This Week In SEO 27
Yahoo + Google, 301 Redirects, Competitor Research, & More

Yahoo! and Google

Yahoo! will start outsourcing some of its search engine results to Google. Yahoo already has a deal with Bing to get at least 51% of its results from Bing. The 3 year partnership (if approved) will see Yahoo working with both Google and Bing to service search results and, more importantly, ads.

Aside from the possible (probable) monopolistic outcomes of this deal, users of Yahoo! ads could see some wild fluctuations in the quality and cost of buying search engine ads.

When Yahoo! tries to manage their yield they will not only be choosing among 3 parallel networks on their end, but they will also have individual advertisers making a wide variety of changes on the other end. And some of those advertisers will not only be influenced by the ad networks, but also the organic rankings which come with the ads.

If one search engine is ranking you well in the organic search results for an important keyword and another is not, then you should bid more aggressively on your ads on the search engine which is ranking your site, because by voting with your budget you may well be voting on which underlying relevancy algorithm is chosen to deliver the associated organic search results accompanying the ads.

That last point was important & I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere yet, so it is worth repeating: your PPC ad bids may determine which search relevancy algorithm drives Yahoo! Search organic results.

Read this article for some really in-depth thoughts about this collaboration–it goes much deeper than just a piece of news relating to Yahoo! and Google.

Negative Impact of 301 Redirects

I love a good research-based SEO result. Dan from took a page ranking well on his domain and redirected four (unrelated) blog posts to that business-critical page and documented the results.

rank test

301 redirects were set on the 10th of September, followed by fetch and submit in Search Console resulting in an immediate drop by exactly 30 positions (from 5 to 35). On the 15th of September we removed the redirects, fetched and submitted to index again. We saw an immediate jump to position 7 following a rise to 6 and eventually stabilising at 4. The second dip in the graph (starting 23rd) was caused by an unrelated event.

Check the site for some conclusions on why this might have happened. There’s nothing super conclusive here, but the ranking results seem to indicate there are some interesting things in play.

A Guide to Competitor Research

While this guide is mostly centered around using (and selling the reader on) Cognitive SEO’s proprietary tools, it’s still a very useful roadmap to help make sure you’re not missing any critical steps in getting the most from competitor research.

There’s a lot of information here, so settle in and give it a nice thorough read-through.

Increase Rankings by Building Grey-hat Links

traffic increase

At Smash Digital we generally stick to white hat link building — especially as our clients are concerned. However, ignoring all sides of link building can lead to having an incomplete understanding of SEO. Suffice to say that highlighting this SEO article is not an endorsement, and grey hat works best when all parties understand the risk (and potential reward).

This tactic involves getting an article written in Russian, and then putting that article on a site that serves up articles to news organizations in Russia (with some even appearing on Google News).

In this case study I will be talking about the Russian article marketing system called Miralinks.
Miralinks is very easy to use and a very good tool where you may find thousands of websites. But what is the most important is that you can find very trusted news sites there.
In addition, some of them broadcast articles directly into Google News…
The main problem is that Miralinks is available only in Russian and there are no tutorials or case studies about Miralinks or how to use it in English.

So I’m going to show you how to get around all of those problems without learning any Russian at all!

Interesting, and if nothing else, a lesson in thinking outside the box when it comes to SEO.

One final thing to keep in mind: the more public an SEO tactic becomes the less effective or riskier it can be to implement.

Will Google Bring Back Authorship?

This can’t be called actual news, because it’s mostly speculation and one very interesting quote from a Googler, but it’s worth digging into. Luckily, Mark Traphagen does the digging for you.

twitter conversation about authorship

Recently, Google Webmaster Trends analyst Gary Illyes surprised many of us with a remark he made during his keynote Q&A with Danny Sullivan at SMX East in New York City. Illyes said that he recommended webmasters not remove the rel=author tag from their site content.

Google had used rel=author as part of its Google Authorship feature that (potentially) displayed a special author rich snippet in search results for content using the tag. Google ended support of this feature in August 2014.

So, something to keep your eye on…

TWS28: RankBrain, Mobile SEO Update, and Duplicate Content
TWS 26: New Spam Algorithm, Optimizing for iOS 9, and 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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