Google Launches Official Complaint Thread
#SEOForLunch issue #243 - Google opened up a thread to share feedback regarding its recent title tag change. We also cover GSC data issues & hiding descriptions via the new "data-no snippet" attribute
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Hi Lunch Buddies!
I hope everyone had a great weekend. I, unfortunately, caught a nasty bug that limited the work I was able to get done last week. However, a negative COVID-19 test and a few days of rest did the trick. By the weekend I was back to normal, caught up on some work, and even smoked up these amazing ribs for the family.
Naturally, this brings up the most important question of the day. Do you prefer ribs with or without sauce?
Finally, a happy belated 40th birthday to both Mike King and Aleyda Solis. Both of these individuals are amazing contributors to the SEO world. If you haven’t followed them on Twitter or their perspective sites/newsletters you absolutely should.
ContentKing: Full Situational Awareness for SEOs
As an SEO, it’s your goal – and responsibility – to ensure that search engines can assess your site as smoothly as possible, and to stay up-to-date with your website’s content.
Experience what full situational awareness feels like. The first 45 days are on Nick.
Official Search Engine Updates
In last week’s #SEOForLunch we covered Google’s new title tag change update that’s been pissing off a lot of SEOs. Google has since responded and let the industry know that they hear us and opened a feedback thread for all to contribute to.
I still have a very unpopular opinion that this title change is still (likely) positive at scale. The examples that individuals have called out show that it’s not perfect and still needs to be fine-tuned. Will we potentially see an opt-out HTML snippet in the future?
Barry Schwartz captured a Twitter conversation where Google’s John Mueller simply responds “no” to this question/concern. John elaborates (in another tweet) that this title update is simply a “display change” within the SERP results.
I’ll take at face value that Google re-writing titles doesn’t impact rankings. However, as you’ll see further down in the email, this change doesn’t mean click-through-rates can’t be significantly impacted.
Have you ever seen your site’s search result contain a completely wrong description? John Mueller explains that Google might use your meta description but it may also use snippets of content from your site. Want to avoid them using specific content? Google recommends using the NoSnippet attribute.
John mentioned that they “recently” announced the NoSnippet attribute. I missed this one so it’s great that they made a video about it. I have yet to implement this attribute but can think of several instances where this will be very helpful.
Many complained that they were seeing data loss in their Google Search Console performance reports. Google officially documented that this is a known issue and impacts data on August 23rd + 24th.
Data quality issues happen. However, Google acknowledging this makes it extremely helpful when speaking to it with clients or anyone who reads site performance reports including GSC data.
Top SEO Resources From Last Week
Written by Cyrus Shepard, Zyppy
What are your thoughts on Google ranking their own content over non-Google content in the search results? Does this cause ethical or anti-competitive issues? Cyrus has a strong opinion which he outlines in this well-written post. What do you think?"
Written by Kristen McCormick, WordStream
By now you’ve read at least 100 articles on Google’s title tag update. But who’s actually being negatively impacted? Kristen and the team over at WordStream documented a case study on a large CTR drop that they did to fix this.
Written by Tom Capper, Moz.com
We all know that Google has switched to a mobile-first index. While users can use both desktop and mobile versions have you checked that your mobile version mirrors your desktop version (or vice-versa?) If you have a discrepancy between the two and your mobile version is lacking then some “small” fixes might end up netting some significant SEO gains.
Written by Patrick Hathaway, Sitebulb
How To SEO Test Topic Clusters
Topic clusters or single long-form content? Why leave it to chance, collect data and run an SEO test just like how Nick Swan outlines in this post.
You Made It To The Bottom. You’re AWESOME!
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Learn More About The Guy Behind The #SEOForLunch: Nick LeRoy
Nick LeRoy is a professional SEO Consultant specializing in technical SEO, content strategy, and website migrations.