Episode 17 - Are Important Google Search Results Crap?

Where queries are weird, advice is controversial, and everything depends.

A Twitter thread on Google’s problematic search results, a 2021 SEO Tools round-up, and the best in-house SEOs to follow on Twitter.

In this week’s episode, we also cover IndexNow coming to WordPress, Yoast coming to Shopify, and what SEOs should focus on upskilling professionally.


Host: Garrett Sussman | Demand Generation Manager 

Don’t forget to please SUBSCRIBE to the channel if you enjoy the episode.


Show notes / References:

Google/SERP Updates:

(00:41)  IndexNow WordPress Plugin Released By Microsoft Bing

Over the holidays, Microsoft Bing released a WordPress plugin of IndexNow that allows you to submit your URLs instantly to Bing and Yandex for immediate indexing. 

(01:18) Advice: Don’t Migrate Domains & Drop Google AMP The Same Time

During John Mueller’s recent office hours, someone asked about making some big changes to their site including migrating domains and removing AMP versions of their site. H/T to Glenn Gabe for summarizing John’s advice:

“Want to change domain names AND drop AMP? Be very careful when combining multiple variables -> Site changes domain names, drops AMP, & loses all top stories visibility for 3+ months (still not back). @johnmu says give it more time. It could work itself out”

Twitter Threads/Tweets:

(02:11) Michael Seibel on Google Search Results:

Michael Seibel of Y Combinator went on a mini-rant about the quality of Google’s search results for important queries in health, product reviews, and recipes. He shared his dismay at the spammy, ad-ridden sites that populated the top of the SERPs. 

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liason, chimed in with empathy explaining ‘How Search Works’ and asking for examples of crappy results, but Michael’s large Twitter following exploded in a nuanced conversation around the complexity of search, SEOs ruining the SERPs by trying to game the system, and the problems of a revenue-driven company like Google creating a degrading product due to short term goals of financial success. 

Privacy and ad-free search engines like Neeva and You contributed to the conversation highlighting their own value propositions.

(07:00) In-house SEOs to follow on Twitter

Jason Parks asked on Twitter for the must-follow in-house SEOs. In-house SEOs typically have a very unique insight into a specific industry or working intimately with a site. They’re typically excellent at taking into consideration all of the business considerations and having a much more in-depth understanding of the organization.

(08:07)  The Science of Content Development with Gabriella Sannino via Viral Content Bee’s #vcbuzz chat

Gabriella joined a vibrant Twitter chat sharing her take on the intersection of content and SEO. She covered a variety of topics, highlighted by her take on comparing content and SEO a decade ago to today.

Q2: Content SEO Now vs 10 years ago: How is content different these days?

Content has/will always be important as long as people search on the web. -Google got better at figuring things out. BERT, E.A.T., Conversational, User Interfaces to mobile searches near me, they’re constantly making things easier for the user.

The competition wasn’t near as fierce as it is today. ranking nowadays takes more than just a few articles. It takes commitment to a strategy that has to be continuously monitored, tweaked, updated along with all of Google’s capricious updates.

General SEO:

(09:28) Top News-SEO Trends and Predictions in 2022

John Shehata of Conde Nast wrote a great round-up for Newzdash on News SEO curating predictions for 2022 from a range of News SEO specialists on what they believe will dominate search for publishers and media outlets.

Courtesy of John, the TL:DR;

  • Tobias Willmann – Google Discover will remain a very important traffic driver to the majority of publishers.
  • Christine Liang – Search will become a lot more visual with more visibility of images, short videos and web stories.
  • John Shehata – Short Videos will gain more visibility in Search.
  • Barry Adams – Evergreen Content will become an important editorial strategy for many publishers as a source of sustainable traffic.
  • Lily Ray – Topical E-A-T: Trust and Authority within specific topical areas will continue to grow.
  • Matthew Brown – Topical organization and clustering can lead to significant traffic increases from both Top Stories and Discover.
  • Dan Smullen – Migrating Off AMP will continue to spread among publishers.
  • Dan Smullen – IndexNow will gain more popularity and Google will join.
  • SEO will become more and more complex.
  • Greg Jarboe – Increased focus on Creators, Shopping and Videos.
  • Dan Smullen – Tech giants will have more Legal battles with Publishers
  • Claudio E. Cabrera & Justin Bank- Google will continue to improve on its SERP features expanding News, Liveblogs and Evergreen SERP Features for big news moments and live events.
  • Speedy and good UX website (Web Vitals) will still be one of the big topics in News SEO.
  • John Shehata – Publishers will continue to innovate on Smarter Paywalls and Affiliate Revenue.

(11:59) 2022 Local SEO Success: The Year of Everywhere

Miriam Ellis put together a wholesome and optimistic piece for Moz that serves to inspire and motivate local businesses to tackle SEO and marketing in 2022 with an eye toward opportunity, social responsibility, community, and kindness.

Her top suggestions included:

  1. Converse with customers everywhere, with extra kindness
  2. Look everywhere for supply chain gaps
  3. Build back green everywhere you can
  4. Make your website key to customers shopping everywhere
  5. Look for good organic SEO teachers everywhere to strengthen your website
  6. Look at reviews everywhere for business intelligence more than rankings
  7. Look for silver linings everywhere and share them with your community

(14:53) Professional Focus for SEO Skills

Chris Green put together a nifty little self-assessment to help you up your SEO skills as a professional. Take his mini quiz, then head on over to Aleyda Solis’ and get to that professional development.

  1. Communication
  2. Content
  3. Team Management
  4. Tech SEO
  5. Links / Link Building
  6. Reporting Analysis
  7. Site Migrations

(15:46)  The Best SEO Research Studies of 2021 

Joe Youngblood curated a great list of studies performed over the course of 2021. Many of them focused on the local SEO space. As with all SEO studies, many of these are directionally persuasive, but not necessarily prescriptive since it’s hard to truly understand Google’s constant moving target.

Technical SEO Articles:

(16:41) Why we need to talk about audits | SEOs and Devs

Martin Splitt chats with Bartosz Góralewicz about why SEOs advise against using Javascript, looking at the fulls scope of a project and how it impacts SEO, and the importance of always asking questions in technical SEO.

Keep your eyes peeled for Mike’s episode next Wednesday, January 12th.


(17:31) Best 2021 SEO Tools (Twitter Thread) – Brodie Clark

While it’s a Twitter thread, Brodie Clark curated a fantastic list of new SEO tools and features to our favorite tools that came out over the course of 2022. While most are paid, there are some real undercovered gems in Brodie’s list.

  1. Keywords by Intent via @semrush 
  2. Compare estimated organic traffic via @ahrefs 
  3. Analyse website title links via @ZyppySEO 
  4. Compare page speed at keyword level via @Reddico
  5. Updated version of Google’s PageSpeed Insights
  6. Perform keyword research at scale via @keywordinsights 
  7. Google Sheets templates for SEO tasks via Andrew Charlton @bertiecharlton 
  8. Extract data from Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) feature via @abhi_aneel 
  9. Extract insights from Google’s search results with #thruuu via @samuelschmitt 
  10. The Content Brief Generator via Tevfik Mert Azizoğlu @mertazizoglu

(19:15) We have big news: Yoast SEO is coming to Shopify!

Yoast is launching an app that will be compatible with Shopify allowing eCommerce SEOs to use the tool to optimize their pages and improve their online visibility. 

To kick off the release, their virtual 2022 YoastCon (which will be held on Jan. 20th, 2022) will focus on Shopify and include presentations from the likes of Shopify’s Kevin Indig & Jackson Lo, our own Mike King, Amsive’s Lily Ray, and Yoast’s Marieke van de Rakt & Willemien Hallebeek.


(20:05) Ep 64: Fallout from Google’s Title Rewriting ft Cyrus Shepard 

Yesterday, I hosted Cyrus Shepard, co-founder of Zyppy, on the Rankable Podcast. We covered a ton of ground on the August Aggression that was Google’s rewriting of title tags in search results. Cyrus had a bunch of excellent suggestions on how to improve your titles to optimize for both rankings and click-through rate at scale.

Ep 65: Ranking Technical SEO Priorities ft. Patrick Stox

Next week, I’m being joined by Patrick Stox, Product Advisor, Technical SEO, & Brand Ambassador of Ahrefs, to discuss how you should prioritize your technical SEO strategy. Patrick knows tech SEO inside and out. It’s going to be a fun convo.

Join Garrett Sussman each week as he pulls out all of the biggest and smallest stories from the past week that touch the world of SEO.

Get the scoop on what’s happening to Google, game-changing strategies for SEOs, and the people that you should have on your SEO radar.

Garrett Sussman

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