This Week In SEO 76
Pop-up Penalty, Crawl Budgets, Silos, & More


Mobile Pop-Up Penalty Live!

new google penalty

Well, you had plenty of warning with this one: Google has officially begun penalizing sites that use really invasive and negative-user-experience-promoting pop ups–specifically those that cover whole areas of content and are hard to close.

Google announced this penalty first in August of 2016, promising it would roll out in January.

And here we are.

So, a little more than a week into the roll-out, what are we seeing?

According to Glenn Gabe, not much!

He has been tracking the role out and provides several examples of sites getting booted off page one, but other than that…

We are now seven days into the rollout of the mobile popup algorithm and I am still not seeing widespread impact. Yes, I have seen some examples..but there are still many sites employing mobile popups or interstitials that have not been impacted. I am now tracking close to sixty different sites that use mobile popups.

Examples include ‘’ and ‘’

There will probably be more to this, as Google has historically been slow to roll out big changes. Stay tuned ?


What the Hell is a Crawl Budget and Why Should You Care

google bot
Go, Googlebot, Go!

Google crawls a website to index and catalogue the site, so it can display relevant results to searchers.

There’s been a lot of talk about a crawl budget for your site–that is, Google will only crawl so much of a website, so make it count–but we’ve not really heard anything very official on the matter from Google.

Until now.

Check out this post for the full scoop, but here are some highlights:

Googlebot is designed to be a good citizen of the web. Crawling is its main priority, while making sure it doesn’t degrade the experience of users visiting the site. We call this the “crawl rate limit,” which limits the maximum fetching rate for a given site.

Simply put, this represents the number of simultaneous parallel connections Googlebot may use to crawl the site, as well as the time it has to wait between the fetches. The crawl rate can go up and down based on a couple of factors

What can affect crawl rate and reduce your “crawl budget?”

Faceted navigation and session identifiers
On-site duplicate content
Soft error pages
Hacked pages
Infinite spaces and proxies
Low quality and spam content

So make sure your site is very “crawlable” (by having really awesome on-page SEO–check out our guide if you want to rock it).


Website Migrations or How to Ruin Everything

There are a lot of good reasons to do a site migration, but there are
even more ways in which things could (will probably) go terribly wrong, and tank your site’s visibility, like this:

site migration

So how do you do a redesign/migration and not destroy everything?

This post is a good starting point… but I would say the #1 most important thing: hire a developer who knows WTF they are doing (and understands SEO).

So go through this guide if this is something you’re considering and make sure you understand all the little pieces involved.

Working on many migrations, I am often left surprised by the lack of respect that is given to the need to implement redirects. Whether it is key stakeholders, c-suite or developers, there seems to be a reluctance to want to implement them.

Now some of the excuses can be valid, with website speed being one provided by the development team. However, if they are not implemented then there is a serious chance that you could lose a lot of the visibility that you have worked so hard to get over time.


Internal Linking With a Purpose

internal linking diagram

Internal links can be a really good way to make sure your site is crawlable (see above) and architecturally sound (see below).

The best way to approach internal linking is to think of the site-visitor and ask: would an internal link here be helpful, or extraneous.

Like writing content for the sake of having content, internal links with no purpose are weak and wasteful.

Hit up this guide and create a strong site. It’s a great roadmap to follow if you’re just getting started with a site and wondering “what do I do now?”

The first step in “SEOing” a new website is to develop your content ideas and topics. Next is to organize all of those wonderful content ideas into categories or topic silos. At this point, you don’t need to think about keywords. Only after you’ve laid out the groundwork should you research, select and assign keyword groups to pages.


On Building Silos

build a silo

You could just put internal links up on your site willy-nilly.

Or you can wield internal links like a scalpel, and do things on purpose, for a reason.

This is a great article and, as the author claims, a lot of big sites don’t give this method much consideration.

Here’s what we mean by Siloing:

Organizing your website’s content, through directory structure and links, in a way that conveys subject matter expertise to search engines is an SEO methodology I devised years ago, and it’s called siloing.

Siloing is organizing a website’s content by heavily queried themes to make it clear what topics a site is about.

This post is a pretty good introduction to Siloing, and gives some great action steps to get your started.

I definitely recommend checking this one out…

TWS77: Local Organic Results, Canonical Errors, Facebook Algorithm, & 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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