SEO Newsletter Issue #15 (7/29/2021)

Last updated on September 14, 2021.

newsletter issue 15

 Welcome to episode #15 of the SEO Newsletter. I hope you are having a fantastic week. 

As always I am bringing you a bunch of breaking SEO news and a small update from SEOSLY Pro, my SEO project whose purpose is to teach you technical SEO and SEO auditing.

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The first 19 steps (out of 200+) of my video SEO audit guide have been recorded and are now available for SEOSLY Pro members. 

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There are five video SEO audits available as well. Each video is 20-30 minutes long. 
I invite you to give SEOSLY Pro a try. You don’t risk anything because:

  • You can get the first month for $1
  • There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for the second month

Okay, let’s now get into the SEO news and pro SEO tips I have prepared for you this week. 


Google begins rolling out Link Spam Update

Google announced that it began rolling out the Link Spam Update. This update makes Google algorithms even more effective at nullifying link spam more broadly and across multiple languages. The main piece of advice Google gives here is to remember to qualify affiliate and other types of sponsored links with rel="sponsored".

Google publishes an overview of Google search operators

Google updates its advanced SEO documentation and adds an overview of Google search operators. One of the interesting search operators it shares is src: which you can use to find the pages that reference a specific image as in src: If you want to dive deep into Google search operators, then I have a pretty exhaustive list of them here.

Google now shows why it ranked a specific web page

Google is rolling out a new feature called About This Result panel (the three dots next to most results) and is now going to list factors why it ranked a specific web page for a specific query. Some of the factors may include matching keywords, related terms, links, or local relevance. 

A list of 65 SEO tools for SEO auditing 

I have created a very exhaustive list of tools for SEO auditing. As I am an SEO auditor myself, I know and use lots of various SEO tools every day. Here is the compilation of tools that will help you perform an SEO audit. Note that there is some overlap between these tools, so you don’t need to use all of them to run an SEO audit.

15 ways to check why your site’s traffic may be down (and if it’s really down)

Is your site experiencing a traffic loss? Are you wondering if it’s because of the Google algorithm update? If your answer is YES, then this is the guide just for you. 


Sitebulb [Main Sponsor] 

The SEOSLY newsletter is sponsored by Sitebulb, an awesome desktop site crawler I use every day. My newsletter subscribers can get an extended 60-day free trial of Sitebulb (no credit card information required). 

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I noticed that people have been panicking a bit after the recent Google Link Spam Update, so I will show you here how to use Sitebulb to quickly check if the external links on the site have the rel="nofollow" or rel="sponsored" attribute.

Once your Sitebulb audit is complete, go to Link Explorer External Links All and navigate to the Nofollow and Sponsored column headings. This way you can check every external link on the site and whether it has one of these attributes.

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Here is the full guide on how to audit your site using Sitebulb in case you want to learn more. 

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is the most powerful caching plugin in the world that requires no technical knowledge to set it up. Thanks to WP Rocket, I have 100% of GOOD URLs in Google Search Console (my URLs pass Core Web Vitals).


And here are the pro SEO tips for you.

#1: Gary Illyes on Core Web Vitals optimization
Gary Illyes in his recent tweet was a bit sarcastic about optimizing Core Web Vitals. I think this is a reminder we all need. Just because we obsess about Core Web Vitals and have a super-fast website will not make our site rank highly. Content and meeting users’ needs are still KING. 

#2: No need to change rel=”nofollow” to rel=”sponsored”
People started to panic a bit after Google’s announcement as part of the Link Spam Update that all affiliate links, guest post links, or any other types of paid links should be qualified with rel="sponsored"Google confirms that rel="nofollow" links are OK and there is no need to change them into rel="sponsored“. 

#3: You should treat the Google Page Experience update as the replacement of any old Google speed updates. 
There have been a number of different Google speed updates in the past. The speed aspects that you should be focusing on now include Google Page Experience signals, such as Core Web Vitals. John Mueller confirms this is the right approach right now.  


 Here are the articles you don’t want to miss this week:

76 Digital PR and Content tips from Brighton SEO 2021

If you have missed Brighton SEO 2021 or you need a refresher, this is the resource for you. It is a collection of 76 tips from different areas, such as data, analysis, content, campaigns, outreach, measurement, and more. 

What Google does with feedback from users #AskGooglebot

“The web is so gigantic and ever-changing, and people ask us new questions every day. Because of that our goal is generally to improve the algorithms that pull together the search results overall and not to tweak things for individual queries. This may take a bit of time, but it makes search better for everyone worldwide for the large number of searches that are done every day.”

3 Powerful On-Page Optimizations to Power Up Your Content

Moz publishes an excellent guide that highlights 3 powerful on-page SEO optimizations, such as formatting content for readers & robots (using headings, short paragraphs, and bullet points), optimizing for featured snippets, and adding an FAQ section with FAQ Schema.  

How to Set the Right SEO Goals with 3 Examples

“SEO goals are specific and measurable objectives that you aim to achieve over a period of time. Each goal should contribute to the purpose of SEO: reach more prospective users through organic search and turn them into customers.” In this guide from Ahrefs, you will learn how to set the right SEO goals using the SEO goal pyramid. 

The 80/20 Guide to SEO

You have probably heard about the 80/20 rule and how it applies to life. It also applies to SEO. In this article, you will learn how to use the 80/20 rule in SEO to achieve your SEO goals. 

SEO for large websites

Doing SEO for large websites is a bit different from how you do it for small sites. This article is a must-read if you deal with large websites in your day-to-day work. It talks about working with data and technical SEO.



I am starting an SEO experiment and creating a separate website for this purpose. I will be publicly sharing with you my findings, progress, website stats, etc. I think it’s going to be super interesting. I will share with you more details early next month. 


Some of you have been asking me to cover local SEO news and tips. I don’t feel like an expert in local SEO but this is the area I want to learn more about. I will soon start sharing some local SEO news & tips as well. 

Please note that I am getting hundreds of messages and I am not always able to respond to all of you quickly. Please be patient. I am doing my best.

See you next week!


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