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A free information pack with all this weeks search news, google updates and insider tips to circulate round your team to keep them informed.

 

==IN THIS WEEKS VIDEO==

WordPress makes some much requested changes to fix hacked plugins and you can now install plugins and have them automatically update. GMB has released a statement saying that due to the Covid-19 pandemic things are going to be a little more delayed than usual. This week, John Muller gave us some additional clarity to how we should be thinking about page layout and tells us that Google doesn’t use W3C validation.

 

==TIMESTAMPS==

0:42 WordPress auto updates plugins

1:42 Google ads and GMB support will be delayed

2:55 Google clarifies the page layout algorithm

3:48 Google doesn’t use W3C validation

 

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Transcript:

– So what is the CMS that 99% of SEOs and 25% of the internet currently use?

– [Man] Everybody is looking for the door to the new economy but actually, it’s a window.

– No, no, it’s not Microsoft FrontPage, but shout out to the OG 90’s kids that used to build websites in that. It is of course WordPress and they’ve made some much-requested changes to fix hacked plug-ins. In this week’s Canonical Chronicle, we’re gonna talk about that plus Google ad support being delayed, the page layout algorithm, and Google’s view on W3C validation. So without further ado, let’s get into it. Now at Type A, we love WordPress, but if it’s not a custom built, it’s gonna need updates, and if you’re not careful, you could wreck the entire site the moment you drive it out of the showroom. But now WordPress version 5.5, you can actually download and install plug-ins and have them automatically update to the latest version. Now this is good for a couple of reasons, last week, Search Engine Journal reported that a handful of WordPress plug-ins were being hacked at scale by link resellers. So if you ever see something called a niche edit, that’s a hacked WordPress link. So with the new update, this should patch most of these issues, and reduce the overhead for business owners and for webmasters. Now our official advice for anyone who’s using WordPress, minimize the amount of plug-ins you’re using, and get a custom build, or think about maybe using a less commercially vulnerable CMS, something like Craft CMS. Now, as digital marketers, we are not the most patient of people, and when it comes to dealing with Google ads and GMB teams, they’re usually, you know, very fast and responsive people to deal with. Nah, I’m only kidding. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have released a statement saying that things are going to be a little more delayed than usual, so you’re gonna need to wait a bit longer than usual to get answers to your questions and get your ads reviewed. The official statement from Google said: “Important update: As a precautionary health measure “for our phone and chat support specialists in light of “COVID-19, some Google Ads support options may be “unavailable or delayed. “You can still reach us through the contact form.” LOL “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause “and appreciate your patience. “This message will be updated as the situation changes.” Now it’s great that they’re keeping communication lines open with us and doing their best amid this global health issue, however if you’ve got a serious ad review that needs to happen, you’re gonna be at least two to three weeks before you get your ads live, sorry.

– He waits, that’s what he does.

– You remember back to 2012 and the search world, kind of like the wild west, you could literally rank anything by loading up that spam gun and then pointing at whatever page you wanted to write. Now at that time, Google was introducing a lit more measures around page quality to stop low-quality pages from ranking, in particular they were very concerned with pages with too many ads where you couldn’t find the real content on the page. This week, John Miller added some additional clarity to what this actually means and how we should be thinking about page layout. In particular, he said that it’s not actually the number of ads on the page that they care about, they actually care about how hard it is to find the main content if it’s hidden by lots of ads. Essentially saying if the user experience is bad and they can’t find what they’re looking for when they click from the SERP there’s probably a penalty at play. Now, if you go to the Google Homepage and try to validate it to W3C standards, guess what? It doesn’t validate. It’s very broken.

– [Announcer] On what was later revealed to be a broken leg.

– That’s because they don’t actually care about validating according to W3C standards, the web moves way too fast to adhere to those standards anymore and there’s libraries and technologies being created everyday that it makes it completely impossible to keep up with. But back in the day, SEOs thought that having a W3C validated website was actually an essential ranking factor, and to be honest, like, it wasn’t really that bad advice. Making sure your website is compliant with web standards, you know, is actually quite a good thing if you think Google’s gonna like it. Fair enough. This week, John Miller took to address the W3C validation in webmaster hangout saying: “In general, W3C validation is something that we do not “use when it comes to search. “So you don’t need to worry if your pages kind of meet “the validation bar or not. “However, using the validation is a great way to double “check that you’re not doing anything broken on your site.” So, there you have it, you can use it just to make sure that it is, kind of, technically sound, But ultimately not a ranking factor. That’s everything for this week’s Canonical Chronicle, if you liked this video, please do hit the like button, and if you loved it, please subscribe. And until next time, we will see you later.

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