Improve your SEO with Google Search Console

How much time do you spend in Google Search Console? Probably not enough! There’s a great deal of valuable data for SEOs inside of Google Search Console and in Episode 25 of Old Guard vs New Blood we explore what data you might be missing out on and how to incorporate the use of this data into your work patterns.

Joining Dixon Jones for this one are Olga Zarzeczna from Market JD, Freelance SEO Consultant Natalie Mott and International Search Marketing Consultant Sante J. Achille.

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Transcript

Dixon Jones

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Old Guard, New Blood, Episode 25. And we’re talking about Google Search Console for SEOs today. And my name is Dixon Jones, and I’ve got another fantastic group of people in with me. Sante, Olga, and Natalie. Thanks very much for coming in guys. Thanks for talking with us today. It’s a good time to talk about Google Search Console because Google have just come out with a new API command. We’ll get onto that. But why don’t we just start by getting you guys to introduce yourself. Olga, why don’t you start. Tell us about you and where do you come from?

Olga Zarzeczna

So my name is Olga. I am from Poland. Currently I am the director of SEO at Market JD, a Chicago based company that does SEO for lawyers. So I’ve been in SEO for almost 10 years. So that’s my thing, and I am an SEO geek.

Dixon Jones

We’re all SEO geeks here.

Olga Zarzeczna

Yeah.

Dixon Jones

Thanks for coming in. And thanks for coming back again as well. Natalie, tell everybody about you and yourself and where you come from.

Natalie Mott

I am a freelance SEO consultant. I’ve been in the industry for 13 years. I sort of cover the whole spectrum of SEO, technical content and links. I specialize quite a bit in migrations and the tech side of things these days. So I’m very much in Search Console pretty much every day. Yeah, this is my bread and butter. This is what I do.

Dixon Jones

And thanks. Thanks for coming back in again as well. I mean, I think everyone has been on webinars with me in the past here, especially Sante who is also Majestic ambassador, so obviously Sante, we’ve known each other for a long, long time, and you can tell by our faces that we are very old. Sante, tell us about you, where you come from.

Sante Achille

Yes, good evening everybody. My name is Sante. I’m a search marketing consultant. Core business is SEO. Should I say how long I’ve been in the industry, Dixon?

Dixon Jones

Yeah, it’s on your website mate. It’s on your LinkedIn profile. 27 years at the moment.

Sante Achille

27 years and counting. We’ve done a considerable number of things over the years, evolving with the industry. And of course, Search Console is the, let’s say, the tool that I normally use. I’m an order of magnitude kind of person and I find that Search Console, when it comes to the information that the basic information that you need to know if you’re pointing in the right direction or not, is the place to go.

Dixon Jones

Brilliant. So guys, thank you all for coming in. It’s great. Just before we dive into the subject matter today, I’d like to bring you my producer, David. David, is there anything I’ve missed that we need to cover before I carry on?

David Bain

I’d just like to highlight that we’re going to have a wonderful episode today. We’re going to have a wonderful episode next month and every month, of course, when this show is on. Just want to touch up on the fact that next month’s episode will be about internal linking. That is going to be in the 2nd of March. I’ll tell you more about that towards the end of this episode, but if you want to sign up to make sure that you don’t miss that one live, just go to Majestic.com/webinars.

Dixon Jones

Excellent. And obviously Majestic sponsor the whole of the event. So thanks for them for putting things on. Certainly if you use Majestic, you may not know that you can integrate your Google Search Console into Majestic Tools. So look that up. It’s not that obvious to find, and it’s kind of used tool, because it starts tracking things over time and means that you don’t have to jump into Google Search Console for too many tools. But let’s dive in. Thanks for a couple of people that are already on live and GJ, I think, said hi to you Sante.

Sante Achille

Yes.

Dixon Jones

And so thanks for anybody. If you do want to ask questions… Oh, and William is there as well. William Jones. So if you’ve got some questions in there do ask them live. If you want to go in live next time guys, if you’re on the podcast, sign up and we’ll just ping it when it goes live so that you don’t have to… You’ll know if you follow you any of us or follow me. Okay. So before we dive into to the API, I would love to find out what the one thing in Google Search Console is that you each love. Pick out something that you think is either particularly useful or something you can’t live without. Natalie, we’re going to start with you. What thing in Google Search Console is your go to section, if you like?

Natalie Mott

I say the thing that is the most fascinating and varied for me is the excluded part of the coverage report. Looking at all of the different ways that your content is understood, ignored by Google, filtered in a different way. It’s usually the place where you find out all kinds of things about what’s preventing your site from… If there’s a problem with the site being crawled in index, it’s usually the first place I’ll go to see if there’s something absolutely glaring in there. That’s all. Everything else is very useful all the time. But the excluded is the bit I like the most.

Dixon Jones

All right. Olga, what about you? What’s your go-to place?

Olga Zarzeczna

Since I do a ton of Technical Site audits, that would be the technical SEO section. For me, that would be coverage report as well. I love using that to check what pages are indexed by Google. And the same, I think equally important, is that page experience report and core vitals, because the core vitals, this is like the field data. So usually it’s enough to just see what’s there and you don’t need to worry about what’s in Google page with insights too much. You don’t have to obsess about it because sometimes it’s enough to just go there and see the real picture.

Dixon Jones

Okay. So you’re happy enough using the page, the core web vitals in Google Search Console and it means you don’t have to sort of use Google Lighthouse or Lighthouse in Chrome.

Olga Zarzeczna

I can, but I can kind of treat it… I don’t have to worry too much if everything is not green there.

Dixon Jones

Okay. Cool. Sante, what’s your bit?

Sante Achille

My first stop is on the search results tab of the Search Console. The first thing that I start feeding off of in terms of information is the data that’s coming out of there. I can manage barely to do some scripting when Python. So I pull down a script. With a script I can pull down the top 1000 search terms. And off of that, I create a pivot table that I do a lot of detailed results. And we can go down that, talk about that a little bit more in detail if you are interested in that.

Dixon Jones

So, and Craig jumps in with, “Keywords baby”, in the chat and I have to say, okay, you’re old school right there because I dive into the performance section as well. Because I don’t really use rank checking tools very much, even the big ones. I kind of happily just dive in there and sort of to feel my way, but that’s probably because I’m not technical enough to do what Olga does and what Natalie does, to be honest with you. So I just go and look at the results of other people’s work sometimes. So, but yeah, no, I mean obviously the keyword stuff is where us as SEOs kind of want to see these impressions and these clicks going up and up and it’s kind of the end game really. And some of the other tools I think are part of the, what do we have to do to change, to push those results up.

So let’s just go into… Because it’s interesting though that none of you talked about the URL inspection tool, which is kind of the very first tab if you go into Google Search Console, for those listening. And there’s a URL inspection tool, which by default you can sort of have a look at any one of the tools, any one of your URLs. And it’ll give you some basic information about whether it’s indexed in the index and whether it’s mobile friendly and those kind of things. And the big news from Google was that that tool is now available as an API, which means that other tools can jump into it. I mean, I always thought that Google Search Console was all available in other tools, so I didn’t really realize that this is a new thing, but it obviously is. I mean, is it going to be useful for SEO? Is it going to be useful for us in the industry? What kind of things might we use an API for the URL inspection tool for? Don’t know, if anyone wants to jump in.

Sante Achille

I think it was conceived as an additional piece of information that can be used to combine with all the other data that is available. So I look at it more as a kind of like in the perspective of a data frame where you have a lot of features that are available in terms of data. So I tend to, as I mentioned, start from the search results and the search terms and the URL, et cetera. And you can add to that, if you want to look at it as a data frame or as an Excel sheet, you can actually add all of these different pieces of information, all of these features and put them in line and start looking at the bigger picture.

So having an API to access that and actually deliver it to your doorstep, so to speak, on a computer, can facilitate the integration of all of this information. And I think, I might be wrong, but the sort of falls in line with the overall strategy of Google being more and more powerful on the AI side of things. And the machine learning tends to surface here in the Search Console for those who want to take advantage of it.

Dixon Jones

Olga, is this something you’ve looked at, something you’d like to use?

Olga Zarzeczna

So I would personally use it to kind of have the back list of all the URLs and the canonical that Google selected for those URLs versus the canonical that I declared. So this would be kind of a very useful thing for me, especially when doing an audit, a visibility audit or a technical SEO audit. So I would love to have this all in a spreadsheet and be able to draw conclusions.

Dixon Jones

So, yeah. So if you find differences between the canonical you declare and the canonical that Google thinks is appropriate, do you always think that the one that you declared is right or is it sometimes Google has a better idea even though, and you change your own declaration? Or is it always Google’s wrong or is it always Google’s right?

Olga Zarzeczna

I think in some cases Google may get it better than we do. For example, Google may look at some external signals, like links to that URL. And in some cases it is good to have that data and be able to kind of analyze it and decide, “Oh, maybe in that case, Google was right.” Or if Google wasn’t right, then I may work, I may try to improve the page, which I think is actually the economical page. I may kind of try to change the internal linking on my website so that Google kind of gets my intention better. So that’s how I would… It’s good to see Google’s perspective in Bulk and be able to kind of compare it with your idea of what’s canonical for your site.

Dixon Jones

Interesting. And Natalie, I don’t know if there’s anything you want to add over there, but I was going to ask about the limits.

Natalie Mott

Yeah. Well, I can talk about that, but I would just like to add to what Olga was saying that in your question about is Google usually wrong. If the thing has been set up correctly and so the canonical set up is correct from the SEO’s point of view, and Google comes back with a completely different canonical, yes Google is wrong, but it will be down to some other signals that you are serving it. So that’s the distinction. So it is great to see that disparity, it’ll be great to see it in Bulk, because at the moment we just sort of spot check. And you do sort of get the gist of how Google is misunderstanding your intent, but it’s far better to see it in Bulk. So I mean on the limit side, 2000 pages on an e-commerce site or a travel website isn’t a great deal in the scheme of things, but you can persevere with that and I’ll be able to sort of grab the data over a period of time. It’s certainly better than what we have at the moment, but I haven’t done any kind of Bulk-

Dixon Jones

I mean, I guess though 2000 a day per site should be enough to find the patterns, I would guess.

Natalie Mott

Yeah.

Dixon Jones

Because usually if you’ve got a problem it’s across a whole folder or a whole sub domain or a whole section or something like that, I would guess.

Natalie Mott

Yeah. I’d persevere with that limit. It’s certainly better than what we have. Yeah, for sure. The other thing I was going to say, I think this is Google gaining control over index checking, and I haven’t done this for a while, but there are other tools that will allow you to do this index checking in Bulk, but it involves proxies and just huge amounts of sort of gaming the system that now hopefully this API will eradicate and make it easier for Google and not-

Dixon Jones

I think that’s a really good point as to why Google are starting to really push these APIs now because Google has, for years, tried to stop, got really angry at the scrapers because the scrapers cause a lot of challenges for Google, bandwidth wise. So it makes sense for them to be a little bit more open with the data that they can give away, at least before they start really hammering the scrapers and complaining about the scrapers, which I suspect they will at some point in the future.

Craig came in with a question or came in with a point just there. He said, “I was thinking too that you could use the API to automatically, the URL API, to automatically track crawls and indexing after site changes to try and reduce signal and noise.” I don’t think you can at the moment. I think that the… I read the document. I just read the documentation before I came on. But it doesn’t allow you to do it on a live URL. So you’ve got to go into Google Search Console to check in live in real time. But the API will only tell you what’s indexed in Google Search Console. So to look up the Search Console data, not a live URL, so you can’t just change on the fly and then use the tool yet.

However, there is a bunch of things and it’ll tell you when it last crawled. So you know at least when you’ve checked it from. And maybe if we’ve got time at the end, I’ll go and read out the output elements from the API, just for anybody that’s interested for that. But let’s leave the API for now. We can jump back in if we want to, but let’s go back to some of the other tools that you mentioned. And Olga, you talked about the page experience and the core web vitals tools as things that you like quite a bit. How do you use those in your technical audits? Are they fundamental to your whole approach? How do they make you a better SEO?

Olga Zarzeczna

So I always check the site in with Google Speed Insights and Google Lighthouse. And because these tools can give us more or less, they give us useful tips on how to improve certain things to make our site perform better. But these are lab tools. So usually what they show us is in reality is better than what we see in those tools. So if I analyze the site, the first thing I do, I check in those tools. And if I have access to GSC, then I check what’s in GSC because if in GSC, for example, all the pages have good page experience and core vitals for mobile and now for desktop are all green, then I don’t think I have to spend a lot of time trying to improve, working on improvements that these two.

For example, Google Page Speed Insights is showing us because in some cases it is quite difficult to get them implemented, especially if this is a huge site, a very complex site. And if the site is already passing them and is green, then I don’t have to obsess about it. I may say, “Maybe you can work on making those images smaller or lazy loading images.” But other than that, you don’t have to obsess because you are green there, and Google when assessing sites, it only takes into account field data. So, even with that, I can focus on other things if that’s okay.

Dixon Jones

I think that’s a good point because a lot of audits of the past, of the old school if you like, used to just bring out problem after problem after problem after problem, and you can find yourself with a hundred page audit of problems and no real priority for what to fix. So being able to say what you don’t have to fix is probably a pretty good approach. So I think that’s useful. Sante and Natalie, do you guys use the page experience and the core vitals stuff much?

Natalie Mott

Yeah. It’s very useful in terms of grouping pages of the same type together. So it’s probably the first place to look when analyzing core web vitals. Say you have pages that are poor or needs improvement, groups them together, it tells you which are similar pages, which saves you going to look at the pages and figuring out if it’s the same template or not. So that’s sort of a time saver. And I echo what you’re saying about the traffic light system in Search Console, that wasn’t always there in Webmaster Tools, you did have to figure out what information was useful and what you could ignore. Now, everything is very clear, red, amber, and green. I actually didn’t realize that until… But yeah, of course it makes it very much more accessible to other digital marketers who perhaps aren’t as close to SEO, it can sort of help steer them in the right direction. I guess it’s all part of, it’s rebranded to Search Console from Webmaster Tools. The whole idea was to make it more accessible and less intimidating. You’re on mute, Dixon.

Dixon Jones

Sorry, the dog started whinging to try and get out of the room. So I had to do some little stuff. I apologize for that. Yeah. Now that everyone mentions it, the red, yellow, green, all over the reports is very helpful actually, and it’s just subtle but obvious when you see it. So Sante, you were talking about the search queries and they can be very useful, to be able to see the ranking data and the impression data and stuff. And hopefully seeing it going up, it can make you feel good until it makes you feel bad, and you’ve just had an algorithm changed and it all goes wrong-

Sante Achille

Yeah, exactly.

Dixon Jones

So you dive in with that every day. What are you using those keywords for?

Sante Achille

So there are actually two fundamental ways of looking at that data when you group it properly. So if you take the bulk of it with a thousand queries you can associate to each URL, the search terms that Google has identified, or at least wants to share with us, and you have your typical… Well, the way I have it set up, I do clicks, impressions, click through rate, average position, and then query or landing pages. So typically anybody doing SEO will have an editorial guideline and a list of pages or articles and search terms, topics around which each article is actually based.

And so the first thing that you can do is actually match up and compare the search terms that Google has proposed the page against the ones that you have actually used, and see how well they compare. So you can actually see how well your SEO has been digested, so to speak, by Google. One second thing that you can actually do is reverse that table. And for each query, you can associate the URLs and see if and how much or to which extent there is any ongoing cannibalization between search terms so that you can actually sort things out and make sure that there is the right balance and that you don’t have several pages competing on the same search term.

Dixon Jones

That’s something that, for me, I’ve got a specific issue that I’m dealing with now. To be honest with you, we’re trying to change the ranking from one page to another. And in the pages tab, it’s really obvious. So, in the queries, and then you click on pages, it’s really obvious for this term that we’ve got… Google’s trying to work it out. The impressions are 50% of this and 50% of that. A couple of others for a few. But it’s really obvious that I’ve got some cannibalization issues going on. Google’s not clear about the search term and I need to do some work on my end to help Google decide which one is the right page. So I would agree. I think it’s an excellent tool for helping identify cannibalization issues. That report is good for discovering keywords that you didn’t really necessarily know that you were already sort of doing some work for, and you can exploit some of those and say, “Right. Okay. I didn’t know about this key phrase for my industry or for this client, but now I know it, I can develop content and make it stronger as well.”

Sante Achille

I think an interesting thing to add to that is content curation, actually. So with this data from Search Console, you can actually identify those, based just what you said, understanding what’s happening. So there may be some search terms that are surfacing that are not ranking very well, but they could be an opportunity perhaps to update the page or increase the size of the article and the reach and the depth, et cetera. So that’s another thing to keep in mind to avoid content rot, let’s say. Just creating content and more content and more content that just gets buried and lost over the years.

Dixon Jones

Yeah. Okay. Very useful. And Natalie, the coverage report, that’s not something I use very much and I’m probably, I’m sure I should. So tell us how I can get some value out of the coverage report.

Natalie Mott

Well, totally depends on-

Dixon Jones

What is it exactly again? It’s not a part I use.

Natalie Mott

So it tells you about the status in summary, it tells you about the status of all of… It has data on all of the pages on your website. You can only, within the interface, interact with unfortunately like a thousand rows of the data. And that would be a great thing if they could start to open that up a bit more widely to SEOs. I think that’d be super useful. But it’s still, as you’ve been saying, the sample size, it gives you enough to go on and it’ll tell you things like… The one that always fascinates me is, so again in the traffic lights, you’ve got a section for valid pages, and then what you want there is submitted and indexed. You want that to be the highest number possible. You don’t really want other statuses to be there.

What fascinates me is there’s often so many pages in a status called indexed, not in site map. That’s usually one of the things that, however useful XML site maps are in the scheme of things, sometimes they are extremely useful, sometimes it’s just a box ticking exercise. But often that opens up things. But if that number is extremely high and it’s pages you’ve never really heard of, then you know you’ve got a problem. And then the same goes for the excluded tab. Often there’s data in there, often it’s sort of evidence of Google actually doing its job.

So identifying that it’s a 404, a not found page or a page with a redirect. But it can also alert you to there being problems with the indexing of your content. If you’ve got high numbers of discovered not crawled, or crawled not indexed, or discovered not indexed, there’s sort of the steps that Google Bot follows before it actually indexes. And if you’ve got a lot of pages stuck in those categories, again, it’s indicative of a problem. And it just sort of helps you investigate the right areas. If you’ve got a performance issue, it directs your inquiry quite well.

Dixon Jones

Okay. I’m going to just jump in there. We’ve got a question from Craig, again. Question, “Are any of you using Google Search Console as part of your sales prospecting? If so, how?” I don’t know. Am I? Well, I would say I’m only using that if I find a new key word that leads me to a market avenue that I didn’t realize was my market, which I probably shouldn’t have done, because I’m supposed to be the marketing guy and should know that. So I don’t really use it for sales prospecting. I do use Google Analytics because then I can see where my referrals are coming from for that. Because if I’ve got an article that’s come out from somewhere and it’s talking about our product or whatever, then it can be very useful to work with the people that gave us the citation, I think. I don’t know if anybody else has got any insights as to using it directly for developing sales leads.

Natalie Mott

The only thing I can think of, not at present, I don’t have my own website to my shame. But if managing the Search Console for your agency, kind of similar to what you were saying, Dixon, about working out where your referrals come from in Analytics, there may be specific case studies if it was a well stocked agency website with specific case study information and you saw that that was gaining a lot of traction, perhaps then that could. But I’m sort of thinking theoretically here. I don’t do it myself.

Dixon Jones

We’ll move on from that one then, unless anyone’s going to put the hand up and say, “Yeah, I’ve got this really rock solid idea.” I think we are more at the end of how can we use it to get more traffic, not necessarily how to do outreach on that particular one there. One thing I did notice about Search Console, I was going through the relatively limited number of sites that I have access to because I’m not an agency. I haven’t got a hundred of them, but I’ve got a fair few, I suppose. And then they’ve been around for a long time, most of the ones I’ve been with, because I’m old. And I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that in some websites I go in and the performance tab, there’s just one thing, there’s just performance. Then in other ones, it also has search and discover as separate items. So, Google Discover. And then in other one, it’s got Google News where they’ve seen results in Google News.

So what’s interesting is that different people going into Google Search Console start to see different things. And I only just realized that until your website appears in Google News, you’re never going to see a Google News tab on your Google Search Console, same with Google Discover. So I guess if you don’t have those, what can we do to get ourselves into Google News and getting it onto Google Discover? Anyone got any thoughts or ideas on how you get into those tools, those areas, and get something on the screen.

Olga Zarzeczna

So I can give you an example from my own site. So I started my own site a year and a half ago and I was publishing very regularly and basically within two or three months, I started to appear in Google News. I sometimes even got more than 1000, 2000 clicks per day. But last year around November, I kind of stopped publishing so often. And starting in January, my Google Discover traffic practically died. So I think one of the things you need to do, you need to publish a lot, add a lot fresh content relatively often.

Dixon Jones

Did you register your site in Google News somewhere to start getting Google News traffic? Because I remember that used to happen, but I’m so old. That was 10 years ago and only sites that had ID numbers that were incremental in the URLs could get in.

Olga Zarzeczna

I don’t think that’s necessary anymore.

Sante Achille

I have some firsthand information. Alex, my son, he has a football site and he follows it regularly. He’s into the technicalities of the game, et cetera. And his site has picked up considerably over the past 18 months. So he too has been publishing regularly. I’m pretty sure that he did some kind of… He submitted the site to be featured in the News. But like you say, Dixon, in the past it was far more complicated and the URLs had to have a certain structure et cetera. So all that is gone now. I think what Olga touched onto is correct. I think the point is that you need fresh and accurate information. Once Google, let’s say, likes the quality and believes that the quantity you’re publishing is good enough, things seem to get quite simpler, let’s say.

Dixon Jones

Okay. Interesting. Natalie, I don’t know if you’ve got any thoughts on Google Discover or that. I’ve got a little bit of stuff on Google Discover. What I’ve noticed is that Google Discover, so for those that don’t know Google Discovery, if you’ve got an Android phone and it sort of appears on your phone as to what you should do to read today, I think is what it… I’m an iPhone user, but I do see when it appears in Google Discovery. It started to suddenly inject some life into my stats in Google Search Console, which is great. And what I have noticed is that because Google Discovery is based very much around topics, there seems to be a close relation between structured data and particularly entity based structured data and topic based structured data, and suddenly being able to appear in Google Discover, because Google can see a good match between somebody that likes hiking and a page about hiking that they think they’ll be interested in.

And that is a good, for Craig that talked about it before, that is a good way of doing outreach, using it, because it means that you are now, if you’re getting Google Discovery results, then you are getting into the eyes of people that are already attuned to that particular topic. And they’re going to read your content even though they didn’t see the content in the search results, which is kind of a useful thing, I think. I don’t know. Have you noticed ways of triggering the Google Discover, Natalie, those areas?

Natalie Mott

I’m just trying to think of the sites I work on that have news sections. It’s sort of popped up when it became a thing. I’m kind of echoing the thoughts of both Olga and Sante here. It’s no longer as difficult to get into Google News, but freshness is very important. I have a question but I know I’m not the presenter, Dixon.

Dixon Jones

No, go ask the question.

Natalie Mott

What are your views on… Remember the age old concept of query deserves freshness?

Dixon Jones

I do. I do. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And then the example that we used at the time was Katrina. And is it a band or is it a typhoon that… Not typhoon. What do they call them in America?

Sante Achille

Hurricane.

Dixon Jones

Big storm that hit. Yeah. Big storm that hit New Orleans. Yes. Yeah.

Natalie Mott

I’d be very interested in people’s opinions on whether it is still relevant in the way that it used to be or if things have evolved with the advent of other algorithm changes where it’s sort of the search intent seems to be much more baked into… I’ve just been interested in people’s views, really.

Dixon Jones

Olga, Sante, any thoughts?

Sante Achille

Yes. Sticking to our core subject here, which is the Search Console, it’s interesting at times to find how the algorithm can get things wrong by just seeing, identifying a few terms that are ambiguous and that can be interpreted in a different way. You will see that from time to time, a page will surface for a very strange unrelated search term, at least in the context of that website. And this has happened to me a number of times because of typos or things that where a word can be interpreted in a different way. I have seen that happen.

So it is indeed very important to be very careful about how things are structured, about how content is structured, and let’s say even the simplicity of your phrases and how they’re structured. Although search engines tend to publicize the fact that they’re highly intelligent, I tend to think of the entity search engine as a big, overgrown, very smart child. So it’s smart, but it’s always a child. And so it still needs guidance, it needs the direction, it needs the comfort of certainty, let’s say. And you can do that by making sure that all the content that you write is simple, let’s say.

Dixon Jones

I love the philosopher in Sante there. I’m going to go and say, I think maybe it’s not portrayed in the same way by Google, the concept, that I don’t don’t know if query deserves freshness is much in their documentation anymore. But I think that the idea that an idea becomes important does very much get triggered by Google. And I think for Google, it’s all about being able to understand when a new phenomenon, thing, whatever becomes important. So I think for them probably Google Trends is a very important tool in the background for them so that they can start to watch out for spikes and things.

And when a spike happens across many, many searches for a particular idea, it means that something has probably happened in the zeitgeist and they need to probably have some other algorithms jumping in to give fresh content more meaning, or stuff that they can see that they discovered after the date of the spike, probably for a period of time will have much more waiting, is my opinion, how it plays out. I’m not an expert. Well, okay, supposedly I am supposed to be an expert, but Google haven’t told me per se, shall we say.

Okay guys, there was one other thing, that idea of Google Search Console getting busier as it gets used more, I also saw in the enhancements reports as well. I was looking, comparing the different systems and in enhancement reports, some of them just had breadcrumbs as a tab, another one had videos and site link search box as a tab. And then I started looking and seeing another one with amp and FAQs and stuff. So I went to look into the documentation and there are absolutely… There’s about 50 different things that can come in all the way down to fact check schema and stuff. And it all seems to relate back to schema, different types of schema. So how much are you guys using schema these days compared to a couple of years ago, I guess is my last question. Or what kind of schema do you guys enjoy using? Anyone want to jump in? Olga?

Sante Achille

Okay.

Olga Zarzeczna

Sante, go ahead.

Dixon Jones

You’re not Olga.

Sante Achille

I’ve done a lot of, as you know, I mean, I’ve done a considerable amount of schema venturing off the beaten path.

Dixon Jones

You and I spent a lot of time on schema on Majestic stuff.

Sante Achille

Yes. Exactly. So let’s say that I’ve had very good results with the use of schema. I think there is an unidentified boundary that Google conceals, that goes to a certain, to a great extent, to conceal how much of that data they actually use to evaluate a page and the topics on the page compared to the amount of effort that they put into actually using that data to feature that page with a rich snippet and how closely is the structured data valued when it is compared to the content that is on the page.

Dixon Jones

Yeah.

Sante Achille

These are burning kind of topics because if your content, if it’s not laser focused, not very much in tune, let’s say, with your schema, how well is that schema? How well is the work that you’re doing and the effort that you’re putting into that schema, how is that going to pay you back? That’s an interesting piece of research that honestly I have not done, but it would probably be interesting to know.

Dixon Jones

Yeah. What I think Majestic should do is a competition maybe, and maybe that’s my next pitch to Majestic, or do a competition of how many different types of schema can you get in Google Search Console divided by the… Number of pages you’ve got in Google Search Console divided by the number of different featured snippet types that it’s picking up and see how efficiently you can get all of the things triggering. Do you guys all use Bing Webmaster Tools? There’s a lot of stuff in there. And if you do, what do you like? And that’s GJ’s question. We’ll lead out with that question, I think. Are you guys using the Bing Webmaster Tools? Olga?

Sante Achille

I am. I am using it.

Dixon Jones

Not you, Sante. You talk too much. I know. Olga?

Olga Zarzeczna

I do, although I don’t use it all the time. It has a bunch of kind of interesting tools there. One of them, it kind of can scan your sites, if I remember correctly, and kind of use some insights, technical SEO insights. So I use it, but I know I should and could use it more because this is a very nice resource, but I always kind of don’t have enough time to go there because there is a lot going on in Google Search Console and on the Google side.

Dixon Jones

Natalie, do you use Bing Webmaster Tools?

Natalie Mott

Not as much as I should. I get reminded that it exists every six months and, “Oh, yeah.” But probably more frequently, if I’m running Bing Ads, I recall there is Bing Webmaster and as Olga says, there are some great reports in it. It’s just, unfortunately, it’s a very Google centric world. Isn’t it?

Dixon Jones

I like Microsoft Clarity, I think they call it, which I’m sure is somewhere in with Bing stuff, where it’s kind of effectually showing you heat maps, which Google doesn’t do anything like that in Google Search Console. And it’s nice to see heat maps of where people are clicking or not clicking and paths through the site and stuff. So I think that there’s a lot going on on Google Webmaster Tools, or Bing Webmaster Tools. Sante, I’ll let you come in. I apologize for cutting you off there. It’s a good thing we’ve known each other for 25 years.

Sante Achille

It’s really just a matter, as everybody mentioned, it’s a matter of time actually. So data is a deadly addiction. You can just spend hours analyzing and asking yourself questions and trying to find answers, and answers just ask for more questions at times. And so at the end of the day, you tend to stick to, unfortunately I must say, you go with the flow and everybody is, as Natalie said, we’re Google centric, at least for now. And we tend to forget… The other aspect is that at least I do considerable amount of work on Italian websites. And the amount of traffic that goes by Bing coming into sites by Bing is extremely low.

Dixon Jones

Yeah, but if the analytical data is still telling you how to make your site better, it’s still quite a good thing. I’m sure Duane Forrester will be very unhappy… And Fabrice Canel will be very unhappy to hear that we are not giving Bing Webmaster Tools as much of a look in as perhaps we should, but we’re guilty. We’re guilty of time constraints, I guess. That’s the thing.

So another fantastic show guys. Thank you very much. I just quickly before we go for anybody that was interested, the output from the URL API, I think things like the time that it was last looked up and put in there, whether it’s mobile friendly, whether it’s indexed properly, and all the things that essentially are in the URL inspection tool on Google Search Console, but you can’t yet do it live. So it’s basically looking at what’s already indexed.

So just before I go, David, before I sort of ask everyone how everyone can get hold of… Well, let’s do that first then. Guys, how can people get hold of you if they want to know more, if they want to engage your services, where do they go. Natalie?

Natalie Mott

Mostly you’ll find me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Just search my name on LinkedIn. I think I’m one of the only Natalie Motts to exist.

Dixon Jones

So those on podcast, guys, that’s Natalie with an I-E and then Mott, M-O-T-T.

Natalie Mott

Yeah, yeah. Literally Google me. Should-

Dixon Jones

Google Natalie Mott. Yeah. Should do the trick. That’s the answer you want to give as an SEO consultant, isn’t it? And the problem is we can’t do that with Olga, because we can’t spell her surname.

Olga Zarzeczna

Unfortunately.

Dixon Jones

So Olga, how are we going to find you?

Olga Zarzeczna

Again, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also invite you to visit my website, seosly.com. So I hope you will manage to spell my name, to type my name and find me.

Dixon Jones

Olga is O-L-G-A, and then we go Z-A-R-Z-E-C-Z-N-A. I can’t even pronounce.

Olga Zarzeczna

Zarzeczna.

Dixon Jones

Zarzeczna. Yeah. There you go. Okay, Sante, how do they find you?

Sante Achille

Same. LinkedIn and Twitter are the easiest way. You can Bing me as well instead of Google.

Dixon Jones

Oh, good one in there. Good one in there. Savings face for-

Sante Achille

And yeah.

Dixon Jones

Good.

Sante Achille

Be more than happy to answer any questions.

Dixon Jones

Thanks very much. Now David, why don’t you come back in here and tell us about what’s happening on next week’s episode and help us out here.

David Bain

So I mentioned briefly at the beginning of the episode that next month’s subject will be internal linking. That’s going to be episode 26. It’s going to be on the 2nd of March at 1200 PM eastern standard time, 500 PM GMT. On that one we’re going to have Orit Mutznik. Orit has just started as SEO director at Forbes. So congratulations on the new role there. Looking forward to have Orit on there with Andy Drinkwater, andydrinkwater.com, and Mags Sakura from Intrepid Digital. Sign up at Majestic.com/webinars to make sure you don’t miss that one.

Dixon Jones

Excellent. So guys, it just leaves me to say, thank you ever so much for coming in to my panelists, Sante, Olga, and Natalie, and to the audience out there as well in podcast land. See you next time for another edition of Old Guard, New Blood. Bye guys.

Olga Zarzeczna

Thank you.

Sante Achille

Thank you very much.

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Comments

  • Thomas Greenbank

    I live in Australia. Will there be a replay of this?

    January 28, 2022 at 11:47 pm
    • Philip Aggrey

      Hi Thomas. yes, there will be a replay available on Youtube after the webinar concludes if you cannot watch it live. Philip. Majestic.

      January 31, 2022 at 3:34 pm

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