The SEO WEEKLY

Episode 20 - SEO Nostalgia Bombs and Devious Link Schemes

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

Google adds a tag for indexing embedded content, malicious link schemes to be aware of, and tech SEO strategies for 2022.

In this week’s episode, we also cover an Ngram Keyword tool, title tag rewrites study, and Covid and SEO.

Also:

Host: Garrett Sussman | Demand Generation Manager 

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

THE SEO WEEKLY

Show notes / References:

Google/SERP Updates:

(0:33) New robots tag: indexifembedded 

This new tag provides media publishers with more control in indexing their embedded content. With videos or iframes, there may be situations where they don’t want to index the content on their own site, but they’re fine with having it indexed on a 3rd party site. Malcolm Slade of CreativeRace SEO added some more use case examples in his article.

(1:22) What to expect from Search Central in 2022?

Initially joking about Voice Search, John Mueller, Martin Splitt, and Gary Illyes dive into the challenges of sustainable indexing and crawling with the massive amounts of content on the internet. 

Twitter Threads/Tweets:

(2:33) Mental Health in SEO – Ryan Jones

How can SEO’s maintain mental health? 3 great tips by Ryan Jones in this great Twitter thread.

(4:06) What enterprise-level SEO tools/platforms can’t you live without?

George Nguyen asked the SEO community on Twitter for the best enterprise SEO tools. Lots of great answers, including:

  • Semrush
  • Botify
  • Market Muse
  • Big Query
  • Ahrefs
  • Sitebulb
  • ScreamingFrog
  • Sistrix
  • BrightEdge

(4:42) What is something ancient that only an SEO veteran can remember?Bill Hartzer 

Bill asked the Twitter community what do they remember from the old days of SEO. Lots of fantastic answers including:

  • A Google SERP being purely ten blue links. – Rae Hoffman
  • The High Rankings SEO forum by @jillwhalen – Andy Simpson
  • Sites hiding shit in their footers – Taylor Berg
  • Matt Cutts – Kristine Schachinger
  • DMOZ and other BS Rankings – Bill Slawski
  • Paying Yahoo to ‘boost rankings’ – Keith Goode
  • White text on white background – Ian Lurie
  • Exact Match Domains- Holly Miller Anderson
  • SEO veterans really like reminiscing about what they were doing 15-20 years ago vs. talking about what they’re doing today so I think SEO veterans remember * a lot*. – Lisa Barone

General SEO:

(6:35) 3 Train Wreck Link Schemes You Didn’t Even Know Had Hit You – by Michael Cottam

  1. Artificially Inflated Moz DA
  2. Negative SEO: Sneaky Redirects
  3. Negative SEO: Computer-Generated Content

(9:28) We Studied 81,000 Page Titles – Google Rewrote 61% Of Them – by Cyrus Shepard

Cyrus produced an awesome study looking at title tags and the extent to which Google is re-writing them. Some highlights include:

  • Titles with over 70 characters get rewritten 99.9% of the time.
  • Removed Bracket 33% and Parenthesis 20%
  • Removed dashes 20% and pipes 41%
  • To dramatically decrease the chance of Google rewriting your title, matching the H1 to the title tag seems to be an effective strategy.

(11:06) Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content: Which Is Better for SEO? – by Joshua Hardwick

Joshua put out a great piece on how you can use Ahrefs to identify when to use long-form articles vs. short-form articles. Ultimately, “focus on satisfying searchers, not hitting some arbitrary word count.”

(11:43) Why Google’s 10 Blue Links Will Have to Go (Eventually)

Mordy Oberstein of Semrush wrote a great article exploring the future of Google SERPs as they focus on discoverability using MUM by surfacing more drill-down contextual content.

(13:33) IndexWatch 2021: The SEO Winners In Google’s US Search Results

Lily Ray looked at Sistrix data on visibility in the US and found that winners included increased authority with government and medical sites. Dictionary sites. But also content indexing produces winners like social media sites and stock photos. Spotify was a big winner for artist names.

(14:16) 5 Ways to Use Google Trends for SEO

Our own Andrew McDermott wrote a great set of tactics for using Google Trends to improve your SEO traffic.

(15:54) Riley Hope On COVID & Searcher Behavior 

Riley and Barry Schwartz chatted about the pandemic and marketing, how users and SMBs adapted and also discussed how many SMBs still aren’t familiar with any of the free tools available to build their presence on Google

(16:38) Revealed: Which CMS Is Best For SEO In 2022? – by David McSweeny

David McSweeny shared his research into the top CMS for SEO and investigated the following 5:

  1. Self-hosted CMS systems: WordPress and Joomla
  2. Website building platforms: Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy

Technical SEO Articles:

(17:14) Custom Search for SEO: Analyzing Search Intent with Google’s Programmable Search Engine and its Custom Search JSON API – by Johana Maier

Johana Maier wrote a highly technical piece for OnCrawl on how to use Google’s Custom Search JSON API to research a proxy of search results (for free) from Google to inform SEO strategy around examples like Gender, Page Types, or Competitor Domains.

(19:03) The Top Tech SEO Strategies for 2022 and Beyond – by Crystal Carter

  1. Multimedia first
  2. Security for speed
  3. SEO specialisms for Google channel diversity (or verticalization)
  4. Borderless international SEO

(22:10) YoastCon – The Worst SEO Issues of Online Stores in 2022 & How to Fix Them – by Aleyda Solis

Aleyda tackled the Worst SEO Issues of Online Stores in 2022 in her YoastCon presentation.

  • Cannibalization
  • No indexing/not linking to subcategories or facets with traffic potential
  • No content on subcategory pages (only links)
  • Product pages with good content
  • Product pages with inconsistent status (redirects or 404s)
  • Seasonal pages with inconsistent status (redirects or 404s)
  • Informational top of funnel content

(24:48) YoastCon Every Best Practice You Learned for E-commerce SEO is Wrong – by Mike King

Mike laid out all of the ways that we need to rethink eCommerce best practices because there are examples where they don’t always work as expected.

  • Keep title tags short – backloaded title tags drive results
  • Duplicate content is bad – wrong – examples of 80% of traffic driven from duplicate content
  • Template content is bad – wrong – examples show how adding templated content can lead to a 167% lift
  • We’re better at writing Meta Descriptions than Google – maybe not. Test leaving it empty.

Tools/Features: 

(26:32) SEO Ngram Tool – by Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones created a tool that explores search keyword suggestions as Ngrams using

“related searches” from Google and Bing.

(27:30) Organic Search: Understanding Keywords Performance Template – by Alice Roussel

Alice Roussel put together a nice template that can surface a variety of key organic search traffic insights.

(27:58) Best Google Sheets Formulas for SEO & Content Audits – by Shelley Walsh

Shelley Walsh created a simple list of formulas to use in Google Sheets for SEO use cases.

Rankable: 

(28:24) Ruth Burr Reedy was on Rankable to discuss Remote Working

(28:47) Amanda Milligan joins next week to discuss creating newsworthy content.

Register now!

(29:11) We also had our Webinar Year 2: How the Pandemic Continues to Impact Search Demand Recovery with Advanced Web Ranking.  

Watch the replay!

Google/SERP Updates:

(0:33) New robots tag: indexifembedded 

 

This new tag provides media publishers with more control in indexing their embedded content. With videos or iframes, there may be situations where they don’t want to index the content on their own site, but they’re fine with having it indexed on a 3rd party site. Malcolm Slade of CreativeRace SEO added some more use case examples in his article.

 

(1:22) What to expect from Search Central in 2022?

 

Initially joking about Voice Search, John Mueller, Martin Splitt, and Gary Illyes dive into the challenges of sustainable indexing and crawling with the massive amounts of content on the internet. 

Twitter Threads/Tweets:

(2:33) Mental Health in SEO – Ryan Jones

 

How can SEO’s maintain mental health. 3 great tips by Ryan Jones in this great Twitter thread.

 

(4:06) What enterprise-level SEO tools/platforms can’t you live without?

George Nguyen asked the SEO community on Twitter for the best enterprise SEO tools. Lots of great answers, including:

 

  • Semrush
  • Botify
  • Market Muse
  • Big Query
  • Ahrefs
  • Sitebulb
  • ScreamingFrog
  • Sistrix
  • BrightEdge

 

(4:42) What is something ancient that only an SEO veteran can remember?Bill Hartzer 

 

Bill asked the Twitter community what do they remember from the old days of SEO. Lots of fantastic answers including:

 

A Google SERP being purely ten blue links. – Rae Hoffman

The High Rankings SEO forum by @jillwhalen – Andy Simpson

Sites hiding shit in their footers – Taylor Berg

Matt Cutts – Kristine Schachinger

DMOZ and other BS Rankings – Bill Slawski

Paying Yahoo to ‘boost rankings’ – Keith Goode

White text on white background – Ian Lurie

Exact Match Domains- Holly Miller Anderson

 

SEO veterans really like reminiscing about what they were doing 15-20 years ago vs. talking about what they’re doing today so I think SEO veterans remember * a lot*. – Lisa Barone

General SEO:

 

(6:35) 3 Train Wreck Link Schemes You Didn’t Even Know Had Hit You – Michael Cottam

  1. Artificially Inflated Moz DA
  2. Negative SEO: Sneaky Redirects
  3. Negative SEO: Computer-Generated Content

 

 

(9:28) We Studied 81,000 Page Titles – Google Rewrote 61% Of ThemCyrus Shepard

 

Cyrus produced an awesome study looking at title tags and the extent to which Google is re-writing them. Some highlights include:

 

  • Titles with over 70 characters get rewritten 99.9% of the time.
  • Removed Bracket 33% and Parenthesis 20%
  • Removed dashes 20% and pipes 41%
  • To dramatically decrease the chance of Google rewriting your title, matching the H1 to the title tag seems to be an effective strategy.

(11:06) Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content: Which Is Better for SEO?

 

Joshua Hardwick put out a great piece on how you can use Ahrefs to identify when to use long form articles vs. short form articles. Ultimately, “focus on satisfying searchers, not hitting some arbitrary word count.”

 

(11:43) Why Google’s 10 Blue Links Will Have to Go (Eventually)

 

Mordy Oberstein of Semrush wrote a great article exploring the future of Google SERPs as they focus on discoverability using MUM by surfacing more drill down contextual content.

 

(13:33) IndexWatch 2021: The SEO Winners In Google’s US Search Results

 

Lily Ray looked at Sistrix data on visibility in the US and found that winners included increased authority with government and medical sites. Dictionary sites. But also content indexing produces winners like social media sites and stock photos. Spotify was a big winner for artist names.

 

(14:16) 5 Ways to Use Google Trends for SEO

 

Our own Andrew McDermott wrote a great set of tactics for using Google Trends to improve your SEO traffic.

 

 

(15:54) Riley Hope On COVID & Searcher Behavior 

 

Riley and Barry Schwartz chatted about the pandemic and marketing, how users and SMBs adapted and also discussed how many SMBs still aren’t familiar with any of the free tools available to build their presence on Google



(16:38) Revealed: Which CMS Is Best For SEO In 2022? – David McSweeny

 

David McSweeny shared his research into the top CMS for SEO and investigated the following 5:

 

  1. Self-hosted CMS systems: WordPress and Joomla
  2. Website building platforms: Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy

 

Technical SEO Articles:

 

(17:14) Custom Search for SEO: Analyzing Search Intent with Google’s Programmable Search Engine and its Custom Search JSON API – Johana Maier

https://www.oncrawl.com/technical-seo/custom-search-analyzing-search-intent-googles-programmable-search-engine-json-api/

 

Johana Maier wrote a highly technical piece for OnCrawl on how to use Google’s Custom Search JSON API to research a proxy of search results (for free) from Google to inform SEO strategy around examples like Gender, Page Types, or Competitor Domains.

 

(19:03) The Top Tech SEO Strategies for 2022 and Beyond – Crystal Carter

https://moz.com/blog/tech-seo-strategies-2022

  1. Multimedia first
  2. Security for speed
  3. SEO specialisms for Google channel diversity (or verticalization)
  4. Borderless international SEO

 

(22:10) YoastCon – The Worst SEO Issues of Online Stores in 2022 & How to Fix Them – Aleyda https://www.slideshare.net/aleydasolis/the-worst-seo-issues-of-online-stores-in-2022-how-to-fix-them-yoastcon2022

 

Aleyda tackled the Worst SEO Issues of Online Stores in 2022 in her YoastCon presentation.

 

  • Cannibalization
  • No indexing/not linking to subcategories or facets with traffic potential
  • No content on subcategory pages (only links)
  • Product pages with good content
  • Product pages with inconsistent status (redirects or 404s)
  • Seasonal pages with inconsistent status (redirects or 404s)
  • Informational top of funnel content

 

(24:48) YoastCon Every Best Practice You Learned for E-commerce SEO is Wrong – Mike King

 

Mike laid out all of the ways that we need to rethink eCommerce best practices, because there are examples where they don’t always work as expected.

 

  • Keep title tags short – backloaded title tags drive results
  • Duplicate content is bad – wrong – examples of 80% of traffic driven from duplicate content
  • Template content is bad – wrong – examples show how adding templated content can lead to a 167% lift
  • We’re better at writing Meta Descriptions than Google – maybe not. Test leaving it empty.

 

Tools/Features: 

 

(26:32) SEO Ngram Tool – Ryan Jones

 

Ryan Jones created a tool that explores search keyword suggestions as Ngrams using

“related searches” from Google and Bing.

 

(27:30) Organic Search: Understanding Keywords Performance Template – Alice Roussel

 

Alice Roussel put together a nice template that can surface a variety of key organic search traffic insights.

 

(27:58) Best Google Sheets Formulas for SEO & Content Audits – 

 

Shelley Walsh created a simple list of formulas to use in Google Sheets for SEO use cases.

Rankable: 

(28:24) Ruth Burr Reedy was on Rankable to discuss Remote Working

 

(28:47) Amanda Milligan joins next week to discuss creating newsworthy content.

Register now!

 

(29:11) We also had our Webinar Year 2: How the Pandemic Continues to Impact Search Demand Recovery with Advanced Web Ranking.  

 

Watch the replay!

 

 

 



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