Backlink Breaker - 16 Days of Lost Data, Canonical Bug, Sitemaps vs Date On Page

Another week, another set of Search Console issues.  


The News

Last week’s Search Console bug has been resolved, but according to Google, multiple console reports are missing data from April 9th to the 25th. The missing data during this 16 day period has been replaced with data from April 26th (so it’s bogus!). Additionally, the backlink report is still bugged out. What can you do? Add another line item to your daily scream list and carry on.

Google also reported that unrelated canonical URLs may have been selected for your pages. This incorrect selection can result in broken breadcrumb trails on mobile. I would recommend double checking the canonical URL for your main pages in Search Console to see if its happening on your site.

Positivity time. Google’s John Mueller provided some nice, clear advice on using sitemaps lastmod vs date on page. Basically, lastmod should be used when an entire page has changed for crawling/indexing purposes, while date on page should be used for primary content changes. These are not mutually exclusive. So, if you update a blog post with new information, update the date on page and lastmod. If you update something structurally, like internal links or schema, but the content stays the same, only update lastmod in your sitemap. It’s hard to get a straight answer on anything from Google, so this is certainly refreshing.

Yoast 11.1 recently added image and video schema options. Sounds awesome, but I’ve heard some anecdotal reports that Yoast’s new boilerplate schema has overwritten custom schema that was already implemented. If you’ve already created custom schema markup you might want to back off for a bit.

Not News, But Still Important

Super useful (but intense) guide to brand urls in Google AMP. Google’s recent move to display brand URLs on AMP cache search results is awesome, but there are some important details to consider (mostly, users think they are on your website but they aren’t) and this article does a great job diving into the dirty details. Highly recommend if you’re serious about AMP right now.

This awesome article on semantic HTML5 markup makes the case for machine readable markup for SEO. Personally, I’ve had a difficult time communicating the value of these types of changes to clients so I’ve already found this post super valuable.

Really good roundup for Wordpress SEO Plugins, super useful if you’re working on the platform, especially with multiple clients with different needs and states of Wordpress integration.

P.S. I’d never heard of Rank and Rent before but this idea is WILD… and unethical.

Adam Tanguay