Position1SEO https://position1seo.co.uk Thu, 23 Dec 2021 12:04:22 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Mueller Says Not All Sites Need to Be an Authority to Rank https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/mueller-says-not-all-sites-need-to-be-an-authority-to-rank/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 09:25:14 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9611 Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller explained that not all websites should be regarded as authorities to get a high website SEO ranking in the search results. He discussed this topic with website SEO experts in the Google Search Central SEO

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Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller explained that not all websites should be regarded as authorities to get a high website SEO ranking in the search results. He discussed this topic with website SEO experts in the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on 10 December.

Mueller was given a follow-up question by an SEO, asking about his comment on a Reddit post regarding website authority. According to Mueller’s comment, it is not enough to call a website authoritative after publishing 30 articles on a specific niche. Therefore, the SEO who asked the question wondered how Google sees single-page websites.

As Mueller answered the person’s questions, he added more context to his statement in that Reddit post, explaining that not all websites need to be seen as an authority.

Mueller Responds to a Reddit Post About Authoritative Sites

A Reddit thread asked why new articles for an “authoritative” website were not indexed. Mueller replied to this Reddit post, explaining that establishing authority with Google takes more than simply putting up a website with only 30 pages. That’s especially true if the site has been quiet for some time.

According to the person who made the post, they have published more than 30 articles on their site, and because of the links it is obtaining, they believe it to be reputable. After a three-month gap between postings, Google isn’t indexing the new content as quickly as it used to. So, the person asked why some URLs are not being indexed after a manual submission.

Mueller responded to the person, saying that Google struggles to consider it as an authority with just a few dozen articles.

He stated that there is nothing wrong with Google’s indexing technology right now. Although indexing errors do happen occasionally, they are not the issue in this situation. Rather, Google is being picky about what it indexes. With a small number of articles on the site, in addition to its lack of new content in several months, Google will be pickier about what it indexes when the site resumes publishing.

However, it’s not too late for the SEO who wrote the Reddit post. When Google finds that their website has more to offer searchers than 30 pages of content, the search engine company may index the site. Other than continuing to create new content, there’s nothing that the person can do to speed up the process.

Mueller advised the SEO to aim higher in every way. These days, it is insufficient for a website to be as good as other websites on the Internet. It must be far superior.

There are two key lessons to be learned from this interaction. Firstly, a website with only 30 pages will not be regarded as an authority. The second lesson is that once Google understands where the site fits the rest of the web, it may slow down indexing. It’s common for Google’s indexing patterns to change, and even manual submission won’t guarantee that a page gets indexed.

Mueller Comments on Website Authority

Mueller said it is good for site owners and publishers to create excellent single-page websites, so he is not too concerned with that.

As for the Reddit post, Mueller recalls that the context was about the mindset wherein SEOs think their websites should be seen as authoritative by Google after creating 30 high-quality blog posts about a particular niche. However, 30 articles are not enough for a website to be called authoritative.

When Mueller stated that a website needs more than 30 pages to be called authoritative, he referenced critical, high-level topics. For instance, a website with only 30 articles discussing a specific medical condition does not have the same authority as a professional doctor.

With that being said, most websites don’t have to worry about being an authority. Such sites can still put out great content and see great results in terms of website SEO rankings. Many of the websites on the Internet are small businesses selling products and services, so they do not need to be an authority in their industry.

Mueller used a small company selling a product as an example. Even SMEs or start-ups do not need to be the foremost authority in their niche to find their products.

Usually, small businesses run one-page websites focusing on a specific product, which does not require site authority. Some one-page websites typically give information about their opening hours or write more descriptions about their products. It’s like giving readers information. So, from that perspective, it is perfectly fine to run a one-page website.

Mueller adds that a one-page website is a nice place to start, but it could always grow from there. One should always think about the goals they want to achieve and get there from a one-page website.

For instance, site owners and publishers may consider how many more pages they can add to their websites in the future. This way, they wouldn’t have to put all of their articles on one page, and their old content would not get stuck in one place when they add new articles.

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HTML Lists: Are They a Google Ranking Factor? https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/html-lists-are-they-a-google-ranking-factor/ Wed, 22 Dec 2021 09:21:28 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9607 Ordered and unordered HTML lists are frequently utilised in SEO content development to show step-by-step instructions and relevant items in an easy-to-understand format. Unordered lists are typically displayed as bullet lists using the <ul> element and <li> child elements. On

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how to improve SEO content development

Ordered and unordered HTML lists are frequently utilised in SEO content development to show step-by-step instructions and relevant items in an easy-to-understand format. Unordered lists are typically displayed as bullet lists using the <ul> element and <li> child elements. On the other hand, a numbered list is created by the use of the <ol> element and its associated <li> child components. Lists can help webmasters manage the text and numerical data on their websites. But can they help SEO content rank better in the Google Search results?

Some SEOs Claim That Ordered/Unordered HTML Lists Are a Ranking Factor

For them to be a direct ranking factor, adding HTML lists to a page and how SEOs employ them would need to be factored into the Google search ranking algorithm. Some HTML elements are ranking factors, like heading tags, but many SEOs question whether HTML lists also have the same impact.

When an SEO adds an HTML list on their content, the page will show readers a hierarchy of some sort, listing things in order, such as ingredients for a recipe content or instructions in a “how-to” article. Some site owners and publishers think that the higher their keywords are listed, the better chances they’ll have at ranking for those words in the search results.

Proof That HTML Lists Are a Ranking Factor

A 2010 Google patent showed that Google evaluated a web page using both unordered and ordered lists. The patented technique was utilised to help the algorithm determine the semantic relationship between words as it sought to understand the page’s topical relevance.

A part of the search engine’s approach involved analysing the page’s HTML structures. In doing so, Google searched for elements, like nested tables, titles and headings, line breaks, divs, and ordered and unordered lists. The search engine might actually be using all of the mentioned elements to layout a web page’s list of items. Moreover, Google may look at these elements to determine how the content in every section relates to the surrounding content and how topics and words relate to one another.

Google has expressed a keen interest in natural language and has improved its Knowledge Graph over the past years. Therefore, it is not surprising that the search engine company’s algorithm includes a way to gain better semantic comprehension of content through page elements.

In a Google Search Central article, the search engine company answered a question about marking a web page as a featured snippet. Google said that SEOs could not force their page to appear as a featured snippet because the search engine’s systems determine if a page is good enough to be featured, depending on the user’s queries.

One of the things that Google’s system looks for is listicle-type content, which the search engine company usually displays in coveted Position Zero snippets. So, while one can’t instruct Google directly to treat their SEO content as a featured snippet, they may create and format it in such a way to qualify for it.

Proof That HTML Lists Are Not a Ranking Factor

Since one can easily modify lists, it’s reasonable to believe that they don’t have a profound effect on rankings. What would it be like if SEOs could make a list of things they intended to rank for and easily climb the search rankings? There would be a lot of spam going on.

That is why some SEOs believe that the only genuine advantage that content producers and SEO specialists should focus on is the order and structure that HTML lists provide to a web page.

Lists offer readers step-by-step instructions to follow or a quick point of reference, which are useful because they highlight key information points. They make it easy for visitors who are scanning the page to get the most out of the content by assisting them quickly in locating the information they’re looking for.

From this perspective, ordered and unordered lists rank not because they are a direct ranking factor but because the content’s ideas are organised, coherent, and well-structured. Therefore, it does not matter to Google whether a piece of content has ordered or unordered lists.

However, it matters a lot when Google understands that an ordered or unordered list, a subheading, a high-resolution image, a quality video, or an original text with trustworthy and reputable sources are all working together. That’s when the search engine begins ranking the page higher in the search results.

In the end, the list is just another way of presenting the information, and it’s the page’s context, accuracy, quality, and trustworthiness that matter the most.

The Final Verdict: Ordered or Unordered HTML Lists as a Ranking Factor

Suppose Google uses HTML lists as a search ranking signal. In that case, it isn’t nearly as powerful a signal as it once was. Google’s algorithms used text on the web page, HTML, and links to rank the website. HTML lists are probably used to help Google contextualise the data from a broader standpoint, but the absence HTML list probably won’t affect one’s rankings in the search results.

With that being said, HTML lists do offer benefits. They can help simplify complicated ideas and bring order to chaos. They also help SEOs be more visible in the search results if they become eligible for featured snippets. And, most importantly, they improve the reader’s experience.

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Google Business Profile Issues as of December 2021 https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/google-business-profile-issues-as-of-december-2021/ Tue, 21 Dec 2021 08:18:33 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9603 2021 has been a wild ride for companies using Google Business Profile (GBP) for their local search SEO strategies. Formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), its most significant change in 2021 was when Google rebranded it to GBP and

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how to improve local search SEO

2021 has been a wild ride for companies using Google Business Profile (GBP) for their local search SEO strategies. Formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), its most significant change in 2021 was when Google rebranded it to GBP and launched the feature that allowed marketers and local SEO experts to manage company profiles.

Support for Google Business Profile received a massive stream of requests, and it took several months for the backlog to clear out. Despite all this, there are several ongoing problems. Many SEOs were annoyed when things didn’t function properly, and in some cases, it’s baffling how certain issues still persist.

Nevertheless, Google has never stopped working on GBP’s new features and fixing bugs. The company’s support and engineering teams do their best to stay on top of issues that Product Experts and the GBP community highlight.

To help those in the SEO community catch up with the latest news since June, below is a list of GBP’s previous updates, along with the newest issues that have arisen. We’ll also cover some of the things businesses can do if their listings are affected.

New Google Business Profile Issues

1. Cannot clear addresses for SABs

Many SEOs and local SEO experts noticed a pattern where business profiles were reinstated after a suspension. Moreover, the old address that appears returns on reinstatement. Many of these accounts were banned because they show an address, which violates the rules, and there is no way to fix it. Google is still looking for a solution, and there is no estimated timeline for fixing it.

2. Reinstatement loops

A “reinstatement loop” explains why 1% of profiles were immediately suspended after being reinstated. Usually, companies utilise a UPS FedEx drop-off location as their address. Strangely, there has been a distinct increase in numbers for reinstatement loops these past few months.

The only thing businesses can do about it is to contact support or respond to their reinstatement e-mails. The team may not be familiar with the problem, so sending them a detailed video might be helpful. If it fails and the account is still banned, one can report it to the community.

3. Service establishment category

Google Maps shows service businesses with a new category called “Service establishment”. If one searches a service company on Google Maps and views the page’s source code, they will see the category. There is no such category in Google Business Profile; one can’t add this category to their business profile because it does not exist. As such, the category people see on Maps does not show in the company’s GMB dashboard.

Although it might seem like no big deal, certain GBP users have a mix of storefront and service area business profiles, and they are reporting a loss in their SAB visibility. Others claim they are ranking in another city instead of ranking around the verified address.

Right now, GBP users will have to wait for Google’s further announcements. The number of reports for decreasing visibility has remained low, so there is no need to panic. Furthermore, ranking changes may be due to various factors.

It’s important to note that Google does not assist businesses in dealing with common ranking problems. If there is no bug involved, Google support won’t be of any help.

This might signify that the search engine company is reconsidering how it treats service enterprises. On the other hand, it may also be a minor glitch that currently has no effect on performance and may be resolved in the near future. Google knows that this extra category is showing on Maps, but there are no announcements as to when the search engine company would be able to solve this problem.

Ongoing Google Business Profile Issues

1. Reduced support because of COVID-19

The Google support team continues to struggle due to COVID-19. In Q3 2021, Google placed a notification bar on their Help Community page, saying that they have a limited support team and will take longer than usual to get in touch for queries.

2. Legitimate reviews stopped appearing

There are many cases when genuine reviews do not appear, and there are no indications of improvement in this area. Consumer feedback does not display on a business’ page; it’s only visible to the reviewer but does not appear publicly.

Users familiar with Google Business Profile can often tell when a review has been rejected by the Google nanny bot and immediately isolate the problem. Forbidden terms, subtle slander, and so on are simple to spot if one puts in some practice. However, the current filtered reviews are something else. The rejected reviews frequently offer no obvious indication of breaching Google’s content rules. Even seasoned GBP trouble-shooters may struggle to determine why the filter was applied.

Google stated that it removed reviews due to inappropriate content, spam, and other policy violations. One can also post a screenshot and their business’ Google Maps URL of a missing review from a customer on the community forum. Once a product expert sees it, they can escalate the case to Google’s support team for manual review.

3. Cover photo/logo does not show up to update, and the 85 per cent bug

For months, Google has been notifying its users to complete their business profiles even if they’ve already submitted all of the necessary information. The message includes a signal that the listing is only 85 per cent complete. That percentage varies, usually from 65 to 85 per cent. In every instance, however, the given percentage doesn’t make any sense.

The notification also asks GBP users to add their logo to “complete” their listing. This message suggests that the business’ logo is missing, even though this is not the case. Moreover, adding another logo does not dismiss the warning. SEOs can only ignore this warning from Google for the time being as there is currently no solution for this issue.

Google still has no solutions for the issues mentioned above, and the SEO community can only work with what they have and strive to improve their local SEO despite these GBP challenges.

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Google Might Replace Its First Input Delay Metric https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/google-might-replace-its-first-input-delay-metric/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 08:23:20 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9596 SEO experts and site owners often check website SEO scores online, particularly their Core Web Vitals (CWVs) score. But with Google potentially planning to replace one of its CWV metrics, the First Input Delay (FID), the SEO community should start

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how to check website SEO scores online

SEO experts and site owners often check website SEO scores online, particularly their Core Web Vitals (CWVs) score. But with Google potentially planning to replace one of its CWV metrics, the First Input Delay (FID), the SEO community should start preparing for achieving a high website SEO score with the new metric.

In a recently published HTTPArchive Almanac article about using content management systems (CMS) worldwide, the publisher announced that all platforms had great FID scores and that Google is developing a new metric that could replace FID.

The HTTPArchive has published many papers on the current state of the web every year. The Head of Web Performance Wix engineer and a Backend Group Manager wrote Chapter 16, which discusses the use of CMS. Many Googlers also reviewed and analysed the said paper.

The article made an interesting argument about how the FID metric has lost its significance and how Google worked on a new metric to replace it.

First Input Delay

FID is one of the user experience metrics in the Core Web Vitals that shows if the web pages perform well for users. The FID metric measures how quickly a browser can respond to user interaction with a website; for instance, how long it takes for a website to respond after clicking one of the site’s buttons or interactive elements. The problem with FID is that all major CMS, such as Wix, Drupal, WordPress, and others, already have lightning-quick FID scores.

All Platforms Have High FID Scores

Most CMS, according to the article, performed exceptionally well in FID by scoring 100 per cent. Even platforms that don’t score as highly have relatively good scores that lag by only 5 percentage points.

The problem with FID is that it has become a competition where everyone gets a medal. If almost all websites excel, then the indicator is not as significant anymore since fixing user experience has already been achieved. Not only that, but the fact that all platforms easily excel in this metric has raised questions about its strictness.

The Chrome team is currently working on a new metric for measuring response latency and responsiveness. According to the article, Google has recently made announcements to create a better responsiveness metric.

Full Event Duration vs Input Response Delay

The article linked to another recently published Google article posted on Web.dev titled” “Feedback Wanted: An experimental responsiveness metric”.

What’s significant about this post is that it mentions Google’s new input delay metric. Knowing more about this metric might help website SEO experts get a head start on things to come.

The key thing to remember about this new metric is that it isn’t confined to single interactions. It measures clusters of individual actions that make up a user action.

Although Google’s Web.dev article was published in November 2021, this new metric has been a work in progress for some time now. In another Web.dev article in June 2021, there were goals outlined for the new metric:

  • consider all user inputs’ responsiveness
  • capture the full duration of each event instead of just focusing on the delay
  • create a cluster score for all interactions that happen on a web page throughout its full lifecycle
  • group together events that occurred as part of the same logical user interaction

The article on the Web.dev site explains that the aim is to develop a better measuring system for user experience. It specifically said that the new metric would provide a more holistic picture of a page’s overall responsiveness through its lifetime. Google plans to expand the new metric to get the full event duration, from initial user input until the next frame is painted after running all event handlers.

The search engine company also plans to determine interactions instead of individual events. Interactions are defined as a group of events dispatched as part of the same logical user gesture; for instance, click, pointerdown, pointerup, etc.

The event duration is defined as the interval between when the event hardware occurs and when the next paint takes place after the event has been handled. However, suppose the incident does not produce any updates. In that case, the duration will be measured from the moment of event hardware to the time Google is confident that it will not cause any additional issues.

Interaction Latency Metric

According to Web.dev, Google’s engineers consider two methods for measuring interaction latency: Total Event Duration and Maximum Event Duration. The total event duration refers to the sum of all the event durations. On the other hand, the maximum event duration is an interaction consisting of multiple events of varying durations. This metric is based on the largest duration out of the group.

Replacing FID

FID may be incorporated into Core Web Vitals, but what good does it do if every site gets a perfect score? As a result, it’s not surprising to think that FID will be phased out soon. The Chrome team is currently collecting feedback on various methods for measuring interaction latency. Therefore, now is the best time for the SEO community to express their opinions about the matter.

The Importance of Google Core Web Vitals

Google Core Web Vitals are important because they assist web developers in delivering a fantastic user experience. Consequently, customers are more pleased, more likely to come back, and more willing to recommend the website to others. Users will be hesitant to return if pages are sluggish, unresponsive, or cluttered with pop-ups.

An SEO should consider how their activities might harm Google’s reputation and revenue. A user may become irritated with Google if they repeatedly click on links in the results pages that deliver a poor experience. Eventually, they would abandon Google for other search engines, making less ad money for Google.

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How to Have a Successful B2B Keyword Research Strategy https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/how-to-have-a-successful-b2b-keyword-research-strategy/ Fri, 17 Dec 2021 08:04:31 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9592 There is no such thing as a B2B Google algorithm, but when site owners optimise their sites for businesses rather than customers, things get a lot more complicated. SEO keyword research for B2B is more effective with low search volumes,

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how to conduct SEO keyword research for B2B

There is no such thing as a B2B Google algorithm, but when site owners optimise their sites for businesses rather than customers, things get a lot more complicated. SEO keyword research for B2B is more effective with low search volumes, precise targeting, and a lot of creativity. One can find the best SEO keywords for B2B using B2B modifiers, discover the potential in internal search and Google Search Console, and utilise sales and customer success insights.

Difficulties in B2B Keyword Research

B2B keyword research could be tricky. Here are a few challenges that SEOs usually encounter:

Targeting the Right Audience

It’s critical to distinguish the decision-makers in the company from the customers who use the products or services. The executives may have distinct demands and queries compared to the marketing manager who uses the software after purchasing it. One must clearly identify their various target audiences’ search behaviours since each has unique requirements.

Below are several queries one should consider for their B2B keyword research:

  • Who are the main competitors?
  • What is the team size of the target audience? Type of business? Industry? Country?
  • What are the difficulties that decision-makers encounter? What are their goals?
  • What are the role types to target within these businesses? Implementors or executives?

Low Search Volume

According to Ahrefs, the B2C key phrase “to-do list app” has 5,400 monthly searches. On the other hand, the most targeted B2B key phrase, “enterprise project management software”, has only 250 monthly searches. Moreover, some B2B keywords usually have as few as 10 to 50 searches every month.

An SEO must reconsider their B2B SEO objectives regarding traffic potential and search volume. Specific keywords generally produce more revenue and qualified leads – but they might appear frightening in the keyword research document.

Small Keyword Databases

Many site owners use SEO tools to search for long-tail keywords only to get disappointed with the results. The lack of knowledge about the target audience and their demands will lead to undesirable outcomes. Even though people are looking for these keywords, most SEO tools lack a sufficient keyword database for these specialised topics and give little to no results.

Therefore, one should combine results from different SEO tools, like Search Console, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and more to better understand keywords.

Use B2B Keyword Modifiers

It is possible to locate excellent, targeted B2B keywords using modifiers that are not commonly used in a B2C situation. Try using the following modifiers:

  • Start-up
  • SME businesses
  • Enterprise or corporate
  • Procurement, providers, vendors
  • Product modifiers like software, solutions, tools, platforms, systems
  • Buying/how to choose guides
  • Reviews
  • In the workplace
  • For business
  • Employee
  • Target industries
  • Competitor name + vs/versus
  • Competitor name + alternative
  • Trends
  • Statistics
  • Challenges
  • Online businesses
  • RFP

One can use these modifiers by entering their seed keyword into the SEO tool and filtering to narrow down the results. Afterwards, they can add keyword opportunities to the keyword research document or the list itself.

Review Google Search Console

Online businesses can get more keyword ideas by reviewing Google Search Console for hidden opportunities.

SEOs can go to their Google Search Console’s Performance – Search Results. After selecting the timeframe, they can add the CTR and average position. Next, they can use the filter to eliminate brand names and variations from the results. Lastly, they can review the “queries report”.

Turn To Competitors For Great Keyword Ideas

Competitors may have excellent keyword suggestions, so it would help if one looks at their keywords and backlinks using an SEO tool. Doing so helps SEOs see what content is performing well for them.

Use an internal search function

Websites with internal search functions can review the most common questions for interesting queries.

Add top-converting keywords from Google Ads

Site owners may also include their Google Ads’ top-converting keywords in their SEO keyword research for B2B. One must know that these topics and questions are effective, so they should be included in their organic strategy.

Use Sales and Customer Success Insights to Your Advantage

Some of the greatest keywords can be discovered by studying sales pitches, procedures, and frequently asked questions. At the forefront of engaging with an ideal client are sales and customer success, as these have a deeper understanding of what the consumer wants.

To use their insights for SEO, one should:

  • interview sales for competitors or commonly asked questions
  • read sales protocols or watch recordings of sales
  • study tutorials or knowledge base for content that gets the highest traffic and expand on the issue outline
  • talk with customer success about the most common use cases

Some of these keywords are extremely specialised, but there is a much better chance of impressing the right people when the website attracts these visitors.

Choosing the Right Target Keywords

Keyword research is a part of market research and analysis. Initially, SEOs need to include all ideas and possibilities to the target list, even if they are difficult. Once there is a good range of potential target keywords – from a few hundred to a thousand – one can add the following information to help make well-informed decisions:

  • keyword difficulty
  • search volume every month
  • the ads cost-per-click and its presence in the search results
  • business value: on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being the highest, one should mark the keyword’s impact on the business in terms of generating leads

When targeting B2B, one should keep in mind that they are also marketing to individuals within a business. This target audience wants SEOs to communicate, help them meet their desired outcomes and pain points, and create relevant content for their websites.

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H1 Elements as a Ranking Factor https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/h1-elements-as-a-ranking-factor/ Thu, 16 Dec 2021 06:21:55 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9587 Many SEO experts wonder if it is possible to improve Google search rankings by using the correct keywords in H1 tags. They also wonder if one should use several H1 tags on a single web page. There has been longstanding

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how to create relevant on page SEO tags

Many SEO experts wonder if it is possible to improve Google search rankings by using the correct keywords in H1 tags. They also wonder if one should use several H1 tags on a single web page. There has been longstanding confusion and numerous debates about how Google views on page SEO tags, particularly H1 tags. This article covers whether or not H1 tags are a Google ranking influence for on page SEO content.

H1 Tags as a Ranking Factor

There have been a lot of “best practices” and H1 tag recommendations over the years. Among them are the following pieces of advice:

  • To rank higher for certain keywords, one should utilise many keyword-rich H1 tags.
  • It’s better to have only one H1 tag per page, or Google will penalise the website.
  • Let Google know what phrases a business wants to rank on. The primary keyword should be in the H1 tag, the secondary keywords in the H2 tags, and so on.
  • H1 tags should be used only once, and they should appear as the first text element on the web page.

Some of the information mentioned could be confusing as they conflict with each other. Most of the “best practices” that some people recommend contradict Google’s guidelines about H1 tags, too.

To know if H1 tags are a ranking factor, one should look at what’s happening on both sides of the debate.

Proof That H1 Tags are a Ranking Factor

The timeline below shows how Google’s perception of on page SEO tags, particularly H1 elements, have changed throughout the years.


From the research paper The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, page title was heavily considered a ranking factor. It said that for popular topics, a simple text matching search that’s restricted to page titles do better when PageRank prioritises the results.


The font size, which used to determine how effective a term was, gave way to HTML structure as a ranking algorithm. Google incorporated HTML markup into the algorithm’s comprehension of the patent’s semantic structure, ranking based on semantic distance between terms in a document.

This patent was analysed in 2010. One SEO expert explained that this process involves a search engine analysing the page’s HTML structures, searching for elements like headings and titles. In other words, the search engine tries to find and comprehend the page’s visual structures, looking for anything semantically meaningful – for instance, a list of items associated with a heading.


Through the golden years of article marketing, H1 tags were widely regarded as a Google ranking element, and optimising them was a major SEO strategy. The combination of keyword density, optimised SEO tags, and formulaic content dominated those days.

Because these articles were intended to establish links and generate traffic for revenue sharing, content creators focused on the volume more than they did on the usefulness or quality of their content. These tactics helped websites rank number 1 in the search engine results, even though the keywords and topics were completely irrelevant to their products and services.

Many legitimate publishers disagreed with this idea, and then Google Panda came in 2011. These techniques do not work anymore, and implementing them on one’s website would affect their rankings negatively.

For those sites wiped out by the Panda algorithm, Google provided 23 questions to assess the content’s level of authority. Revenue share payments from content farms gradually tapered off due to Google prioritising user experience.


In a 2019 Google Webmaster Hangout, John Mueller stated that Google utilises HTML tags to comprehend web pages and their content better. He also said that it does not matter how many H1 tags one uses.

According to Mueller, websites would still rank fine without H1 tags. With that said, he noted that H1 tags provide pages with more structure so search engines and users can comprehend which parts are under different headings. Moreover, it is normal to use multiple H1 elements, especially with HTML5.


In August 2020, Mueller addressed H1 tags in a Google Webmaster Central video, where he referred to headings as a ranking factor. He said that headings help Google better understand a web page’s content. However, Google does not only look at the page’s headings; it also looks at the content. Although headings are not the only factor they consider, it still helps a lot to have a clear heading that gives more information on the section’s content. Moreover, headings are particularly useful in figuring out the context of an image.


In August, there was a lot of buzz about Google changing title tags on a select few pages in search results. Oftentimes, Google uses the text from the H1 tag to replace the original title on the search results.

Proof That H1 Tags Are Not a Ranking Factor

Google was well aware of unethical H1 tag practices by 2009. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam Team at the time, made a video for Google Search Central. In the video, he said that site owners shouldn’t just fill their pages with H1 tags and then use CSS to make it appear like regular text. If a user turns off their CSS or if it does not load for whatever reason, the page would look like a mess.

Cutts said it was acceptable to use several H1s here and there, but one should use them strictly as headings. He also said that some publishers throw H1s everywhere on the web page, and many people took advantage of that. As a result, Google stopped considering multiple H1s, and it does not benefit anyone anymore.

According to Google, H1 Tags Are Indeed a Ranking Factor

On-page text elements, including titles and headers, were once extremely influential in the Google search algorithm. The words used, where they were placed on the page, and their size font told Google how essential they were. That was how Google determined the relevance of a webpage to a specific query. However, that was in the late ’90s and early ’00s.

H1 tags, like many previous ranking criteria, were quickly embraced as a simple approach to adjust rankings. H1s were over-optimised, and Google’s spam team had to filter them out, causing their value to plummet.

With that said, H1 tags and other structural HTML elements still aid Google in determining how a webpage’s content appears to users today. They still assist Google with assessing a web page’s semantic structure and relevance. H1 tags help determine the page’s context, who can benefit from it, and why its contents are the best answers to a user’s question.

In conclusion, although the importance of H1 tags has fallen throughout the years, they are still considered a Google ranking factor. Therefore, those looking to maximise their site’s SEO should not overlook the optimisation of their H1s.

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Position1SEO has long been considered the UK’s top SEO agency due to our experience, professionalism, and dedication to your success. We create relevant and quality H1 tags, meta descriptions, and on page SEO content and help you optimise your web pages to boost rankings and increase traffic. We always make sure to leave no stone unturned in our work, and we strive to convert your site’s newfound traffic into buying customers for your business.

We strictly use only white hat tactics, so you can be confident in our ability to help your website climb the search results! You won’t find any spammy backlink schemes or black hat tactics here at Position1SEO. Contact us today to get started!

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Google Releases Product Review Update for the Holidays https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/google-releases-product-review-update-for-the-holidays/ Wed, 15 Dec 2021 08:54:20 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9582 According to the latest SEO news and updates, Google will begin rolling out an algorithm change for product review pages. The Product Review Update for December 2021 will take three weeks to complete, and many are expecting it to have

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what are the latest SEO news and updates

According to the latest SEO news and updates, Google will begin rolling out an algorithm change for product review pages. The Product Review Update for December 2021 will take three weeks to complete, and many are expecting it to have a significant impact on SEO for the holiday season.

In April, a similar algorithm upgrade was released. Websites that have made improvements since the last product review update may expect those changes to be reflected in the latest update.

Before this, Google launched a spam update in early November and then released a core algorithm update later that month. Some may criticise Google’s decision to implement algorithm changes during the most lucrative shopping season, but these adjustments appear to have had little effect.

However, it would be a tragedy if legitimate product review websites inadvertently dropped in their rankings during this critical period.

Google Search Central announced the update on Twitter, saying that the December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out and will take about three weeks to complete for English-language pages.

Alan Kent, Google Developer Advocate, later posted a tweet, saying that this update is one of the several ranking signals. However, the goal is to benefit legitimate, quality reviews. He also said that the docs page lists Google’s recommendations for good reviews.

Kent also shed light on which sites are affected by the December 2021 product review update. He said sites that post product review articles would be affected, with the goal of improving the usefulness and quality of Google’s reviews.

Automated Assessment of Product Review Pages

Google’s post mentions an “automated assessment” focused on product reviews. It also states that product review pages are judged similarly to other web pages according to ranking factors. The search engine company mentioned that this “automated assessment” is just one of the many factors they use to rank content; therefore, any changes can happen for different reasons.

New Product Review Requirements

Google gave a clearer warning that it will implement two new product review requirements to target fraudulent reviews.

The first requirement is that a product review page must provide proof of the customer’s usage of the product being evaluated. This is because many low-quality reviews are from affiliated websites offering phoney product reviews that resemble rewritten versions of the product descriptions. The second requirement is that product reviews must provide a variety of purchase alternatives.

According to Google, users usually trust reviews if they provide evidence of the tested products. Therefore, the search engine company expects the reviews to have audio, visuals, or links to their purchase experience. These will also support the person’s expertise and boost the review’s authenticity. The users also like reviews that contain product alternatives, most likely in links to other products, as customers prefer more options when purchasing products.

Although Google doesn’t refer to these best practices as “ranking factors,” they promise to incorporate them into the product review algorithm updates in the future. So, these two requirements may eventually become full-fledged ranking factors.

Things to Consider in Terms of Product Reviews

Google’s new documentation called “Write high-quality product reviews” contains recommendations that one must follow to comply with the search engine company’s guidelines. According to the guide, site owners who want to create content must consider the things below.

The product must:

  • show expert knowledge about the product where appropriate
  • show how it is physically and how it is used, with a unique description distinct from what the manufacturer provided
  • give quantitative measurements about how the product measures up in various categories of performance
  • explain the uniqueness that sets the product apart from its competitors
  • include comparable products to explain which of the items is the most suitable for certain circumstances or uses
  • talk about the pros and cons of a particular product based on research
  • tell how the product evolved from various releases and models to address concerns, provide improvements, and help potential customers reach a purchase decision
  • describe key choices in how the product was designed and its effect on its users beyond the manufacturer’s description
  • distinguish key decision-making factors for the product category and how it performs in those areas. For instance, suppose a user is looking at a car review. It must determine the vehicle’s safety, handling, and fuel economy. All these are great rate performance and decision-making factors.

Potential to Backfire?

Because so many products are too costly to evaluate, some manufacturers use bots that produce fraudulent reviews with counterfeit pictures of the items. Therefore, some are wondering if these new requirements could backfire, making fraudulent review sites respond by using fake hands-on assessment images, content, and others.

Improve Your Brand Loyalty

Site owners and online businesses should aim to build their brand and create meaningful social proof to instil trust in their business. Listed below are useful tips for doing just that.

  1. Put reviews front and centre.
    Putting a couple of reviews right on the website’s front page can make for a better first impression for customers. If there are evaluations for specific products, one should post them on each product page. Webmasters may also create an entirely new page dedicated to displaying excellent testimonials.
  2. Get in the same social spaces as clients.
    The best approach to obtaining genuine feedback is to be friendly and accessible. One should make it simple for customers to access their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts from the online store to provide comments and ask queries.
  3. Follow up with customers.
    After a consumer makes a purchase, it’s a good idea to email them afterwards. Businesses are most likely to get a review right after the transaction. One should also remove as many barriers as possible between their request and their customer’s ability to submit a review.

Read the Latest SEO Updates from Position1SEO

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Over the years, we have become the leading agency in our field because of our commitment to delivering high-quality services and providing clients with transparent, honest advice. Our team has years of experience in the SEO industry, so you can rest assured that your business will be in good hands.

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FLAN Improves Machine Learning for NLP Problems https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/flan-improves-machine-learning-for-nlp-problems/ Tue, 14 Dec 2021 07:49:57 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9577 Google recently published an SEO research paper on training a model called Fine-tuned LAnguage Net (FLAN) is used to solve natural language processing (NLP) problems in a manner that can be used for many tasks. Instead of teaching a model

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does Google include SEO research papers in algorithms

Google recently published an SEO research paper on training a model called Fine-tuned LAnguage Net (FLAN) is used to solve natural language processing (NLP) problems in a manner that can be used for many tasks. Instead of teaching a model how to deal with one problem at a time, this method teaches it how to address a wide range of issues for greater effectiveness and efficiency. Taking an in-depth look into this research paper may prove beneficial for SEO experts as it provides insights into how Google may tweak its algorithms in the future.

Google Claims It Doesn’t Use All Research in Their Algorithms

Google made an official statement on research papers, saying that not all published research papers are used in their Google Search algorithms. The research paper also did not say that it would be used in the search results. However, the research is still worth noting because it improves the current SEO technology and advances the state of the art.

Benefits of Being Aware of Technology

People unfamiliar with search engines may arrive at incorrect conclusions based on their assumptions. This is why many in the SEO community continue to employ ineffective tactics without considering what users want and require. Being knowledgeable about these algorithms and methods might help one avoid making the mistake of underestimating the capability of Google’s search engine.

What Does FLAN Solve?

The major advantage of this technique is that it allows machines to apply their massive amount of knowledge to address real-world problems. The method teaches the machine how to generalise problem-solving to address unforeseen issues.

It feeds the machine instructions on solving specific issues and generalises those instructions to address other problems. According to the researchers, the model gets better at following instructions it has encountered during training, as well as all kinds of instructions in general.

The SEO research paper also mentioned the “zero-shot or few-shot prompting” technique that trains machines to solve a specific language issue and describes its shortcomings. The researchers said that this technique formulates a task depending on the language model’s text during training, where the model generates the answer by completing the text.

For example, the language model might be presented with a sentence to classify a movie review’s sentiment. Suppose the sentence is: “the movie review ‘best horror since Amityville’ is ___”. It will then ask the language model to complete the sentence with either “positive” or “negative”.

This zero-shot method performs well, but researchers should first measure its performance on tasks that the model has encountered before. According to the researchers, they need to conduct careful prompt engineering to design tasks similar to the data the model encountered during training.

FLAN was created to solve this kind of shortcoming. Since the training instructions are generalised, the model can solve additional issues, including those it has not seen during training.

Google on Using This Technique

Google rarely talks about specific research papers and whether or not the findings are implemented. The company’s official stance on its academic papers is that many do not necessarily end up in their search ranking algorithm. They’re unclear about what is included in their algorithms, which is fair.

Even when the search engine company reveals new technologies, Google usually gives them names that don’t correspond to published research papers. For instance, the names Rank Brain and Neural Matching do not match any existing studies. One must assess the research’s success since some studies may not be able to achieve their objectives and are not as good as cutting-edge algorithms and techniques. Although these research papers fall short, it is still good to know about them.

The most useful research papers are successful and outperform the existing state of the art. And, as it happens, FLAN is one of them. FLAN outshines other methods in terms of performance and, as a result, deserves to be taken notice of.

The researchers tested FLAN on 25 tasks and discovered that it increases performance over zero-shot prompting on all four of them. On 20 of the 25 tasks, they observed superior results than zero-shot GPT-3 and even few-shot GPT-3.

Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension refers to answering queries based on content in a document. FLAN’s reading comprehension performance is 77.4, while GPT-3 Few-Shot and GPT-3 Zero-Shot are 72.6 and 63.7, respectively.

Natural Language Inference

With natural language inference tasks, the machine needs to distinguish whether a given premise is true, false, or neither of the two (neutral/undetermined).

FLAN’s natural language inference is 56.2, while GPT-3 Few-Shot and GPT-3 Zero-Shot are 53.2 and 42.9, respectively.

Closed-book QA

This refers to the ability to answer queries using factual information, which tests the ability to pair facts with questions. For instance, it helps answer questions like, “who was the first president of the United States” or “what colour is the sky”?

FLAN’s closed book QA performance is 56.6, while GPT-3 Few-Shot and GPT-3 Zero-Shot are 55.7 and 49.8, respectively.

FLAN in Google’s Algorithms

As previously said, Google does not generally confirm whether or not they are employing a certain technique or algorithm. However, the fact that this method enables state of the art to advance might suggest that it will be included in Google’s algorithm in some way, boosting its capability to answer search queries.

This paper was published on 28 October 2021.

Some people think this research must have been incorporated into the recent core algorithm update. These updates usually focus on understanding web pages and questions to provide users with better answers. However, Google never announces the techniques they use in their algorithms, so one can only speculate if FLAN is already implemented in the latest SEO algorithm update.

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By using our vast knowledge, experience, and expertise, we will analyse all aspects of your site, including both onsite and offsite factors such as content, design, usability, technical issues, backlinks, and more. Position1SEO’s free in-depth audit will identify any areas that need improvement so you can start seeing results faster than ever before!

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Marketers Share Their Observations about the November Core Update https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/marketers-share-their-observations-about-the-november-core-update/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 12:08:11 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9573 It’s official: Google’s November core algorithm update has recently finished after Cyber Monday shopping day, and several SEO marketing agencies have shared their observations so far. SEO marketing experts who witnessed an increase or decrease in their search rankings should

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It’s official: Google’s November core algorithm update has recently finished after Cyber Monday shopping day, and several SEO marketing agencies have shared their observations so far. SEO marketing experts who witnessed an increase or decrease in their search rankings should not anticipate any additional adjustments until the next algorithm update launch.

Google said in a tweet that the November 2021 Core Update would take between one and two weeks to fully roll out, just like any other update.

Any impact on traffic patterns that one may observe around the time of the update isn’t related to it. Fluctuations in rankings could be coincidences, which have a slim chance of happening. The latest changes may be considered permanent, and SEOs should only expect the daily ups and downs in their search rankings.

In the past, the search engine’s index was kept for a month at a time. Now, it is more responsive and dynamic to content and links. However, the underlying processes remain the same.

The November 2021 Algorithm Update

Many SEO marketers noticed that the November core algorithm update didn’t take a huge toll on their search rankings. One SEO in Japan observed that the new update had less of an impact on their rankings than other core updates. It felt no different from the daily fluctuations that SEOs usually experience.

On 16 November, the day before the update, another SEO noticed the wild fluctuations in Google’s Knowledge Graph. No one knows if it was related to the November update. Moreover, there was a “deepening” of the Knowledge Graph. In example, the queries returned 6 per cent more results, which was a huge deal since that number hasn’t changed for at least two years.

Another search marketer shared their observations about the update. They said there’s no common theme yet, and no sudden recurring symptom or problem happened in the SEO community. Throughout the weeks preceding the update, smaller site owners only experienced restricted crawling, and sites with lower crawl priorities noticed that they had a lower chance of getting their content indexed. Somehow, this is a growing concern in the search marketing community as Google is indexing less content.

Some SEO marketing agencies saw mixed results, with rankings going up and down. They quickly accepted that there will always be winners and losers after an algorithm update from Google. The only best thing to do now is to keep improving the websites, especially the ones that have been negatively affected.

Overall, most search marketers feel that the November 2021 algorithm update had a negligible impact on their SEO.

The Possibility of an Infrastructure Update

This update was considered by many in the search business to be a fairly minor one. It is fascinating because it may signify a shift in the algorithm’s architecture where it does the same thing but faster and more efficiently.

Before the November 2021 algorithm update, Google released a spam update that took away the negative influences to the search index, making it purer and with less spam.

FLAN Machine Learning Research Paper

It’s particularly interesting because Google AI has published work on new machine learning algorithms that do not specialise in multitasking well. Such algorithms are a huge shift from past models that excelled at just one thing and relied on multiple models to multitask.

One such model is FLAN, a research paper introduced in October. It focuses on the natural language training on completing various tasks and generalising the method to apply to other several tasks.

Pathways, Google’s New AI Architecture

The core algorithm update in November began on the 17th and lasted nearly two weeks on 30 November. If Google comes up with a more efficient method of doing its current tasks, it would have to purge spam from its ranks with a spam update before launching the new architecture gradually across the whole system.

Not long after, Google announced Pathways, a new AI architecture that appears to do a lot of tasks that FLAN claims to do. Perhaps this new AI architecture is no pure coincidence.

The Google Pathways announcement said that machine learning systems usually overspecialise at one task at a time, even though they could do multiple tasks excellently. Pathways, a new AI architecture, can handle many tasks in one go. It learns new tasks faster and reflects better insights. It allows one to train a model to do a wide variety of tasks.

The Pathways article, which was released in October 2021, talks about things they will implement in the future rather than things they have already introduced. Given that the mid-November 2021 core algorithm upgrade contains no mention of Pathways, it’s quite conceivable that it wasn’t implemented at that time.

November Update Similar to the Hummingbird Update

An SEO commented that the November 2021 core algorithm update resembled the Hummingbird update, an infrastructure update. The update was live for a couple of months before announcing it, and no one noticed. Since the update had a gentle impact on the search results, the possibility of it being an infrastructure-related update makes more sense.


Many experts in the SEO community felt that the core update this November was strange. One SEO felt that Google focused on authorship signals while another saw extreme volatility in the Knowledge Graph. An SEO felt as if Google made changes on the infrastructure, given that this update had a quieter nature, especially on social media. It only suggests that the update’s impact was not widely felt compared to Google’s regular major updates.

Lastly, Google wrote a research paper and an article that both signal improvements to Google’s algorithms. These improvements can boost Google’s question-answering tasks and improve the search engine’s ability to find relevant answers to more complicated questions.

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Mueller Discusses Why Websites Enter a Strange Limbo State https://position1seo.co.uk/blog/mueller-discusses-why-websites-enter-a-strange-limbo-state/ Fri, 10 Dec 2021 10:14:46 +0000 https://position1seo.co.uk/?p=9569 In a Google Office-hours hangout, an SEO asked Google’s John Mueller about how long it takes Google to re-rank a website that vanished and then reappeared – a process that could cause website SEO rankings to drop massively. A portion

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In a Google Office-hours hangout, an SEO asked Google’s John Mueller about how long it takes Google to re-rank a website that vanished and then reappeared – a process that could cause website SEO rankings to drop massively. A portion of Mueller’s response shed light on a unique problem with Google that prevents website SEO experts from ranking key phrases and domain names in the search engine results pages (SERPs). He said this problem was caused by the website entering an in-between state – a sort of “limbo”.

Legacy Domain Penalty

A legacy domain penalty is something that happens so rarely that it doesn’t have an official name. There is something that’s called legacy software, which refers to old software that can’t be replaced since many people rely on it. It’s a penalty applied to a domain but isn’t visible in Google Search Console, so it can’t be removed.

There’s no way to determine if a domain is penalised in this manner other than the site being unable to rank for anything, not even its own name. There is also no way to submit a reconsideration request because there is no penalty recorded in Search Console, and the search engine reports that there are no penalties.

In a Google Office-hours hangout two years ago, Mueller was asked a question regarding legacy domain penalties. He requested that the site’s administrator give the URL to him, and the scenario was monitored by another SEO for several months. After a month and a half, the website began to rank normally.

Around 2004, a marketer who was new to SEO received this sort of penalty on their domain. They had no idea why their new site was having issues with website SEO rankings. The Google toolbar indicated that the site had PageRank, which is represented by a green bar, and everything looked okay superficially.

The domain didn’t have the tell-tale sign of a penalised website, which is no PageRank, shown on the Google toolbar as a grey bar rather than the usual green. So, at that time, the SEOs who had a look at the website concluded that someone else might have previously used it as a spam site.

They contacted Matt Cutts, one of Google’s engineers at that time, and told him about the issue. Cutts had the penalty removed, but he never explained what this odd penalty was; it appeared to be a penalty linked to the domain but didn’t seem one at the same time.

ZDNet had a similar problem in the past as well. They had a hyphenated domain: CXO-Talk.com. As a result, they obtained the non-hyphenated variant (CXOTalk.com) through a domain sale by a third party.

The company was unaware that the domain was previously used by spammers. ZDNet’s website was subsequently removed from Google after the company migrated to CXOTalk.com.

After analysing the situation, they found out that the domain name was a “throwaway” domain name that black-hat spammers used to publish poor content on the website. Because the content on the domain was so bad, Google had no choice but to ban it. After the previous owners were done using it for spamming purposes – linking it to all kinds of spammy websites hosted in other countries – they sold it to an unsuspecting buyer.

There have been no explanations for the domain-level penalty since the beginning, and it’s so uncommon that many SEOs were unaware of it. So, until recently, the mysterious domain-level penalty was hidden in obscurity.

Mueller recently addressed a rare domain-level penalty, which is the same one that occurred in the past.

A Site’s Penalised State

Mueller answered a question about the time it takes for domains to recover from being unavailable. He discussed minor outages caused by technical problems, as well as a full-site update, which entails extensive modifications to the website. Then he began talking about this “strange” penalty state that appears to be an old Google algorithm bug.

According to Mueller, this domain penalty can last for many years as a result of the bug. His explanation seems to correspond with the description of the enigmatic legacy domain penalty. He said he witnessed websites that get stuck in an odd in-between state in Google’s system, which is a very rare occurrence. At some point, Google reviewed the website and found it to be so bad, that for whatever reason, it takes so long to update again.

So, the chances of any random website being affected by it are slim, but it’s something to be concerned about if the site owner is doing everything they can to fix the problem, but they aren’t getting anywhere. In that case, one can contact Google and see if there’s anything on the company’s side that is stuck. But, in terms of technical issues, they seem to solve swiftly.

Signs of Ranking Limbo Penalty

Mueller previously spoke about a website two years ago, which it was unable to rank on any keywords and even its own domain name. The oddity of the situation is that the domain would rank on the top of page two or the bottom of page one for a few days every month. However, after the few days were up, it would return to oblivion.

The tell-tale sign of this rare penalty is that it doesn’t appear in Google Search Console. The site can’t rank for anything, whether its own domain name or the key phrases. Moreover, the domain was previously used for spam purposes.

Since a lot of domain names were registered in the past, one should double-check how a particular domain was used before registering it. One way to do this is through a free service at Archive.org. One can see the snapshots of websites taken in the past months and years at Archive.org, and with luck, the previous condition of the domain may be shown.

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