This week: Another link scheme gets busted, micro-moments are becoming more contextual, and porn sites can be your friend.
Here’s what happened this week in SEO.
GMB Insights Reveal How You’re Being Found
Google My Business (GMB) now offers insights that show how people found your page, where they’re coming from, and total page views.
Remember: people can reach your Google My Business page via Google search and Google Maps. Until now, though, you had no idea how they got there.
Also, the new insights share how people found your page. You’ll get a complete breakdown of who found it by typing your brand name into the search bar versus people who found it by searching for related keywords. Sadly, though, the actual keywords that people used to find your GMB page aren’t provided.
Now that these insights are in place, Google has removed Google+ stats from the GMB dashboard.
Google Micro-Moments Are Becoming More Contextual
Micro-moments, introduced by Google over a year ago, are defined as times “when people reflexively turn to a device — increasingly a smartphone — to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.”
Of course, for digital marketers, those micro-moments spell “opportunity.”
And now Google is enhancing the value of those opportunities by making micro-moments more contextual.
According to the Big G, “near me” searches have increased 146% year-over-year. That means mom-and-pop shops should invest in local marketing efforts to ensure that they’re found during those moments.
But people are now going beyond the “near me” searches to find businesses that meet additional criteria. For example, some people might not just search for hotels near their location, but instead search for pet-friendly hotels in the area.
Google also recently added a smart filters feature that makes it easy for people to locate businesses based on a broad set of criteria. As the company noted: “[T]ravelers can filter based on rating or price with one tap on their phones. We’ll make it easy to search for exactly what people want, like ‘Pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco under $200’ to find the perfect hotel for them.”
All of these micro-moment goodies should lead marketers back to drawing board to brainstorm about how they can respond to more consumers who are close to making a purchase.
Google: No Worries About Downloadable PDFs That Match Web Content
If you’re concerned that you might get penalized for offering downloadable PDF content that duplicates content on your website, then worry no more.
Google won’t punish you.
That’s according to John Mueller, who fielded the following question on Twitter this week: “[I]f a site has lots of downloadable PDFs with content taken directly from its own original site content, is that an issue?”
Here’s how he responded: “I don’t see a problem with that. If your users are also consuming your content like that, then go for it.”
If you’ve been paying attention to this space for any length of time, you might have noticed a pattern in Mueller’s answers to questions. He frequently says something like: “whatever works best for your visitors is the right thing to do.” This answer is no exception.
Google Will Penalize BlogDash for Link Schemes
Hopefully, you aren’t relying on BlogDash for backlinks to your website. That’s because BlogDash is about to get a big, fat penalty.
Somebody on Twitter alerted both John Mueller and Matt Cutts[!] to the fact that BlogDash is selling link spam with promises about backlinks from high-ranking sites.
Here’s how Mueller responded: “The webspam team knows & is good at taking the right actions there. Send us examples if you have them.”
Here’s how Cutts responded: “uhhhhh…..”
Google: All 30x Redirects Pass Rank, but 301s Help With Canonicalization
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Google made it clear that all 30x redirects pass page rank to the target page.
That reality stood at adds with contemporary SEO mythology. In fact, some people even went so far as to say that Google was lying.
Google wasn’t lying.
However, Gary Illyes took to Twitter this week to make it clear that 301 redirects work best for canonicalization.
— Gary Illyes (@methode) August 5, 2016
So if you’re interested in notifying Google about how its bot should combine two related URLs, then you should be using a 301 redirect.
Google: Links From Adults Sites Aren’t Considered Spam
If you’ve got backlinks from porn sites, you might be under the impression that Google views those links as spam. That’s simply not true.
This week on Twitter, John Mueller said: “Adult sites aren’t automatically spam, and links from them not automatically unnatural / problematic.”
So there’s no need to disavow links from porn sites just because they’re from porn sites.