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Hi You,

I'll keep this intro short and sweet, but I do hope you've had a great week. As you may have read previously, the UpBuild newsletter is coming back in 2019. My goal for this is super simple: to create something that helps you keep up with SEO, analytics, and CRO while also serving as a reminder that the UpBuild team is here to be a resource for you.

We'll be sharing some important news from the SEO space below. I hope you enjoy it.

As we look into ways to help as many people as we can this year, let us know if there's a specific SEO or analytics problem you've been struggling with. We're more than happy to take a quick look at it for you.

Happy Optimizing,


Mike Arnesen
Founder & CEO @ UpBuild
 

Google+ is shutting down.

It's time to remove those +1 buttons and Google+ icons from your website. It's a sad time for those of us who legitimately loved Google+, but the silver lining is that you now have one less social network to worry about.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Read more about it here.

Five Years of Google Ranking Signals


Not everyone had the time nor the inclination to read Google Patents for the last five years. In fact, not everyone has the time to even read the blog post from the guy who did read all those patents. Since SEO  impacts what you do at work (even if you're not directly responsible for it), we read the whole post so you don't have to.

Here are our takeaways:
  1. Keywords Matter: While semantic content analysis and the machine-learning aspects of search algorithms are undoubtedly intriguing and having a huge impact, keywords still matter. As you can read in Bill's section on keywords  (Section #2), it's still incredibly important to "perform keyword research for every page of a site, and make sure that you use the keywords you have mapped out to specific pages upon those pages". If you're not performing and applying thoughtful keyword research to your site on a regular basis, you're likely falling behind.

  2. Related Phrases Also Matter: Google recently updated its patent on phrase-based indexing (Section #3). The key takeaway here is that your pages should include phrases that are related to the keywords you hope to rank for. Google understands which phrases co-occur with certain keywords, so don't limit yourself to just your "SEO keywords"; use natural language to paint a picture of your page's topic and theme.

  3. Identifying Gibberish Content in Resources: Google has an interesting patent focused on using n-grams to identify gibberish content (compared to n-grams for well-written books). The idea is that they can figure out when content is non-sensical or low-quality and demote those pages (Section #9). Few of our readers here are doing this knowingly, but be on the lookout for those sneaky blocks of lorem ipsum making their way onto your live site (we've been seeing that recently!).

  4. Clickable Links Pass More PageRank: Or, it's likely they will. Specifically, a continuation patent from Google states that the search engine could pass more PageRank through internal links if they determine that those links are more likely to be clicked (Section #14). Essentially, the SEO value of internal links is weighted based on how clickable you make them to users.

  5. Traffic Producing Links: In a similar way, another Google patent suggests that they'll look at how much traffic comes across backlinks to your site as a way of understanding a given link's real value (Section #24). If someone pays for a link on a high authority site but it's not relevant and no one ever clicks on it, should it really be counted? This patent suggests that maybe it shouldn't!

If you do want to read the whole thing, grab a coffee and hop in.

Bonus Highlight: If you want to become justifiably paranoid, check out #15 which describes Google's patented idea for evaluating search result quality based on your facial expressions captured via your phone's front-facing camera. Welcome to Dystopia!

Google AMP Error Reports. Do you need to take action?

As it turns out, this is yet another glitch in Google's new search console. If you've received a notification about AMP errors on your site in the last week or so, the good news is that it's probably just a bug. Unfortunately, the bug doesn't mean there isn't a legitimate issue on your site. If you're not really sure and you want to be extra safe, let us know and we can take a quick look.

Learn more about Google AMP Error Reports here.

Until next time. Thanks for reading!
Stay in the know. Head over to our blog and check out what we've been writing
Need technical marketing help? Head to our engagements page to see what that looks like. We'd love to see if we'd be a good fit! 
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