By Kevin Moore on 8 May 2017
Welcome back to another toe-dipping SEO adventure, where we give you the Down Low on some of the latest, exciting changes and updates that have occurred in the Search Engine Optimisation field.
April saw some great changes in Googleland that will excite digital marketers, especially those who appreciate the importance of SEO. No longer do you need to have Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) access to submit a new URL to Google’s index. Google are also taking job postings into the SERPs, another little move towards global domination. We look at the implications of negative SEO and introduce some tactics to be aware of and suggest what course you should take if you believe it's happening to your website.
Finally, we have to boast about our latest double win at The European Search Awards!!
So without further ado, here is our SEO Down Low from April 2017.
Submit URLs in the SERPs
Way back at the beginning of April, whilst tapping away in the SERPs, we stumbled on something that we found to be a great addition to Google by Google for SEOs. Just to let you know that this isn't something that often appears in a single sentence — Google adding something great for SEOs. Usually, they take features away from us!
The new feature is simply an option within the SERPs to submit a URL to Google’s index. Up until now, this feature been reserved for webmasters with access to Google Search Console, (The primary communication tool between SEO webmasters and Google) it is a two-way communication tool. Wolfgang Digital always advise our clients to register their domains in Search Console. If you haven’t got your website set up in Search Console yet, contact Wolfgang Digital and we will advise you on the best to do this.
When you create and add new pages to your website, they don’t automatically get indexed by Google and if they have important and urgent information, then you want your page indexed immediately, don’t you? Yes, of course, sure you are hardly creating content just for the heck of it, are you? So from here on out, simply Google ‘submit url to Google’ and you will see this first result:
Then add your newly created URL straight into the box, click ‘I’m not a robot’ and hey presto, the job is done. Your page can now be found on Google.
As the tool states, this will not help you to rank in Google, but it is the starting point. At the end of the day, if you are not indexed in Google you definitely can’t rank, so get your pages submitted as you create them!
Google Launching 'Google Hire'
Google is always looking at ways to gather more information and become the fastest learning artificial intelligence platform, acquiring the likes of DeepMind and training machines to beat world number 1 ‘Go’ players using AlphaGo, a super intelligent, narrow AI computer program. In last month’s SEO Down Low we reported on ‘Google Posts’. This month, Google have released ‘Google Hire’. Google Hire is a search feature to provide services to job hunters and recruiters alike, or as Google have revealed, "a tool to manage companies’ recruitment processes".
From our research, it appears that Google Hire is a child of Google’s ‘Cloud and Enterprise’ Division. This is headed up by Diane Greene who moved to Google in 2015 after Alphabet (Google’s parent company) acquired Bebop for $380million. Greene moved over and is the senior vice president for Google's cloud businesses, including Google Hire.
Dan Shure spotted this test for queries on Google that include [jobs online], [data entry online jobs], and some other search terms.
When we tried to both replicate and search for a variety of jobs in Dublin and Ireland, we were unable to see Google Hire in action, but watch this space, it's coming!
Negative SEO - Be Warned
Negative SEO is something that webmasters and website owners need to be aware of. It is a form of SEO that is carried out to negatively impact on a competitor's rankings. This behaviour is shunned by white hat SEOs the world over. However, it is real and remains a risk that we need to keep an eye on.
At Wolfgang Digital, our SEO team are trained to identify negative SEO and resolve any issues with it, so if you feel your website has fallen victim to any of the below tactics of negative SEO, be sure to contact us immediately and we can kick off a harm reduction strategy, before the damage gets out of control.
Some of our clients have experienced this recently and our SEO crack squad have identified the problems, with eagle eyes and rectified the issues before they caused untold damage to the respective websites.
The list of negative SEO tactics which are explained in greater detail here include:
- Link farms – Creating hundreds or thousands of links, with the same anchor text, pointing to your domain
- Scraping – Copying your content, and posting it across other websites
- Forceful crawling – Attempting to overload your servers, so that genuine visitors cannot access your website
- Modifying your content – This usually occurs within the code of your website and can go unnoticed for a long period
- Getting the site de-indexed – Adding a 'Disallow' direction within the Robots.txt file can completely remove a website from Googles index
- Hacking the site – A hacked website, be it from hackers or negative SEOs will de-rank your site, or at the very least, Google will add the ‘this site might be hacked’ line to the SERP snippet
Implementing the highest SSL levels, such as HSTS preload is advised by Wolfgang Digital. If you need advice on how to migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS contact us today.
SEO Wins at the European Search Awards
To wrap up our April SEO Down Low, we can’t miss the opportunity to brag about our double win at the European Search Awards. Firstly, Zurich Life took home the Best use of Search in Finance award.
Up against some serious big hitters, including Money Supermarket and Go Compare to name a few. This award was earned by our Content and SEO teams for an amazing campaign that has brought Zurich Life significant volumes of valuable traffic and continues to do so.
The second gong of the night was taken by Littlewoods Ireland for the Best Integrated Campaign, incorporating all our search teams including SEO.
Again, this was a highly competitive category, up against stiff competition including; the Disney Store and HBO. Congratulations to all involved. A great few days were had by the Wolfgang crew, in the picturesque town of Krakow, Poland.
Until next month, stay safe in the SERPs, it's wild out there in the ever changing world of Google!