This Week In SEO 101
Disavowing Links, Internal Links, Featured Snippets, and More!


Google Says: Disavowing Bad Links Could Increase Trust

This seems like a pretty important point that most people paying attention to their backlinks should tuck away for the future.

Google’s John Mueller said in a webmaster hangout on Tuesday at the 16:44 mark that in some cases, disavowing or cleaning up bad links to your site may help Google’s algorithm trust other links to your site.

So if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to disavow those crappy links a disgruntled competitor sent your way, maybe this pushes you over the edge. Here’s the video where you can watch the conversation:


Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Internal Links

internal linking metaphor

It can be easy to overlook your internal links, or to half-ass a strategy where you sort of link to important pages with relevant anchor text. I get it. Internal linking is nowhere near as sexy as building backlinks. But it’s a critical part of both letting the search engines know what the most valuable pages on your site are, and in building up authority to pages that otherwise may not get a lot of natural links.

If you’ve wanted to get started with this, but haven’t, because it feels too overwhelming…Ahrefs has you covered.

In this post they go over the what, the why, and the how. Let them hold your hand and take you through the steps needed to get your site in great shape, internally.

Let’s say that you’ve published a new blog about image SEO. You want to add a few internal links to that page to give it a boost.

But how do you know where to link from? Start by searching in Google with the following search operator: “keyword or phrase related to page”


An Interesting Look at a New Site In Google

This is an interesting post–not the post itself, which doesn’t offer any amazing insights or groundbreaking tips. It’s interesting because it presents a real site, in a fairly unique circumstance, and is a bit of a commentary on what it takes to rank in Google.

Basically, this October-born site hit PR jackpot, appearing on the first page of Hacker News and getting profiled in a bunch of giant media sites.

All those white hat links to drool over, and the search performance is pretty poor.

Is it because the site doesn’t come across as a topical authority? Probably.

Is it that the site is spread thin across many different pages? Sounds reasonable.

Is it because Google hates new sites? In my experience new sites take so much longer to rank now than they did a few years ago.

Anyway, this is an interesting post because it gives you some meat to chew on in your favorite SEO tool.


Featured Snippets FTW

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. If you can’t get them to send traffic to your high quality, relevant content, win the featured snippet so at least it’s your content they’re displaying.

…not quite as catchy.

Every year there are reports of Google scraping data from websites (against Google’s webmaster guidelines if YOU do it) and displaying it in various feature-rich SERPs, saving the searcher a click. While the featured snippets decrease the amount of clicks the standard organic-10 results get, there’s nothing you can really do about that except try and get the featured snippet in addition to the best organic spot.

Not sure where to start?

Orbit Media’s post will get you most of the way there:

If your content gets a featured snippet for one search query, the chances to win featured snippets for other similar ones are great enough. As your site already has an appropriate structure to provide a quick answer, it’s more likely Google will consider it to be a great option for the related queries.


Write Better Content to Rank Better

Unless you’ve got the domain authority of, chances are, if you’re trying to rank for a keyword worth ranking for, you’re going to need some hiqh-quality, relevant content.

Notice I didn’t say “long” or “SEO Optimized” content. Being long, or written just for search engines is–for the most part–not what will get your page ranking well (from purely a content point-of-view). This is a great post from a site focused on doing well with content that it makes sense to study, and implement.

Google developed patents to understand the context from knowledge bases for more accurate results. It wants to focus more on topic-related results so the whole process works based on probabilities. For example, when a user performs a search on Google, the search engine uses a system to return landing pages with topics related to the query by looking at the text on that page.

It’s a great beginning-to-intermediate guide to follow, so I recommend checking it out (though be prepared for an annoying user experience, from “shaking” buttons to get your attention to a full-page pop up).

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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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