Backlink Breaker - Podcasts in Search, Recent Review Weight, and Assistant Speed

Some nice, small updates this week. More importantly, I seem to be the only person who actually likes GOT Season 8.  

The News

Stop using the SERP result count for any sort of real measurements! Google confirmed this number is built for speed, not accuracy.

10x speed boosts coming to Google Assistant. So, is it worth dropping everything for voice search optimization? Hell no. But it’s important to keep an eye on these developments as signals for future SEO strategy. Structured data is a good idea for search right now, and if voice search becomes the real deal, you’ll be glad you started early.

An interesting little bit of ASO news came through this week. Google increased the weight of recent app reviews when calculating a mobile app’s average rating in Google Play. Since ratings play a factor in app ranking, keeping up a stream of fresh reviews is now a key focus for app store optimization (no more sitting on old positive reviews). Additionally, mobile apps show up in mobile search results, so there’s also an SEO play here.

You can now search for and play podcasts directly in Google search. The podcast search results display descriptions and an embedded audio player for each episode, along with indexing the audio as transcribed by Google. You can also use podcast structured data to help Google better discover and contextualize your podcast. This means way more visibility for all the podcasters out there and a new channel to explore for SEO content.

User Generated Content has been a consistent winning SEO tactic for me, but it’s often pretty difficult to implement, maintain, and track. This article provides a solid cost-benefit analysis of UGC. It’s all about nurturing high-quality, recent content, while discouraging and removing spam. Of course, the technical framework behind it all needs to be solid and designed to handle lots of unexpected content. Google makes it clear that they don’t differentiate between content users publish or you publish.

Originality Nuggets. Terrible name, but great content marketing strategy. It boils down to this… BE ORIGINAL. Read the actual article for some solid examples.

I love this. Very cool article breaking down ways to get your images in featured snippets, even if your content missing. I like the spirit of breaking down fun optimizations to get unexpected results.

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