Backlink Breaker - Google Bugs, AMP URLs, and Yoast 11.0

The hardest part (OK one of the many hard parts) about SEO is keeping up with all the new stuff. More than once, I’ve been on a client call where someone brings up an article published merely hours before that provides new information that alters our strategy and makes me look foolish.

So, like all good SEOs, I spend a solid percentage of my week keeping up on SEO news and discussions from around the web. I find myself sharing this information informally with many friends and colleagues who reach out for advice or questions.

Friends and colleagues… this is for you. Well, mostly for me so you can stop with the DM’s and let me get back to work. I’ll be writing a weekly roundup of SEO news and information that I think is important and publishing it every Friday morning. I’m branding it “Backlink Breaker” because alliteration wins every time.

Enjoy!

The News

According to Google, the best way to check whether a page is indexed or not is the Inspect URL in Search Console. Simple. Noted. Thanks.

However…

The recent Google de-indexing bug is now showing in Google search Console reports, so your coverage data might not be accurate. Nothing we can do but wait for Google to fix it and send notifications. There was another indexing bug with Google News this week, impacting a small number of publishers, but Google has reported that it’s been resolved

Now you can instant load AMP pages from your own domain using the signed exchanges feature. Cool stuff if you’re ready for AMP implementation. Basically, your AMP pages can now be delivered with your original URL.

Yoast SEO 11.0 launched some beefy new structured data options. The feature looks awesome, but I haven’t tried it out yet, will hopefully get a chance to soon. This is definitely a move in the right direction for better structured data implementation on the platform.  

YouTube publicly doubled down on the “quality watch time” metric. This reinforces my belief that while optimization is key in YouTube (good headlines, tags, annotated descriptions, etc.) you shouldn't focus all your time on those “YouTube hack” peddlers. Quality watch time will be the main metric for recommendations, search result placement, and even ads. This means quality video content. With YouTube, focus on your video quality first, optimization hacks second.  

Not The News, but Still Important

Page Speed is continually one of the biggest improvements I see that client’s need to improve SEO. A lot of times, it’s just a discussion with developers to prioritize performance projects. This article walks though awesome backend and frontend fixes that you can share with developers or implement yourself.

Content marketing is easy to do, but extremely difficult to do right. You need to understand your audience and create a solid strategic framework to launch things that matter. This great post form Mark Schaefer discusses the hierarchy of content marketing needs. When developing content marketing strategy, break down your topics by areas of need: Answering Questions, Teaching, Emotional Connection, Inspiration. I find breaking ideas out like this really helps when developing content strategy.

P.S. Facebook accidentally put hidden messages like Big Brother is Watching in thousands of VR controllers.

Adam Tanguay