This Week In SEO 11
Google Ventures Rescuing Penalized Sites, The End of WHOIS Privacy, & More

SEO News and Updates from the past week: we comb through a ton of articles to bring you the best of the best.

Each week before the update, we present a Quick SEO Video Tip.  However, due some technical difficulties this week, here’s a video The Verge put together of the highlights from Google’s recent I/O event.  Even though it’s not strictly SEO related, it’s always a good idea to keep track of what Google is up to.

Cool stuff huh?
Ok, let’s get to the SEO nerdery.

How to Easily Recover From a Google Penalty: Be Backed By Google Ventures

So here’s the timeline:

On June 6th, 2015, the site GoodOnMaps published a post called Is Google Making Money on Organic Search?  This post essentially pointed out how Thumbtack, a Google Venture-backed company, has been sending emails offering incentives to customers in return for some juicy exact-match anchor text links.

On June 8th, 2015, Search Engine Land ran a story saying Thumbtack’s co-founder, Jonathon Swanson, went on the record saying they were indeed penalized, but made sure to point out that they never “bought” a link.

On June 15th, 2015, Search Engine Land ran another story saying that the manual penalty was removed “late last week” and that Thumbtack’s traffic has returned to pre-manual-penalty levels.  CognitiveSEO shows us the hard data:


The plus side of getting a high profile Google penalty, is all the brand mentions and links from authoritative news sites.  Well played, Thumbtack (like that!).

1000 Search Engine Queries for Your Link Building Campaign

Bookmark this post and use it over and over again.  This collection of search operators will help you find websites to reach out to when conducting a link building campaign.  Here’s a sample of the action:

Keyword + “top 10 resources”/”top resources”
Keyword + “top 10 sites/”top sites”
Keyword + “top 10 websites”/”top websites”
Keyword + “top 10 articles”/ “top articles”
Keyword + “top 10 tools”/”top tools”
Keyword + “top 10 web resources”/”top web resources”
Keyword + “top 10 internet resources”/”top internet resources”
Keyword + “top 10 online resources”/”top online resources”


The End of “WHOIS” Privacy?

There goes your private blog network!

ICANN, in an apparent effort to reduce criminal activity online, wants to be able to force registrars to remove your domain’s privacy if they feel there is need to.  While this might prevent a few criminals from running illegal activity online (doubtful), it will definitely cause a lot of headaches for the average user.

And if you’ve got hundreds of domains linking here or there, and want to keep those private… this might not be such good news for you.

But there is a way you can make your voice heard, if you, as either an SEO or an advocate of privacy (or both), would like to.  You can sign this petition from

Why “No Follow” Links DO Matter in SEO


One often repeated, but increasingly shitty inaccurate piece of SEO advice is that NoFollow links don’t matter.  This article, by Paul Marino

The Benefits of Nofollow Links

As I mentioned above, nofollow links do have value in many of their own ways and should not be shied away from. We all know how hard good, white-hat link building has become over the last 5-10 years, and rightfully so. So passing up a good, quality, RELEVANT link just because it’s nofollowed doesn’t make much sense and here are some of the reasons why:

  • Organic Growth: This one could be up for debate, but that all depends what side of the argument you’re on. I firmly believe that Google does follow nofollow links, at least somewhat. This would make them one of their MANY ranking factors for organic growth. There isn’t ONE golden ranking factor that will shoot you to the top of page 1, but when you put all of them together is when you really start seeing some great improvements. If you were wondering about any of these ranking factors that Google looks at, here’s an amazing list of all 200 of them that Brian Dean @ Backlinko put together, kudos on all of that work Brian!
  • Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio: Adding a little diversification is only going to help you in the long run. You don’t want to have a backlink profile with all of the same kind of dofollow links from only a few domains. If you do, chances are Google will notice and might think it’s a bit unnatural, and you don’t want to get on their bad side. Just like your financial portfolio, diversification is key.

Some really good points in this article, especially that a diverse backlink profile will always be better than a profile filled with only one kind of link.  Plus, if you can get people linking your brand, dofollow/nofollow/whatever, that’s going to help immensely.

So the next time you’re crafting a plan to build some links, remember this article and DIVERSIFY.

Google Testing “Slow to Load” Warning in SERPs.

While this wasn’t a reproducible issue for many who tested the search term, an Android user captured a screenshot of Google warning mobile users that the web page they’re about to click on will be slow-loading.  Amusing that the site in question is one of Google’s own, but it’s a video site, so… I guess that’s not unreasonable.


Looks like Google search now even measures your internet connection speed to improve your search experience. My internet was just acting sloppy, and I was searching for “jurassic park world trailor”, and there Google showed a “Slow to load” exclamation to all results with video content.


TWS12: Newsworthy Update, Bing Encrypts Search, Google AI, and More
Big Brand Links, Devaluing Content, Long Search Queries, & New gTLDs T

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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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