Happy Autumn, folks! This time last year we were getting ready to fly to Boston for TechSEO Boost, mingle, drink and chat with other human beings, unencumbered by facial coverings.
2020 you cruel mistress. Begone with you!
Tech SEO articles ahoy...
Recent Tech SEO Stuff We Love
Dawn loves herself a spot of BERT theorising. I love it too, to be honest. You'll need a coffee (or three) for this one, so strap in. I don't think there's anyone in the SEO industry more plugged-in to the this stuff, and we are all lucky that Dawn has shared the breadth of her knowledge with us all here.
In terms of her central argument, I'm sold. Are you?
Lily Ray (SEO's favourite DJ) dusted off some of Google's patents, and, along with Patentmeister Bill Slawski, explored how they might help explain how Google may be using E-A-T algorithmically. It is super interesting stuff, connecting the Knowledge Graph with the Search Quality Guidelines, and explaining some of the technology that allows Google to make or infer meaningful connections.
Google have publicly stated that they are changing the way they judge the user experience for website visitors, and in this article Rachel provides an excellent overview of what's changing, and what you can do about it. With examples, explanations and guidance for checking this stuff yourself, it is what it says on the tin: 'Everything you need to know.'
Back when I was regularly doing client audits, I used to absolutely LOVE the ones where I had to don my Sherlock Holmes hat and pipe, and go to work figuring out wtf had happened to make a website's traffic tank completely. This post is the 2020 version of that process, not about Penguin anymore but instead taking into account things like link rot and search demand. Sam also lays out his methodology for digging into rankings changes to isolate which pages or keywords are affected. It's excellent stuff.
Other Stuff You Should Check Out
- How to Optimize for Google Featured Snippets [Research]
A monster study on Featured Snippets, which includes a bunch of cool takeaways, tons of data, and a handy 'How to get Featured Snippets' workflow at the bottom.
- How to Maximize your Pages CTR in Search Results Besides Improving your Rankings
Taking CTR data from Google Search Console, identifying low performing pages, and figuring out what you can do about it to improve CTR. Characteristically comprehensive and practical from Aleyda.
The former is a single page checker to help you understand the impact of rendering on core content elements, while the latter is a Chrome extension that pulls through Core Web Vitals data into the SERPs!
- Custom Extraction Using Sitebulb & Screaming Frog
You had me at 'Screaming Frog'. Wait. Oh well, this is a cool post, showing how to use custom extraction (and also content search) and some of the things you can do with it.
What We've Been Up To
- We hosted part 2 of our structured data livestream Q & A webinar series, this time featuring Nik Ranger and Tony McCreath, where we tackled Structured Data Implementation in the Real World (FYI if you missed part 1 of the series, that one is here: 'Making the Business Case for Structured Data'). We're planning another one before Christmas, so keep an eye out for the announcement!
- I published an article on the importance of using node identifiers in structured data; 'Node Identifiers: From Structured Data to Linked Data'.
- I also had a guest post published over on Traffic Think Tank's blog; 'Preparing for Google’s Mobile-Only Index'