Weekly SEO news: 10 November 2020
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1. Official Google help: rankings are up but traffic is down

On Twitter, travel blogger Valerie Stimac complained that her traffic numbers from Google search were down although her website ranked better than over on Google Search. Google's Danny Sullivan explained why this can happen.

Official Google help

What exactly happened?

Travel blogger Valerie Stimac shared some numbers: the position of her website in Google's search results was up, but CTR was down, impressions were down almost 50%, and clicks were down 70%. Her conclusion was that Google eroded organic traffic.

Google's Danny Sullivan joined the discussion on Twitter and he gave some reasons why traffic can be down although the position is up.

Reason 1: the topic is no longer popular

If the website is about a topic that is no longer popular, it is likely that the number of visitors drop. For example, if you had a page about something more popular in 2019 than 2020, impressions could totally drop because of that, even if you ranked higher.

As people travel less during the COVID-19 pandemic, this might be the reason why the website gets fewer visitors.

Valerie accepted the answer as an explanation for the impressions drop. However, it was still unclear why the click-through-rate (CTR) would drop with fewer impressions and higher positions.

Reason 2: other pages are listed in the search results

Danny Sullivan said that the website might be ranking better for a less popular thing, and the page or title or description are less attractive to people.

If a website is listed with uninteresting pages in the search results, it's likely that these pages won't get many clicks from searchers.

How to optimize your web pages

Getting high rankings for the right search terms is important if you want to get many website visitors. It is also important that your web pages look good in Google's search results. The SEO tools in SEOprofiler help you with that:

Optimize your website now

Stay safe during these difficult times!

2. Internet marketing news of the week

John MuellerGoogle: home page outranking internal pages for deeper keywords

"Why does Google not rank the better page for the query? John responded to this on Twitter saying 'usually that's a sign that your homepage is just significantly stronger within your website.'Meaning, maybe the deeper page just doesn't have enough signals, i.e. PageRank and/or other signals, to get the deeper, inside page to rank."

Google: duplicate canonical tags are the same as no canonical tags

"Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that having two canonical tags with different URLs on the same page is the same as having an undefined canonical tags. [...] Use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to check the canonical tags on your web pages. The website audit tool checks many more things and it helps you to ensure that your web pages get the best rankings."

John MuellerGoogle: we have a strict separation between paid and organic in search

"Google’s John Mueller confirmed on Twitter that Google has a strict separation between paid and organic in search. [...] The tools in SEOprofiler help you to optimize your web pages for high rankings in Google’s organic search results."

‘Significant’ drop in Google-reported search terms seen across devices and ad formats

"Reported losses of visibility have varied since Google’s change to limit the search queries it reports to advertisers went into effect in September. A report this week from performance agency Tinuiti, looking at dozens of large client accounts, found that there was 'a significant drop' in the share of spend attributed to search queries across ad formats and device types."

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Google's John Mueller: 18k URLs dropping out doesn't seem that surprising to me.
  • Google no longer showing reviews for banks in the map pack.
  • Voice assistant use on smartphones rise, Siri maintains top spot for total users in the U.S.
  • COVID helped drive record ad revenue for big tech in Q3.
  • Hijacked Google My Business listings on the rise​.

3. Previous articles