Topical Authority is the 'Wave' Forward
8 Google Ranking Factors; Google Bombing; E-A-T More; Social Signals; Find Abandoned Sites; Zero-Click Searches; and Much More!
I've been telling more and more people the best strategy moving forward is Topical Authority.
From Glenn Gabe's review of the overlapping updates, he said something about a site that was hit, recovered, hit, recovered, and hit again:
Everything leads back to topical authority, but how do you establish it?
If you're in the gardening niche, do you just write a bunch of articles about gardening and gain authority?
If only it were that easy! (Well...it used to be)
Search engine algorithms change and the tricks that were used in the past don't work anymore or have less effect. The algos close those holes.
At one time, SEOs and others were pushing Web 2.0 links, PBNs, keyword stuffing, 100% target anchors, and of course - Just Write.
Google updates the last few years have all led to benefiting sites with topical authority. Working on your topical authority is the best way to be update-proof.
How do you build topical authority? Here are the broad strokes:
Keyword Research based on Topics
Structure your site based on Topics
Write Content driven by completing Topic Clusters
Internal Linking Strategy that's based on your Topic Clusters
Always Keep E-A-T-ing
Yea, yea, I know. Sounds like I'm pushing topical maps doesn't it? That's right!
A good topical map that shows you how to effectively structure your site and internal links is your greatest weapon.
Whether you get one at topicalmap.com or elsewhere, be sure that you're also getting topic structure and not just a list of topic clusters from a clustering tool. Or if you do just get a list of clusters, hopefully you can organize the clusters yourself and plan out your internal linking strategy.
I'll be coming out with a topical map sample and guide soon, so I'll show you more how a topical map will up your SEO game!
This week's Niche Creator is Shawn Hill!
Shawn Hill is a niche site builder who pulls double-duty as a SEO at Forbes. He's super active on Twitter sharing his tips, so be sure to check out his Q&A:
Implementing geo IP redirects can be tricky, learn where to begin in this episode of AskGooglebot. John Mueller recommends next steps and shares a few aspects to remember when you have a location-specific website.
Check out their Managing multi-regional and multilingual websites page for more info.
Joshua Hardwick covers eight Google ranking factors that deserve your attention.
Core Web Vitals
That last one - interstitials. You know those ads that are like middleman pages after you click a link? Yea, that's those. Why do people use them still? So annoying for users.
Google thinks so too and made them a negative ranking factor in 2017. Apparently, not everyone got the memo, including Adsense!
Glenn Gabe of GSQi covers the September 2022 broad core update that overlapped with the latest Product Reviews Update, and the confusion it caused for site owners and SEOs.
Thanks to SERP features that give helpful info right on the results page, more searches than ever are ending without a click-through to a website. That's a zero-click search, because Google gives them the answer in the SERPs.
I find that many beginners fall into this trap (I did too!), then they wrack their brains on why they're not getting traffic. Then they eventually give up. That's why keyword research is so important.
Onely's guide on how to fix the "Duplicate without user-selected canonical" status. It can definitely be a pain. This article will run you potential causes and what you can do to get rid of the issue.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Google Search Central Blog's latest post explains in detail the data available and how Google processes it, including privacy filtering and other limitations related to serving latency, storage, and processing resources. Ever wonder how these systems work? Let's do a deep dive into them.
Aleyda Solis shared on Twitter that brands are starting to write product reviews of their own products. She says Dyson is doing this well, targeting and ranking for:
"<own brand> + reviews" "Best + <own brand> + <product line>" "Best + <non-branded informational / commercial query>"
When you look up "dyson reviews," you'll see Dyson's page is the top results. If you go to the page, you'll see the content consists of user reviews for a vacuum.
Today, a well-written post can only get you so far in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In order to be successful, you need to optimize your blog images to be engaging and complimentary to your writing.
This is a great article that doesn't just say to optimize image file size (which is also does say).
What do you need to consider when trying to rank multiple similar pages? And how can you avoid SEO issues like duplicate content and keyword cannibalization?
Amy Lees at Yoast covers how to avoid similar content through long-tail keywords, search intent, and schema.
Are social signals a Google ranking factor? Find out how social signals correlate with higher rankings and 10 ways to improve your social signals for SEO.
The article shares videos from 2010 where Google's Matt Cutts said they use social signals, and one from 2014 where Matt says they're "less focused" on them.
But then in 2022, Google says they use it to understand the authority of an author or creator via social media (E-A-T anyone?).
Lily Ray discusses E-A-T in Moz's Whiteboard Friday series. She discusses a variety of things, including a couple Google patents from 2007 and 2018 that allow Google to understand:
Who the author is of a piece of content and to rank based on the authoritativeness of the author
How authoritative a piece of content or brand is and to rank based on that
There are a couple other patents that as well to identify who authors and experts are based on their writing style, tone of voice, or accent.
SEO includes a vast array of activities where the outcomes of our work are either uncertain or difficult to predict. For this reason, optimizations that seem "untestworthy" might actually be worth your while to experiment on. Logan Bryant at Moz walks you through five of his favorite ones.
Can keywords in a redirected domain name cause a page to rank for them? There's reason to believe this theory is valid. It all started when Chris Silver Smith started work on a legal case involving a couple of finance sector companies where one was accused by the other of trademark infringement where the defendant’s website abruptly began ranking for the plaintiff’s service mark.
I found this snippet pretty funny:
He also shares the famous example of Google-bombing in 2004, SEO pranksters caused the White House’s biography page for President George W. Bush to rank for the query, “miserable failure.” Google stepped in to diffuse the bomb.
But when Obama was elected, the Bush page was redirected to Obama's new profile page and Google's 'fix' was undone, so Obama's page then started to rank for "miserable failure."
Mushfiq and Charles Sipe cover how to acquire content websites that have been abandoned (not updated in a while). They cover outreach techniques and negotiation tactics. They also share a couple Google Sheets that make it easy to see when the last updates were for sites.
Jasper (aka Jarvis) just got raised a $125M in their Series A round at a $1.5B valuation! Really awesome for them.
You can watch the video to hear more about it and some of what they released and have upcoming. That includes Jasper Art to create images with AI and their Chrome extension that lets you use AI almost anywhere on the web.
Ezoic's had a big week of reveals, product announcements, and more during Customer Week. The major things they discussed are:
Humix - Video management suite designed to significantly increase your ad revenue and boost your SEO by inserting high-quality videos into publisher sites.
Flickify - Tool that allows you to upload text-based articles, and transforms them into high-quality videos.
Niche IQ - Suite of three individual tools: Broken Links Tool, the SEO Tag Tester, and the Topic Suggestion Tool.
May be worth signing up for as those new tools. The only one I've checked out thus far is Niche IQ and it's pretty good as it'll save you some analysis time.