Episode 19 - Page Experience for Desktop GSC Measurement

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

Google offers reports for measuring Page Experience on Desktop, a massive Googlebot crawl spike on Jan. 12th, and ASMR for SEO.

In this week’s episode, we also cover paywall content and SEO, link-building strategies, and Semrush purchasing Backlinko.


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:

(0:43) Search Console now has a dedicated ‘Desktop’ section in the Page Experience report

Ahead of the Page Experience update for Desktop that’s rolling out in a few weeks, Google has released a new device-specific report in Google Search Console that allows you to see how your desktop URLs are performing against Google’s metric thresholds. It’s a good way to determine at scale how you can improve your Core Web Vitals.

Read the article

(1:18) 8 Google Developer Resources that SEOs MUST Read

How did we know about the Page Experience update? Well, Google provides a variety of resources that are essential reading for SEOs. That update was documented on the Google Search Central Blog. Google is constantly in the process of updating its documentation and while it’s not without issues (sometimes lacking context), you’ll want to stay up to date at least with regards to Google recommendations.

Read the article

(2:02) Some Sites Seeing Massive Crawl Spikes From Googlebot

Starting January 12th, some sites were seeing spikes in Googlebot crawling via Google Search Console. Typically crawl spikes will happen if there’s a large technical change to a site. The fact that it’s happening on multiple sites indicates that it was either a bug or Google is prepping for another biggish update.

Read the article

Twitter Threads/Tweets:

(2:22) Dr. Marie Haynes identified crawling spikes for her clients.

Marie shared how you can check for spikes on your own site by going to GSC > Settings > Crawl stats. 

What was interesting in the thread is the thoughts on why that might be happening. Gianluca Fiorelli believes that Google is “Preparing a serious update (or that increased crawl is connected to the many rankings’ tremors seen all over)”. Meanwhile, Marie believes “I don’t think we’ve ever really been able to connect that reduced or increased crawling is connected with ranking changes.”

John Mueller did respond saying, “If you want to launch an update, you have to test it & prove that it’s good first. You can’t do that if you have to recrawl the whole web just before going live (and the web is gigantic, you can’t “just recrawl it briefly”). Crawl rate is not an early warning signal of updates.”

Check out the Twitter thread

(3:49) Paywalled content and SEO by Antoine Eripret

If you still don’t know, paywalled content is a mechanism to prevent a user from reading content without paying. Newspapers often use it to monetize their audience. The NYT generated around 60% of its revenue thanks to its paywall (data from 2017).

Google doesn’t like interstitials preventing users from seeing the main content. 

In the structured markup, you need to indicate which part of our content is not accessible for free.

Check out the Twitter thread

(5:22) Prompts for Conference Talks – Sophie Gibson

Have you got ‘talk at a conference’ on your goal list for this year? 

Are you struggling to figure out what the hell you could do a talk on? 

I’ve come up with a list of prompts to help you generate talk ideas (mainly for SEO, but replace that with any sector)

  • When someone at work comes to you for a question what is it usually about? 
  • What piece of SEO advice annoys you because it’s bad / doesn’t work?
  • What topic or site part did you find hardest working on and what have you learnt about it?
  • What’s your unpopular SEO opinion?
  • What is one thing you notice loads of sites seem to get ‘wrong’ in SEO? Can you talk through a better way of doing this?
  • What’s your least favourite SEO task? Why? What would make it easier? (Like our own John Murch did by injecting search volume into GSC)

Read the article

General SEO:

(7:58) Here’s ASMR for SEO but it’s just me reading the webmaster guidelines

Are you a fan of the ASMR trend? Some people find it soothing, relaxing, transports you to a special place. People have created ASMR for everything under the sun. Well, Jamie Indigo created the ASMR for SEO you never knew you needed. Let’s listen to her read the Webmaster Guidelines.

Listen to the video

(9:11) Link Building Tactics That Actually Work by Debbie Chew

Debbie Chew put together a great summary of 6 link building strategies to use and 3 to avoid:

  • Link building tactics that don’t work (well) ❌
    1. Skyscraper technique 
    2. Broken backlink building
    3. Buying “500 DA 50+ links for $50”
  • Link building tactics that work ✅
    1. Stats compilation 
    2. Data-backed research report 
    3. A free tool 
    4. Guest posting 
    5. Unlinked mentions 
    6. HARO (or similar) 

Read the article

(12:10) SEO and Agile Iterations – Adam Gent

Adam breaks down 3 ways that SEOs can work with developers using an Agile framework for taking on SEO projects that might involve the dev team. 

  1. Turning initiatives into smaller releases using iteration 
  2. Prioritizing high-value initiatives 
  3. Discover tickets with developers

Read the article

(13:52) Jason Barnard’s BRAND SERPs book

Jason has published the book on Brand SERPs, literally. Have you ever wondered how you can build out the search engine result page for your business to include all of the accurate info and visuals that will elevate your brand? Jason’s book covers it all.

Check out the book

Technical SEO Articles:

(14:35) HTTP Status Codes: The Complete List

Patrick Stox put together a great list of all the different status codes you can encounter. If you want to diagnose HTTP status issues, Ahrefs offers a cool SEO Toolbar that will let you know the statuses. Additionally, he provides some tips on how to identify 404s and when you need to redirect to recoup a bunch of backlinks.

Read the article


(15:51) Why my Page Doesn’t Rank [Better or At All]? – Aleyda Solis

Aleyda has put together a great little resource for SEOs to work through why a certain page may not be ranking well whether it be technical, content, or promotion-related issues.

Get the resource

(16:15) Semrush acquires Backlinko

Announced on Wednesday, Semrush has purchased content agency Backlinko founded by Brian Dean. Why is this a big deal? Well, Brian has established a level of excellence when it comes to SEO education. Not only does he talk the talk, but Backlinko has consistently ranked on page 1 for a ton of really high-value SEO keywords. 

Brian on Rankable.


(16:56) Using Data the Right Way ft Mordy Oberstein

On Episode 66 of the Rankable Podcast, Mordy Oberstein shares how SEOs get stuck on SEO data like search volume which should be directional.

Watch the episode

Navigating the Modern Remote Workplace ft Ruth Burr Reedy 

We’ll be discussing how you can build a reliable and productive distributed remote SEO team while still maintaining work/life balance.


WEBINAR – Year 2: How the Pandemic Continues to Impact Search Demand Recovery

In this webinar, Michael King of iPullRank and Bogdan Muntean of Advanced Web Ranking will unravel how the economic fallout of the pandemic has impacted Search Demand recovery across a variety of industry segments.

January 26th, 2022 – 11:00 am EST


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.

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