Last updated on September 14, 2021.
Welcome to episode #11 of the SEO Newsletter.
As usual, I am bringing you the most important SEO news, resources, announcements, and tips.
I am super excited to see that more and more people subscribe to the newsletter and SEOSLY Pro. Thank you for your trust.
📰 SEO NEWS OF THE WEEK
Google Spam Update
Google rolled out a two-part spam update on June 23rd and June 28th. The update does not seem to have a huge impact. Neither did it cause any major fluctuations in SERPs. Google did not provide any details on what type of spam this update targeted. Instead, as a reminder, Google linked to its webmaster guidelines.
Google content policies for Google Search
Google put all of its content policies for Google Search on one single page and grouped them by categories like ads, medical content, deceptive practices, and more. This makes things a lot easier for website owners and publishers to learn what’s OK and what’s not OK regarding content.
Rapidly-changing results are now marked in search results
Google introduces a new notice to indicate that the results for a given query are rapidly changing. The new notice is shown when Google systems are not able to detect many reliable sources for a given query.
How HTTP status codes and network and DNS errors affect Google Search
Google published an article that explains in great detail HTTP status codes, how Google interprets them, how network and DNS errors may influence the site’s visibility in search, and more. Check this out!
Google also updates its extensive documentation on redirects and SEO. The document explains different types of redirects and when it’s best to use a given type of redirect and when it makes no sense. Google also introduces the idea of crypto redirects.
Google announces that it’s going to delay plans to block cookies & stops FLoC testing
In response to a lot of negative feedback from users, publishers, and advertisers, Google decided to delay plans to block cookies until 2023 and publishes a new timeline for the planned changes. Together with the announcement, Google also stops FLoC testing.
Google Analytics 4 Basic Guide
In response to your questions and requests, I created a basic guide to Google Analytics 4 to guide less advanced SEOs and website owners through the basic analyses website owners can perform with GA4. A lot of powerful SEO insights about your audience can be unpacked from GA4.
And in case you missed the previous episode of the SEO Newsletter, here are the articles you don’t want to miss.
Google SEO Tools
I spent a lot of time last weekend compiling the list of Google SEO tools that every SEO should know about and use on a daily basis. Google is very kind to provide us with such awesome SEO support. Not only does Google give us a ton of learning materials but they also equip us with some of the best SEO tools on earth.
Google Search Operators
With the help of Google search operators, special commands that you can type directly into Google, you can perform some super-advanced searches and narrow down the results to find exactly what you are looking for. In my list of 50+ Google search operators, I am showing you how to use search commands to perform specific SEO tasks.
Chrome Extensions For SEO
I compiled the list of 79 best SEO Chrome extensions where I personally tested each and every extension. Many of these extensions can really do great things and can make your SEO life way easier. However, keep in mind that I don’t recommend installing all of them at once!😇
⚙️ SEO TOOLS OF THE WEEK
The SEOSLY newsletter is sponsored by Sitebulb, an awesome desktop site crawler I use every day.
Sitebulb has just been upgraded to version 5 which introduces a lot of cool changes:
- Brand new Performance report that collects Web Vitals metrics with the Chrome Crawler as you crawl,
- Running Lighthouse audit on every web page of the site,
- Calculation of performance scores based on the Lighthouse Scoring Calculator,
- Performance budgets,
- And more!
My newsletter subscribers can try Sitebulbcompletely free of charge for 60 days (no credit card information is required). Give it a go and you won’t let Sitebulb go.
WP Rocket is a WordPress caching plugin that lets you improve the speed and the performance of your site. Thanks to WP Rocket, I have 100% of GOOD URLs in Google Search Console (my URLs pass Core Web Vitals). A great thing about WP Rocket is that it does not require technical knowledge to set it up.
To learn more about the plugin, I invite you to check my in-depth review of WP Rocket.
ContentKing, another awesome SEO tool, now lets you monitor your site’s Core Web Vitals with Lighthouse.
The rollout of Google’s Page Experience update is in full swing, and Core Web Vitals now become a ranking factor. But ranking factors aside, visitors love a great user experience and it’ll likely improve your conversion rate. So naturally, you want to keep a close eye on your site’s performance.
That’s why ContentKing now monitors your Core Web Vitals for all of your pages using Lighthouse. You can see current performance and how performances changed over time across your entire site, certain sections, and individual pages.
And, when your Core Web Vitals drop: of course ContentKing will alert you!
Speaking of Core Web Vitals, here are the free guides and tutorials I’ve created on the topic. Check them out if you haven’t already:
- The full guide to Core Web Vitals (explanation of the what, the how, and the way)
- Core Web Vitals audit (35+ steps with examples and tips)
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- Google Page Experience guide (explanation of all five Google Page Experience signals)
- Google Page Experience audit (15+ steps with tips & examples)
☝️ SEO TIPS OF THE WEEK
And here are the pro SEO tips for you. If you want more, I invite you to join SEOSLY Pro.
#1: Google says that you should use both accented and non-accented versions of words in your content.
This tip comes from the Google SEO office hours during which John Mueller answers the question about whether it makes a difference in terms of SEO to use accented characters in a brand name (e.g. Škoda Auto).
#2: Google wants to and prefers to automatically ignore bad links.
This is yet another reminder that you don’t really have to obsess over unnatural links pointing to your site unless you are the person who created them to mislead Google.
🤓 DON’T MISS THESE ARTICLES
Here are the articles you don’t want to miss:
- Rich Snippets can be impacted by Google broad core updates (Glenn Gabe)
- Google Patent Aims to Solve Searchers’ Need for Related Media Content (Bill Slawski)
- What Google’s FAQ Schema Update Means For Your SEO Strategy (Brodie Clark)
- How to Optimize for Your Own Branded Search (Moz)
- How To Trigger A Personal Knowledge Panel in Google (SEJ)
- The Search Engine Lange Mentorship Program for SEO and PPC (SEL)
- Demonstrating E-A-T: Tactics to implement, and avoid, for greater search visibility (SEL)
- How To Write An Irresistible Headline In 3 Easy Steps (Ahrefs)
- Study: How Content Readability Affects SEO and Rankings (Portent Blog)
🙏 SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Feel free to reply to this email if you have any SEO news to share, what to be featured in the newsletter, sponsor the newsletter, or anything.
And note that I am getting hundreds of messages and I am not always able to respond to all of you quickly. Please be patient.
🚀 JOIN SEOSLY PRO
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In addition, each new member qualifies for a free mini SEO audit of their site and gets access to other site audits I’ve performed.
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Olga Zarzeczna is a senior SEO specialist with 8+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done more than 150+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.