The Week In Search & SEO: January 25, 2019

The Week In Search & SEO: January 25, 2019

Plenty of interesting things popping up in Search and SEO this week, and controversies across the board from merging social platforms to employee activism.

But before we get to that, just a quick reminder that Beanstalk CEO Dave Davies will be taking the stage on January 31 at SMX West talking mam vs. machine on a panel about it’s impact on SEO.

Be sure to catch up with him if you’re attending and want to chat SEO, PPC or about the impact of AI and machine learning on search.

Top Global Search News

Google Knows When a Domain Changes Ownership

Obtaining a domain to capture it’s existing traffic is pointless. Google knows that the domain changed hands and will not necessarily continue to rank it for the queries it was ranking for prior to the change.

Why Rel-Canonical is Sometimes Ignored

Sometimes Google sees issues with your canonical and decides that it will try to find a better one for you to use, though Google itself has a lot of difficulty deciding what to use.

Google Testing Anchored Links in Google Posts

A new feature has been given to verified authors, the ability to create anchor text links. Non-verified authors are still restricted to posting regular links.

Adding Image Schema and/or Noscript Tags are Good for Images

Adding either Image Schema, a Noscript Tag, or both is beneficial to helping Google understand your images. As long as you have one of them your images are good to go.

Google Testing Lightbox Video in Mobile Search Results

When clicking on a video in mobile search results you are normally taken to a landing page for the video (YouTube, etc.), however Google is testing letting the video play in a lightbox within the search results so that you don’t have to load in to a whole new page.

European Search Results are Appearing Extremely Sparse

Perhaps as a stunt to show European users what Google will look like if articles 11 & 13 pass, Google many search results in Europe are disturbingly barren of content.

Why Old Pages Rank Better than Newer Ones

Older pages are often thought to rank higher due to some trust ranking that’s based off of it having existed for a long time. Explained here is that an age-based trust factor does not exist, but that evergreen content, and content that has been linked to and continues to be linked to will be valued greater than newer links that have accumulated less total attention.

Google Knowledge Panel Showing Video as Top Featured Image

Never seen before, a video is taking the place of the top image in the knowledge panel.

Is Penguin Dead or Alive?

A Twitter poll suggest that people still feel the effects of the Penguin update. Google Search Algorithms are constantly changing and evolving, so the question itself is rather pointless.

Top Local Search News

Google My Business Releases Updated Signup Process

This change helps businesses that don’t have a set location, such as food trucks or other businesses that operate on wheels.

Top PPC News

Google Lets Everyone Have Access to 15-Second Unskippable Video Ads

Previously, only select advertisers had access to 15 second unskippable video ads. Now, everyone can make them. There are still regulations to not disrupt user experience on sites like YouTube.

Google Notifies Advertisers of Opt-Out Automated Advertisement

Google has sent emails to certain advertisers letting them know that in a week, if they do not choose to opt-out, they will begin to handle the campaigns themselves.

Google Search CTRs decline from 2016-2018

Data suggests that, between 2016 and 2018, click-through rates from Google searches have declined from up to 10% in the US and EU/UK. Mobile especially took a large hit in CTRs.

Top Social Media News

Twitter Bug Changes Android Users’ Privacy Settings

Twitter has notified most affected people of a bug that would disable the “Protect your Tweets” option if an Android user would change certain account settings. The bug has been resolved, so users should double check their settings.

Facebook is Wrong 27% of the Time When Detecting Users’ Interests

Facebook keeps track of your interests so that it can serve you ads it think you’ll like or interact with. This study reveals that 27% of the time, Facebook is wrong in these assumptions. More interesting data inside.

State of Social 2019

A rundown on how social media platforms have been, can be, and will be increasingly useful platforms for internet marketers. Lots of statistics to go through here, useful to figure out your 2019 social media marketing plan.

Facebook Plans to Merge Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger

Facebook previously purchased Instagram and WhatsApp, and now Plans to merge the functionality of each app, sharing a messaging service and storing personal data in one place for all three to use. This creates many valid privacy concerns of course.

Internet Marketing-Related Tech

Google Structured Data Tool Showing More Warnings

Most of the “warnings” appear to simply be recommendations for information it thinks you should include in your data.

Best Opinion Pieces

Tips on Creating Content that Performs Well in Search and Social

A walkthrough guide on how you can create content that caters to users, get them interacting with your content, and to help make it perform well

Don’t Give Up on Google Posts

People tend to be wary of Google Posts as it seems to often be brushed aside by Google in favor of payed content, but here it’s explained how you shouldn’t give up on Google Posts, rather you should realize that it is still a valuable platform for your business.

Google Challenges Activist Protections After Employee Walkouts

Workers have protections that allow them to do things like organize walkouts from within the infrastructure of the company such as internal  email structures without being punished. Google has come out in opposition to these protections weeks after a large employee walkout.

New SEJ Column dedicated to Self-Care: Friday Focus

Co-managed by our own Mary Davies comes this new column on Search Engine Journal dedicated to self-care. SEO is a stressful industry, so it is extremely valuable to take time to think about yourself, and this column will be a gateway to these discussions you can have with yourself.