Smash Digital

This Week In SEO 58
Knowledge Graph, Old Content & More


Optimizing Your Site for Knowledge Graph Domination

I’ve highlighted stories relating to the knowledge graph before, but never one so useful and instructional as this.

Go ahead and skip the first half of the post, because the good stuff comes after a lot of talk about his agency (Zazzle Media) and a tool his agency has made (Content Optimization and Auditing Tool).

**It’s probably a great tool, but you have to hand over a bunch of contact/personal info in order to get your “report,” which you don’t really need for the purposes of going after the knowledge graph**

But in highlighting this post, I am specifically pointing to the examples of how websites are capturing this valuable “featured snippet” real estate.

For all the rookies out there, this is what winning the knowledge graph looks like:

winning the knowledge graph

In the article, scroll down to “the perfect page structure” and go from there. There are some great analyses on the structure of pages winning the featured snippet. It’s a bit long, but it’s worth the read.

Claiming your own Featured Snippet then requires a focus on content structure and on answering key questions in a logical order. This also means paying close attention to on-page HTML structure to ensure that Google can easily and cleanly pick out specific answers.


Should Your Delete Your Old Content? (No)

This is hardly a killer post like the last one was, but it still addresses an important question:

Should you delete your old content to help your site’s rankings?

It’s always nice when people take the time to pull out the important bits from a Google employee’s webmaster hangout session (though it’s also a good idea to get good at consuming primary sources). But you’re busy, I get it.

Here’s J-Mu’s response to that question (as transcribed by SEMPost):

…just removing old content doesn’t automatically cause a ranking advantage.

If, however, you wrote a bunch of really crappy content in the past, it might make sense to remove it from a quality-user-experience standpoint.

Here’s the hour-plus video hangout if you want to watch it and boost our bounce rate (thanks, bruh):

– skip to 45:13 for the answer relating to this post.

Finding Longtail Phrases

I love seeing people come up with new names (proprietary names) for concepts that exist but don’t have a good name–it’s not as easy as it seems!

In this post, Dejan discusses what he calls “new tail” keywords. You’ve got your primary terms, your long tail, and then your new tail:

new tail keywords

Dejan thoughtfully provides a TL;DR at the beginning of the article. This will be especially of interest to eCommerce site owners:

  1. Show people a photo of your product
  2. Ask them what they would type into a search engine if they were looking for it
  3. Discover new attributes, concepts and synonyms you haven’t considered before
  4. Expand your keyword research by including all new terms
  5. Prioritize newly discovered queries by importance, relevance and volume
  6. Include top priority items in your copy, or define new landing pages if appropriate

It’s an interesting take–similar to a post we previously linked to using social media for keyword research.

Another benefit here is that your keywords will fit nicely into optimizing your site for voice search.


How to Earn Links from Writers

Orbit Media

Mark Twain is judging you…

Going after those sweet, sweet editorial backlinks? Better be at the top of your content game…

This posts asks writers at SEO-holy-grail publications what they look for when linking to a piece of content within an article they’re writing, and what they say next will shock you…

…just kidding. It’s pretty obvious stuff like “write evergreen content” and “stop pulling statistics out of your ass and link to actual data/sources,” etc.

Still, as obvious as it seems, it could be worthwhile to read through and get a sense of what writers in general look for so you can at least try to be as relevant as possible when you Skyscraper-spam them, amirite?

When I look for links that serve this purpose (expounding on a point that isn’t the primary focus of my post), I’m looking for something that gives the fullest version of the story possible. Your 500-word post that brushes the surface won’t cut it. You have to go deeper than that.

So yeah, make a checklist and then hand it off to your content team. You never know…

Spend Your Crawl Budget Wisely


your crawl budget
stock photo, what are you even trying to say?

If you’ve got a big site, Google is only going to spend so much of its resources crawling it.

If you’re site is small or you’re still working on issues like “writing quality content” or “where do I get backlinks” this is probably not the post for you.

But if your SEO is dialed in, it’s probably worth taking a look at how to optimize the crawling of your site via sitemaps and robots.txt.

If you have sections of your site that really don’t need to be in Google, block them using robots.txt. Only do this if you know what you’re doing, of course. One of the common problems we see on larger eCommerce sites is when they have a gazillion way to filter products. Every filter might add new URLs for Google. In cases like these, you really want to make sure that you’re letting Google spider only one or two of those filters and not all of them.

Good stuff.

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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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