This Week In SEO 88
Search Console Positions, Long Tail Strategy, and More!


Why Your GSC Position Data (Probably) Dropped

This is a post about using Search Console to analyze your position data–some really heavy stuff. Mostly I stick to page optimizations and link building strategies. I don’t dig too deeply into Search Console, but this issue seems like a frustrating one, so hopefully this helps.

Have you ever seen something like this in Search Console:

And reacted like:

There are always lots of reports about whether or not there’s a bug in Google Search Console. Is it a buy or an algorithm update? This post helps show that understanding the position data, and really knowing how to read it, can help easily distinguish between the two.

There’s a simple explanation of what’s going on, and your site (probably) hasn’t tanked:

Google Search Console position data is only stable when looking at a single query. The position data for a site or page will be accurate but is aggregated by all queries.

In general, be on the look out for query expansion where a site or page receives additional impressions on new terms where they don’t rank well. When the red line goes up and the green goes down that could be a good thing.

And one more from the comments on this post:

And that’s why I think understanding how to read this data is so important. If you look at the data and say “it’s a bug” instead of looking at it and saying “whoa, something big just happened” then you’re bound to fall behind.


On Implementing a Long Tail Strategy

I know you want to take your brand new site to the top of the SERPs for “Best Travel Insurance,” but I’ve got some bad news.

It’s gonna take some time (and a whole lot of money).

I’ve started a lot of sites myself, and I understand the desire to get to the top like yesterday, man. Unfortunately, SEO is a long game, and to make the best of your money in time investment, you should definitely have a plan.

good point

Here’s one way to have a very solid plan for your content creation/keyword targeting:

Focus on long tail keywords at the start, and increase targets to more competitive and valuable keywords as you get traction.

It has been known that long-tail keywords are essential when you want to optimize for semantic search. Since today is a time of technological advancements, the use of voice search and talking to bots are commonplace. Whenever a user performs queries through these platforms, more often than not, they use long-tail keyword phrases such as questions and commands with specific intent.

This post provides a good starting point.


Increasing Organic Traffic By Targeting Long Tails

This post is definitely trying to sell you a keyword research tool. I have not used it personally, so I make no recommendations or guarantees. But there’s some interest info in this case study that does not explicitly rely on the tool, so I’m sharing.

Basically, the author did some semantic/keyword research to re-optimize some under-performing pages, and then did a few things to make those pages work to help overall site SEO:

I’ve built new internal (contextual) links pointing to the optimized versions of the pages from other topically related content to pass more link equity and ensure we’ll be sending more new signals to crawlers. Use the fresh content as an internal link for other recent posts to strengthen your sales funnel.

I’ve said before: content doesn’t JUST help rank your site by providing authority and a good user experience. It can help in other ways, like this post shows.


Auto-playing Video Ads in Google’s SERPs

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that they are running a small experiment where they auto-play videos in the search results page. Jennifer Slegg spotted the test this morning after conducting some test searches using Internet Explorer. The video in the knowledge panel will auto-play if you are in this experiment.

And you were mad when they reduced the local pack from 7 to 3…


Backhanded Ranking

This is funny.

This mattress website is ranking for the trademarked (and I bet, aggressively pursued) keyword “Tempur-Pedic” by listing exactly how much they are NOT Tempur-Pedic:

“Mattress Firm, Inc. is not an authorized reseller of Tempur-Pedic products and is not affiliated with either Tempur-Pedic North America, LLC or Tempur Sealy, International, Inc.”


Tempur-Pedic® is known for using a TEMPUR® material similar to memory foam, which has millions of movable cells designed to cushion the body during sleep…

That’s some Subliminal SEO right there.


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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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