This Week In SEO 33
Penguin 4, Accelerated Mobile Pages, Updated Rich Snippets & More!


Google is Confident That Penguin 4 Will Happen in January 2016

Are you sick of hearing about the upcoming Penguin update yet? Of course you aren’t, it’s a really big deal.

penguin is a big deal

On a recent hangout, John Mueller said:

I don’t want to make any date promises but I am hopeful that things are lined up. Since it was kind of on the edge for this year, I’m pretty confident that that’s good enough for January. But I really don’t want to make any announcements on that.

Here’s the hour-long video if you’re into primary sources:


Accelerated Mobile Pages Are Coming!

Google AMP

Question #1: what’s an accelerated mobile page?

Good question. According to google it’s an “open-source content delivery platform that can load web pages instantly after being clicked on from a Google search.”

Google’s got a site set up where you can read more about the AMP feature, and a walk-through of how to get your content set up for when this is implemented for everyone, around Feb 2016.

From what I can tell, these are steps that will have to be followed for all content you wish to turn into AMP pages going forward. If you want a head start, you can start creating AMP pages now.

Google is encouraging publishers to get started as soon as possible, adding: “Content you publish to your sites today will be eligible to show up in the demo now, and soon in Google search.”

Want to dive deeper into AMP? Here’s a video of a talk with Paul Baukus:


CTR Beats PageRank?


Sorry for the click-baity title, but it accurately sums up this article, which analyzes the top spots for some big, UK-ecommerce-related keywords.

The difference between positions one and two for a competitive keyword is down to number and quality of links, right? Site B just needs more, better links to overtake site A? Wrong. This hasn’t been the case for a long time. We’ve been saying for years that if you’ve got enough links to rank fifth then you’ve got enough links to rank first.

The implications are also interesting across different industries, which we’re looking into and I’ll follow up with another blog post soon. It looks to us like Google is turning the prevalence of PageRank right down in SERPs it considers ‘spammy. In gambling, for example, CTR is a much stronger ranking signal than in other sectors: sites with better sign-up bonuses etc. get more clicks and as a consequence tend to rank quite well. From a search engine perspective it makes no sense to treat all sites equally when nine of the top 10 are buying poor quality links, en mass.

Interesting stuff. Dig into the full article for more.

Dangerous SEO Advice That You Should Ignore

Michael Martinez, telling it like it is.

In this post, Martinez highlights some common advice that he disagrees with (and makes a good case as to why it’s bad advice. Here’s a sample:

Bad Advice: Avoid Links From Irrelevant Websites:

This has to be the absolute worst advice any link “expert” can give you. I can just see Eric Ward telling his clients, “Sorry, you should not get a link from Yelp because you don’t run a business directory.”

Oh, we’ll make an exception for a business directory? Well, then, should Eric and Julie Joyce (another linking guru) be telling their clients, “Don’t get any links from CNN or the Economist because you’re not a news site.”

Oh, we’ll make an exception for a news Website, too? Well, maybe Eric and Julie and their fellow link gurus should be warning people not to accept links from their local chambers of commerce, city guides, or professional associations because they don’t run those kinds of sites.

Oh, we’ll make exceptions for THOSE kinds of sites, too?

Well, what if I decide to link to your hats Website from SEO Theory as part of a case study. Are you going to send me a takedown notice? Trust me, bub: I ignore takedown notices. That’s an editorially bestowed link, there is nothing toxic about it, and it is about as far from being “a relevant link” as I can get.

Just because some random finance blogger links to your sports Website does not mean you just got nailed by a toxic link. The fact you are afraid you might have a bad link there just means you have been reading the wrong cereal box for your morning SEO tips.

ooo burn

I never miss a post from SEO Theory, but this one was extra good.

Google Rich Snippets Update for Articles

rich snippets

This is the kind of SEO updates you need to keep track of, as a lot of people won’t.

Here’s a deep-dive into the new Rich Snippets guidelines for articles, and, more broadly, for the new AMP (mentioned above):

And some good info from the site on structured data and rich snippets. Definitely worth checking out:

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