This Week In SEO 107
Thoughts on Algo Updates, Local Ranking Factors, and more!


A Depressing Look at Algorithm Updates


A depressing but important piece on the heels of Google’s latest update (March 12 Core Algo).

Absent effort & investment to evolve FASTER than the broader web, sites which are hit with one penalty will often further accumulate other penalties. It is like compound interest working in reverse – a pile of algorithmic debt which must be dug out of before the bleeding stops.

Further, many recoveries may be nothing more than a fleeting invitation to false hope. To pour more resources into a site that is struggling in an apparent death loop.

This post is not full of SEO advice so much as it is a reminder of how the game is really played–summed up amazingly well in this sentence:

Google would like themselves to be the entity at the end of the value chain extracting excess profits from markets.

Not your affiliate site, your ecommerce shop, your local business.

A great read.


Google Forgets to Tell Webmasters About Retired Index Signal


So this week Google casually mentioned that something which had previously been an important on-page factor it suggested should be present on sites (important factor like “nofollow” or “rel=canonical”).

The main problem–they forgot to announce this…years ago.

And also:

This probably won’t make a big impact on your site one way or the other, but it’s something you should at least know about, so you don’t sound like an asshole at your next marketing conference.

You’re welcome.


A Deep Dive Into Local Ranking Factors

Local SEO: It’s a Dog-Eat-Cabbage World

Local business owners listen-up. This is the first of two really solid posts on ranking locally.

As a follow-up to the higher education study we covered one or two posts ago, this deep dive into “what it takes to rank locally” uncovers some really interesting trends:

If you’re handling a web project where the domain is new, you need to take into account that ranking on the first page of Google might take a full 1, 2, or 3 years to play out.

Make sure upper management is informed and expects this, and that the project budget reflects such a timeline.

Not only does our 2017 study reflect this, but our analysis of the Higher Education industry is also confirming these findings too.

The post gets in to the kind of links that work better than others, as well as helpful on-page elements that can help boost your local biz rankings.


The Biggest Trend in the SERPs: Google Wins

This is one of those things you knew was happening, but seeing it presented like this kinda stings.

Google’s SERPs 2014/15 vs. 2019:


Here’s an even more painful one, 2013-2019:

Over time, more and more searches are “no-click” meaning the searcher’s information needs are satisfied by the SERP features. That means less traffic is flowing from Google to websites.

Clever call back to the first entry in this post… 😉


Google Says: Don’t Stuff Content into Ecommerce Pages

“Another thing to consider is the purpose of your page; what’s the user-intent you’re trying to cover? If you’re adding random information to a category page, is it still an ecommerce page for users with “shopping” intents? Make up your mind, focus, don’t blindly stuff text.”

Thanks, Google.

But seriously, keep paying attention to user intent and study the sites Google is rewarding by ranking 1st currently, and that’s like… 80/20 of doing good SEO these days.

Also links.

The March 2019 Google Core Algorithm Update Extravaganza
A Big Google Update, Outreach, Content Syndication, and More!

Learn How To Rank Your Site

Get our simple, straightforward guide on how to rank your site.

Sean Markey

Sean Markey

Obsessive consumer of SEO news and strategies, writes the This Week in SEO column. Loves playing drums and writing fiction. Bets you he can throw a football over them mountains.
dotted line pointing to the void

Smash your traffic records with quality SEO.

SEO emphasis line

If you’re tired of the empty promises… Tired of the mediocre results…
Tired of SEO companies taking you for a ride… Tired of reading the word tired…

Let Smash Digital help.

Scroll to Top