Matt (00:03):

And welcome back to another JEMStones SEO podcast. I’m your host, Matt Lewis, again, joined by Julian and Kimmy. How’s it going?

Kimmy (00:13):

Hey, doing good. How you doing? Doing

Matt (00:15):

Good. I just saw Phantom Google coffee mug there.

Julian (00:19):

Yeah, the ghost. Yeah, it had coffee in it, but it keeps disappearing.

Matt (00:26):

So weird how that will happen. Yeah. All right. Well, so for SEO news this week, we’ve got a Google clarifying. that passage ranking is not passage indexing. Julian, you had something to say about that.

Julian (00:44):

Absolutely. I think it’s probably because it came through with all that, or right at the same time as all the indexation, issues they’re having. So, got a bit confused there, but yes, I do have something to say about it. So, what’s important to clarify is the algorithm update that they’re talking about, is talking about the ability of Google to find segments of content that are well aligned on the page and rank that page for it to not mix it up with the rest of the content on the page. And I’m very excited for them to be intentional when roll something like that out the same time. We need to know that part of the Google algorithm already does that already. And I have clients, for example, when you search for term, that’s informational and there’s a bunch of software review sites.

Julian (01:40):

You like, how are they on the first page? This does not answer my question. You go to that website. And then there’s like a buyer’s guide and you click on that and then it’s got that information that it’s ranking for. So Google still has the ability to parse out information, but I think that when they roll out this new algorithm, which they said they would let us know and they roll out a Google passage ranking, it’s really going to give us a lot more power, to rank different things on one page. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s always been very, very hard to rank a page competitively when it’s got a lot of topics on it. So for example, one page websites where you click on the menu and it just scrolls down to that section. It’s just too many different sections and Google, it waters itself down by design. So I think that the Google passage ranking will really ramp that up and do something that the voice has done before, but to a level that will really help identify content on a page and and also help us rank pages better and for more keywords or products or services.

Matt (02:48):

Yeah, absolutely. And it is important to let everyone know listening that currently passive ranking is not live. So anybody out there who might say that they’re going to, that they’re optimizing for passive drinking is, incorrect. Anybody doing any studies or anything it’s not, it’s not fully live yet. So, we’ll keep you informed as to when it does go live. So, now the big question, at least for you and me, Julian, is will that indexing feature ever come back in Google search console?

Julian (03:27):

Well, Google has been hinting that you should never need to request indexing, which is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. I can think of a million reasons that I need to request and indexing, whether it be something like I need a page change to be seen straight away, or whether there’s a new page, maybe it’s a something that’s time relevant, like a time sensitive blog or article. And I can, and I haven’t submitted it to social media or different platforms for bots to call to it. There’s many reasons. And then at the same time, often we want to get certain sites indexed, the links on there crawled. So we’ll have a page. And so there’s so many reasons and Google has been hinting that we don’t need it. I think we totally need it.

Julian (04:21):

So, I think that there is a real chance that they’ll say, well, we will wanting to get rid of it. Anyway. We’ve mentioned that you shouldn’t need it, so we’re not going to bring it back. But I think it’s actually very important. And I use that Tool often to achieve what I want to achieve. Not only that is, they have been way before this issue, the time it takes for a Page to get indexed using that tool has slowed over time. So before they shut it off and it just got really bad and not usable, and they turned it off, it was taking up to about six hours instead of six minutes.

Matt (05:01):

Yeah. And the Google webmasters Twitter did tweet out that they would bring that tool back in the coming weeks, the SEO community and webmaster community, overwhelmingly believes that won’t actually happen. So, I think we’ve all, we’ve all been down this road before with Google. So I’m hoping it comes back. Like you said, it does help us, when we make major changes to pages and things like that. So, we’re hoping that it does come back at least to some degree and allows us to, or helps us do our jobs. And it was disabled as we talked about last week with, the indexing issues that Google was having. So they have come back and said that is something that is 99% complete. They said it was complete, but only 99%. And then there was 1% fringe cases. so it does look like the indexing issue is resolved there. They will not be giving us status updates anymore.

Julian (06:10):

It’s fixed, “except for,”… okay?

Kimmy (06:15):

Back to that 1%, that small percentage we were talking about last week, how many is 1% when you’re talking about all of the websites ever?

Julian (06:24):

Well, I have one client still in that 1% that I’m pretty sure, but we won’t go there.

Matt (06:32):

Yeah. Well, it’s good. Good to know that they’re at least working on it. It does look like the REL canonical issue is still not fixed, but, I’ll take 1% over 10%.

Julian (06:46):

REL canonical can really mess things up, being able to use it in Google, taking it, actually reading your role. Canonical can be very handy to, get the full value of content to make sure that Google doesn’t see it as duplicate things like that. At the same time, I do wonder when you run a report on a page, if it is affected negatively by the REL canonical issue, if it would show up as, well, because you’ve got the user defined, REL canonical and then you have Googles defined REL canonical. And you can see that in Google search console, and I wonder if that would reflect the issue or if the issue would exist without reflecting it in the tool. I’m not sure about that, but it’s an interesting thought I had.

Matt (07:32):

All right. well it also, Google also came out and said that slow URLs can impact rankings of other faster URLs on their site. So getting back to site speed, Julian, and this is something that you and me have talked about at nauseum in the past, but basically from what I could tell it was, if Google doesn’t have the proper data for the rest of your site, a slow URL on your site, So maybe a URL with a ton of videos or something or just poorly implemented Java or something along those lines, could really slow down your total site rankings because of that. Is that what you were hearing too?

Julian (08:19):

Yeah. Yeah. Site speed is always a headache, always a challenge, something that always needs to be worked on. But yeah, I mean, it makes sense for Google to say, we haven’t crawled your whole site, but these pages are slow. And so we’re going to take the status, your crawl status and your load time and implement it across the whole site until we see it. So that makes a lot of sense. What is frustrating is right now, there is like a line in the sand, and there’s a lot of when it comes to where they’re going with page speed vitals, and first frame, full load versus whole page load and things like that that will become ranking factors in the future. Right now you can say, well, how long does it take for my page to load? And that’s a pretty good basic metrics, but just to make it even more complicated is you can have a ten second loading site that ranks well and is not algorithmically penalized for having a slow page because the industry is quite large sites.

Julian (09:31):

It’s used to it. And then you have a site that loads in four or five seconds that is considered a slow mobile load page. And often we’ll see a page drop-off and there’s little signs where we can see desktop versus mobile ranking discrepancies where mobile is 60th position but desktop is 20th and you’re like, wow, there’s differently. an issue here that’s affecting the client. So, just with all things, SEO, it’s definitely a moving target, but yes, that makes sense that Google goes ahead and applies what they know across your whole site.

Matt (10:17):

Yeah, absolutely. All right, and Google local and maps is now fully displaying health and safety in the search results. I think it’s under the about section. Kimmy, this is something you saw as well. You care to comment?

Kimmy (10:34):

Oh yeah. It’s just a little bit of follow-up from weeks past. Google has been rolling out different features. We’ve seen a few features at a time. Kind of starting with a mask required, things like that, that are kind of indicators of what businesses are doing to stay safe during the pandemic. It Seems like we, or a lot more people have seen those features coming out and even more so than some of the ones we had seen in the past. We’re seeing things like enhanced cleaning whether or not they’re doing physical distancing with barriers let’s say between the counter and yourself, contactless service, etc. Just things like, that seems like we’re seeing that roll out a lot more. So it’s just something to keep an eye out for, especially if you’re going to be out and about in your community, and that way you can find out a little bit more about what the businesses are doing to stay safe.

Matt (11:29):

Yeah. Huge help, especially now. All right. And Google ads, a shopping feature for advertisers and searchers Kimmy. This was something that I know you wanted to talk about and you had a birthday announcement?

Kimmy (11:45):

Yes. Yeah. So, it is now Google Ads, 20th birthday. Happy birthday to Google ads! Coming on at 20 years strong for them at, quite an interesting time for them as well. But yeah, so it seems like, I guess not probably not to celebrate their 20th birthday, but at the same time, they are, testing out some new features that are more for your Google shopping experience. Some for the users, as well as some for the actual businesses. We’re seeing on the user side, that they’re enabling some features where you can do some price comparisons versus, kind of what the average price of something it is. You’re looking for over the total web, price comparisons day to day. So you can kind of track when might be the best day to purchase whatever it is you’re looking for, kind of similar to what you might see on one of those flight pattern websites, where it tells you, what’s the best date to buy it for all, not the prices like that.

Kimmy (12:47):

And they’re also enabling a feature for the businesses themselves to actually put right on their shopping ad, right on the picture whether or not they’re having a sale, whether or not they’re running some sort of special promotion. That way they can help kind of advertise that to their clients as well. It is interesting to see that they’re testing this right now. I think with the Google shopping feature in particular, we are seeing just tons of people doing online shopping these days, there’s not a lot of stores open, it’s definitely becoming more and more of a trend as if it already, wasn’t a huge problem. So it’s interesting to see this happening now, and then also, right before the holidays, as well as a really big shopping time. So it should be interesting to see how that tool is used and how useful it is for our clients and for everybody out there in the e-commerce world.

Matt (13:44):

Yeah, absolutely. And, Oh, go ahead. Julian.

Julian (13:49):

Google is just working so hard to try to not lose complete market share when it comes to Amazon and even marketplaces like Walmart are moving forwards, they’re getting, they’re increasing their market share. So, I think that a lot of these great features, a lot of them improving it, and a lot of them getting people in the door easier is just to be competitive. And when it comes to Google, Google is a scary powerhouse that if anybody can make a go be more competitive, all the power to them

Matt (14:29):

Well, and on that topic, they did receive a slightly early birthday present from the department of justice, a lawsuit over their search and advertising. Julian, you want to expand on that a little bit?

Julian (14:53):

Well, I don’t have a lot of details exactly on that law. So, but department of justice, that’s a big deal. My knowledge is more from personal experience, not based on the reference to this case, butI’ve been in search. I have managed ads for decades now, and there’s a lot of frustrations. Back in the day, and still now, when manual bidding was more popular, they say that you it’s quality score plus bid, and that would get you to first position. But something like your brand name, if you keep bidding it up, they will keep taking your money. So there’s, so this is a, and this is pretty common. Maybe it’s changed in the last year, cause I haven’t checked, but here’s the benchmark, let’s say it’s $5 to bid here, you keep bidding for your business name and let’s say, nobody’s betting on it.

Julian (15:50):

There’s no other, other competitors, which people could bet on your name all the time. They’ll let you keep going. And the money will just fall off the top, it will just like fall out the top. So you can lower your bid, lower your bid, lower your bid, your position doesn’t change. You’re still in first place. That would be something that only people that manage accounts, know of that scan. The other thing is, is those ads, they do everything they can to structure them in a way that makes it look like an organic listing. The fact that we put pipe bars in our title tags, they put pipe bars, just so it looks more like an organic listing. They also go ahead and they remove all the colors at the ad. So it’s just this little, like same color text. It just says “ad”. So they’re just doing everything they can to just inject themselves in a way that is not obvious that they’re an ad. And I always thought that they needed to really be obvious about that. And I feel like maybe they even got in trouble for it once, but at this stage they probably make more money than they have to pay out. So that calculation works for them.

Matt (16:57):

I think it is safe to say that this lawsuit will be very long, very drawn out. It is the largest of its kind. So, this is going to be, this is something that we’ll probably talk about for months, if not years, to come as this kind of all unfold. So something, any and everybody in the search domain will keep their eye on hopefully, as we kind of see how this all unfolds. Again, not a lawyer, so, I have a little bit of a hard time fully understanding, when I read through the statement by the DOJ, but it does look like it will be something that is going to be a pretty huge either way, so

Julian (17:49):


Matt (17:51):


Matt (17:51):

All right. Wellon that ominous note, I guess we’ll call it a day. You guys have anything else?

Kimmy (18:02):

Not this week.

Julian (18:02):

Not today.

Matt (18:04):

All right. Well, for me and the rest of the JEMStones team, thanks so much for listening and have a great week.

Kimmy (18:10):

See you next week.