SEO and Internet Marketing Headlines for February 15 2021

Google’s John Mueller said that having a shorter domain name or a shorter URL is not going to benefit you in terms of your SEO and ranking in Google Search. He said on Twitter “domain name or URL length is not a factor, adding that “shorter is not better for SEO.”

Mueller said the following on Reddit regarding spam penalties and quality issues:

(1) Websites do not get permanently removed from Google Search.

(2) Google doesn’t have a list of permanently blocked sites.

(3) Manual action complete removals are for “pure spam with nothing useful of its own on it.”

(4) Google prefers to ignore the bad parts of the sites vs penalizing.

(5) He explained how reconsideration requests work.

(6) Google has algorithms that flag issues (spam catching algorithms?)

(7) Google also has algorithms for relevancy (like core updates?)

(8) Is your site still useful today as it was years ago?

Keywords are still important for SEO, but what’s increasingly important is their relevance, uniqueness, and popularity over time.

Google Trends is a powerful tool that lets you gauge this and more. With Google Trends, you can get a view of what keywords to include, what to avoid, and what to plan for. You also get deeper dives into related topics, predictions, and how to overcome blind spots.


Mueller: “It’s not necessarily that we would try to recognize tags on a page. But these are links and potentially they go to… category page, your tag page and that could be another page that we could index or that we could use to pick up links to your articles.”

Mueller is saying that the use of tags could be a way to help Google discover more web pages about similar topics. Mueller went on to debunk the idea that there’s an “inherent” ranking benefit to tags: “So it’s not that there’s any inherent… magic around tags. It’s just… it creates more links and more pages within your site.” \

Over-reliance on tags can create too many thin pages. But tags can be useful for surfacing content that might be buried deep within the regular category menu structure.

The best approach to tags is to integrate it into a well-considered SEO plan. Creating tags on an impromptu basis might be a less sound approach.

Click-through rate is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click. As a metric, CTR tells you how relevant searchers are finding your ad to be. CTR is not just an indication of how relevant your ads are to searchers. CTR also contributes to your Ad Rank in the search engines.

Ad rank determines the position of your ad on the search results page. The top position doesn’t go to the highest bidder. It goes to the advertiser with the highest Ad Rank. And CTR is a huge factor in the Ad Rank formula. A poor CTR can lead to low ad positions, no matter how much you bid.

Quality Score is a measure of an advertiser’s relevance as it relates to keywords, ad copy, and landing pages. The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to the user, the more likely it is that you’ll see higher Quality Scores. A good CTR will help you earn higher Quality Scores.

Google Does Not Permanently Deindex Websites. There’s always ways to recover from a manual action penalty if the site owner is keen to put in the necessary work.

Here’s how Mueller puts it:

“Sites don’t get permanently removed from Google – there’s always a way to get the site indexed again. Sometimes it takes a long time & a lot of work, but Google doesn’t have a list of permanently blocked sites.

For manual actions (aka penalties) usually the things that lead to complete removal are quite severe, like when a site is just pure spam with nothing useful of its own on it.”

Providing an audio recording of a text-based web page does not improve SEO, says Google’s John Mueller. Audio content is not processed separately by Google. At most it might be seen as a piece of video content which could result in a video snippet:

“As far as I know we don’t do anything with audio versions of content. We also wouldn’t see that as duplicate content, so it’s not that you have to avoid that.”

“Duplicate content itself isn’t something you really have to avoid, but even if you wanted to avoid the situation that you’re suddenly ranking for the same things with different pieces of content, the audio version is something that we, as far as I know, would not even process separately.”

““I think it’s a bit different with video and images in that images and video themselves can rank independently. Like in image search and video search you can have the same piece of content be visible in those other surfaces. But for audio we don’t really have a separate audio search where that page could also rank.”

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