SEO Tips April 8th Update

Coronavirus is continuing to affect search traffic patterns

We do not believe that Google has released any significant algorithm updates during the last week. However, as we have seen over the last few weeks, the majority of the websites that we monitor have seen changes in the amount of search traffic they are receiving.

As we have been doing for the last few weeks, we ran a Twitter poll to ask SEOs and business owners whether they are seeing improvements or declines in search traffic as compared to the previous week.

Marie Haynes@Marie_Haynes

Poll time again. Is your business (or your clients’ businesses) seeing significant changes in Google organic traffic as compared to the previous week? We’re documenting each week how COVID-19 is affecting different industries.

Watch Marie discuss the state of search with COVID-19

Marie joined in a Search Engine Land webinar led by Barry Schwartz to discuss the COVID-19 search disruption. The panel os SEOs shared data from tools likeSEMRush, RankRanger and Moz that shows some pretty interesting movement in SERPs.

Watch it here:


 

Google Announcements

 

Introducing a new way for sites to highlight COVID-19 announcements on Google Search

Google has introduced SpecialAnnouncement structured data and the ability to submit COVID-19 announcements in GSC. For now, these are primarily available for health and government agency sites (to highlight important updates such as school closures or stay-at-home directives), but Google hopes to expand this to more sites sometime soon.

The SpecialAnnouncement structured data, which is the preferred method for webmasters to use, appears in the SERPs similar to how FAQ markup appears. Those without the technical ability to do the above can use Search Console to submit a COVID-19 announcement but Google warns that this is intended only as a short-term solution

 

Google Webmasters@googlewmc

Many organizations & groups are publishing important COVID-19 / coronavirus-related special announcements. In response, we’re introducing a new way for these to be highlighted on Google Search. Learn more: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/04/highlight-covid-19-announcements-search.html …

Docs related to COVID-19 schema released to prepare webmasters

The team from Google Webmasters released a document on how to implement structured data for COVID-19 announcements.

Google Webmasters @googlewmc

We’ve released new docs on how to add structured data for COVID-19 announcements to your web pages. This isn’t yet visible in Search results. That will happen in the near future, but you can add data now to prepare: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/special-announcements …

Add structured data to COVID-19 announcements (BETA)

developers.google.com

SEO Tips

 

As all Google events have been postponed, catch up on many of the past event recordings

Google is streaming their Webmaster conference from November that covers web deduplication, rendering, Googlebot, web hosting and more. You can see the playlist here, or watch it in the video attached below.

 

Google Webmasters @googlewmc

While our physical events are on hold, we hope you’ll enjoy recordings from the first ever WMConf Product Summit held in Mountain View last November! 📺

Topics include:
Web Deduplication
Rendering
Googlebot & Web Hosting and more!

Here’s the playlist → https://goo.gle/2WZdOQw

image of conference title

 

Google Help Hangout Tips

 

Does old-school link building still hold any merit?

In this hangout John is asked about link building tactics such as image sharing with links, article submission on blog sites, free sites where you can post any type of content, etc. Not to our surprise, John says these have zero SEO value. This would be seen as spam by G and will not help your website.

If you’re making great content and reaching out to sites who discuss that type of content, then that is okay in his opinion. “Focus on things where you will get natural links because of the value of your content.. Not dropping links in random places.”

 

Marie Haynes @Marie_Haynes

Still building links like it’s 2008? John says this type of low quality, easy to make link has zero value for SEO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_4B7ZXjjI …

View image on Twitter