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What will you find in July’s edition?

SEO
Google Indexation Issues May Have Caused Loss of Traffic For Some Websites
Google Confirms CMS Doesn’t Impact Rankings

Paid Media
Google Expands Financial Services Verification Policy To New Countries
LinkedIn Announces New ‘Business Manager’ Platform For Ad Accounts

PR & Content Marketing
Don’t Worry About No Follow vs Follow Links, Suggests Google
Advice Revealed About What To Do With Your Search Results Pages
Guide Released On How To Write A Press Release

Let’s start with SEO…

Google Indexation Issues May Have Caused Loss of Traffic For Some Websites

On July 15th there was a noticeable disruption to the way in which Google indexed pages. Reportedly, some webmasters were unable to see any of their newly posted content in the search results, even after the pages themselves had been discovered and crawled by Googlebot.

For most websites, this will have likely gone unnoticed, as it was only new content that was struggling to become indexed. However, larger publications such as the BBC, who publish content continuously were unable to get their content seen in the standard search results or the Google news results.

For now, the issue appears to have subsided. However, this is a gentle reminder that Google is becoming more and more picky about the content it decides to index. Our advice is to go through your old content and make sure any pages that aren’t indexed are re-written, updated or re-published to ensure they’re still relevant and are in-depth enough to be considered for indexing. 

If all else fails, earning a few high-quality backlinks to your non-indexed page should give Google the nudge it needs to know that it’s worth indexing. 

Google Confirms CMS Doesn’t Impact Rankings

Since the dawn of SEO, there have been many arguments over which Content Management System (CMS) provides the best chances at ranking high in the SERPs. Many believe WordPress to be the superior CMS, while others prefer the ultimate flexibility of a custom or bespoke solution.

Earlier this month, Google’s own John Mueller discussed this in more detail. He went on to explain that “our search systems don’t look for any particular content management system to treat it differently” and that “Hand-created webpages can be just as good as those generated by WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or similar.”

This correlates with what we would expect to hear from Google, as they are primarily looking for high quality content that is well cited and linked to. However, there are certain aspects of different CMS systems which have their pros and cons from a technical SEO perspective. 

For example, Shopify websites are tricky in that they aren’t flexible for URL structures. All products have “/products/” in their URL and all categories have “/collections/” in their URL. You also can’t have sub-categories, so you could only have: “/collections/mens-running-trainers”. By contrast, a WordPress site can structure the URLs however you want: (“mens/shoes/trainers/running-trainers/”, for example).

So, while we agree with the statement that Google probably doesn’t give different weighting to different CMS types. It’s the way in which each of them functions that can have an effect on the technical SEO – which can very much impact rankings.

Google Expands Financial Services Verification Policy To New Countries

Google has announced that it is expanding its Ads Financial Products and Services policy to Australia, Singapore and Taiwan. 

Last year Google announced the implementation of measures aimed at verifying the legitimacy of advertisers in the financial services industry in the UK. These measures were added to prevent financial product scams and scammers from exploiting the Google Ads platform for their benefit.

The verification process includes proving that the advertiser is “authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority,” or must qualify for an exemption.

If you are an advertiser in the financial services industry in Australia, Singapore or Tawain, you’ll receive a notification to complete the verification. This has been rolled out already in the UK, so if you’re advertising here, you should be familiar with it. 

We have encountered some issues with some advertisers being wrongly penalised for this. If you are an FCA registered company, then you’ll have no issue, but the exemptions are a grey area.

LinkedIn Announces New ‘Business Manager’ Platform For Ad Accounts

LinkedIn has announced the creation of Business Manager, a new centralised platform designed to make it easier for large companies and agencies to manage people, ad accounts and business pages. 

Business Manager aims to simplify how marketers keep track of their accounts by offering their Campaign Manager and Pages options from a central location. LinkedIn Business Manager will also provide the option to:

  • View and manage teams, ad accounts, pages, and business partners from the central dashboard.
  • Easier management and control of admin tasks such as permissions and billing.
  • The ability to share and update Matched Audiences across ad accounts.

This is an overdue, yet welcomed update. Whilst we don’t have an official date of when this will be rolled out, we hope to see it soon. LinkedIn Ads is a popular choice, especially from B2B clients and it seems to be getting more popular to advertise here. Therefore, a centralised place with all client accounts is a positive development for advertisers overall.

Digital PR & Content…

Don’t Worry About No Follow vs Follow Links, Suggests Google

links in chain

You don’t necessarily need to worry too much about no follow vs follow links and their impact on your SEO, suggests Google’s John Mueller. 

You’re probably already aware that backlinks are one of the most influential SEO ranking factors for your website.  Given this, and the fact that not all links have equal value, many digital marketers (understandably) hone in on measurements which indicate the value of the websites linking to their websites.

This often includes looking at the Domain Authority of the website (a third party metric by Moz which indicates a site’s ‘authority’) and the number of no follow vs follow links.

When a third party website decides to link to your site in their content, they can mark the link as “no follow” or “follow” in the html. This is essentially a bit like an instruction to Google on whether they suggest that they are passing ‘‘value’ or ‘link equity’ through to your website or not.

For quite some time, Google has been clear that it treats no follow tags on links as a suggestion rather than a direct instruction. This means that while it is useful to look at whether a link is follow or no follow, it is important not to read too much into ratios of follow vs no follow links like some marketers do. 

This is backed up by the fact that Google’s John Mueller has now come out to say that any SEO or search ranking issues are unlikely to be related to a no follow-heavy backlink profile ratio. John said “Any problem your site has would not be due to the ratio of follow to nofollow links. That’s just not a thing.”

When it comes to backlink profiles, our suggestion is to focus more on building high quality, authoritative and topically relevant backlinks to your site – and less on worrying too much about aspects such as no follow vs follow backlink ratios.

Advice Revealed About What To Do With Your Search Results Pages

When it comes to your website, it is important to consider all of your content as each page has the potential to be crawled and ranked by search engines. Simple mistakes such as sub optimal content, duplicate or missing pages can have a big impact on the traffic, and therefore leads and enquiries. 

Duplicate pages can be a particular issue, as they can compete against each other in search rankings, potentially leading to lesser exposure overall. 

One such dilemma facing many site editors is what to do with search results pages as these can compete with other, more commercially important pages on your site. 

Recently Google’s John Mueller has come out to say that in most scenarios it usually makes sense to use canonical tags to try and block your search result pages from Google search results. However he also made clear that “selected list of search-queries being essentially equivalent to low-effort category pages.”

This suggests that in particularly circumstances, where there is no threat of content duplication, it may be worth keeping them visible.

Guide Released On How To Write A Press Release

Have you been meaning to get your company news out to the media, but haven’t quite had the time to figure out how?

Alongside media prospecting, one of the first steps in getting your news out to the media is creating your ‘PR story’ and writing a press release that you can use to pitch to the media.

Press releases are also great tools for securing media coverage with backlinks to your website; an important SEO ranking factor.

To help you get started, our PR team has put together a comprehensive guide on how to write a press release for your business. Read it here: How To Write A Press Release? [The Comprehensive Guide].

New content to get stuck into

We’ve always got some new blog content to cast your eyes over. Our Koozians have been busy putting blog content together, so you have a great source of information for any SEO, Paid, Content or PR queries and questions. We’ve recently published the following:

15 common SEO questions and answers

The Koozai Digital Glossary: 295 digital marketing terms and definitions

15 Ways To Sell Or Promote Your Business Online

Getting creative & client wins

 

We are delighted to report that last month our lovely digital marketing experts successfully delivered a free, exclusive SEO webinar for construction industry professionals in collaboration with Construction Buzz, the official partner of UK Construction Week. The webinar had over 100 registrants, received fantastic feedback and provided takeaway tips that marketers can implement themselves. It also covered what SEO is, how it works, where to start with keyword research, important technical SEO fundamentals and how to optimise content for search engines. To catch up on the webinar, click here.

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David Wilson

Content & PR Lead

Fountain of all knowledge, David is a total news junkie with a passion for current affairs and politics; so much so, in fact, that he recently did a masters on the subject just for fun! A fan of great dining and whisky (but not so hot on cooking), David is an animal lover at heart and spends his weekends either travelling, enjoying stand up comedy or exploring cultural attractions.

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