OneSearch, Secure Cookie Settings, and Core Update Review - Backlink Breaker #29

Adam Tanguay
January 24, 2020

Big week for SEO news, with Verizon entering the search engine market, and the January 2020 core update continuing to rock rankings across industries. How do you stay above water with all this SEO volatility? Focus on quality and experience. Write for your audience first, then fill in the lines with SEO best practices. You can’t go wrong if you write something that your target audience actually ones to read.  

SEO News

New secure cookie settings are coming to Chrome 80 in February. Designed to improve security of third party cookies, you’ll need to use SameSite=None to designate cookies to be accessed across sites. Firefox and Edge browsers agreed to implement this well, but no timeline indicated yet. 

If you noticed an increase in unparsable structured data errors on your site between January 13-16th, it was caused by a bug on Google’s side. It’s fixed now, but make a note in any of your reporting docs so you don’t get hung up on any abnormal results this may have caused.  

The massive January 2020 Core update looks to have hit a variety of websites, with a variety of categories, especially ones falling under YMYL (Your Money or Your Life)  experiencing serious ranking disruptions. Like many updates, it’s usually sites with thin content that see negative results. If you were hit, there’s probably a large, systemic issue with your web strategy that needs to be addressed. 

Verizon recently launched its own search engine, OneSearch. It’s a direct ripoff of DuckDuckGo, selling the privacy angle hard. OneSearch results are powered by Bing and ads are served by Microsoft Advertising. Like DuckDuckGo, the new search platform uses cookies to track behavior and encrypts search terms to protect users from tracking. It’s cool, but, if you care about privacy, use DuckDuckGo. I don’t see any reason to use OneSearch. 

A recent Google bug displayed the incorrect URL version in search snippets. It’s not a huge deal, because when you click it takes you to the right page, if you see the wrong URL displayed don’t freak out and assume Google has an indexing issue with your site (like I did). Google has told the community it will be fixed shortly. 

This is cool. Call tracking company CallRail created a Google my Business (GMB) integration to help provide call tracking data for leads generated from GMB pages. GMB doesn’t provide a lot of data on the calls you generate from the listings, so this integration provides a super useful solution to a current data gap. I’m severely limited when working with clients when driving GMB call leads, we basically say “we generated x amount of calls from GMB for you this month” and have to leave it at that unless the client sets up something manually. Excited to see this integration in action. 

Google will be ending its support for data-vocabulary.org structured data in April. If you’re using it, stop. Replace with schema.org markup and be on your way.  


Ranking Factors