Diggity Marketing SEO News Roundup – December 2020

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

We’ve made it to the final month of the year, but that’s no excuse to slow down. This month has been a significant one for SEO knowledge. What you’re about to learn can help you rocket-boost your operations into the new year. First, I’ve got three deep data dives for you. You’ll get to review an analysis of real link building campaigns, what the research says about optimizing for snippets, and how to recognize the anatomy of an SEO attack. After that, you’ll review an unusually-rich set of guides. You’ll learn how to use Google Discover to drive traffic, how to leverage keyword mapping, and how to match the user intent to SERP features. Finally, we’ll look at the month’s most prominent news. You’ll learn the details of the latest December core update, what was covered in Google’s crawl stats announcements, and why auto-generated news stories dropped and then vanished earlier this month. 7 Real Link Building Campaigns Analyzed (And Why They Work) Mark and Gael of Authority Hacker bring us this intensive look at real-life link building campaigns. Multiple sites were put under the microscope to examine exactly what they were doing and how they were doing it. They covered high-ranking websites in all of the following niches: The two hosts examined the backlink profile for each of these sites and dissected what work was being done to build them. The first casino site——provides a great example of the type of things Mark and Gael were able to learn. They quickly pointed out how this site could attract high-value links from news sites by creating a “top party cities” feature that attracted local newspapers.  The CBD site they reviewed—Waytoleaf—ranked number #1 with tactics many might assume are outdated. They built posts on blogging sites and then promoted those posts with forum comment links. That work was apparently worth 800,000+ visits a month. These are just a couple of examples. The strategies were radically different but gave both sites top rankings in their niche. It’s worth checking out every site in this video to build some new ideas for your own backlink efforts. Now that you have some ideas for links let’s look at some data about on-page changes you can make to rule SERPs. How to Optimize for Google Featured Snippets [Research] A.J. Ghergich of SEMrush brings us this research into how to optimize for Google Snippets. The study looked at which keywords were involved, where they appeared in the results, and how the winners earned them. To complete the research, 1 million SERPs with featured snippets were isolated from 46 million different mobile searches. Patterns were pulled out of the isolated data to reveal some interesting statistics, including: The research revealed which keyword categories were most likely to trigger a snippet. In the top five were: The biggest priority for most SEOs is likely how to earn the snippet. The research had some interesting things to say here, too. Queries also significantly increased the chance of a snippet appearing, but the starting word made a huge difference. For example, 77.63% of keyword phrases starting with “why” triggered a feature, while phrases beginning with “where” triggered one only 18.59% of the time. That’s only a taste of everything in this large set of data. Actioning what you learn from these statistics may allow you to capture features like never before. Now that we’ve gone over some data about getting the attention you want, let’s take a look at some you don’t. The next piece covers the anatomy of a negative SEO attack. The anatomy of a negative SEO attack Manick Bhan, writing for Search Engine Watch, brings us this look into the most common types of negative SEO and what steps you can take to recover after an attack. He identifies the following types of attacks: For each of these, he shows you how they work and how they might appear when they first seep into your backlink profile. These examples are reinforced with images of how these attacks can be recognized in the wild. After that, he goes into the steps you can take to protect your profile from attacks. Depending on the type of attacks, He lays out some methods you can use to recover, including: That covers the research for this month. Now, let’s into the guides that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to be a better SEO. First, we’ll look at what Ahrefs has to teach us about how to rank and drive traffic with Google Discover. Google Discover: How to Rank and Drive Traffic Michal Pecánek brings us this guide into how to make the most of Google Discover—the automated personalized mobile feed that tracks and then delivers stories based on your online activity. Discover may be Google’s shot at providing the social media experience right from the search page, and it seems to be effective. As Michal points out, the Ahrefs blog had received over 150k clicks from Discover in just the last six months. Michal analyzed how Discover generates a feed, how it organizes stories into categories, and what caused people to click links. His advice includes: Michal closes by reminding us that outstanding performance on Discover is only a byproduct of applying these tips. Even without attention from Discover, these practices can improve your SEO and bring in more diverse traffic. Our next guide is also focused on how you can bring in a large spectrum of traffic. The writer argues that the right keyword practices can help you competitively rank for hundreds of different keywords. How to Leverage Keyword Mapping for SEO Success Viola Eva brings us this argument for the necessity of mapping. She defines the goal of keyword mapping as assigning a large target keyword cluster to each page. That cluster should include the main keyword, all variations, and the supporting keywords. She claims that large topic-spanning content pieces based around keyword mapping are vastly superior to multiple independent pages focused on one aspect of a topic. It hasn’t been very long that it made sense to focus on such a large body of words to do SEO properly. However, as Viola points out, this requirement opens the path to a lot of possibilities. For example, she shows the stats for a particularly well-performing piece of content built for a software client. Thanks to the ways this content was mapped, it is currently ranking for more than 600 different keywords, including: To try to target these keywords independently, Viola argues, would have significantly increased the risk of cannibalization. By mapping keywords based on a wide range of terms, you can create evergreen content with a long lifespan. She closes with some advice on how you can avoid cannibalization. You can use tools or just review the 1st page for each keyword in Incognito mode to determine if the same results come up. To follow up on this argument, Ahrefs has some freshly updated advice on doing keyword research for SEO. How to Do Keyword Research for SEO Tim Soulo of Ahrefs produced this recently-updated guide that takes you through the complete process of keyword research. This is a true beginner’s guide that will tell you everything you need to know from start to finish. It may also help if you’re an experienced SEO but haven’t updated your research procedures in a few years. In six chapters, it covers: Each chapter is filled with examples, images, and warnings about what to do if you run into snags. The Keyword targeting section is an excellent example of the kind of value this guide provides. It covers how to identify search intent and structure titles using your keywords to meet that intent. It tells you how to analyze any content you’re going to build based on the content type (for example, blog or landing page), content format (how-to, listicle, opinion piece), and content angle (with a budget, without a budget, etc.) If you’re the type of SEO who fields many questions from beginner friends, it’s the type of guide you can just link to and trust that they’ll get good advice. The keyword research tools it recommends at the end are all free, which makes it even more useful for this purpose. Our next piece moves into some more experienced territory. We’ll be looking at how to combine user intent and SERP features.  Successfully Combining User Intention and SERP Features Kevin Indig of Sistrix brings us this look at how to combine user intention and search features. As he points out early on, Google’s strategy for the future depends on search features. Through these visually-rich results, Google hopes to implant itself into the entire customer journey. Kevin claims that by focusing on a SERP strategy feature, he has doubled the traffic to his G2 family of sites every year. The rest of the article lays out the strategy that he uses. First, he highlights the importance of focusing on only Read More Read More

The post Diggity Marketing SEO News Roundup – December 2020 first appeared on Diggity Marketing.

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