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SEO Tips to Avoid Penalties when Google updates the Algorithm


– Google have just rolled out
a broad core algorithm update this week and it looks
like we’re all doomed. – We’re doomed!
– Doomed! – Doomed! – No, no, I’m only kidding. The algorithm updates are
becoming less and less hardcore and kinda more like fine tuning. (hissing) – Concentrate. Concentrate. – [Homer] I want fugu! – But that has not
stopped the SEO community from doing the usual freak
out dance on Twitter. (funky electronic music) Now, say what you want
about the SEO community, but our gif game is very strong. Now, we had the usual
run around and panic gifs and all of that stuff, but some people were also
asking, what does this mean and how do we optimize for it? Talking about optimization, you should help me
optimize this YouTube video by clicking the link button down below. (ding) (thumping electronic music) Okay, so how do we optimize for these core algorithm updates? Well, the short answer, you don’t. Nowadays, you don’t really
technically optimize for any broad core updates. You just kinda progressively
optimize the site over a period of time. And how do you do that,
Ross, I hear you cry? Well, a very good place to start is actually Google’s
official documentation. In particular, the Google
webmaster guidelines kinda help with your
implementation of things like technical SEO, and the
quality raters guidelines will get you like a more tangible feel of like what “quality
content” actually looks like. So, from a technical SEO perspective, there are loads of resources out there to help you audit your website. Aleyda Solis ran a survey
to ask the biggest blockers in the industry when it actually comes to implementing any technical SEO changes, and she found the following: The biggest problem SEOers are facing is a lack of resources to implement and a lack of understanding
around the key themes around technical SEO in the
changing SEO environment. She’s then developed this
framework of principles called the SP2 principles of strategic, prioritized,
and proactive principles. This is a really good starting point to help you gain a much
better understanding of why you’re actually doing technical SEO in the first place. And once you understand the why, we can then move into the what. And once you understand
the why we’re doing things and the what we’re doing when
it comes to technical SEO, we can then move into the
how we’re gonna do it, so that’s the actual
tactics to get the job done. For that, I am a huge,
huge fan of Annie Cushing from a company called Annielytics. She’s got this technical audit
checklist on Google Sheet that covers the following: You’ve got data pulls,
you’ve got indexing, architecture, accessibility, and another eight core areas and about 200 total audit check points. A link in the description
to Annie’s Google Sheet. Now, it’s a fantastic resource and I highly, highly recommend it. She’s also got a full tech audit template that’s actually endorsed
by Rand Fishkin from Moz, which you can actually download, it’s a couple of hundred dollars, so really not a big investment. Another excellent resource
is Andy Drinkwater’s 209 technical audit checklist. So Andy also done an hour-long podcast actually explaining all
of these methodologies, again, a link for that is down below. It’s particularly well worth a listen because he’s actually being questioned by another professional SEO person. And he also gives you something
slightly different to Annie, and that is gonna give you
all the tools you need to use and how to use them to actually
do your technical analysis. So overall, he’s got 15 steps in the audit that include some real
world-class strategic checks. So, stuff for people who
are brand new into SEO, as well as more hardcore guys that want to learn about
internationalization and foreign language and local SEO and negative SEO practices. Well worth a read. And lastly, I would be remiss to say you should probably go
over to the SEMrush Academy where I hae actually taken you through the entire Type A technical
SEO framework, and guess what? It is completely free. And that’s the SEMrush Academy. All right, so after you’ve
done your technical audit, it’s time to get to grips
with your on-page SEO. Now, when it comes to on-page, you should notice that there
is something on this page, on YouTube, which is
called the link button, which you should definitely,
definitely click. Okay, now, my favorite
Googler, Mr. Matt Cutts, used to always tell us the following. – [Matt] What is the
ideal keyword density? The answer is 77%. – Nah, I’m only kidding. But if you want to have a laugh, that mashup video, if you go onto YouTube and google how to rank
number one on Google, absolutely hilarious, but it is satire, so please do not take it seriously. So when it comes to on-page
SEO and quality content, I take a look at the
quality rater’s guidelines first and foremost. These are essentially a
set of scoring criteria that Google gives to
actual human reviewers to follow when they’re grading a site and training their
machine-learning algorithms. In particular, there’s something in there and it’s a phrase you’re
gonna hear quite a bit. E-A-T. This stands for expertise,
authority, and trust. Now, if you want to learn
much more about E-A-T, I would be remiss if I did not
mention the queen of E-A-T, Dr. Marie Haynes. Marie’s on countless
blog posts and webinars and public appearances about E-A-T and how to interpret those
Google Rater guidelines. In fact, if you google her name, auto-suggest actually comes
up as Marie Haynes E-A-T. She’s actually got a
two-part webinar about E-A-T, which again is linked in the description. Highly, highly recommended. You know what else is quite
close to the description below? The like button, what
you should definitely, definitely click. Now, if you wanna read the
guidelines from Google, all 168 pages of it, you can do so over here. But if you’re not up for reading 168 pages of technical guidelines, which I don’t know why you wouldn’t, here’s a condensed version. So, Google’s got a concept
called “beneficial purpose” and every webpage in their index needs to have a purpose
that benefits the user. Either to share information about a topic, to share personal or social information, to share pictures, videos,
or other forms of media, to express an opinion or a point of view, to entertain, or for what most of us are
doing when it comes to SEO, to sell products and services. Now, when it comes to beneficial purpose, Google will determine
certain types of pages according to the vertical they’re in. In particular, they have rules
for something called YMYL, which stands for your money or your life. According to Google, YMYL
pages are pages or topics that could be potentially impactful to a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety. In particular, there are actual
niches that they mentioned, and they include news,
civics, government, and law, finance, shopping, health and safety, and groups of people. So, if you’ve got a segment
in one of those topic areas, you’re gonna need to be extra diligent when you’re applying E-A-T principles. Okay, so next up is creating content. We actually need to take all of that stuff and actually get content on the page. You know what the best type of content is? It’s the link just below this
video called the like button, which you should
definitely click to help us with the YouTube algorithm. Now, the old days of
banging in some keywords and synonyms are kinda gone. That’s thanks to things like
the Hummingbird algorithm and most recently the Bear algorithm. Google just understands the nuance behind how things are done. That’s all very well and good, but how do we get ready to
brief our copywriting teams to get content on the site? Well, if you’re done tracing, they’ve actually done a full video on exactly this for our
friends over at SEMrush for one of their weekly wisdom CDs, link in the description below. But if you want to know my top tools for actually getting content together, I would either recommended Surfer SEO or the On Page SEO Checker from SEMrush. So both of them use information
from the top 10 on Google to understand the actual
entities on a page, and from that, they help
you build in your content so that you can brief in to a copywriter and it’s semantically related
to what’s in the top 10. Lastly, we need to talk about
the most controversial topic, that is links. Firstly, the most important
link is the like button link, which is just below this video, so please do click it. I’ll just keep saying
it until you click it. So, if you’re in an entry
that’s classed as YMYL, then you’re gonna need to make sure that you’re monitoring
your backlink profile very, very carefully. I recommend using a tool like LRT, which stands for Link Research Tools, as it’s gonna constantly
monitor your backlink profile to make sure that there are no toxic links and you’re not being hit
with a negative SEO attack. So, top play when it comes to links, here are our rules for
avoiding any algorithmic issues in the future. One, editorial only, get
them from the main body of the blogs, newspapers, and magazines and don’t bother with things
like things in the sidebar, things in the footer, and
things like widget links ’cause they’re kinda deemed low value. Next, no anchor text. And yes, it would be good to
get your keywords in the link, but it’s actually a spam signal, which is gonna get you
seriously landed in hot water. Also, mix it up, do not do the same thing over and over again. If you’ve done 10 guest posts
this month, well, guess what? You just created a footprint. Switch to some PR stuff
or some infographic stuff, just build different tactics
into your link building. Next, think like a PR,
so when it actually comes to getting links, you
should be building content and experiences around your products, and using that to create
stories that are newsworthy to pitch journalists. Also, have commensurate social shares. The amount of link builders I talk to who do give a shit about
social is unbelievable. Every single time we’ve got a link in a major mainstream newspaper, it’s because we’ve already had loads of social buzz around it, so selling the story into press is actually really straightforward. In particular, at Type
A, we like making things like games and interactive
data visualization, so the journalist has
actually got a reason to link, and the user has got
something to come back to, it’s a bit more interesting
than a standard blog post. And that’s everything for this
week’s Canonical Chronicle, please hit the like button if you liked it and subscribe if you loved it, and util next time, we will see you later.

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