This Week In SEO 55
Google Local SNAFUs, Schema Stars, & More


Google Local Images Are Being Hijacked
Oyster image siphoning

The author of this post is angry.


A large site ( is taking advantage of Google’s process of picking images for a local business listing (if the business or community does not submit some), where it scrapes a site with very clearly marked images to find something relevant to put into the profile.

Because images are super effective.

Unlike images that are uploaded by the business or the community, images that Google scrapes link back to the originating site. Weirdly they not only link back but they also allow for some amount of additional messaging and subtle calls to action to encourage users to click through.

And that’s the problem.

Definitely don’t run out and do this if you have local competitors, though, because nothing will happen and you may be able to siphon off some of their traffic…



Stunning Examples of SPAM in Google Maps
Look, I know it’s a hell of a difficult thing to battle bots, SPAM, and big-dreaming SEOs with lots of time on their hands and creativity on their minds. I feel for Google as much as one guy can sympathize with a multi-billion dollar company, but these examples of rampant spam in the Google Local results is… impressive.

A writer for Search Engine Journal posts some screenshots and examples of the ways people are manipulating the Google My Business listings. Here’s just one:

auto insurance SERP manipulation

Google: If you’re reading this, it’s time for you to either get rid of the Google My Business guidelines or actually start enforcing them. Also, when a user takes the time to report spam to you, please actually read the comments, and don’t protect the spam that exists.

A week after the post went live and gained a bunch of attention, a Google spokesperson chimed in on the matter:

As spammers change their techniques, we’re continually working on new, better ways to keep them off Google Search and Maps. There’s work to do, and we want to keep doing better.

Google SPAM team

Google Webspam Team working hard


Using Aggregate Review Schema to Get SERP Stars

get stars

Like the way those stars look beneath all your competitors in the SERPs?

Well relax; now you can have your very own stars, like this:

google local serps stars

Here’s how:

Almost any Content Management System supports editing the HTML of a page or a part of a page. Access to the HTML is all you need. Because the JSON-LD code is invisible for the visitor, it’s still indexed as markup by the search engines.

Check out the post if you’ve got stars in your eyes (Star Pun!), and learn how to get them for your very own site.


Study: Keyword-rich Domains Get More Clicks

Interesting study. I know many who read the title are like…


But hey, it’s always nice when something assumed is backed up with data.

Verisign recently did a study on SERP click-through-rate for keyword rich domains vs. non keyword rich.

Results that didn’t have any matching keywords in the second level domain had a 12.44% click rate. Those with one matching term were clicked 21.79% of the time, and two or more words 25.30%.

As best I can tell, the study didn’t consider the search placement of results.

One interesting thing to consider: if you can get a keyword-rich new gTLD ranking on page one, you may win on CTR vs. a well-placed-but-poorly-named URL.

As always, click through and read the original study, not just a summary.


A Guide on Blogger Outreach

Here’s how the majority of blogger outreach (for links) works. This is an email received (and published by–ouch!)

really bad outreach


Yes, outreach for links works. It can work super well, if done right.

Don’t be like poor Irvin. This is how you’ll come across:


I came across your blog when I searched “keyword” inurl:”resources” and thought you had some really posts.

Completely unrelated, I recently published a post and I thought you might want to share it with your audience.

You can share it on your blog just gimme a link. K?

I mean, it’s a marginally related piece of content to your site and I’m trying to rank well in Google, so gimme a link. Link. Give me a link. DoFollow.


Don’t be like that. It takes some time, but it’s worth doing right.

This post from GotchSEO isn’t an actual guide on how to do blogger outreach, rather, it is a list of the best resources if you’re looking to do this yourself.

As someone who’s spent many hours hunting down resources in the past, having a curated list of good content can be super valuable. THAT’s why I’m including this post.

Thought this would also be a good time to remind you about our ass-kicking link building service, RankBOSS. 😉


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Written by Smash

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