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Official NBA Game Ball Encased At Google Office

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Official NBA Game Ball Encased At Google Office


Google’s Satyajeet Salgar posted a photo of an official NBA game ball he found sitting in a meeting room at the Google / YouTube offices. It is in a glass mounted case, so I assume it is worth something? I am not sure why it was in that room and I don’t think Salgar knew either…

He shared this on Twitter and said “This is just lying on the floor in this meeting room at YouTube…”

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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Google Ads Adds Audience Targeting & Reporting Features

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Google Ads Adds Audience Targeting & Reporting Features


Google Ads emailed some advertisers earlier this week about three new audience targeting and reporting features. Here is what is new:

(1) You can now reuse your audiences across campaign types in Google Ads. Google said when building an audience for use in a campaign, you will notice that it will be saved for use again in the next time you run a new campaign. This feature has been in Performance Max and soon will also come to Discovery, Video Action and App campaigns.

(2) A new simplified view of your audience reporting is live, where Google Ads consolidates the detailed reporting across demographics, audience segments, and exclusions under a single “audience” tab. You can access this Audience tab on the left page navigation menu.

(3) Audience type name changes are live in your Google Ads audience reports and console. An example is that “audience types” are now referred to as “audience segments.” Also “Remarketing” is now referred to as “your data.”

Here is the email PPCGreg shared about this on Twitter, in which Ginny Marvin from Google responded saying “You may have seen the first two updates in some accounts. The ability to reuse audiences will be expanding to more campaign types in the coming months. And, you may be aware, but cross-account segment sharing from your manager account might be helpful.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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10 Must-Know SEO Basics For Web Developers

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10 Must-Know SEO Basics For Web Developers


You know the struggle… you just need these four or five tickets taken care of and it would mean so much to your SEO goals for the month.

But how do you get your web developers on board?

How can you help them understand the urgency of your SEO needs when they have so many other competing priorities on their plate?

Fifteen years ago, I could do about 90% of my SEO work for a given client myself.

Those days are gone. SEO now relies on content creation, UX, code development, IT, various layers/levels of approvals, and more.

I have written many times about how SEO can’t be done in a silo and am happy it’s a discipline that now focuses more on alignment for creating a quality experience for website visitors.

Over my career, there has always been a need for the support of web developers.

That meant going down the hall in my agency or working with a third-party developer contracted or employed by my clients.

In either case, getting buy-in and support from web development is critical for SEO.

Even better is when developers have an understanding of SEO principles.

It is much more efficient if developers know the basics and factor them into their builds and site maintenance, avoiding any re-work later.

Check out the 10 must-know SEO basics for web developers and some focus group discussions with my teams of SEO specialists and developers as well.

1. Security

Website security matters to the search engines.

Make sure you have an SSL in place and without any errors.

That’s the starting point.

Beyond that, have the necessary safeguards to ensure the site has no vulnerabilities that allow for an injection, manipulated content, etc.

Getting hacked at any level hurts user experience and trust signals for users and search engines.

However, be mindful of site speed (more to come on that) when you secure the site with any plugins, extensions, or tools.

2. Response Codes

Server response codes matter.

Often there are ways to get a page to render for a user and unique UX designs that prompt some creative dev implementations.

Regardless, make sure pages are rendering 200 server codes.

Source and update any 3xx or 4xx codes. If you don’t need redirects, remove them.

3. Redirects

Speaking of redirects, they are a critical part of the website migration and launch process coming from an old site to a new one.

If you don’t do anything else in your launch process, at least implement redirects.

We’re talking about making sure all URLs from the old site have a 301 redirect to the most relevant subject matter page on the new site.

This could be 1:1 old site to new site pages or many to one if you are streamlining and updating content structure.

Like with server codes above, don’t trust a page is rendering and assume it is ok.

Use tools to validate that redirects are 301s.

4. Robots.txt

Nothing matters in SEO if the site can’t get indexed and shown in search results.

Don’t let the robots.txt file be an afterthought.

Sometimes default commands are too open and, in other cases, too restrictive.

Know what’s in the robots.txt.

Don’t blindly push the staging file to production without checking it.

Several sites with great migration and launch plans have been foiled by a disallow all command from staging (to keep the dev site from being indexed) that was pushed to the live site.

Also, consider blocking low-value items like tag pages, comments pages, and any other variations your CMS creates

You’ll usually need to consider a lot of low-value junk and if you can’t keep the pages from generating, at least block them from indexing.

5. Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are our chance to ensure the search engines know about all of our pages.

Don’t waste resources and opportunities letting images, insignificant pages, and things that shouldn’t be prioritized for focus and indexing.

Ensure all pages listed in XML sitemaps render a 200 server code.

Keep them clean and free of 404s, redirects, and anything that isn’t the destination page.

6. URLs

Good URLs are concise, include words relevant to the page’s subject matter, are lower case, and have no characters, spaces, or underscores.

I love to see a URL structure of sub-folder and pages that match the content hierarchy in the navigation and site structure.

Three levels down?

Then “example.com/level-1/level-2/topical-page.”

7. Mobile Friendly

Again, remember that just because something works or looks good in a browser doesn’t mean it is ideal for a search engine.

Mobile-friendliness is important to search.

Validate it with Google’s mobile-friendly tool.

Make sure it passes.

Beyond that, think about the content rendered in the mobile version.

Google uses “mobile first” indexing.

That means they are looking at the mobile version of the site.

If you’re hiding or not rendering important content that you want search engines to consider in the mobile version for UX considerations, think twice and know that the content may be missing from what Google sees.

8. Site Speed

This is number eight on the list but possibly the most important after ensuring your site can be indexed.

Site speed is important.

Slow page loads and sites hurt UX and conversion rates.

They also have an impact on SEO performance.

There’s not a single set of ways to optimize site speed.

It really comes down to keeping your code light, being judicious in using plugins or extensions, having an optimized hosting environment, compressing and minifying JS and CSS, and keeping image sizes under control.

Any code, files, and aspects that can cause shifts in performance or instability are a risk.

Build in any safeguards for content management controls so a 10MB image can’t be uploaded and tank a page. Or a plugin update goes undetected in how it slows down things.

Baseline, monitor, and improve site speed on an ongoing basis.

My Lead Developer’s favorite tool is web.dev or Lighthouse in the Google Chrome browser dev tools.

9. Heading Tags

Heading tags are great context clues for search engines.

Keep in mind they are for content and not CSS shortcuts.

Yes, tie your CSS to them, but keep them in order of importance.

Don’t have the first, biggest page heading as an H5 and subheadings on a page as H1s.

There’s plenty of commentary on the impact (or not) of headings on SEO performance.

I’m not going there in this article.

Just be as literal as you can in the hierarchy and how they’re used.

Use them where you can instead of other CSS.

Have just one H1 on a page if you can.

Work with your SEO resources to understand the plan for headings and on-page content overall.

10. Content Management & Dynamic Content

As noted above, CMS functionality can wreck the best dev implementations.

Be smart about the control you give.

Understand the site’s ongoing content plan and needs so content creators have the control they want and need but can’t wreck site speed or any of the SEO on-page elements.

Having as many dynamic aspects like tagging, XML sitemap generation, redirects, and more can save you time and safeguard your site and code to keep everything stable.

Conclusion

The intersection and collaboration between SEO professionals and web developers are important.

SEO relies on best practices for technical SEO and other things like enterprise scaling of on-page items.

Developers understanding SEO basics can go a long way toward successful collaboration and SEO performance.

Plus, it can make for more efficient website development work and the need for less re-work or “SEO-specific” updates and requests.

More resources: 


Featured Image: baranq/Shutterstock





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Google May 2022 Core Update Is Live

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Google May 2022 Broad Core Update


Google Search has begun to roll out the first broad core update of the year, the May 2022 broad core update. It started on May 25, 2022 at about 11:30am ET and will now roll out for the next couple of weeks.

So far, we are seeing many signs that this May 2022 core update started off strong. Over night, a lot of the tracking tools (not all just yet) picked up big volatility with the Google search results. Also, the chatter starting early this morning is really picking up. The chatter changed from comments like – “oh no, there was a Google core update announced” to “oh no, my site dropped in rankings in a big way.” I embedded and quoted a lot of that early chatter below, along with what the tools are showing. I may update some of the tools as they update later on this morning.

Google May 2022 Broad Core Update Quick Facts

Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:

  • Name: Google May 2022 Broad Core Update
  • Launched: May 25, 2022 at around 11:30pm ET
  • Rollout: It will take about one to two weeks to roll out
  • Targets: It looks at all types of content
  • Penalty: It is not a penalty, it promotes or rewards great web pages
  • Global: This is a global update impacting all regions, in all languages.
  • Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update.
  • Discover: Core updates impact Google Discover and other features, also feature snippets and more.
  • Recover: If you were hit by this, then you will need to look at your content and see if you can do better with Google’s advice below.
  • Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to this algorithm but may not communicate those updates in the future. Maybe this is what we saw the past couple of weeks or all those unconfirmed Google updates.

Danny Sullivan from Google (who is on vacation now, so likely wrote this last week and someone else published it or maybe he did it while on vacation), wrote “Several times per year, we make substantial improvements to our overall ranking processes, which we refer to as core updates. Core updates are designed to increase the overall relevancy of our search results and make them more helpful and useful for everyone. Today, we’re releasing our May 2022 core update. It will take about 1-2 weeks to fully roll out.”

These broad core updates are global.

If you were impacted by this update, check out the Google core update advice story for more.

Below is a recap of the early chatter and data we are seeing on this update less than 24 hours after it started rolling out. Keep in mind, we expect to see more over the next several days but I wanted to share some of the early reports on the impact of this update.

Did Google Test This Update Earlier?

As we’ve been reporting, there was broad core update like updates we’ve been seeing and chattering about since May 16th. Google would not confirm it, in fact, John Mueller of Google said less than 12 hours before announcing this new broad core update “I’m not aware of anything specific. We always work to improve the quality & relevance of the search results, so it can happen that a site becomes more – or less – visible over time.”

Google would tell me that what we saw before May 25th was not related to these unconfirmed updates but honestly, this happens a lot. Maybe Google was testing this core update in the wild? Who knows but we did think whatever was going on over the past week felt a lot like a Google core update.

John Mueller of Google specifically addressed this saying “when we announce core updates, we start the roll-out at that point, not beforehand.” Although he did delete that tweet shortly after this core update was announced, I am not sure why…

Previous Broad Core Updates

So yea, this will take a couple of weeks to roll out and it has been over six months since the last update, which was last the November 2021 core update on November 17th through November 30th. The previous core updates prior to the November update was the July 2021 and then a month prior to that with the June core update. The one before that was 6 months before the June update, on December 3, 2020 named the December 2020 core update. Before that was 7 month gap where on May 4, 2020, the May 2020 core update. The one prior to that was on January 13, 2020, the January 2020 core update and the one before that was on September 24, 2019, the September 2019 core update. Oh, before that was on June 3, 2019, the June 2019 core update and I can go on and on.

SEO Chatter On May 2022 Core Update

Yesterday, things were slow but this morning, things really heated up with the chatter. Here is some of the chatter in the SEO forums and on social about this May 2022 broad core update:

Remember this rule of thumb with these core updates… Don’t panic day 1 unless you are completely obliterated. Google claims these take 2 weeks to fully rollout but you should feel this update within 48 hours or it’s not affecting you at all. Then wait for the dust to settle before analyzing your SERPS. Keep an eye out for a correction too. Sometimes these core updates have adverse affects and Google sees these signals and reverts. On a separate note, the PDF spam needs to be addressed in this core update because the Spam update of November sure as hell didn’t. Good luck everyone

UK informational site with lots of UGC. Real-time currently about 2/3 of what I’d usually expect this time of day. Trying not to give into the fear just yet.

So far I noticed a slight bump in traffic, but the keyword bleeding started again, so no idea where this will go. Let’s see in a couple of weeks.

Hello everyone! So, as far as I see, my blogs were hit by this core update. On most of them, I didn’t use the table of contents and they flew away (25% for now), one of them had and it is still doing okay without changes (maybe a slight down for 5%). So, IMHO you need big articles, with a good amount of h2,h3, +FAQ, and the chances you stay in SERP will grow up.

My Site Rank was dropped xterday from 4th POS to 10th 🙁 …..

The sites which has seen fluctuation in their rankings majorly drops in ranking and I have seen many affiliate sites have seen ranking drops. So what type of changes site owner need to pay to improve the rankings.

Oh, yes, just for your information, all my informational keywords are gone far away from page 1, and now what I see on page 1? Shops! happy! I think there are no more informational keywords, only commercial! happy!

Informational site here, significant drops in traffic starting today, about 30% so far every hour. Keyword rankings also dropped in almost all categories. Yesterday was fine. Hopefully, they return as they did in December/January after the other core update.

Hey, a similar case here. The thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve lost 100% of my featured snippets. What’s peculiar is I’ve either lost the snippet but only dropped to position 2 or I’m still in position 1 and Google no longer has a snippet in the SERPs for that term.

I’ve checked a chunk of other sites and several have lost 100% of their snippets. I know of a few people who saw this back in November with no recovery. John Mu, of course, flatly denied it happening.

A few of my sites got wiped out. 50-80% of the keyword rankings are gone. First page are now filled with horrible spam pages with no useful content (some are even AI generated).

Again, it is just the first day of the update, and it is still ongoing so we can’t conclude it yet as It takes up to 12 days for the rollout to be completed. However, I’m filled with pessimism already.

Those who are losing traffic with information related sites I will say that I am in a different boat at the moment. My informational site has seen an increase overnight. Traffic is presently pushing what I would normally get in one day I have received since 9pm to 6am. So this is a big uptick for me.

Im not sure what the difference is between what I have and what others are doing but it is still really early in the game for this update. They have just begun and whatever we see should not be taken as the standard yet. We need at least 4 to 5 days to see the general direction of this one.

Tracking Tools On May 2022 Core Update

Semrush is reporting a 9.4 – which is super high:

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Accuranker is high as well:

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Advanced Web Rankings is at 10 out of 10:

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Mozcast – not updated yet:

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SERPmetrics showing big trends up:

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RankRanger should show movement later today:

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Algoroo currently not showing movement:

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Cognitive SEO is currently calm:

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SERPwoo is high:

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Have you noticed much?

Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld, Black Hat World, Local Search Forum and Google Webmaster Help.





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