JEMStones – Search Engine News – An SEO Podcast – S1E3

Search Engin Topics

  1. Introduction
  2. Julian’s recent GMB Suspension
  3. Google Search Ranking Volatility Continues But Is There A Google Update?
  4. Google Search Feature Online Therapy Providers
  5. Google Featured Snippets With How-To Schema
  6. Google To Drop Crawl Anomaly Data For Something More Useful
  7. Google Mostly Treats Affiliate Links As Nofollowed Links

Introduction

Matt (00:03): And welcome to the JEMStones podcast. I’m your host, Matt Lewis. Yet again, joined by Julian and Kimmy. Julian and Kimmy. How you guys doing?

Kimmy (00:12): Hey there. Fantastic, How you doing?

Julian’s recent GMB Suspension

Matt (00:15): Great. All right, so let’s talk about some SEO news. It looks like Google My Business photo insights, the reporting has been delayed for a couple of weeks here, or at least this week, we still haven’t seen anything come back on it. Google hasn’t reported anything on it. And, Julian, I know you had an interesting issue with Google My Business recently, too. Huh? You want to talk about that?

Julian (00:40): Yeah. Yeah, I did actually. Just to shoot back on that point, you know, I see how much coverage, additional images give GMBs. It’s not really, I’ve never been to calculate any kind of additional traffic or anything like that, but photos do make a difference in it. It’s, it’s nice to see the traffic or the people looking at your images. I dunno, how, how much input went into conversion rate or anything like that. But you’re right. Yesterday I was, as we do optimizing one of our clients Google My Business accounts, which, you know, simple, why of how do you optimize a GMB? Well, you fill it out completely. Those are that’s the overly simplified, but anyway, so you know how you split your categories for a business. And this happened to be a medical malpractice attorney. So, you know, traditionally we’ve gone in and set multiple categories.

Julian (01:41): And you know, I’ve never been that impressed with the selection of categories, but anyway and then they’re in the whole scheme of things. Now you can often go in or now you can go in and add the services under those categories. So, you might have law firm and then you can add the specific specialties that that law firm does. So that’s obviously what I proceeded to do. And under the law firm category, I went in and very quickly I copied and pasted about 25, 30 areas of law that they cover when it comes to the medical malpractice. And I did it so fast that by the time I was done, the account was suspended for quality issues. So it was,an automated suspension. The scary thing about getting an account suspended like that, is it no longer shows in Google Maps anywhere it’s gone.

Julian (02:35): So I knew it was nothing I had done. Actually, the funny part of this is I got an account suspended for doing a great job, for being thorough. So anyway, I finished it off. I put a description in all like 25 30 of them, and then I just see it as a reconsideration request to get unsuspended and just said, Hey, you know, your system automatically suspended me. Which surprisingly enough, today this was yesterday, they’ve unsuspended it. And the account is live. That is the quickest. I’ve gotten anything actionable done on GMBs lately. Things are going into pending for like weeks at a time. Things are waiting to be approved weeks at a time. And it’s just the COVID thing. Anything that’s manually checked is taking a long time, but I am finally seeing it, like I mentioned last week, things going back into the normal timeframes, which is great. So that’s the thing, do to got a job too quickly. And the system’s like, Whoa, this doesn’t seem right.

Matt (03:41): Yeah, You’re, you’re too good, too fast for him. That’s a, that’s a good problem to have. It is good to hear that the Google, my business team is responding to requests like that, that quickly you know, especially for something like, you know, medical malpractice, or something that is, can be time sensitive like that. You wouldn’t want to have an account suspended for too long especially for something as simple as you just did a good job and you put in a lot of relevant data for them. And, you know, I think Google My Business is one of those things that a lot of people tend to under-utilize. And so when I would imagine that was definitely some sort of automatic, you know, suspension where the computer just picked up, that you put a bunch of data in quickly and they went, Oh, well, that’s, that’s spam. And, you know, they go again, good that they were able to, correct that. But,it’s good to know that the Google, My Business team isn’t completely asleep.

Julian (04:37): Believe it not, because of that. I read through the Google guidelines

Matt (04:43): Oh, we all love, we all love our favorite or favorite novel, the Google guideline.

Julian (04:48): Yeah. But anyway, they actually said to use the least number of categories as possible. And I said don’t spam them with keywords. Don’t spam services with keywords, which is slightly different to what I was saying.

Google Search Ranking Volatility Continues But Is There A Google Update?

Matt (05:02): Yeah. And that makes sense that, you know, you don’t wouldn’t want to have a business represent themselves as not as being something that they’re not. So,I do see the value in that, speaking of Google, we’ve got some insane, ranking, volatility over the last few days. All the way up until, petty much yesterday, even into today, a little bit, I’m seeing just massive jumps, fo some of our clients just up and down. And it seems to be across the board, Mo cast, algorithm, some of the other, ranking tools out there are saying that they’re seeing some really big jumps, but nothing has been said, nothing’s been said about an update. You know, and this is one of those things that I personally find it very difficult to explain to my clients when they, you know, especially since a lot of times they’re seeing a snapshot once a month or they’re seeing it, you know, they, they go in and they look at, you know, we give full transparency here at JEMSU.

Matt (06:05): And we say, Hey, you can look at your rankings anytime you want. Now, if they happen to look at rankings on a day, that is incredibly volatile and they go, wow, I dropped 86 positions and you really didn’t, you know, it was just that, that one, that one point briefly for an hour or whatever, it was. Have you seen anything that that would make you think that there is an update? It, are you saying, do you think this could just be something Google’s doing some testings, maybe behind the scenes? What do you, what do you think Julian?

Julian (06:35): So, you know, it’s the story of our lives. Every six weeks to put an arbitrary number on it, there’s an algorithm update. Some of them are quite influential and you’re like you would think they would mention it and be like, by by the way we made a big update or some of them are very, just, it creates a lot of volatility. I have seen some of the current volatility and it’s like, you just see the rankings bounce around and, you know, I just fall back on, Hey, walk away, let it calm down for a week or two before I start freaking out. Even if a client has dropped quite considerably because it just bounces back up, almost always. Thank God, but it wouldn’t be useful for us to jump in. So I have seen that to be more specific. What I see is as these algorithms come through, they start pulling off their rankings from different pages, and then suddenly they won’t pull it off a page. And it’s like an indirect, it’s not that the keyword dropped. It’s like it came off the correct page and then it dropped because of that. So I don’t know how algorithms roll out exactly. I just know that they never roll out perfectly. They always take a week or two to even do their job as intended.

Matt (07:57): Yeah. And this kind of volatility is something that you see with or without updates. So that something that we’ll definitely be keeping our eye on. And I think a seasoned SEO professional tends to look at something like this and, you know, not make too hasty of a decision, but wait to see what kind of happens after it levels out.

Julian (08:17): I’m reserving my angry handwritten letter.

Google Search Feature Online Therapy Providers

Matt (08:20): Yeah. we’ll, talk about that a little bit more next week and see if we’re writing angry letters or not. So a new, a new feature that I think is fantastic is Google is featuring online therapy providers. Kimmy, this is something that you saw. Do you want to tell us a little bit more about that?

Kimmy (08:37): Yeah, sure. So as you said, it looks like they’re testing a new feature to find online therapy, making it really easy on people. I know, you know, all of us being in our houses all the time, there has been a rise in a lot of anxiety and depression. So this is really good feature for people out there are kind of stuck at home and all you have to do is really go search online therapy, then you’ll have the option to search for healthcare providers with your insurance. And, and it’ll show you right there, directly on the screen. And I don’t know about you guys, but insurance is always such a pain in my butt. And that feature just makes me go through the moon. Super happy about that. I have to give it a try. Therapy, or the tool? Maybe both.

Google Featured Snippets With How-To Schema

Matt (09:24): This ranking volatility continues we might need, we might all need that. So it’s good to know that they’ve, included that. Another cool thing that we saw recently is, Googles use of, Schema in their, how-to, ERPs. We saw, an article on, SO Round Table, talking a little bit about somebody saw this on mobile, with a image carousel they’ve always had how-to, not always, but for a while have had how to schema, You type in how to change your router password or something. And it’ll give you a step by step on how to do that. But it looked like on mobile, they were also, alo including a carousel of images on how to, so that was really cool. Kimmy. You saw that too, right?

Kimmy (10:16): I did. Yes. it looked like they were doing a search for fingerless gloves how to create fingerless gloves. I don’t know if you guys have ever done that, but it seems pretty straightforward.

Matt (10:29): Well, you know, if you’re in a nineties hacker movie, you got to have fingerless gloves. So that is step number one to being a good nineties movie hacker. So it’s good to know that there’s good photos to back that up.

Julian (10:43): I spent quite a lot of time on the schema side, you know, providing, getting the data structured so that it can show these carousels so it can show this information. So it’s good to see it cause we don’t really get to control what shows in these in these areas. We like just hope that it shows, like here’s the structured data that’s needed. Hopefully you show our reviews. Hopefully you show the how-tos. So it’s good to see it come up more and more, as long as it doesn’t drive too much traffic away from our actual clients, but we don’t get to decide the algorithm we just manipulate what’s there. Right?

Matt (11:20): Yeah, absolutely. And I think the really the thing that I’m really excited about is that it’s, it’s showing that Google is moving forward with schema. You know, they’re, they’re looking towards more schema as opposed to less and that’s, that’s fantastic. That’s something that we do on a regular basis on the technical side of SEO is look into what schema is we can use and can’t use of course, if you’re watching this on our website, there is a video schema on this page. So

Julian (11:54): Very good

Google To Drop Crawl Anomaly Data For Something More Useful

Matt (11:55): Google also announced that they were going to drop the crawl, anomaly data for something more useful. Now, the real question I have is what is, who is it going to be more useful for? What are you, what are your expectations going into that, Julian? I know you saw that as well. What are you hoping for? What, what do you think

Julian (12:15): I was distracted by some, a little fire here. So could you just repeat the question?

Matt (12:21): Yeah. Google announced that they’re dropping the crawl anomaly data and they’re from search console and they’re, they’re reclassifying it as something more useful, according to John Mueller what do you, they haven’t given us anything more than that other than it’s going to be more useful. What are you hoping for? What do you think? I know you saw this as well. So this was in the Google webmaster chat that he did on the eighth. I think,

Julian (12:53): You know, something like that. I’ve always used as, like, I’ve never actually had, you know, I’m not talking about 404’s and things like that, but something like that, you look, you go through it and you’re like, Oh, look, there’s a lot of, you know, and anomalies or there’s not much, not much. It’s like, I just used it as like a Canary in the coal mine. I never had a lot of like direct, actual user. I’m like, I need to check this and I need to do these things. So, you know, the idea of them working out or maybe giving recommendations of why, of what you can do. Or if it’s a high versus low issue would probably be pretty helpful.

Google Mostly Treats Affiliate Links As Nofollowed Links

Matt (13:32): Yeah, absolutely. That is one of those I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s not something that’s been super useful in our time, doing any kind of web maintenance or SEO or anything like that. So if they could give us a little bit more details, that would be fantastic, or even just kind of move it into a more general, you know, web issues kind of the topic or something that’d be, that’d be great. So, yeah. Let’s see. Oh, and another one that I just, I wanted to talk about, see if you guys had any, feedback on was, Google, mostly treats affiliate links as no follow links. That’s something is, and this is something that has been there for a long time. And it’s just nice to know that they’re kind of, they reiterated it maybe for newer SEOs.

Matt (14:25): This has always been something that I’ve had to talk clients off the ledge on, especially larger clients with affiliate linking saying, Hey, use your, you know, become an affiliate link back to their site. Amazon does it famously and Google treats those even before, you know, REL no-follow was the thing they’ve always kind of seen this as link manipulation, essentially. That’s, that’s essentially what you’re doing. So it’s really, it was really nice to see that they said that it is, you know, sponsor REL sponsored is going to become a thing. And affiliate linking is still treated as, as no follow. Julian have any thoughts on that? Are you just excited to know that that’s still they’re still taking care of that?

Julian (15:10): It’s good for them to confirm those practices, you know, it’s just about quality control for them and you know, a lot of things with like, you don’t get value from this. It’s like, well, not if you don’t make it into such a high quality link that Google would never know that it’s maybe intentionally made or, you know, or they might say like, Hey, you know, there’s a lot of links we can’t avoid. Whether it be someone spamming us or affiliate links, you know, we always hope that Google, says this is low quality, Don’t count them. Same as how they’re pushing us away from they’re like, you should never have to do a disavow at home. Like yeah, except you’re at, unless you’re actually being attacked, intentionally, and your rankings are dropping,you know, their systems don’t pick up everything, they pick up the obvious stuff. So yet it’s good for them to confirm that they’re looking out for us and not when nobody’s going to get a penalty and a penalty for no reason. Like nothing that’s justified. Yeah, absolutely.

Matt (16:09): Cool. All right. Well, I think that’s, you know, it’s relatively slow week for news, definitely a fast week for algorithm volatility, but everything else seems to be a little, so anybody have anything else they want to talk about or add?

Kimmy (16:25): Not particularly.

Matt (16:30): Alright, Well, great. From the JEMStones team and myself, thank you so much for listening and have a fantastic day.

Julian (16:38): See you guys later.

Kimmy (16:39) Until next week.