Google Explains Why Sites With Some SEO Bad Practices Rank Well

In this past Friday’s SEO hangout with John Mueller, he addressed the question again but in much longer form. Why does a site that implements bad SEO practices rank well in Google?

  • A site does not need to do everything perfectly to rank well
  • Google has many algorithms to evaluate a site
  • Google often ignores the bad things, so they don’t help the site rank but also do not always hurt the site from ranking
  • Larger site pictures are important over the long term
  • Focus on overall value to your users
  • Ask your users if they like your site, use surveys and focus studies

Google: You Don’t Need To Link To All Your Pages From Your Home Page

John Mueller of Google said on Twitter “No, you don’t have to link to all pages from the homepage.” There is SEO value from linking from your home page to your internal pages. Typically, your homepage is your most valuable page in terms of PageRank, authority, and expedited crawling. So spreading that home page link value to internal pages is a strategy a lot of SEOs use. But for many large sites, it is impossible to link to every internal page from your home page. When all else fails, use XML sitemaps.

Google News performance report added to Google Search Console

Google has launched a new dedicated performance report within Google Search Console for Google News publishers. This report will show on the left sidebar under the “Performance” section for any site that appears in Google News.

Google said it helps news publishers answer questions such as:

  • How many times have my articles appeared to users in Google News?
  • Which articles performed well in Google News?
  • How does user behavior vary by country?

Google updates the Search Console coverage report

Google is rolling out significant improvements to this report so you’re better informed on issues that might prevent Google from crawling and indexing your pages. The change is focused on providing a more accurate state to existing issues, which should help you solve them more easily.

Google Confirmed Launching Subtopics Ranking In Mid-November 2020

Subtopics are a (machine learning) way for Google to “understand subtopics around an interest, which helps deliver a greater diversity of content when you search for something broad.” Danny Sullivan said, “subtopics don’t change the look of search results, only broaden the diversity of content, when useful.”

How to respond to positive and negative online reviews

1. Keep calm
2. Have a plan
3. Own the problem
4. Let someone proofread your response
5. Short and sweet
6. Don’t get trapped in a long discussion
7. Take the discussion offline

If you have had some negative responses, you’ll probably want to bury them underneath a big pile of positive ones. If you can solve the problem with a dissatisfied customer, you can also ask if they are willing to edit or remove their review.

Small Google Algorithm Update Around January 12, 2021?

There is an unconfirmed Google ranking algorithm update around January 7th and 8th. There are signs of another one that started to get noticed on January 12th or maybe the day before. Sometimes Google will confirm algorithm changes months later and we can use these unconfirmed updates as reference points.

Google: Too Focused On One SEO Tactic Can Hurt Overall SEO Results

If you are too focused on one specific area of your website, you can be missing out on other areas that need your attention. Being too laser-focused, in any area, can cause you to lose sight of the larger picture and can end up hurting you in the long run.

If you are too focused on just page performance and speed but you have other indexing issues, that is a problem. If you’re too focused on writing blog posts but not concerned about if your readers want that content, that is a problem.

Google Might Not Launch The Page Experience & Core Web Vitals Label/Icon In Search

Google previously said they may launch a label or indicator in the search results to convey to the searcher which pages do well with those metrics. They tested this icon a while back. Martin Splitt from Google confirmed yesterday that this label may never become a reality.

Do Incognito Searches Affect SEO or Rankings

The goal of incognito is to hide your history from other people using the same device as you. It’s not to completely anonymize you. Google and Bing can still show you custom results based on your IP/Location/etc.

Google says that click-through rate is not a factor in the typical ranking algorithm. What they mean by this is, when you take away personalization and history and all that type of stuff, they do not use CTR in the algorithm. This means that they may use it to personalize your search results based on your previous behavior, but none of your clicks will impact that ranking position for anybody else.

You can click on your result or have other people click on your result all you want, it won’t improve your rankings.