Yoast SEO news webinar – July 19, 2022


Why you should watch this replay

The world of SEO is constantly evolving, and keeping up with all of these changes can be quite difficult. But no worries, we’ve got your back!

Our Head of SEO, Jono Alderson will keep you up-to-date on the latest SEO news in our monthly SEO news webinar. Joining Jono in this month’s webinar is a special guest – Areej AbuAli. Besides being an amazing SEO consultant, she is also the founder of Women in Tech SEO, a global community for women in the technical SEO field. She will tell us all about in-house SEO, as well as the unique challenges faced by people working in businesses with a lot of moving parts. Watch the replay or read our recap below to know more!

Stay on top of the latest news in SEO and register for our next (free) webinar on August 30, 2022

Register for our next webinar now! »

Recap and resources

Google news

  • 6:37 – Google to pay Wikipedia for content in the knowledge panel & search
    Wikipedia announced Wikimedia Enterprise, a paid service to let large organizations repurpose Wikimedia content for a fee. Google has entered into a formal agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation. They will start to pay for Wikipedia’s content shown in Google Search, like the knowledge panels. Jono and Areej think it’s about time Google pays Wikipedia as, for instance, the knowledge panels are a big thing on the search result page.
  • 8:13 – Signed Exchanges launched for desktop sites
    Signed Exchanges is a new feature that Chrome has started supporting. It’s not talked about a lot because it’s quite a techy feature. The practical implications of this feature are that before the user clicks on a search result, Google can already preload content for that page so it loads instantly. Historically, this was only available on mobile devices (mostly for Android) AND only available if your website’s running AMP. Now, this is available for anybody who can configure their server to support it. 
  • 9:40 – Google Maps adds new features for business owners
    This is a new tool from Google to let businesses build rich, interactive maps for listing their business locations. It also provides a nice way to embed direction finders and local business locators into your website. This will help businesses streamline some of their integrations with Google Maps. At the same time, this can make businesses more reliant on Google because businesses are putting more data in Google.
  • 11:26 – Google’s AI team announces a system for automatic video captioning
    Google’s AI team announced that they are using an AI system to automatically caption videos based on a combination of the image content and the spoken content. Video as a content format is only becoming more important and more valuable. It’s become the preferred way for many audiences to research, form opinions, and get quick decisions. When Google releases this tool, it may be a big deal as it can help speed up the workflow of many people, making it less cumbersome to produce video content.
  • 13:56 – Search Console launches Video Indexing Report
    You will only see the Video Indexing Report if Google detects pages with videos on your site. The report shows you the status of video indexing on your site. From the report, you can see:
    – On how many pages has Google identified a video.
    – Which videos were indexed successfully?
    – What are the issues preventing videos from being indexed?

    Additionally, if you fix an existing issue, you can use the report to validate the fix and track how your fixed video pages are updated in the Google index.
  • 15:08 – ‘Top ranked feature’ now works in conjunction with critic reviews and product review articles on mobile
    This feature provides shoppers with review information from experts in the niche, while also providing links to other product review articles where you can learn more about the top products in that category.
  • 17:02 – Nearly half of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead of Google
    Nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers searching on TikTok and Instagram over Google Search and Maps, according to Google’s internal data. A Google executive has confirmed that TikTok’s format is changing the way young people conduct internet searches, and Google is working to keep up. But it’s not only the youth, people are increasingly using snaps of videos as a way to search for information and make decisions.

Microsoft news

  • 19:11 – Microsoft launches Merchant Promotions coupons
    This feature will allow advertisers to promote products using coupons directly from the Microsoft Shopping Campaigns inventory with special offer tags. Microsoft will use crawled data from the advertiser’s website to create automated coupons, so website owners need to ensure they have the correct information to be captured and communicated with potential customers. Microsoft also stated that the automated coupons will only apply to store-wide promotions, not individual products. 

WordPress news

  • 21:36 – WordPress Performance Team proposes developing a new plugin checker tool
    The Performance Team wants to build a plugin checker tool that would flag any violations of the plugin development requirements and suggest best practices with errors or warnings. This is an effort to ensure that new plugins are meeting the latest standards and best practices.

Social media news

  • 23:00 – FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr asked Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app stores
    There is a whole bunch of political regulatory stuff going on in America that might result in TikTok being removed from all the app stores over China-related data security concerns. The background information is that TikTok is owned by a Chinese firm called Bytedance, which historically has had not great relationships with the US government.
  • 24:13 – Pinterest launches new shopping features for merchants
    Pinterest announced that it’s rolling out new features for merchants. The company says all of the new features are designed to make it easier for merchants to create engaging shopping experiences. The new features include:
    – Product tagging on Pins with
    – Pinterest API for Shopping
    – Video assets in product catalogs
    – Shop Tab on business profiles

Other tech news

  • 25:55 – W3C announces major changes
    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will become a new public-interest non-profit organization. The organization is responsible for setting and managing web standards such as HTML and browser privacy. This change may give W3C a bit more influence in things like the political ecosystem. For instance, they can come in and give explanations when politicians don’t understand how certain things work. And so they are more able to have an authentic discussion with politicians and policymakers about many things regarding the web. 
  • 26:30 – Meta launches an AI knowledge-based tool
    Meta launched a new AI tool named Sphere for essentially identifying fake news. Initially, it will be used to verify citations on Wikipedia. Wikipedia content edits and system moves far too quickly for human evaluation, so Meta had the idea to apply AI to help verify citations.

Yoast SEO News

  • 28:00 – Yoast SEO 19.3 and Yoast SEO Premium 18.9
    We’ve been working hard to introduce new features and enhancements to our plugins. Particularly, we’ve improved the way we handle schema for images and provide more robust handling of webpages’ schema id in the latest release. Next to that, you’ll find a new feature in Yoast SEO Premium 18.9 – the word complexity assessment, which is replacing the Flesch reading ease score in the readability analysis. Additionally, we’re continuing to enhance our crawl setting feature, including more settings for you to toggle and optimize the crawlability of your site. Check out our release post for more information!

In-house SEO discussion

  • 28:30 – Jono and Areej talk about in-house SEO
    Areej shares her experience working as an in-house SEO; from what she works on, how her work days look like, to how she works together with other teams and departments within her company. Then they go on to talk about when companies should look to outsource SEO tasks to agencies. After that, they talk about some of the benefits when switching from working for an SEO agency to working as an in-house SEO. Of course, they also mention the disadvantages when working in-house. There are a lot of insights, especially for those looking to develop a career in SEO, so check out the discussion!

Questions asked during the webinar

What online communities do you all like to help you stay up to date on SEO?
Areej mentioned Women in Tech SEO. It’s a super friendly, kind, and judgment-free community. Other than that, Twitter, Reddit channels like BigSEO, and Slack communities are good places to find news and learn about SEO. Jono added that Twitter is really handy for seeing what’s happening at the moment and discussing about things that are unknown or not well-known in SEO.

I handle all marketing for my company and there’s so much to do, tell me where SEO ranks in importance? 
The answer really depends on your business. You need to know the share of revenue (or traffic) from SEO compared to all the different channels. For example, if organic, or if SEO brings in 70% of traffic or 70% of revenue, then that’s probably something to really focus on. Whereas, if it’s a very very small percentage, and email or other channels bring in more revenue, then the importance of SEO is less in this case.

Next to that, you need to look at this from a resource perspective and a budget perspective. Do you have enough budget to spend on paid search and other ads? If not then you’re going to have to rely more on organic. If a lot of your problems are content-wise, then you need to focus on building a lot of content. 

Then there’s also the consideration of what’s the potential of SEO. For instance, if you have competitors who are doing phenomenally well, while there are loads of people searching, and you know that there is a big slice of pie to be had, then maybe you can chase that. 

Lastly, there’s the question of the short term versus the long term. A lot of your SEO effort is going to take time to yield results, so you’re going to have to invest time and slowly build up.

If there’s one thing that is detrimental or negative about the SEO of websites that you have experienced before, what is it?
This is something that you have to define for yourself. There’s always going to be one thing that you spend a lot of time on. We can’t specifically tell you what the one thing will be for your specific site, but Areej gave some examples. For instance, Areej was working on an aggregator website that had far too many indexed pages that all looked exactly the same. So the one thing to do is to noindex a huge chunk of them. On the other hand, for another website that’s lacking content, the one thing to do is to focus on producing content.

Can you please explain the nofollow attribute for links?
The nofollow tag basically tells search engine bots to not crawl and not give any page authority to the linked page. Google crawlers may still follow the link for discovery purposes, but will not pass authority to the linked page.

What about the rel=sponsored tag?
It’s a fairly new tag. The tag basically says that there is some form of like advertisement or agreement behind a link. If you’re linking to sponsored or affiliate stuff, it’s in Google’s guidelines that you have to use the sponsored and nofollow tags to tell Google not to pass any page rank.

Would the nofollow tag be good if you have the same blog post featured on two different parts of your website?
Jono mentioned that they needed to look at an example to be sure. But typically you don’t want the same content on two different pages. Jono went on to say that this was an oversimplification, but if this was the same blog post on two different URLs, that might be a problem. You might use a canonical URL to patch over that, but he couldn’t be really sure.

The nofollow tag doesn’t work for internal links, does it?
Google may still follow internal links with the nofollow tag for discovery purposes, but they won’t pass page authority to the linked page. Jono and Areej mentioned that it’s probably quite rare to use this tag for internal links.

SEO News webinar series