Backlink Breaker #10 - Red Handed Lyrics and Cloudflare AMP Real URL

Lyric scraping drama with a small UI update to the SERP were the highlights this week, as well as an awesome to AMP-related release from Cloudflare.

The News

Apparently, you can use Google Tag Manager for SEO experiments now. It’s a nice piece of feedback from Google, made even more notable because we’ve been told in the past to avoid using Google Tag Manager for SEO. A good reminder that things can always change, and never be afraid to test, even when it goes against the status quo.

Google rolled out a new search bar with some nice icons. Not a big change, but interesting to see if it impacts user behavior in any measurable way.

Google got in some hot water recently for scraping Genius lyrics. The company responded with a blog post indicating they will now include attribution (and blamed a partner for the mistake). The best part? Genius caught them by imbedding morse code into the lyrics, so any direct scrapes would include the hidden message “red handed.” Awesome.

The preferred domain setting in Google Search Console is gone. To make sure Google understands your first choice domain, you’ll need to rely on basic technical SEO: Redirects, canonical tags, clean sitemap, IA, etc. Good SEOs should already be doing this so this shouldn’t change much.

For Google to snapshot rendered content, your page should load under 5 seconds. Good benchmark for the “value of page performance” conversations you may find yourself having with product and engineering teams.

Your pages can rank in search results from the content in image alt tags.Obviously, this doesn’t mean go stuff al tags with keywords, but it’s a good reminder that this signal is still important.

Cloudflare just released the AMP Real URL product, which allows you to serve AMP pages from your own URL. This is an excellent service if you’re pushing AMP content and want to preserve your original URLs (hint: you do!). 

SEOAdam Tanguay