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Written By
Ryan Sylvestre

The Stack is a weekly podcast where we share and discuss the latest trends, news, and content from the world of marketing, sales, and tech. In each episode, Sean, Tim, and Ryan sit down to chat about the hard-hitting questions related to sales, marketing, and tech. You can subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud.

In this episode, we talk about Google’s opinion on the author’s, websites, and new feature snippets. We dive into Facebook problems and the social media battlefield. If you like our podcast make sure to subscribe and tell all your friends.

We would love to hear your thoughts so make sure to comment or tweet us at @Sylvestrer1@SeanHenri and @Tendrecroppes or @PepperlandMKTG.

A Tweet From Alan Bleiweiss

So, Alan felt so compelled to tweet this because he saw an error message from Google Search Console telling him “Cannot find some pages after https migration”.

Thankfully Google Search Console is letting us in on the secret instead of just showing up a bunch of broken links. This error message makes it easier to identify the problem so anyone can set up their 301 redirects more easily.

Sean: “If you have never migrated your site from HTTP to HTTPS you’re in for a barrel of fun.”

Tim: “I’m sure when I migrate my website in a few weeks I’m going to be getting this error message.”

Oh, how we love our error messages. We have a guide on how to deal with these Search Console messages if you ever need some more insight.

Author Reputation

EAT – Expertise – Authority – Trustworthiness

Writing for clients can be tricky, especially now that Google is paying more attention to who is technically the author. In order to have your blog article rank well, you have to make sure you have some topical authority.

If you don’t have a ton of experience writing about a subject, make sure to include some influencers that do within your post.

Ryan: “We don’t want to read anything from a person that knows nothing about that subject.”

Sean: “A lot of signals point to Google doubling down on website and author authority.”

Tim: “It makes a lot of sense, the way that some websites work as content mills to churn out a bunch of content used to work in the past. Now there is this big push for authoritative and trustworthy sites.”

What Google Considers Low Quality

Google recently updated their Quality Rater Guidelines. What the heck does that mean? Well, this just means that Google is changing the way they rate low-quality websites.

“Low-quality pages may have been intended to serve a beneficial purpose. However, Low-quality pages do not achieve their purpose well because they are lacking in an important dimension, such as having an unsatisfying amount of MC, or because the creator of the MC lacks the expertise for the purpose of the page.”

Sean: “It highlights not just the author, but the brand and websites overall authority.

Tim: “When your thinking about your editorial strategy, make sure that you pick topics that have a direct line back to your company, rather than just picking ideas that are going to get you views or clicks.”

Expandable Feature Snippets

Google has rolled out a new expandable feature snippet. Its purpose is to show you answers to related searches which, in theory, will help minimize the need for secondary searches.  

For example, if you search for “quartz vs granite” you might see related searches for prices differences, durability, or weight. Google is populating all of these related searches into one accordion-like feature snippet.

Sean: “A lot of websites are not Google friendly, Google probably sees that people give up on search more often on a mobile device and are more persistent on a desktop when having a strong connection. This may be why these expandable searches are showing up on mobile devices first.”

Tim: “It seems like this type of snippet is doing its own lead qualification. If someone was going to click through these specific articles, it’s likely these individuals are more likely to buy.

Ryan: “I would rather rank #2 underneath this expandable feature snippet. It may seem stupid, but being within this feature snippet forces the user to make an extra click.”

Building A High-Quality Site

Google says they have been particularly focused on guiding people to helpful, high-quality sites. The “Panda” algorithm change has helped a big portion of websites with their rankings, which, may be good for some and bad for others. If you are worried more about the quantity of quality, this is likely affecting your marketing.

“Our advice to publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.”

Sean: “There is a lot of speculation that some of the recent changes to Google algorithm are connected back to the quality and authority of content.”

Tim: “Put yourself in the seat of the searcher and ask yourself and see if your content is helpful.”

Ryan: “Stay in your lane, own your topics.”

Bad SEO Hack

Relabeling old content as new is bad SEO hack. To be clear, updating is not a bad thing to do, in fact, it’s encouraged. Updating without ACTUALLY updating is where Google gets angry. This speaks to EAT: Expertise – Authority – Trustworthiness. If you want to rank well with updated content, put the work in and actually update it. Look at the search queries related to the page in questions and add sections that you see people looking for. Check for feature snippet opportunities and go get em’!

Podcast Tweet

Sean: “Whether it’s Google or anything, hacks are not a good thing. Tricking your users and customers is not a good way to gain trust.”

Tim: “The difference is actually taking the time to go back and update it rather than republishing it and slapping a new date on it.”

This idea SEO hacking really hurts your brand reputation and could make a big difference down the road. You may not see an immediate change in your site’s authority but, over time, it will catch up with you. If you need to build brand trust through content marketing, do it the right way.

43 Million Facebook Posts

Buffer teamed up with BuzzSumo to analyze more than 43 million poss from the top 20,000 brands on Facebook. Long story short, getting noticed on Facebook is hard. Key takeaways from this article are that top pages are posting a ton of content. This seems to negate a lot of what we as marketers know. These top pages are posting on average 5 times per day.  “Focus on quality, not quantity” comes to mind. Overall page engagement is declining across the board.

Sean: “Stop wasting your time on Facebook.”

Tim: “If you are creating content, that is high quality, that is answering the questions of your users, it will get shared on its own.”

Facebook’s Story Problem

Snapchat and Facebook battle it out with Instagram. Snapchat had a big increase in users and activity when introducing filters. This traffic is getting stolen by Facebook and Instagram who also introduced their own version of funny face filters. Which platform has your loyalty?

Sean: “Instagram has really grown on me. I have never learned anything on Instagram that’s why Twitter will remain my favorite social network.”

Tim: “Snapchat is the easiest one to live without.”

Here’s What You Should Take Away

In the world of Google, they are putting a huge emphasis on having quality content. Make sure you are including influencers in your content to build and preserve your author authority. Worry less about how often you post content and worry more about whether or not it’s helpful.

The debate over social media importance will never end. As we discussed in the podcast, it is becoming harder to get noticed on social media. The top-performing pages are posting an insane amount of times per day. This ties back into the quality of your content. There is no way you are giving any social platform 5 quality posts a day. That’s almost 2,000 posts a year on just one platform. If you make good content that answers the user’s question, it will get shared and noticed on its own.
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