This Week In SEO 98
Crawl Traps, Search Intent, Conflicting Content Advice, & More!


Is Your Site an Endless Horror for Googlebot?

Search engine spiders don’t like a site that plays hard to get. If they have to put too much effort into crawling your site they just… won’t crawl all of it.

I think we’re all on the same page here in wanting the best experience possible for users AND Google on your site, so making sure there aren’t any tricky spots where the crawler could get and give up.

So, how to prevent this?

Definitely dig into the article, but here are the likely culprits:

  • URLs with query parameters: these often lead to infinite unique URLs.
  • Infinite redirect loops: URLs that keep redirecting and never stop.
  • Links to internal searches: links to internal search-result pages to serve content.
  • Dynamically generated content: where the URL is used to insert dynamic content.
  • Infinite calendar pages: where there’s a calendar present that has links to previous and upcoming months.
  • Faulty links: links that point to faulty URLs, generating even more faulty URLs.

If your site possibly has some of the above situations, it’s probably worth digging in to make sure you’re not killing your crawl budget (the links has solutions to fixing all the above-mentioned list).


Backlinko Explains Search Intent

Brian Dean has created a pretty good post explaining the importance of understand query intent (which we covered on our “Medic” core algorithm update post). Calling it Skyscraper 2.0 seems like it needlessly confuses the topic, but whatever, hashtag marketing.

On paper my content had everything going for it:

    • 200+ backlinks.
    • Lots of comments (which Google likes).
    • And social shares out the wazoo.

What was missing? User Intent.

User Intent + SEO = Higher Rankings


Google’s #1 goal is to make users happy. Which means they need to give people results that match their User Intent.

This post also covered an interesting thing: Google has started to solicit user feedback on their intent:

The bottom line is this:

Understanding query intent of a searcher is important, but understanding what Google thinks is the query intent of a searcher will get your content ranking in the top spots.


When it Comes to Content, Do What Google Says, Not What They Say

On a recent Google webmaster hangout, John “J-Mu” Mueller said the he and Google engineers have conflicting views on how to handle low-quality content:

In a Google hangout from the other day, John Mueller of Google explained that while he believes and has seen case studies that removing content helps a site rank better in Google that the engineers at Google tell him and his team to tell webmasters to not remove the content but rather improve it. But John said, sometimes it is not practical for a webmaster to improve content and removing the content is a more practical strategy.


Thanks, Google.


The State of the SERPs in 2018: Content Creators Lose

Have you noticed your organic traffic decreasing despite your rankings staying the same?

Sparktoro has a solid, data-backed post on the increase-over-time of Google grabbing content from your optimized site to display right there in the SERPs, with no need for the searcher to visit your site.

Good deal for Google!

In the last two and a half years, mobile “no-click” (or “zero click”) searches have grown 11%. Desktop no-click searches have grown 9.5%. That’s less steep than it could be, especially considering how aggressive Google’s become with their rich results and attempts to answer queries prior to anyone leaving the search engine. Search marketers should, in my opinion, breathe a sigh of relief at the relatively slow growth of no-click searches. It’s bad, it’s getting worse, but it’s not yet cannibalized so much as to make anyone in SEO or paid search worry about their jobs.

You can see the blue in this image–organic clicks–going down.

Your best strategy at the moment is probably to try and win the featured snippet spots (also… see the next story).


A New SERP Innovation That No One Needs

Do you have an increasing amount of anxiety about the decreasing organic SERP CTR due to the increase of rich search results like featured snippets?



It seems like “best” keywords seem to trigger these results:


Pre-Rendering the SERPs

There’s more. Really interesting. Recommend you read the whole thread.

E-A-T Was Not About Ranking Factors, Ecommerce SEO, & More
SEO Advice: What to Do About the August 1st Algorithm Update

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