This Week In SEO 66
Penguin Arrives, Apple Maps, AMP, & More

Blah blah AMP. Blah blah blah, featured snippets. Blah blah 8 SEO things you can learn from Pokemon GO, Blah bla–

!! Penguin 4.0 Finally Arrives

Relax.  Take a deep breath.

Whenever you hear about Google penalties, it’s best not to react if you see any wild swings.  It’ll be easy because Penguin 4.0 will could take up to a couple of weeks to affect your site (if it does at all, you superstar).

I guess after a few weeks, you’ll know for sure.  THEN you can overreact 🙂

Here are the things you need to know:

  1. Penguin is now part of the core algorithm, and sites will not need to wait for a refresh if they are affected/fixed.
  2. Where previous Penguin penalties affected your whole site, this update is more “granular,” meaning it’s possible that if you get hit with a penalty, it *could* affect only different pages on your site, vs. the whole site.
  3. It will take up to three weeks to fully roll out.

That’s about it.  Big news–and definitely keep an eye on things!  But, yanno…




Apple Maps URLs Are Now Public, But…


Apple now has about 7 (currently) indexed pages for points of interest, while another 200,000 or so are blocked from being indexed by robots.txt.


If Apple Maps gets its SEO act together, I know a lot of local search directories that are going to be thinking different about their future prospects…

Apple is the 800 pound question mark when it comes to SEO, as when they start making moves, it will be a very big deal, indeed.


AMP Facts, Straight From Google


All joking aside, getting your site optimized for AMP (accelerated mobile pages) is, until Google suddenly cancels it because it takes away from ad clicks, important.

Get your site on that AMP carousel for some extra-special organic traffic.

Google has some tips on how to make this happen. Click through for the details, but here are the most important:

  1. Sites built on on popular CMS (like WordPress) will be easy to optimize for AMP
  2. AMP is great for all types of static web content such as news, recipes, movie listings, product pages, reviews, videos, blogs and more.
  3. You can AMP up a single page (it doesn’t have to be the whole site).
  4. There’s no “ranking boost” from optimizing for AMP, just featured placement on a carousel at the top of the SERPs.

You can get AMP help here:



Everything You Need to Know About the Recent Google Local Update

If your rankings went a little nuts around the beginning of September, it’s probably because of a local algorithm update (that everyone is calling Possum. Get it? Because it starts with a P).

So what did this local shake-up involve? I’mma break it down for you (but as always, recommend you click through and read the article yourself.

Knowledge is power (France is bacon).

Business that fall outside the local city limits saw a pretty big boost. This pic sums it up pretty well:


On August 6, they ranked #31 locally for “Home Inspector Sarasota,” and I came to the conclusion that ranking for keywords like that was a lost cause without an address inside the physical city limits. We have lots of clients in this scenario and have seen that even after years of doing the right things, their local ranking just doesn’t budge for those types of keywords.

After the update, their ranking jumped to position 10 (Yes, an increase of 21 positions). We saw the exact same patterns for all other businesses we tracked that fell into this category.

Google is filtering the results based on location and affiliation:

Since this update, we are seeing a lot of businesses filtered out due to the address of the business being the same as another listing in their same category (same type of business).

The location of the searcher matters a lot more now than it did before:

It seems that since this update, it’s more important than ever to make sure the searcher location is set to the right city when tracking ranking.

There are more, but those were the big ones.


Google’s New App, Allo, Will Keep All Messages Indefinitely

The first rule of SEO is… we don’t talk about SEO (on Google apps that record all of your conversations and record them on Google servers forever).

The mostly anticipated, not-quite-Apple-Messages-killer, Google Allo was launched this week.

Initially, Google said this app would use end-to-end encryption and it would not store messages long-term (which could be requested by police, governments, etc). However, upon the release of the app, Google reversed policy and said it would, in-fact, store conversations, for the purpose of helping to improve performance of the bot you are chatting with.

At least they are up front about it?

You can delete you messages manually, or use incognito mode so they aren’t stored but… still.

Now you know!

Rapid-Fire SEO Insights

This week’s rapid-fire SEO segment is brought to you by CONTENT.

Does your site’s content need a bit of a boost? These articles should help:

Make the most out of the content your site already has with this smart audit.

How to write exceptional content about boring things (like deodorant).

  • A decent quality infographic
  • A share in the right place
  • An emotive topic
  • A dash of controversy
  • Incurring the wrath of a big brand

Nice juicy case study. Def. check out (but just a heads up, there’s a bunch of pictures of spiders on this post. I F-ing hate spiders, so I skipped that part.)

TWS67: Possum, Penguin & More
TWS65: Big Fluctuations, Linkless Mentions, Grey Hat SEO, & More

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Written by Smash

Ranking websites like it's our job (because hey, it is our job).

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