This Week In SEO 90
Site Quality, SEO Fallacies, More Site Quality Penalties, and More!


The Presence of Low Quality Content Affects Overall Site Quality

One bad apple spoils the bunch, right?

According to John Mueller on a recent webmaster hangout, that is most likely true for your site’s quality rating:

QUESTION – Is it possible that if the algorithm doesn’t particularly like our blog articles as much that it could affect our ranking and quality score on the core content?”

ANSWER: JOHN MUELLER: Theoretically, that’s possible. I mean it’s kind of like we look at your web site overall. And if there’s this big chunk of content here or this big chunk kind of important wise of your content, there that looks really iffy, then that kind of reflects across the overall picture of your website. But I don’t know in your case, if it’s really a situation that your blog is really terrible.

So now I will remind you:

1. Content is important–do a good job.

2. Get rid of that crappy content you wrote 5 years ago when you were in your “spun content” phase (but do it in a way that doesn’t skyrocket the number of 404 errors your site has).

This post has a few more quotes that expand on this answer/concept, so I def. recommend checking it out.


Things You Might Be Wrong About

SEO can be a complicated subject to tackle, mostly because there’s SO MANY things that change so frequently, and partly because a lot of it relates closely to coding (you know, technical SEO).

This post clears up a few commonly misunderstood concepts, so you can be THAT PERSON the next time it comes up at work…

Canonicalization is what you need.

Rel=canonical is what you do when you can’t achieve perfect canonicalization.

Canonicalization means ensuring that all things have a single, standard, canonical form. In SEO terms, that means no duplicate content.

Rel=canonical is a spit and bailing wire fix for impossible duplication problems. Rel canonical is a mixed bag at best.

Fix duplication first. Use rel=canonical to reduce duplication only as a last resort.


Thoughts on the August Algorithm Update

Google has no chill. I’ve seen a ton of movement in the SERPs this summer than I can remember in any previous quarter. And it’s all, as far as I can tell, been tied to a site’s quality score.

As I mentioned in my post about the May 17, 2017 update, Google seems to be pushing quality updates almost monthly now (refreshing its quality algorithms). That’s great if you are looking to recover, but tough if you’re in the gray area of quality and susceptible to being hit. Over the past several months, we have seen updates on May 17, June 25, July 10, and now August 19. Google has been busy.

There seems to have been another one in early September (around the 7th or 11th).

Lots of rankings doing this:

and this:

And a few killer sites doing this:

The post goes in-depth to some examples of what may have caused these pages to be impacted (the usual suspects like thin content, lots of ads, and this):

It never ceases to amaze me how some sites absolutely hammer their visitors, attempt to trick them into clicking ads, provide horrible UX barriers, and almost give them a seizure with crazy ads running across their pages.

A good post to dig into and follow the advice for your site. It’s only going to get worse for your SEO if visiting your site is a UX disaster.


Ecommerce Insights (that relate to SEO)

Just an FYI, if you’re wondering what to spend your marketing money on…

Though the overall numbers are declining, it’s still pretty obvious what brings the most traffic and revenue to an ecommerce store:

The search giant generates 62% of all traffic and 63% of all revenue. This is down from 69% of traffic and 67% of revenue in last year’s study. In numerical terms, Google is growing — it’s simply that the big G’s share of the pie is in decline.

An interesting post–check it out if you’ve got an Ecommerce store.


Google adds AMP-based Featured Snippets to the Mobile SERPs

I’ve heard a lot of (SEO/marketing) reasons not to implement AMP for mobile, but here’s one that might make all the hassle worth it:

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that last week they have rolled out the ability for AMP links to show up in the featured snippets section at the top of the Google mobile search results.

Google tells us this launched last week as some started noticing. Google did confirm again that AMP is still not a search ranking factor. The only change is that the featured snippet result can link to an AMP page.


Rapid-Fire SEO Insights

Some interesting tweets from the recent Brighton SEO conference:

Mobile Movement, NoFollow Links, Quality Updates, & More!
Google Pays Apple, AMP, Hidden Content, & More

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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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