This Week In SEO 61
AMP in the SERPs, CDNs for SEO, & More


A Preview of AMP in the SERPs

Google has released a demo of what the SERPs will look like when Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) makes their big-time debut.

AMP in the SERPs

To clarify, this is not a ranking change for sites. As a result of the growth of AMP beyond publishers, we wanted to make it easier for people to access this faster experience. The preview shows an experience where web results that that have AMP versions are labeled with The AMP Logo. When you tap on these results, you will be directed to the corresponding AMP page within the AMP viewer.

You can go here to try the demo for yourself.


A Guide on Competitor Analysis

Ideally, your SEO efforts should include more than just good link building.

Competitor analysis has a lot of great uses. Here are three, according to this article:

There are three reasons why competitor analysis is critical:

1. You can find what they’re doing well
2. You can find strategic advantages
3. You can find link opportunities

This isn’t something you should get super caught-up in and spend all your time on, but at the very least, be aware of what’s going on with the competition.

Knowing is half the battle, yo.

knowing is half the battle


Why You Cannot Fix Your Penguin Site

It’s been a long time since Google updated their Penguin algorithm.

Do you have a site sitting in Penguin Purgatory (Penguitory?) that you keep disavowing links and adding fresh, amazing content to?


This article makes the case that it’s time to let that site go, and start fresh somewhere else.

You are not nearly as tired of hearing this from me as I am of telling you. Stop waiting for Google to “fix” Penguin. You don’t even know if you have tracked down all the links that Penguin declared to be toxic. Many of you have clearly been disavowing or removing very good links that were helping your sites.

When the Penguin rolls out again (assuming it does as Google believes it shall) some people will be very happy but I am convinced on the basis of past experience that way too many people are going to be immensely disappointed with the results.

It doesn’t make sense for Google to be transparent on what links are triggering the algorithm, and you might put in hours and hours and hours trying to reverse engineer the penalty only to have the update happen and not have done a good enough job to lift the penalty…


A CDN Employee on How to Make CDNs Play Nice with SEO

how a CDN works

TL;DR – if you have your other SEO ducks in a row, use a CDN to speed up your website and improve user experience.

We recommend using CDNs in our on-page guide. They are helpful. This article can get a bit techy, but if you’re on the fence about using one, or need a little guidance, this article should help.

Here’s an excerpt on debunking CDN myths:

A CDN causes duplicate content issues:


Don’t get me wrong, a CDN can definitely cause duplicate content issues if you set it up incorrectly. Here are a couple things to consider:

Canonical header: You want to ensure you have a canonical header setup. This is an extra HTTP header that is added to your CDN to tell the Google crawler the content on your CDN is only a copy. Once you add this HTTP header, your images will index normally as the crawler will know that they are only a copy and not duplicate content. Most CDN providers have an option to enable this feature with a single click.

Robots.txt file: Search engines scan the root of your website and look for a robots.txt file. If they find the file, they will follow the instructions; but if no file is present, they scan everything. By default, most CDN providers won’t enable this, meaning everything is indexed. The canonical header usually does the work. However, if it is enabled you will will want to ensure it is allowing everything to be crawled.


WTF Do All Those Metrics Mean — AHREFs Edition

Yeah, so we checked the KD and it was 45. The UR/DR score was medium-low and the live backlinks were reasonable so I said ‘yeah, we can probably rank that page.

There are a lot of metrics that get thrown around in the SEO space. You can reference a sites Domain Authority (moz), Trust Flow (Majestic), or Domain Raiting (AHREFs), but what do those things actually mean? How are the number determined?

Transparency is *usually* a good thing–especially in a case such as this, where understanding the data behind a metric can help you understand what the metrics are telling you.

AHREFs just released a post where they share the meaning behind their proprietary terms, and the values they consider when determining a specific metric (espeically keyword difficulty).

A nice post to get an idea of what’s going on there, or if you’re a rookie, a nice post to understand what a lot of the acronyms being thrown around actually mean.

We often see people explain Ahrefs’ URL Rating as a replacement for Google PageRank metric – but they’re not the same.

We indeed have started out with a PageRank-like formula, but then “UR” underwent quite a few iterations with a goal of creating a metric that would have the highest possible correlation with Google rankings.

And as you can tell from the graph below, URL Rating correlates with Google rankings better than any of our “unprocessed” backlink metrics:

ranking factors

TWS62: Penalties, Local SEO, Content Length, & More
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Sean Markey

Sean Markey

Obsessive consumer of SEO news and strategies, writes the This Week in SEO column. Loves playing drums and writing fiction. Bets you he can throw a football over them mountains.
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