Summary of SEO 101 Episode 372

The SEO 101 Logo for WebmasterRadio.FMIn the first show of 2020, John and Ross answered some SEO questions, reviewed the local SEO changes throughout 2019, shared insights into enterprise SEO, and discussed when 301 redirects are harmful.

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Notes from SEO 101 Episode 372

General SEO

Are too many 301 redirects harmful? –

  • Redirect Chains?
  • Server Load?

“Are these redirects parts of redirect chains? Or specific redirects like HTTP to HTTPS… If they’re not part of a redirect chain, I think you’re fine.” – John


At enterprise companies, SEOs cannot ‘do’ most of the SEO – Search Engine Land
Unlike in a small company, the SEO team in a large business enterprise can do limited actual SEO work.

“Sometimes it’s not about ‘Can you do the SEO?’ It’s about, ‘Can you convince someone else to do what [should be] done with regard to SEO?” – John

“Even if you’re an agency, just dealing with an enterprise level business can sometimes be a challenge.” – John

Local SEO News Segment

The big list of Google My Business changes, upgrades and tests in 2019 – Search Engine Land
This article lists down the key updates on Google My Business in 2019. These changes include four major Google algorithm updates and at least one major local algorithm update that is tied to neural matching.

A wishlist of improvements for Google My Business in 2020 – Search Engine Land
Local search expert Joy Hawkins shared the top 5 updates or changes she would like to see in Google My Business in 2020.


General News

Online tax-filing services can no longer hide free services from Google Search results – Search Engine Land
The IRS now prohibits online tax return software providers from keeping their Free File landing pages from appearing in organic search results.

Recommended for listeners:

Video: Matt Cutts, former head of Google web spam, on his days at Google, current work at US Digital Services – Search Engine Land
In this video interview with Barry Schwartz, former Googler Matt Cutts shared about his days at Google, his current work and more.

The Mueller Files

Our weekly section of commentary from Google’s John Mueller.A photo of Google's John Mueller

Google Explains How to Use Headings for SEO – Search Engine Journal

  • Mueller explained that keywords in headings will not necessarily make you rank better.
  • Headings are useful for communicating what the content is about.

“We’ve known for a while that the keywords and H1, H2, and H3 tags don’t carry nearly the same weight they did 10, 15 years ago.” – John

Mueller Tweets:
No bonus for using .com domains


Questions from SEO 101 Listeners

Ross and John also welcome some SEO-related concerns from listeners. Please listen to the show to find out their detailed answers to these questions.

Q: “When someone refers to a Technical SEO audit… What all would you say is included?” – Ian Cunningham

“I would start with looking at on-page sitewide… and structure of the site to the technology… anything that affects search rankings from a technical SEO standpoint.” – Ross

“The first thing to do when you’re talking about a technical audit is to determine how technical is the site.” – John

Q: “Does anyone else feel frustrated that GMB posts are behind standards of creating events? Mine are not listed by order of event date and you can’t make recurring events. Unless I am missing something?” – Carl Busch

“It’s a common issue you’re dealing with.” – Ross

Q: “What are some ways to see what is actually in the (not set) search query?” – Noah L.

“There’s a big difference between ‘not set’ and ‘not provided.’ Not provided is where Google has decided that they do not want to show you what the search query was.. And ‘not set’ — there is actually not a search query…” – John

Q: “When you look at the Google Search Console, what do you look at first?” – Noah Lam

“The first thing I did is I went to Overview.” – John

End of Show Notes

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