawling of important pages in robot.txt:
      • Use a tool if possible
      • Add your robot.txt to a tool which would allow/block crawling of any page.
      • Or you can also do it manually.
    • Watch out for redirect chains:
      • Ideally we need to aim to avoid all 301 or 302 redirects
      • Bunch of these redirects chained together would stop the crawler from crawling
    • Use HTML alot
      • Google might have got a bit better at crawling java script files
      • But most SE aren’t. So stick to html 
    • HTTP errors eat your crawl budget:
      • 4XX and 5XX errors pretty much eats your crawl budget
      • So you need to 
    • Beware of your URL parameters:
      • URLs are counted as separate pages
      • So let google know about your paramters
      • Add them to your search console account.
    • Update SITEMAP:
      • update XML sitemaps often
      • Make sure it corresponds to newest version of robot.txt
    • HREFLANG:
      • Use this to indicate the localized pages in your website
  • GOOGLE’s SWIRL:
    • An interactive 3D version of your product with which customers can interact
    • Can create these in Google’s web designer tools and can run these as Ads
    • To create that interactivity : Google has another tool called “Poly”
    • These features use AR
  • GOOGLES BEAUTY TRY ON:
    • I guess people get to try on different colors of the product in a particular video format..
  • WORDPRESS 5.5 XML SITEMAP FEATURES:
    • Here’s the specifics :
      • Sitamap index can hold a maximum of 5000 sitemaps with each sitemap holding 2000 entries
      • So this adds up to 100 million pages!
      • Default address for WordPress sitemap : /wp-sitemaps.xml
      • Simple XML PHP extension would be necessary : The sitemap won’t function without it
      • So popular hosting companies like GoDaddy and IONOS has responded by saying they have integrated this simple XML PHP in their servers.
      • Robot.txt and this XML sitemaps work hand in hand : So, there’s no need to manually add anything.
      • Customizable : They have given filter options to filter out and exclude specific posts!
      • Problems :
      • This wordpress sitemap doesn’t include Images, Videos n Google news.
      • And image sitemaps are extremely important!
      • So this is a deal killer
  • PPC fact: Every click is more expensive than the last
  • Enhanced CPC (eCPC) : Aims to increase conversions by bidding more when conversions is most likely
    • Use eCPC only when impression share is hard to come.
    • Do not use eCPC when you have 90% of impression share : You’ll lose money
  • Automated bidding recommended?
    • Yes, they can get you more impression shares
    • Use smart biddings but have a cost cap
  • Fact alert : Incrementality is the proportion of outcomes that would happen without intervention ( Branded keyword bidding)
  • Fact : Search Engines prefer ad history → Don’t change the ads unnecessarily
  • SEM branded keywords targetting:
    • Campaign structure:
      • Tiered in Order of volume and budget priority
    • Isolate core and navigations terms
      • Core : Seinfield show,Jerry seinfielf show etcc ( Seed keywords)
      • Navigational: “www Seinfeld com” or “Seinfeld com”.
    • Brand/sub branded terms
      • When people search for your brand specifically using brand names
      • “Kramer’s lobster shirt”, “Jiffy Park t-shirt”, or “Urban Sombrero”*.
    • Branded research:
      • “Seinfeld reviews” or “Seinfeld vs. Friends”.
      • They are mid to bottom funnel and are ready to buy
    • Why need PPC for my branded terms?
      • 80-85% of conversions wouldn’t happen if you don’t have ads for branded terms
      • 44% branded clicks vanished without ads running!

May- June 2020:

ON SITE SEO:

  • Google launches new podcast promising undocumented information :
    • Disclose the unsaid words
    • “Search Off the record”
  • Google Core Web vitals
  • Set of metrics measure the quality of user experience
  • Comes in Google search console
  • These three metrics needs to be measured:
    • Largest contentful Paint : point in page load timeline when the main content is loaded (2.5 seconds at best)
    • First Input Display: quantifies the Experience user feels when they interact with the page
      • Ideal is < 100 seconds
    • Cumulative layout shift: quantifies the unexpected layout shifts 
      • Ideal is : < 0.1
  • Page fixes:
    • Page size < 500 KB
    • Limit number of pages < 50
    • Consider using AMP
  • Meta description rewrite:
    • Google automatically rewrites meta description in these cases
      • If your metaD doesn’t make sense or just a collection of keywords.
    • Fact :Modifiers in search query ( UK) might cause Google to rewrite meta description and title tags! 
      • This happens if the modifiers doesn’t exist in the content
    • Basically Google us trying to make the meta description relatable to the query
  • The number of users that use a single device to complete their journey (conversion) went down from 32% to 14 %
  • Author pages:
    • Author pages can be helpful for certain kinds of content!
    • Let’s be clear : Author pages is not a ranking factor!
    • But do it only to increase trust.
  • Tie breaker:
    • Page speed is the tie breaker I everything else remains constant!
  • CLS is becoming a ranking factor:
    • User experience basically!
    • Conditions:
    • Images needs to be well defined ( their dimantions)
    • Ads embeds and iframes without dimensions
      • You need to style the element where the ads are going to show.
    • Dynamically embedded content:
      • YouTube/tweet embeds.
    • Web fonts causing FIOT/FOUT
    • Actions waiting for network response
  • Factors :
    • Impact fraction : How much area an unstable element occupies
      • Basically the area it occupies while it’s rendering and when it shifts (unstable)
    • Distance fraction : The amount of space occupied while moving
    • CLS : IF* DF
  • GOOGLE ASSISTANT :
    • May start calling business to check in stock inventories.
  • Why fight for position 1 when you can snipe position 0
    • Obvious advantages :
      • More traffic
      • More visibility
      • More credibility
    • Now let’s look at 7 most snippable content you can create!
    • 1)Answers to 5Ws : Who, What, When, Where, Why
      • If the question is too simple : It’ll give answers from its database
      • If the question is too complicated : Then there won’t be any featured snippets
      • If the question is simple :, Then yes.
      • So Who, what, when, where , why questions about simpler facts in your niche
      • Remember: The average length of snippable keyword phrase is six
      • Look for people also ask for section to get ideas
      • Downside : Less click through cause the answers in featured snippets are satisfying
    • 2) How tos/ Instruction
      • Huge percentage of featured snippets are how to content!
      • Advantage : More clicks and more on page time.
      • Less restrictive formatting : Can use text, lists, images, videos
      • Use general formatting with proper header tags.
    • Definitions ( For complex terms)
      • The search queries are often just the “term”
      • Example if someone types CTR : they often are looking for a definition : it’s an implied question
      • Just one tip : Go for complex terms because simpler terms are often featured by dictionary answers.
      • Also don’t stop with just the definitions – Go a step further and fill up your page with much much more informative content!
    • Comparisons :
      • Mark your page with table tag
      • List tables and text that compare two or more items 
      • That is all : Find things to compare in your niche and make proper tables!
    • Cost breakdowns:
      • Make content comparing the prices and features of your products with your competitors!
      • Don’t create price lists as they fluctuate
      • Consider creating estimate tables that will help with the budget estimation
    • Best list:
      • Best is the most used keyword in Google
      • Everyone wants to know the best
      • So create the best in class product list in your niche and tell them why one is better than the other
    • Frequently Asked As 
      • This isn’t about the FAQ page
      • This is about creating content that is frequently asked by your customers
      • Also : If you update regularly , create a time stamp for the answers!
  • Basic optimization tactics:
    • Start off with simple answer
    • Follow up with detailed info, images and videos
    • End with background info like case studies and examples
  • 6 wordpress plugins for fast loading:
    • WP fastest cache
    • W3 Total cache
    • W3 Super Minify 
      • minify Java script and CSS files
    • WP smush 
      •  compress images
    • BJ lazy load 
      •  won’t load the whole page all at once. It lazy loads so the user doesn’t have to wait till everything is loaded!
    • WP Optimize :
      • Sometimes there’s alot of unwanted cluttered stuff stored in database like posts revision history to unapproved comments
      • This plugin helps clear them all.
  • Three elements for blogs in beginning :
    • Click to tweet fact box
    • Handpicked related content box
    • Social media icons
  • Website security issues:
    • Cloaking :
      • The content you see and the content search engines see would be different
    • Social engineering
      • Compromises your site cause it will start stealing information from your customers
      • “Deceptive site ahead” error would come.
    • Search console would detect all these malwares 
      • And it would have detailed instructions on how to deal with them
      • So follow it all and ask for a review once it’s all done!
  • Real time personalization campaign’s:
    • Use AI powered email personalization that sends offers based on people’s browsing history!
    • Some websites know your gender and show pages created especially for your gender
    • Amazon is an perfect example of e-commerce personalization!
  • Google might start capturing your face emotions to content soon
    • This is not confirmed ofcourse. This might be a feature to.optimize for in the future!
  • Enabling infinite scrolling can cause content to not be indexed!
    • Because the bot doesn’t load the content until the user scrolls to the bottom
    • This has led to alot of content not being indexed atall!
    • “If you are implementing an infinite scroll experience, make sure to support paginated loading.
    • Paginated loading is important for users because it allows them to share and reengage with your content.
    • It also allows Google to show a link to a specific point in the content, rather than the top of an infinite scrolling page.”
    • Use Google’s rich results test 
  • Google now tells you : ” There’s no proper results for your query”
    • This happens when theres no “good content” that matches the query/ intent
    • You can try changing the search keywords for better results!
  • Google has journalism emergency relief fund! Where small and local news publishers can apply for funds!
    • This is done to help the news industry!
  • New Google Update:
    • Thin content landing pages with alot of links are losing rankings
      • ( Just tells your ON page SEO is also important)
    • Websites with high rate of link acquisition is doing good
    • Niches like : health, rehab, science,news, alcohol, history, finance has a increase in organic visibility!
  • Navigation best practices:
    • Uses:
    • Users : 
      • Smooth Experience and understanding of your website
      • Ability of find what they want
    • Search engines:
      • Understand context 
      • Find and index your page
    • Best practices :
      • Cross link between similar categories of your blog 
        • This helps to prevent “content silos”
      • Content pages usually send traffic to product pages : make sure product pages also link back to the blog pages
        • Do this in the form of FAQs Nd just blog links
      • Search engines have difficulty locating internal links with JavaScript
        • Most SEO experts avoid java scripts altogether
      • Adding tracking parameters in the URL can lead to duplicate content error
        • Instead use JavaScript tracking.
  • BERT update is out:
    • It understands natural and conversational language and will impact
    • It just understands better and can we really optimize for it? Probably not
    • But if you have over optimized then, your ranking might go down because now Google understand you. Sees you for who you are.
  • Google says it’s okay to use extra title and meta description tags
    • It would just combine the extra ones into a single one!
  • Video content embed strategy:
    • Create amazing videos for your website.. specific to your niche.
    • Host it on YouTube
    • Promote your video
    • After it gets buzz, check who embedded your video content
    • And them reach out to them for a link back
      • You could also provide them something more like a HD video copy from your website for the same video to be linked!
  • Use multiple influencers to make one content
    • Millennials are highly doubtful of today’s brands
    • And the only way to get anyone’s attention today is by being an influencer or using influencers
    • This is what I call “ultra skyscraper content”
    • This way you get so much Backlinks
  • Influencer reviews on their websites
    • Ask them to make in-depth review from pros and cons
    • The benefits they personally experienced by using your product

TOOLS :

  • Senti One : 
    • It gets you all the social mentions you get when another blogger mentions you
    • Use : For Backlink outreach! 
  • 12 link building tools:
    • Majestic:
      • Gets you data on “topic you should focus” and referering domains
    • Ahrefs
      • Pages → Best by links
      • Find competitors most linked content
      • Also find the types of sites that would link to you.
    • Broken link building (Citation labs)
      • Reduce the time it takes to find broken links!
    • Pitchbox
    • Ontolo
    • Buzzsumo
      • Identifying bloggers / sharers and backlinkers

TECHNICAL SEO

  • Don’t create sitemaps manually for large websites : Get it from CMS directly
    • Because pages are added and deleted often and doing this manually doesn’t make sense

LOCAL SEO

  • Google my business listings now allows gift card and donation links
    • Gift cards are an amazing concept that you can use to make more money!
    • Have to be partnered with PayPal and go fund me
    • Also have to have a separate page for it
  • GMB FEATURE:
    • You have an option to mention veteran owned business in your GMB profile

PPC

  • Google ads would require identity verification
    • This is just to verify the business that publishes ads 
  • Googles “call only ads” now has links feature available!
    • Implies we can visit website even in call only ads which can come in handy!
  • Google Ads releases 340 million credits to its users
    • One user can only get one credit!
    • If we had spent money previously in the year 2020, we are eligible
    • The value / amount of money in each credit may vary
    • You can use the credit until December of this year!
  • Google is coming for Facebook budgets with discovery ads
    • These would be shown in discovery feeds
    • Would have to have very nice and appealing image
    • And should be very relevant
    • Google is very specific about the quality of the ads.
    • Have two formats :
      • Discovery carousel ads
      • And discovery single image ads
  • Google ads explainations
    • It’s a tool that’s in beta stage
    • Basically it explain the problem if your metrics go low at times
    • It’s a problem solving tool!
  • https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-ads-simple-tips-make-more-money/370958/amp/#click=https://t.co/KBPxjenGH2
  • GOOGLE ADS TARGETTING RESTRICTIONS:
    • Google ads now restricts zip code, and demographic targeting for housing, employment and credit related ads
  • GOOGLE ADS RO PAUSE ACCOUNTS WHILE INVESTIGATING
  • ADS UPDATES
    • Identity verification now required in Canada, India, Russia, Ukraine
    • Click bait ads won’t be allowed to run in Google adss
  • GOOGLE GIVES BUSINESSES FREE ADS ON GOOGLE MAPS
    • This is available till September. 
    • You can promote your business on maps for free.

WEBSITE

PRODUCT VIDEOS:

  • 72% of consumers prefer to watch a video before buying a product
    • Product videos brings life to the product
    • People have this uncertainty about the product and the fact that IF it satisfies their expectations or not : And videos can do that
  • PRODUCT VIDEO GUIDELINES:
    • Introduce the company and the product first
      • Touch upon the pain points
      • Make them feel that you understand the problem and have a solution
    • Talk about benefits and features
    • Provide context with base price and cost of added features
    • End with a CTA
  • E-commerce sites in specific should have this option called “talk to retailer”
    • This gets people a option of getting a live product video!
  • Must have wordpress themes:
    • WP Rocket : catching
    • Imagify : Compress images
    • Gravity forms : Best for building forms
    • Advanced custom fields : To embed custom forms in

HOSTING:

5 Things to look for in hosting:

  • High Uptime Guarantee:
    • % time your site is online and accessible
    • 99.9 % Uptime guaratee implies : 1.44 mins downtime a day!
    • Try to get this : 
    • Remember 100% Uptime isn’t possible and don’t trust anyone who says that
  • Server location:
    • Shared or VPS hosting implies your data exists in a data center somewhere!
    • Make sure the data center is there as close to your visitors as possible!
    • If it’s cloud hosted, it exists in a cloud
  • Optional Value Adds:
    • Automatic Backups
    • SSL
    • Multiple hosting plans
  • Good reviews
  • Responsive support team
  • Easy to use CMS

TOOLS:


APRIL 2020 SEO NEWS

ON SITE SEO

  • Load speed significance : Each second contributes to 2% increase in conversion rates.
  • There won’t be duplicate links for featured snippets anymore!
  • Start optimizing for other search engine algorithm as well so you won’t miss out on any opportunities
    • Why?
      • Because Google market shares have gone down from 91 to 87% in search engine shares
      • People are opting out 
    • Take aways :
      • Focus on social media shares as well
  • Stop keyword stuffing : Now search engines understand user intent!
    • Matches pages to intent
  • FAQ : Schema markup is extremely useful!
    • Use schema markup generator!
  • JS rendering :
    • Basics : Crawl – Index – Rank 
    • Indexing has two steps
      • The first wave : Indexes basic HTML
      • Second wave : Renders JS
    • So more JS files you have : The longer it takes to load! 
    • More details : 
  • Now : Google Search Console would send alerts if there’s a spike in traffic
  • Did you know? Now, your WhatsApp group invites are indexed by Google
    • Makes sense right? Anything that’s “publicly available” is indexed by Google!
  • Mobile first Indexing to be implemented to all within a year : implies crawlers crawls in mobile viewers perspective to index a site.
  • Profile cards
    • Now you can fill out profile cards in Google 
      • For someone to be able to find you online!
      • But it’s not allowed to be used as self promotion!
  • Matt koval is appointed as YouTube Liaison : He basically addresses issues to make the user experience better!
  • 50% of Google searches are zero click searches : Implies people don’t click on any links!
    • Solution is : Long tail keyword strategies!
  • Featured snippets update problem:
    • Basically : now with the update : You can be in either of one places
      • Featured snippets or
      • Organically in top 3
      • Not both
    • Now for some queries, it helps to be in featured snippets and for some it doesn’t!
    • So, three ways to prevent featured snippets
      • Add No snippet meta tag
      • Use data no snippet meta tag : 
      • Max snippet tag : To prevent featured snippets but allow normal snippets
  • New term alert : NEGATIVE SEO:
    • If someone is taking actions that could negatively affect your website
    • Two possible ways:
      • Posting your links in spammy sites
      • Scraping your content and posting it everywhere 
    • So keep monitoring!
  • Google discourages repetitive use of FAQ structured markup
    • What does it mean?
      • Don’t use the same FAQ for every single page
  • Here’s another fact : Amazon “Sponsored product ads” are rising in price
    • These are keyword based ads like Google search campaigns.
  • Let’s talk about popups 
    • Here’s a fact : A high performing popups convert around 10%. So yeah popups are essential!
    • But intrusive Pop-Ups  can drop your rankings !
    • Here’s some tips:
      • Slide ins and banners that only cover 15% of screen is considered OK
      • Time them : Don’t show it as soon as the user enters : Maybe at the end
      • Make them easier to close : Or automatically close them 
      • Exit intent popups : That are triggered when people exit : Aren’t considered bad!
      • You can use intrusive interstitials on desktop! Just not on mobiles!
      • You can use such intrusive interstitials in non organic traffic!
  • Excessive pagination can affect your rankings
    • Here’s a tip : Make sure every single page on your website is one to three clicks away from homepage 
    • What is pagination?
      • Over categorizing your articles : Having Categories within categories and each filled with aloot of articles!
  • Here’s a fact : Schema markups is not a direct ranking factor!

WEBSITE DESIGN:

  • Live chat : is compulsory
    • Need to understand people’s problems 
    • And solves their problem.
    • 12-20% of sales comes from this.
  • Increase Upsells and downsells : For e-commerce.
  • Use exit popups
    • With proper offers. 
    • Or with a free something to collect email leads
  • Start using trust seals : For trust!
    • Most popular : Norton , verisign and McAfee secure
  • Use guarentess
    • Here’s a fact : 68 % of people abandon their cart
    • Why? Because they aren’t confident about their buying decision
    • Guarentess: Money back policy/ product exchange policy/ Refund policy should be there
    • Also : make your guarentess strong because most people are guarentee blinded 

OFF SITE SEO

  • Avoid Blog Commenting : 
    • Can be used to build awareness in your niche and increase traffic
    • But cannot be used for link building : Google actually listed it in actions to avoid.
  • Guest post penalties:
    • If there’s unnatural links in guest posts : Google started issuing penalties
    • Sponsored links or paid guest posts should be no followed : else there’s a penalty in that as well.
  • Find spammy links : on your webpage 
    • Use a add-on called link grabber (Chrome add on)
  • Backlink outreach method:
    • DM in LinkedIn the webmaster or the SEO of the company
  • No-follows won’t be ignored anymore:
    • Before you get excited : We now have three attributes
      • No follow
      • UGC : User generated content
      • Sponsored 
    • Google states that ” No follows would now be treated as hints as to which pages to index”
    • Here : UGC and sponsored attributes are considered as hints!
  • Backlink intersect tools : A new method?
    • What to do? Find common Backlinks in your competitors
    • Once you find them : Strategize to get them!
  • Technical and ON SITE SEO are rarely enough!
    • The two most important SEO signals:
      • Content Quality
      • Authority (Links)
    • So focus on that more than these!
  • GUEST POST GUIDELINES :
    • Explain about you and why you are an expert
    • Send a draft of the post you want to publish
    • Add references : Links to your previous work
    • Score points by appreciating their previous blogs/work!

LOCAL SEO:

  • Increase customer reviews tactics :
    • 82% read online reviews for local businesses
    • Get email details : Follow up for a review after a week
    • In store placards : to encourage them to review!
    • Verbally ask for a feedback : 
    • Have review reminders on website:
    • Reply to all reviews!

MARCH 2020 SEO NEWS:

ON SITE

  • SEO Weekly Tip : Time stamps increase CTR :
    • Having your time stamp in the SERPs will increase CTR provided we have updated content
    • Use an plugin called : WP Last Updated Date
  • Your image could be worth a thousand clicks
    • Heard of Google discover? It’s been here since 2018
    • People get 10-20x more clicks and impressions there!
    • You can check the traffic data through discover in your search console
    • How do we get featured there?
      • Your article is a breakthrough in your website ( Increased clicks and engagement)
      • Now this doesn’t have to be organic. Could be social, referral, direct or whatever
      • Use high quality imagery (Not thumbnails )
      • Make sure the featured image and open graph image is (1600*840px)
  • Bing instant indexing URL:
    • This API apparently indexes your website within few mins and some websites gets top ranking within hours!
    • Can u imagine how good it must feel.
    • All you have to do is submit your URL/ Content in this API
    • Also, you need to meet certain quality standards to get indexed
  • Search Consoles Index Coverage Report:
    • Search Console released a new training video for this
    • This report has detailed look of all pages of website that Google has indexed/tried to index
    • Information you can get:
      • Errors and warnings
      • Pressing issues sorted by severity
  • Site architecture:
    • Imagine your website to be a house and each page to be a room. Let your home page be the hall way
    • Now decide how you want to connect the rooms together! 
  • Let’s talk about featured snippets:
    • Here’s a fact : 14-15% of Google searches have featured snippets
    • Marketers claim that showing the answers in the SERPs prevents the users from clicking on any websites
    • And that people are losing clicks : Even the website with the featured snippets
    • Some even claim that featured snippets is against copyrights law
    • Anyways it’s bad news for us all.
  • Positive reviews : Can increase our organic visibility : An SEO Factor

Web Design:

OFF SITE:

  • Here’s a fact : Backlinks building is one of the least offered service among marketers
    • So you can stand out using these.
    • So if you are a marketer/ agency : You can stand out with these.
  • Unnatural link fact :
    • Many websites lost 82% of traffic because of having alot of unnatural links
  • Your ultimate goal should be : Having a website with loads of Backlinks with 60+ DA websites
  • Unnatural links to avoid for your own good:
    • Link schemes : Linking to your website from your other websites (that you own)
    • Directories and Bookmarking sites :
      • Don’t get me wrong : some are really good
      • Alltop, Reddit, mantra,yelp
      • Directories are still a good way to get quality Backlinks
      • But look out for bad Backlinks
    • Injected links : Some sites use automated softwares to inject links within content they guest post to.
    • Sitewide links: Don’t have Backlinks in footers of other websites 
    • Widgets and badges: Widgets and badges can good but they should be no- followed. Else you WILL BE PENALIZED
    • Blog comments : Most blog comments are spammy. Most.
      •  If Backlinks wasn’t a thing, would you still post your link in that blog? 
      • If yes, then cool. Else wait for good to penalize you.

LOCAL SEO:

  • Dealing with negative reviews:
    • Reply ASAP
    • Appreciate their review : Cause negative comments are critical feedbacks for brand growth
    • Answer thoughtfully and honestly.
    •  If there’s a mistake , accept and compensate.
    • Take it offline ASAP
      • Get their contact info and deal with it offline.
    • Take it a step further and offer them a gift card.

PPC

  • Here’s a good practice:
    •  Translating your ads to the native language when targeting the native local audience increases your conversion rates significantly
    • But don’t use Google translate.
    • So work with a Google translation service for your language
    • Also double check with that language speaking person
    • Also if there’s no equivalent words in that language : stick to english
  • Expanded text ads have 11% more conversion rates than normal text ads.
  • 89% of all clicks on Google ads are on ” The headlines” and not the extensions
    • So don’t hesitate to fill up all the extensions even if you feel some are not very
  • New term alert : click fraud
    • People would click at your ads back to back just to cost you money
    • And 20% of clicks online are fraudulent
    • “Your competitors might use this”

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