Google often likes fresh content, but it depends on the context of each search query, and updating your posts to seem more fresh isn't going to help you rank better.
See full show notes at: https://digitalcast.org/podcast128
According to a recent study, 49% of all Google searches are now "zero-click", meaning users are getting the answer they need without having to click on a single result or ad.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast122
For years, Google Search Console has allowed you to set your "preferred domain". With the new version, though, that option is going away. How will this affect you?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast121
People talk about website authority scores quite a bit, and I use them from time to time myself, but Google has made it clear that they have no such official metric.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast119
XML sitemaps are a great way to help inform Google about the content on your site, and there are many great WordPress plugins to help with that. Soon, though, XML sitemaps might be part of WordPress core.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast118
Sometimes Google likes to point things out that are obvious yet need repeating, so we'll help repeat them here; links and title tags still matter.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast117
When you do a search on Google, there are times when the first page is filled almost entirely with results from the same site. With their latest update, Google is working to fix that.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast116
Google has said before that having SSL on your site is a "light-weight ranking" factor, and that continues to be the case, but Google seems to be pushing a bit harder on it now.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast115
Adding text to the alt attribute of an image is a great way to help vision-impaired users (and Google) understand what the image is about. However, removing it can be ok in some circumstances. Sort of.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast114
The most common way to let Google know about new content on your site is by using XML sitemaps. However, some folks have started using Google's indexing API to push new content to Google, but that's likely not a good idea.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast113
Google has been slowly rolling out their mobile first index, and will continue to roll it out on existing sites, but starting July 1 all new sites will automatically be indexed mobile-first.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast112
Companies have struggled over the years about whether to create one website for their entire business, or separate ones for different pieces. In most cases, Google stays stick to one.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast111
While it's certainly important to have a solid presence on Google My Business, a recent study shows that people put much more trust into a company's website.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast110
How often does Google makes adjustments to their algorithm? In 2018, there were over 3,200 changes, or nearly nine per day. How much do they all matter?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast109
I'm a big believer in backups. For client sites that our agency manages, we take 2-3 backups of every site, every day, if not more. However, when my computer crashed last week, I got up and running on a new one with no loss of data — and no real backups. How did that work?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast108
At WordCamp Atlanta a few weeks ago, I got into a discussion with some other folks about RSS, and was surprised that many weren't familiar with it. It can be very valuable, so let's explore that a bit.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast107
Whether you realize it or not, spammers are likely stealing your content and reposting it on other sites across the web. That's certainly not a good thing, but can it affect your rankings?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast106
It's thought that there are roughly 200 factors in Google's ranking algorithm, so if you're trying to track your progress on just one of them, it may be impossible to do.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast105
This is something Google has said for years, but they're making sure we hear it again; if you use Google Ads or Google Analytics, that's great, but it has literally no direct impact on your rankings in the main search engine.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast104
The blockquote tag in HTML can be a useful way to pull content out of your posts to highlight it for readers, but Google has said that text in a blockquote isn't treated any differently than other text on your page.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast103
If you've ever looked at the URL for your Google My Business page, it's ugly. Google is now rolling out a way for you to get a nice, clean URL for it, including an easier way to get reviews.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast102
In many cases, the pages on your site that rank well in Google aren't your home page; they're internal pages that are focused on a particular topic. But what happens when the home page outranks an internal page that deserves it more?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast101
When you need to remove or change a page to have it point to a different page, you typically use a 301 redirect. Google appreciates those, but thinks of them much differently than they do of normal links.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast100
Becoming a Google Partner can be a great thing. Not only will it look good for you or your company, but you'll learn a lot throughout the process. In the end, though, that partnership doesn't earn any special favors with Google when it comes to search rankings.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast099
When it comes to handling mobile users, you have a few ways you can set up your site. A mobile responsive site is often the best way to go, but you can also set up a separate mobile site. Whatever you do, choose one direction and stick with it.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast098
Every few years, the question comes up of whether or not Google has a budget for how much traffic they're willing to send to a site. As before, the answer is a clear "no".
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast097
We often say on here that simply helping Google understand your content can be very important, and knowing how Google understands dates is a big part of that.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast096
Videos can be a great addition to your website, but if you want Google to appreciate those pages you'll want to add some other content to support the videos.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast095
A user recently came across some uniquely-named CSS content, and asked Google if that mattered. Google's response, as expected, is that it's ignored.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast092
Getting more links to point to your site is important and difficult, but some people think they found a way to trick Google. No, it doesn't work.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast091
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast090
If you've done work on your website specifically to improve the mobile speed, that's great! However, your job isn't done; mobile speed and experience is something that should always be worked on.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast089
Ranking category pages on an ecommerce site can be tough, so many resort to just putting a bunch of text at the bottom of each page, below the product listings. Google says you shouldn't do that.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast088
It comes around every few years, with someone saying that the click through rate in search results affects your rankings, but Google always denies it. Now a new document seems to counter that argument, but does it really?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast087
Using UTM parameters on your links can be a great way to better understand how users find your site, but leaving those parameters on internal links can cause some problems for Google.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast086
For many businesses, a solid ranking on Google Maps is vitally important. Unfortunately, it's very easy for competitors to sabotage your listings. Are you keeping a close eye on things?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast085
If you're struggling to move up the rankings on Google, it can be frustrating to see a competitor ahead of you that isn't following the rules. It might be tempting to try to copy them, but you're best off to stay within the guidelines.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast084
On most podcasts, you'll hear the host say something like "to help keep this show running, please rate and review the podcast". But does it really help?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast083
Links are the currency of SEO, and therefore Google has a lot of rules and ideas about how sites should link to one another. When it comes to linking within your own website, though, essentially no rules apply.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast082
Much has been said about Googles hundreds of ranking factors, but they just came out and said, not surprisingly, that "pornyness" is one of them.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast081
We talk a lot on this show about little tips and techniques to help your site rank better, but in most cases your time is best spent making sure you have the basic pieces in place.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast080
If you use the hreflang attribute on your site to help Google understand language, it won't directly affect your ranking but could still help drive more targeted traffic to your site.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast079
Google uses a machine learning technology called RankBrain to help with search results, but much of how it works is shrouded in mystery. While much is still unknown, Google just opened up a bit more on how it works.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast078
When you make changes to your site to try to improve your rankings, how long will it take until you start moving higher in Google? It all depends.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast077
There are two main ways that search engines find new content on the web; from user-submitted sitemaps and by sending out their bots to crawl around. With a new move from Bing, it appears they may be slowly moving away from crawling.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast075
It's mostly common sense at this point, but a survey from Unbounce brought to light some interesting stats on how users feel about the loading speed of websites.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast074
It can be frustrating to publish a brilliant new piece of content, but find a similar article from 7 years ago continue to rank above yours. Why is that? Google's John Mueller gave us some good answers.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast071
If you've used the Posts feature inside of Google My Business, you may have noticed recently that they're showing up less and less in the search engines. While they may be fading, here are some reasons not to give up on them yet.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast070
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast069
We talk about 301 redirects on here quite a bit, as they're an important technical piece to help your site rank well. If you set up a redirect, how long should you leave it in place?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast068
As they've done for a few years now, the folks at Stone Temple Consulting have studied thousands of search results to see the impact that links have on rankings, and the results are quite interesting.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast067
Coming later this year is a new publishing platform called "Newspack", developed jointly by Google and WordPress, to help make it easier to publish local news.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast066
There are a lot of technical things you should do on your website if you want it to rank well, but Google reminds us that all of the technical work is for nothing if you don't have good content on top of it.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast065
While having good names for your images is important, such as "greenapple.jpg" instead of "DSC1058.jpg", changing the image names once they're already live on your site might be a bad idea.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast064
WordPress version 5.1, due to come out in late February, will have a new feature that will help keep you out of trouble when working on your site.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast063
When you need to remove a page from your website, you might consider redirecting that page to your home page, rather than making it a proper "404 not found". Google says not to do that.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast061
Websites linking to one another is largely the basis for how Google got started, and we've talked about external links quite a few times on here. However, sites also have many internal links that point to other pages on the site. Can you have too many of those? Google says no.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast060
Yelp is known for often moving a lot of reviews to their "not recommended" section, but that number has been increasing lately thanks to an update being called "Ghost". Has it affected your business?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast059
Getting other sites to link to yours is one of the best things you can do to help your site rank better, and spammers take full advantage of it. For better or worse, Google says they're already aware of those shady links.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast056
If you're buying Google Ads for your site, the use of negative keywords is very important and can make your campaign much less expensive and more successful. For organic search, though, negative keywords simply do not exist.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast055
Every year Google releases their list of the most popular searches across a variety of categories. Let's take a look at what we were all searching for in 2018.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast054
If you have a WordPress site, you likely already have Google Analytics on it. If not, you should. Coming early in 2019, Google will be rolling out a new WordPress plugin to help make your Analytics easier to add and easier to understand.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast053
As we mentioned last week, WordPress 5.0 was just released and included their shiny new "Gutenberg" page editor. It's a great step forward, but it's just the first of many steps for Gutenberg.
It's generally thought that having an image on each page of your site is a good thing, and Google agrees. In fact, they suggest that you put a unique image on every page.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast050
WordPress version 5.0, which includes the new Gutenberg editor, launches today. By the time you listen to this episode, it's likely already gone live. There is a good bit of debate about this new version, but I'm here to help answer one question — should you upgrade?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast049
There are over two billion searches performed on Facebook every day, but relatively little is known about their search algorithm, especially compared to Google. They've now unveiled a bit more about how their searches work, so let's see what they said.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast048
I've heard a few times that video does very well on LinkedIn, because their algorithm pushes it pretty hard. This podcast shows that it's true, and I have some basic stats to back it up.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast047
With the holiday season approaching, you're likely going to add a few holiday-specific pages to your site. Come January, what should you do with those pages? Google has some tips.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast046
Over the last few years, we've seen Google provide a lot more answers in position zero; the spot above the search results where they answer simple questions (such as answers to math questions). Now position zero just became a lot more powerful, and potentially a huge problem for some sites.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast045
As you build your website over time, it'll likely be important to set up redirects to handle pages that you remove, or when adding SSL, or other things of that nature. Google wants to remind you that when you set up a redirect, they will no longer index that old page.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast044
It can be frustrating when your company gets mentioned on a popular site and they "nofollow" the link to your site (essentially hiding it from Google), but I recently heard something about that which made me change my perspective on that a little bit.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast043/
In marketing, it's long been said that people do business with those that they "know, like and trust". However, establishing trust on your website with Google can be much different than establishing trust on your website with other users.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast042
The folks at Search Engine Land just published a list of the five SEO trends that will matter in 2019, and I thought it was a great list, so we'll share it here.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast041
We all know that it's important to have a fast loading website, but how exactly does speed affect users on your site? The folks at Yoast just shared some stats, and they tell quite a lot.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast040
Google already has a variety of tools to help you optimize your website (Analytics, Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, and others), but now a new one has joined their ranks — web.dev.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast039/
WordPress powers roughly 1/3 of the entire internet, but starting next month more than half of the WordPress sites out there could become much less secure. Is yours one of them?
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast038
Having more pages can potentially help a site rank better in Google, for a few reasons, but simply having a bunch of pages means nothing in an of itself.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast037
When you search for something on Google, the text the appears below each link often comes from the "meta descriptions" on those sites. While Google will generate them automatically when needed, they suggest you write you own.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast036/
If you remove a page or change websites, or somehow just need to set up a redirect, the best way to do it (for the sake of Google) is with what's know as a "301 redirect". Much has been said over the years about how they work, but Google has just revealed a bit more.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast035/
If you use WordPress, you're likely familiar with the new Gutenberg editor that is coming soon. They just released version 4.1 of the editor and consider it "feature complete", meaning it's getting close to being added to WordPress.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast034/
The days of submitting your websites and pages to Google are long gone, but you still need them to find you. How do they do that? The biggest way is through links, but they can also find your content through sitemaps.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast033/
Recently at PubCon, Google's Gary Illyes advised that you should include "no hashtags in URLs" for the sake of rankings, but it's a bit nuanced.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast031/
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast030/
There's been some thought that since Google knows a good bit about real-life user activity, such as when stores are busy, they might use that data to affect search rankings. At least for now, that doesn't seem to be the case.
See full show notes at: https://www.mickmel.com/podcast029/
People working on their SEO often want to know exactly how best to build their pages; how many words, how many outgoing links, how many backlinks, things like that. Google's given us the answer -- stop counting that stuff.
Links pointing to your website are one of the biggest factors to help rank well in Google, but they're one of the most difficult and confusing to understand. Google tried to help explain more, but it's still pretty messy.
In the past, Google has told us that it's good to link to your most important pages from your home page in order to give them more weight in the search results. However, that doesn't mean you should link to every page on your site from the home page.