SEO Education Channel Digest: February 2018

Our Month in SEO Education: February 2018

My (brilliant, diligent and scrappy) team at Two Octobers has an “SEO Education” Slack channel, where we share links to articles we find interesting or educational. I use Paperbot to compile these links into my inbox, because I can, and I figured it makes sense to share. I mean…if my team thinks it’s useful, and they’re a bunch of geniuses, it probably makes sense that other people would be interested too. I’ve compiled them below, loosely categorized and in no particular order.

Local SEO

Google Q&A: Google’s Newest Knowledge Panel Feature That You Might Just Hate or Love – BrightLocal

Agencies, in-house SEOs, and small business owners all know how important Google local results are and so we all pay close attention to our Knowledge Panels for photos, reviews and changes. But that job just got harder with Google’s newest feature; Google Questions and Answers (Q&A).

Call Tracking: The SEO Update You Need to Know – CDK Global

Google has recently updated their phone number rules to say a business needs to use a “local phone number.” They no longer mention call tracking numbers at all. And maintaining consistent information across search engines is no longer like jumping through hoops.

What is Schema Markup and why is it critical to local business? – BrightLocal

Searchers are interacting with the data about our businesses and not our websites. In essence, we’ve lost control of our brand to Google.

Schema Markup Generator (JSON-LD) – Technical SEO

Use this structured data generator to create JSON-LD & Microdata markups, including all of the required item properties and more.

5 Local Link-Building Tactics to Try in 2018 – BrightLocal

Link-building at the local level has become a great strategy for those looking to position themselves in territorial niches. Although it’s true that a micro market is less tempting than a full market, building local links can become one of the best forms of growth when a local business is getting started.

New Research: 35% of Competitive Local Keywords Have Local Pack Ads – moz

(Local Pack) ads seem to appear primarily on mobile results, with some limited testing on desktop results. We’ve heard rumors about local pack ads as far back as 2016, but very few details. How prevalent are these ads, and how seriously should you be taking them?

Local Keyword Game – BrightLocal

So you think you’re an SEO hotshot? How well do you know your local SEO keywords? Try your hand at BrightLocal’s ‘Higher or Lower’ Keyword game and find out!

Google Maps adds mall directory search & browse in local panel – Search Engine Land

Google has added a way to search inside a mall for the local stores and businesses at a shopping center. Just go to your mobile phone, search for your local mall or shopping center, and a “directory” tab should show up at the top.

How to Deal with Fake Negative Reviews on Google – moz

Fake reviews are a growing problem for those of us that own small businesses. In the online world, it’s extremely easy to create a new account and leave either a positive or negative review for any business — regardless of whether you’ve ever tried to hire them.

How to Create a Google My Business Post That Will Win You More Customers – BrightLocal

One of the recent enhancements added to Google My Business listings is called a “Post.” The great thing about Google Posts is that when a potential customer searches for a particular business on Google, the Post shows up front-and-center in the business’ Knowledge Panel

General SEO & Marketing

The Sensitive Marketer’s Guide to Brand Authenticity – Convince & Convert

 …people have learned to weed out the cheap from the authentic by listening to honest brands (those that are always transparent and trusted by consumers) and ignoring fake ones. Companies with authentic messages flourish, while marketers who attempt to mislead customers or participate in an unrelated conversation pay the consequences.

How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag (Our 4-Step Process) – ahrefs

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about SEO Title tags. I’ll also run you through a 4-step process for creating title tags that work every time.

Google’s Walled Garden: Are We Being Pushed Out of Our Own Digital Backyards? – moz

Early search engines were built on an unspoken transaction — a pact between search engines and website owners — you give us your data, and we’ll send you traffic. While Google changed the game of how search engines rank content, they honored the same pact in the beginning.

[Advanced] Intro to Search Engine Optimization – Webris

My hope for this guide is that you’ll use it to educate new employees, contractors and friends who need guidance.

Semantic Structure and the Nature of HTML – WebAIM

The inventors of the web did not realize the graphical and display potential of the web, and as such, HTML was not designed with display considerations in mind. They were so concerned about making web documents machine-friendly that they produced documents that only machines (or particle physicists) would want to read.

The Key to the Future of SEO/AEO – Understanding and Credibility – SEMrush

When someone searches on Google (or Bing), they are expressing a problem they are seeking to solve, or a question they need the correct answer to. The “raison d’être” of Google and Bing has always been to guide their users quickly and simply to the best available result.

Using the Cross Domain Rel=Canonical to Maximize the SEO Value of Cross-Posted Content – moz Whiteboard Friday

Same content, different domains? There’s a tag for that.

How To Use Weird and Funny Ideas in Your Viral Content Marketing Strategies – SEMrush

What kinds of content go viral? They certainly are not the conventional blog posts that, while important and effective, offer nothing unusual, exciting, or fun. Content that goes viral has to be wildly humorous or even weird to result in the sharing that makes a piece go viral.

The Google Ranking Factor You Can Influence in an Afternoon [Case Study] – moz

What does Google consider “quality content”? And how do you capitalize on a seemingly subjective characteristic to improve your standing in search?

Google and its Services

Why is a report missing in new Search Console? – Google Support

“Because we released it before it was done.” Me putting words in their mouths.

Google Analytics Introduces new ‘Audiences’ Report – Search Engine Journal

Google is rolling out a new report in Analytics which analyzes a website’s custom audiences. This appears to be a quiet rollout with no official announcement, though Google is notifying users upon logging into Analytics.

Google Releases an SEO Tool that Measures 10 SEO Metrics – Search Engine Journal

The Lighthouse Chrome browser plugin contains audits for performance, progressive web apps, accessibility, best practices and now Google has added a search engine optimization auditing category.

The need for speed: Google dedicates engineering team to accelerate development of WordPress ecosystem – Search Engine Land

Google’s partnership with WordPress aims to jump-start the platform’s support of the latest web technologies — particularly those involving performance & mobile experience.

Client Services

The Importance of Client Onboarding for Agencies – mozpod podcast

Ruth Burr Reedy shares insights with host Hayley Sherman about the importance of effectively onboarding clients to your agency. Ruth discusses some of the most common factors that lead to poor client engagement and how to avoid them.