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SEO and Digital Marketing

If you’ve ever sat in a meeting and not understood a word of what that person responsible for your website is saying, if you’ve ever thought “that doesn’t sound right” but not known what questions to ask, if you’ve ever stared at a graph or a report and realised that you didn’t know if it meant things were getting better or worse, if you’ve ever had that nagging dread that you’re handing money over to someone and not getting a return on it… this is the book for you.

Backed with over a decade of knowledge accumulated working on SEO, website design, eCommerce, and digital transformation across a wide range of industries, The Truth About SEO is the book that every business owner should have – and every SEO consultant should worry about.

It's been a while since I looked at Shopify. One of the darlings of lockdown, Shopify promised to make every Joe Schmo the next Jeff Bezos with an easy-to-use and powerful eCommerce platform at a rock-bottom price. No inventory? No problem! YouTube was awash with adverts from self-made millionaires who had made their fortunes drop-shipping products in from China and who now wanted nothing more than to share "their secrets" with you... for a price.

A little while ago I wrote about how easy it was to launch a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) complaint against a website and how writers and other creatives could use this to get websites that were stealing their content removed from the Google index. (And, if you're not on Google, frankly you aren't anywhere...)

In their article "Google Considers Reducing Webpage Crawl Rate", Search Engine Journal reported that Google may soon visit websites to look for new and updated content a lot less frequently than it currently does. It's an interesting article because none of the talking heads from Google really comes clean on just why they are considering this... but I think I might have the answer. I've definitely got a theory...

Another day, another answer that isn't an answer from Google's resident genie John Mueller. I'm pretty sure that in a previous life Mueller would have made an excellent soothsayer, fortune teller, or carnival psychic. There's just enough content for you to think you're getting answer... but in reality you're getting anything but.

Like the killer in an 80s slasher movie, The Fold just won't die. What is it? It's the invisible dividing line between what you can see when you first load up a webpage and what lies out of sight until you scroll downwards. Web designers used to obsess about the fold and what was, and wasn't above it.

In an earlier post, I looked back to the furore that Rand Fishkin and SparkToro created when they claimed that two-thirds of Google searches resulted in no clicks in 2020. As I surf the web, I often share interesting links to my blog(s) as draft posts to come back to later and write up into a full post. Clearing through my backlog today, I came across this absolute gem from around the time of the ZeroClickPocalypse - Google's own Danny Sullivan taking the time out his schedule to publically call out the zero-clicks research and give Google's side of the story.

I've made no secret of my dislike of Featured Snippets. This week there was some good news that maybe, just maybe, Google was turning back the clock and dropping Featured Snippets from search.

I always find it interesting when Google let out little nuggets of information that either confirm or debunk long held beliefs in the SEO industry. (It's important to remember that the vast majority of what we call "best practice" in the SEO industry is really belief - we have so few facts to go on most of the time!)

Governments have been playing catch up with technology for as long as I can remember, the statute book taking more time to write to than a 3.5" floppy disk. But they are catching up and after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Brexit, and Trump in the Whitehouse legislators are keen to ensure that social media companies come to heel and start exercising some control of the information being spread through their platforms.

The reaction of the average SEO to duplicate content is pretty much the same as Bella Lugosi's reaction to some open curtains and a wonderful sunrise, but it's actually not quite a big a problem as you might think. For once, I'm going to tell you to put a little faith in Google and the other search engines to be able to tell good duplication from bad duplication.

Prediction: Apple's rollout of "Ask App Not To Track" is the opening volley of a war with online advertising providers. Apple has been quietly building a search engine for years; it is preparing to disengage from Google and start to provide its own search & ads platform. 

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