This Week In SEO 85
Aggressive Ads, Unique Content, Ranking Fluctuation, and More!


Your Site + Aggressive Ads = ↘Rankings

Interesting post on site that are hitting the (mobile) user with some heavy ads, and suffering in organic rankings for it.

From an aggressive advertising standpoint, I have seen disruptive, annoying, and deceptive ads hundreds of times while analyzing sites that were negatively impacted by quality updates. I have seen it so much that I have written about it numerous times in my posts about major core ranking updates focused on quality.

You could end up with a truly painful traffic graph like this, going from a cool million views to HALF that in just over a month.


This is due to the alleged (but hardly-ever confirmed) recent Google core algo update on May 17th.

What follows in this post is a nuanced and in-depth look at what can cause a site trouble, and how to avoid it.

If you’ve got a video-auto-playing, deceptive-advertising website and you’ve recently lost some ground in the SERPs… I’ve got some good news and bad news.

The bad news is: continue with these practices will eventually get your site slapped by the big D G.

The good news is: now you know to knock it off. 🙂


Evergreen Reminder: Good Content Leads to Good Rankings

You may not have heard this before, so it’s a good thing we’re finally writing about it here!

JK. This is post number 1,857 about write good content.

There are really just two steps to creating a search-optimized article:

Step 1: Pick a keyphrase that meets two criteria: Your audience searches for it, and you have a chance of ranking for it.
Step 2: Make the best page on the internet for the topic.

It’s that second step that people find difficult.

It’s something I see again and again. Here’s a beautiful flow chart I made to help you decice whether or not you should write good content for your site:

From a better click-through-rate, to more social shares, this post goes through WHY you should write great content.


A State of Fluctuation

A question I see asked often (and often asked of me):

My site just lost like seven positions, what happened?! Did I get penalized???

Nope! Rankings fluctuate. It’s what they do. Sometimes up, sometimes down–your site’s ranking can be steady, but more likely than not (especially when there is a sustained period of link growth), there will be fluctuations.

The latest Moz Friday™ video goes into detail about what this means, what to expect, and other hijinks.

Do not freak out. A lot of people just lose their cool with their SEOs or with their team or with themselves. They panic. I would urge you not to arbitrarily change your tactics.

If you’re observing rankings fluctuation like the kind I’m describing — so down here in the five, six, seven positions, up here in the three, four, five positions from day to day — that’s okay. You are not doing something wrong or bad, at least not necessarily and not usually.

There’s some solid advice here, which I recommend you check out if you’re constantly on a roller-coaster of emotion, watching your rankings.

SEO takes time. just a cliche.


How to Write Great Content

stock photography FTW

This is a good post. It’s uh… coming down a little heavy on PBNs–and that’s OK. We’ll agree to disagree, I guess?

But passionate anti-PBN rant notwithstanding, this is a great little post on writing good content.

Me, in every TWS post: Write good content 😀

You, probably: WTF does that even mean? What is “good?”

Fair question. Here’s a pretty tidy summary that goes a long way toward answering that:

  • Your content needs to be different and unique
  • You need to avoid the rabbit hole of trying to create better guides and better “how tos”
  • Unique data, unique positions, and unique strategies will always dominate regurgitated guides.

There’s a lot more to writing content that ranks well… length, keyword density, semantic phrases… but following those points will take you most of the way.


Google, On Snippets

Ever wondered what Google’s take on featured snippets, meta data, and more is?

WELL THIS IS YOUR LUCKY DAY, PARTNER. Google recently put out a blog post that takes on all of these topics. Highly recommend you check it out.

The most interested part, to me, was this:

Can I prevent Google from using the page contents as snippet?
You can prevent Google from generating snippets altogether by specifying the “nosnippet” robots directive. There’s no way to prevent using page contents as snippet while allowing other sources.

Damn. I hate when that happens, But it’s a relief at least to know those for certain, so you can stop worrying about it, maybe?

Special Edition: A New Google Algorithm Update
Exceptions to SEO Best Practices

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.
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