This Week In SEO 16
Sitemap Bug, New TLDs, and an “Always On” Panda?

Before we jump into this week’s news and best SEO tips, here’s a great video to watch.  Want to know how to grab some backlinks from your competitors, get a little link diversity going?  Then check out this week’s Quick SEO Tip:

The 80/20 of Competitor Link Research

Google Sitemap Bug


If you saw a huge decline in the number of indexed pages on or around July 14th, RELAX!  It’s just a Search Console bug.

The Google Search Console, aka Webmaster Tools, has a new bug that is concerning many webmasters and marketers. Many webmasters are noticing huge declines in the number of indexed pages being displayed in the Google Sitemaps report.

So, hopefully you weren’t fired from your SEO job over this.  Apparently, these glitches are common.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Zero to One Million: An SEO Blueprint

semrush seo

SEO case studies, with real weight and substance, are hard to come by.  Probably because a ridiculous amount of researching, analyzing, and writing.  So when a good one comes along, you really want to pay attention.

Matthew Barby gives up the goods with this post on how he helped a startup get an insane amount of targeted traffic.

The long-tail keyword research played a critical role in the long term traffic growth to the website. As a result of creating well-optimised, highly shareable content, the site now ranks on page one of Google for terms like ‘app ideas’ and ‘app promotion

This is an awesome post. Highly recommended.

Google’s Handling of New TLDs

John Mueller is here with a handy FAQ about how Google is going to handle all the many new TLDs (like .london and .guru, etc).

Q: How are the new region or city TLDs (like .london or .bayern) handled?
A: Even if they look region-specific, we will treat them as gTLDs. This is consistent with our handling of regional TLDs like .eu and .asia. There may be exceptions at some point down the line, as we see how they’re used in practice. See our help center for more information on multi-regional and multilingual sites, and set geotargeting in Search Console where relevant.

So, there you have it.  No big advantages to using any of the gTLDs except that your domain name isn’t yet taken on .club or .actor…


Phantom Tremors Continue as SEOs Wait for Panda


Always pay attention to algorithm updates, even if it seems like overkill.

The Phantom Update (a.k.a. The Quality Update) hit hard in April.  HMTweb was one of the first to report on the changes, and it continues to monitor the effects from the update.  In this post, Glenn digs in to the effects of the original updates (both positive and negative), and how he is seeing little updates adjusting the algorithm.

Is Phantom The Real-time Panda?
In my Phantanda post, I brought up the possibility that Phantom was actually the migration of Panda (or Panda factors) to Google’s real-time algorithm. It’s entirely possible this is the case. I’ve analyzed many sites hit by Phantom 2 and every quality problem I surfaced would have been picked up by a thorough Panda audit. The factors are extremely similar…. almost identical actually.

Interesting stuff, and something to definitely keep an eye on.  We brought you a story recently about the possibility of panda being “always on,” so this is a thoughtful meditation on what that might actually look like.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts, if you think these “tremors” could be a variation of the “always on” Panda update.  Let me know!

On-Page SEO Case Study
TWS15: Penguin Refresh and Facebook Human-Powered Product Search Engine?

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