This Week In SEO 73
Fake News, AMP, Advanced Content Strategies, & More


Crush Link Building With Fake News

Or, you know, don’t.

Fake news has been in the… news… lately as part of the 2016 Dumpster-fire Election Tour.

But how does this relate to SEO?

Daft Punk.


Check it out. Someone registered the domain name and made a cryptic reference to a Daft Punk tour in 2017. For music fans (and websites), that’s a big deal, because (history lesson Daft Punk has only gone on two tours ever.

So, the cryptic site gets posted to Reddit with the speculation that there will be a new tour. And since most news sites just copy/paste from reddit, it got linked to from EVERYWHERE.

Check out these referring domains:



I wouldn’t recommend this technique (lord help us, but this world does not need more fake news). Similar results can be had with secondary site or microsites.

Interesting stuff! Definitely can help to think outside the box, sometimes…


Breaking Up (with AMP) is Hard to Do

Google’s recent mobile push has put AMP (accelerated mobile pages) in the spotlight. On the one hand, it’s a way to get your site (in certain niches) in front of a bigger audience.

On the other hand…

If, like me, you made the mistake of trying out AMP on your website – you’re in a tricky position if you try to remove it. Google doesn’t like anything leaving its clutches.

After a few weeks of AMP, I decided that it wasn’t suitable for me. So I uninstalled the WordPress plugin. That’s when the problems started.

The result?

For particular searches that involve his website, the AMP version is still served in the SERPs.

Even though the AMP markup/plugin has been removed, Google continues to show the AMP result and not the regular site.

If you try and click through to the regular site through the broken AMP page?


It throws a GOOGLE 404 ERROR.

Lame. Just a cautionary tale for you that testing the AMP waters could have a long-lasting impact on your search result presence…


What Not to Do


Once upon a time I went to school to get my teaching degree. One of the most impactful things I learned was the value in showing someone what NOT to do, and how that was sometimes even more effective than showing someone what to do.

As such, this post (which targets black hat SEO specifically, which I don’t agree with, as these are typically mistakes made by beginners or people who don’t know any better) is a valuable resource.

Here’s an example:

It [Link exchange] refers to an agreement between 2 sites to rank in Google. I will spoil the moment so you won’t get tempted by this method because it’s considered a link scheme and it won’t let your site appear in SERP anymore. The good guys run with the speed of the light when they hear about this black hat SEO technique.

At a quick search on the internet you’ll find lots of sites and directories that offer links in exchange. They even make big promises such as free links, quality links for your niche, no footprints and you can even make money through their affiliate program. It is easy to do link exchange and rank afterward, but you will get penalized just as easily.

Yes, don’t do a link exchange. Check out the site for 43 more things you should not do.


Advanced Content Marketing Strategies (for SEO)

spittin old school fire

Not quite for the beginners out there, this post will help you figure out how to consolidate your current content, how to make your content prop up your SEO, and similar examples from real sites.

This was a really good point (if you know what you’re doing and won’t break a bunch of your pages):

The idea with this strategy is that you reduce the number of posts you are trying to rank for any keywords and combine multiple pages on long tail keywords into 1 MONSTER resource on the given topic. This strategy I believe plays into Google Hummingbird algorithm layer […]

If you’ve been wondering about some options to build up your content into something more powerful for your site, this is a good resource.


Managing Your SEO Expectations

This is a great post that I think everyone doing/having SEO done should read and consider.

The author got a sweeeeet link from (Boston University)–an image link, with no “dofollow” in site.

So what happened next–instant #1 rankings? A burst of traffic?


Nothing basically.

One link to one website does not a robust case study make. But it’s a great takeaway to help manage your expectations of link building.

Our philosophy: consistent links over many months (plus a bunch of other important stuff like good content and on-page SEO) is what makes an impact on rankings.

Not one link (however awesome that link happens to be).


Rapid-Fire SEO Insights

With more interactive and useful features in the SERPs (such as displaying the weather, or sport scores, etc.), Google is taking clicks away from websites that provide the data. You already knew that, but this is a trend that is increasing steadily.

Want amazing links but don’t want to resort to fake news? This great post by AHREFs digs in on how to make that happen, but here’s the TL;DR:

  1. Find relevant data
  2. Make it pretty and easily shared
  3. ???
  4. Profit

In a new edition of “Ask Yoast,” someone wonders how many internal links a page should have.

The answer: 17.

Just kidding. This is actually the answer:

It doesn’t matter, as long as your links are natural and benefit the user.

TWS74: Long Tail, SSL, and Trust Signals
TWS72: Mobile First, Optimized Content, WP Themes, & More!

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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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