This Week In SEO 71
Structured Data, Mobile SEO, & More


A Guide to Structured Data

Microdata, Schema, JSON-LD: making your data pop.

pimp your site

This is a huge guide! Very in-depth, well done guide from Built Visible. Everything you wanted to know about using structured data on your site. Definitely recommend you bookmark this one and come back to it when you need it.

Marking up content on your website can:

  • Lead to the generation of rich snippets in search engine results e.g.
  • This has the potential to enhance CTR from the search results from anywhere between 10-25%.
    Search engines and organisations are using this mark-up to develop new tools, for example Google Recipe Search, which may open up other marketing channels if not now, in the near future.
  • Provide greater information to search engines to improve their understanding of the content on your website.


The Impact of Reviews on Google Local

In this post, David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal discuss the increasing impact of reviews in Local SEO.

David and Mike–two super-smart dudes–have some really interested ideas if local SEO is important to your business:

…all of these review sites and pages that are appearing on mobile local results and in the Knowledge Panel seem to be having an impact on local search ranking. Certainly an argument for getting reviews everywhere, and not just Google and Yelp.

This article is actually a part of a series where David and Mike go back and forth on a specific topic. Some good takeaways here, if you’re trying to get ranked locally.


Did Google Kill Mobile SEO?

Mobile search is dead.

SEO is dead.

Why even try?

That’s right. This Week in SEO just went medieval on your A$$

Ok, I’m not really a fan of “X is Dead” kind of proclamations, but, headline-aside, this article brings up some really good thoughts on the state of mobile SEO and Google.

So is Google killing mobile SEO?

The answer (as you’d expect from inbound and local marketers and SEO specialists) is organic search is not dead, but there is no doubt that the game has changed immeasurably, and continues to change every time Google introduces a new innovation, including on-going changes to paid search, Google My Business listings, Knowledge Graph and its latest baby Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

This article doesn’t lend itself to being easily summarized, so I recommend you go and read it. It really highlights the struggle with trying to rank in the mobile SERPs, and gives and consults with several experts on how to frame your mobile SEO efforts for the best long term strategy.

The struggle is real, ya’ll.


How Google Almost Killed Proton Mail


Here’s a very good (and alarming!) story about how ProtonMail–an email service (similar to Gmail in that they provide an email platform, but with sort of the opposite philosophy, as their niche is secure/encrypted email).

The short summary is that for nearly a year, Google was hiding ProtonMail from search results for queries such as ‘secure email’ and ‘encrypted email’. This was highly suspicious because ProtonMail has long been the world’s largest encrypted email provider.

They were ranking in the top 10-ish for other “major” search engines, but were NOWHERE to be found on Google. Even on page 9+


They consulted with SEO experts, and the experts were stumped. Eventually, when ProtonMail’s users brought enough attention, Google stopped ignoring ProtonMail’s attempts to get in touch, and said, basically, oops, we fixed something and now you’re in our index.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Basically, as if a switch was flipped, ProtonMail was suddenly ranking in the top 3 spots for their main keywords:


It’s a good reminder that sometimes your site is fine, and authoritative, Google is just being a bastard. Here’s what ProtonMail took away from the experience:

This incident however highlights a previously unrecognized danger that we are now calling Search Risk. The danger is that any service such as ProtonMail can easily be suppressed by either search companies, or the governments that control those search companies. This can happen even across national borders. For example, even though Google is an American company, it controls over 90% of European search traffic. In this case, Google directly caused ProtonMail’s growth rate worldwide to be reduced by over 25% for over 10 months.

^ a good example of the importance of diversifying your traffic…


Hacked WordPress Subdirectories Present a New Occurrence of Spam

I’ll take ‘Things we don’t need‘ for $500, Alex.

What sets this tactic apart from other SEO hacked spam, such as malicious redirects or defacements, is that it doesn’t change the appearance of the original site.

The hackers cover their tracks by hiding their spammy site within the legitimate site’s subdirectory, so the site owner may never even notice it. Having some type of security monitoring in place is one way to be alerted if something like this happens to your website.

this was definitely the best-worst “hacker” stock photo

These subdirectory hacks are on the rise, and detecting if your site has been hit is not easy.

It’s always a good idea to do a “site:URL” search in Google, and keep an eye on your Search Console (or similar website monitoring tool) to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

While you don’t want your hard earned authority to prop up some black-hatter’s site, having this content associated with your site may hurt your own rankings.


Rapid-Fire SEO Insights

An interesting history of SEO for those that may not have read about it before.

Here are some ways to get your site crawled faster:

  • Do some link building. More authority = faster/more frequent crawls.
  • Your server is too slow. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  • Too many technical errors that will slow down the crawl.
  • Too many URLs to crawl (the spiders will only crawl so many).
  • No sitemap. Get your site a sitemap!

Angela Merkel (Germany’s BOSS) has called out Google for practices similar to the ProtonMail story above:

“Algorithms, when they are not transparent, can lead to a distortion of our perception, they can shrink our expanse of information.”

Rand Fishkin: How to Craft the Best Ecommerce Page — Video:

Rand’s video for the Moz series “Whiteboard Friday” gets into how to make a great looking, positive-user-experience promoting ecommerce page.

Here’s the TL;DR if you’re not into videos (click to make the image larger):


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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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