SEO Update Tips July 8th

Algorithm Updates 

Was June 22/23, 2020 the “government update”?

Google update happened starting on June 22 and continuing on into June 23 of 2020.

I have spent quite a bit of time reviewing this update. It does appear that for many YMYL queries, Google has started to greatly prefer official, highly authoritative websites.

We feel that this is connected to what Google says in their document on how they fight disinformation. In that whitepaper they mention that their systems can prefer authority over other signals “while a crisis is developing”.

You can read much more on our thoughts on this update, including many examples showing how some of our clients lost rankings to official government sites like or in our article on the June 22/23 Google update, published on the same day as this newsletter episode.

The Rich Results Test is out of beta and the Structured Data testing tool will soon be deprecated

This week Google announced that the Rich Results Test is out on beta and that they’re deprecating their SD Testing tool. The tool is still available at the moment but Google is advising webmasters to “use the Rich Results Test to test and validate your structured data.”

Thinking Beyond the Link Building “Campaign” [Case Study]– Paddy Moogan
June 30, 2020

This is a great case study by Paddy Moogan for Moz. In this case study Paddy ties in the idea of link building campaigns and aligns them with the current goals of the organization to make them more “sustainable, efficient, and effective”. Paddy goes on with his experience in a case study where he goes through what he has learned watching the evolution of link building his model of content strategy framework which we highly recommend you read!

Paywalls, SEO, and the Need for a Damn Good Brand– Derek Gleason
July 3, 2020

Any publishers out there contemplating or already running a paywall system really should give this a read! It very thoroughly details the history of Google’s handling of — and recommended approaches to — paywall systems (first clicks free, metering, lead-in) before getting into the current options available to publishers.

Link Building For SaaS Companies: Our Playbook in 2020– Alan Silvestri
July 2, 2020

Does it make a difference which inner page on your site your GMB links to?

Joy ran a test here at Sterling Sky to determine if the page you link to from your GMB listing had an effect on local pack rankings. TL:DR is – yes, absolutely. That being said, we recommend testing to ensure that deep linking for practitioner listings doesn’t affect conversion rates – but the higher visibility and more traffic might make the small dip in conversion rate worth it.