Not had a chance to keep up to date with the latest SEO news this quarter because *gestures broadly at everything*?
We’ve got you.
Read on for a rundown of the biggest stories and hottest topics in search right now.
The most popular stories from our Rich Snippets newsletter
Catch up on the ten most-clicked links we featured in our weekly Rich Snippets newsletter during the first quarter of 2022:
1. Is SEO Worth It? – The SEO MBA
The ROI of SEO is always a hot topic. So it’s no surprise that Tom Critchlow’s measured and reasoned go at untangling the hot mess of setting SEO goals – and your boss’s expectations – was the most popular story we featured in Rich Snippets this quarter.
Read the excellent article to be able to give a better answer than “it depends” the next time you’re asked to forecast the impact of your SEO efforts.
2. Importance of Semantic Network for SEO – Oncrawl
This is the fifth article from Koray Tuğberk GÜBÜR that’s made the shortlist of the most-clicked Rich Snippets stories of the quarter since we started writing these round-ups. When Koray publishes a new article, smart SEOs listen.
And if you’re a fan of his impressive guides to Python SEO or optimization strategies that leverage entities… this one‘s still going to hurt. It’s a long one, but also a brief and effective explanation of an incredibly complex SEO methodology.
If you’d rather to see “On fire – covered in murder hornets” in Search Console than the blank stare of “Discovered – currently not indexed”, this article is for you.
Why should you read this article? Because 100% of the websites Tomek examined were impacted with one of the tested pages still trapped in Unknown coverage six months after Google initially visited it.
4. Regex For SEO: A Guide To Regular Expressions – Search Engine Journal
Regular expressions are one of the most powerful tools in the SEO toolbox.
But let’s face it: trying to read or write a regex statement for the first time is like trying to decipher ancient hieroglyphics.
- Common regex operators
- More advanced regex filters for SEO
- How to use regex in Google Analytics and Google Search Console
All without incurring the wrath of Ra!
5. The harmful consequences of Congress’s anti-tech bills – The Keyword
Long-time Rich Snippets readers know we love watching Google’s legal battles (and PR moves) against legislation posed to curb its pervasive reach.
This time, the showdown is stateside. And zero-click SERPs are on the line.
This is definitely one to keep an eye on. This legislation is a big, complicated ball of good intentions and unintended consequences.
6. The eCommerce Technical SEO Framework: Making the Ambiguous Approachable – The Gray Dot Company
In a world of “it depends”, content that follows with “but it’s probably this thing” can be a life saver.
Enter this behemoth of an article from Tory Gray, which covers the most common e-com tech SEO issues – and how to actually fix them. It’s well worth a bookmark (and possibly sending Tory a bottle of nice bourbon), especially if supply chain issues are leaving you with plenty of out of stock products.
7. Rendering patterns – patterns.dev
8. Write high quality product reviews – Google Search Central
Own an affiliate site (or thinking about starting one)? Then be sure to study Google’s recently updated guidelines around how to write product reviews. They contain a 14-point checklist every quality product review needs to hit that emphasizes using “your own original research” and “to consider including links to multiple sellers”.
If you ignore these best practices and your affiliate site drops off the face of the SERPs, don’t say Google didn’t warn you…
9. Google Autocomplete: A Complete SEO Guide – Search Engine Journal
Like an overeager conversationalist, Google is always trying to read your mind. The suggestions it gives you as you’re typing a search can be useful, funny, or problematic. Sam Hollingsworth wants to show you they’re also insightful.
This article covers Google autocomplete’s basic mechanics, four ways to leverage the ubiquitous functionality, and details on autocomplete policies.
10. What I Learnt from Analysing 7 Million Log File Events – Screaming Frog
Actions speak louder than words. And server logs are the Holy Grail of what search engines are actually doing on your site.
They’re an incredible way to side step “it depends”… if you have the means to process all that data in a meaningful way.
Burning questions answered include:
- Are 404 status code pages crawled more than three times?
- How long does Googlebot crawl a 301 redirect for?
- How often does Googlebot crawl paginated pages?
The hottest topics in our Slack community
Get your finger on the pulse of the hottest topics from our exclusive Slack community during Q1 2022:
1. Has anyone cracked annotations in Data Studio?
Earlier this month, Sam Wright asked if anyone has managed to crack annotations in Data Studio.
2. Are these links spammy?
A TTT member just starting out on their SEO journey thought some links they’d bought on Fiverr looked a bit suspect, so asked the community for a sense check.
Vladimir Fefer, Frank Jones, and Dave Nilsson helped them understand how to identify them as spammy directory links and where to go from there. Then the fantastic Kyle Faber hopped in to walk them through how to handle the situation and how to approach link building going forward.
3. Ian preserved a bit of SEO history
TTT co-founder Ian preserved a little piece of SEO history earlier this year and the community was here for it…
4. Goodbye UA, hello GA4
TTT members’ reactions to the news that Google Analytics 4 is replacing Universal Analytics next year ranged from “No. This is the hill I die on.” to “I hate this with every fibre of my being.”
Hate GA4 as much as most other SEOs? Fathom was the most recommended alternative in this thread.
5. A HARO masterclass
What began as Leslie Gilmour sharing the impressive results he’s seen after a month of HARO link building turned into him giving a masterclass on exactly how he’s cracked the HARO code with a contractor.
6. An Overview of Wordpress Hosting Options From Someone Who Spends like $4,000 a Year On Hosting With Nothing to Sell You and No Affiliate Links: A Thread
In an aptly titled thread, our marvelous Community Advocate Sean Markey schooled the community on all things hosting. This one is a must-read for anyone weighing up their hosting options or looking to switch provider.
7. AI content ideas
The terrific Kristin Tynski recently trained OpenAI’s Davinci model on 3,000 data-driven content marketing ideas that the team at her agency Fractl has come up with over the last few years. The result: a creative “hivemind” based on how Kristin’s team thinks about ideas that will be likely to garner press.
Kristin kindly invited TTT members to submit topics to feed to the Fractl creative hivemind to put it through its paces.
Here’s just one mind-blowing example written entirely by AI on the topic of “holidays and observances”:
The American Holiday & Culture What holidays do Americans look forward to the most? How has that changed over time? Are we as a culture becoming more vacation-centric or less vacation-centric over time? Is there a day of the week that Americans are most likely to get engaged or married? Are we as a culture becoming more healthy-centric over time? Does technology play a role in what we look forward to most (e.g., new phones, new TVs, etc)?"]
8. How do you incentivise in-house writers?
When a TTT member asked the community how they incentivise their in-house writers, TTT MVP Joel Klettke stepped up with a masterclass in managing writers.
Here’s a nugget of Joel’s advice from an epic thread that hit 26 replies:
“Keeping writers happy is about variety in the work, meaningful feedback, meaningful pay increases. Just writing gets old with time for some writers – where can they contribute to strategy? How could you introduce/sustain peer review? How can you create a sense of purpose and meaning for them as individuals and for the team?“
9. How I’ve Consistently Found Amazing Writers (That I Don’t See Anybody Else Talking About)
In another Community Advocate post, Sean walked the community through his underutilized approach to finding top writing talent. In this epic thread, he shared where he looks for amazing writers, the exact script he uses for the job post, and the questions he asks promising candidates to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.
10. How did TTT’s members get started in SEO?
When Michael Williams asked the TTT community how they got started in SEO, our members shared the weird and wonderful ways they stumbled into this industry.
Origin stores ranged from building websites while at military boarding school to launching an e-commerce site selling outdoor gear to making one-page porn sites and slapping affiliate banners on them.
Want to keep up to speed with all things SEO without having to wait until our Q2 update? Sign up to our weekly Rich Snippets newsletter and join Traffic Think Tank to get real-time updates and join in on the discussion.
And if you missed them the first time round, don’t miss the insights from our quarterly highlights from Q4 2021.