Summary of SEO 101 Episode 378

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From Let’s Encrypt’s critical SSL glitch, to SEO WordPress plugins such as Yoast bugging out… bugs were a hot topic in this episode. Ross Dunn and guest host Scott Van Achte also cover issues with multilingual websites, some Mueller files, and a couple questions from SEO 101 listeners.

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Notes from SEO 101 Episode 378

General SEO News

Google: Hreflang Annotations Not Processed Until All Pages In The Set Are Crawled & Indexed

Let’s Encrypt Revoking Millions of SSL Certificates

This bug affects 2.6% of publishers who rely on Let’s Encrypt for their security certificate. That equals over three million websites.” –

Google Switches Completely to Mobile First Indexing

  • Switch will take place in Sept 2020 (Process started in 2016 – 4 years to get ready)
  • Currently 70% of sites have already been switched
  • If your site has not been switched, now is the time to take action
    • Ensure site is responsive (recommended). (Dynamic Serving or Separate URL’s are acceptable, but not ideal)
    • Ensure site load times on mobile are acceptable

WordPress Plugin Issues

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin by ExactMetrics

(Formerly GADWP)

  • Lost Google Analytics Data due to plugin issues being reported by many users.
  • Was posting unaffiliated tracking id (id for a different site!)
  • Unclear how many sites are affected
  • Fix by adding GA tracking code into wordpress theme directly

 Yoast & Rank Math

  • Issue with Canonical Tags on URL’s that use Unicode Characters 
  • Canonical is appending with “-/”
  • Manually check site to ensure that your canonical tags are correct
  • If affected, ensure to immediately update plugin when new version is released

Google tightens FAQ markup guidelines, disallows repetition of questions and answers

Can no longer markup the same question if it appears on multiple pages of the site. Just mark it up on ONE of the pages.

Mueller Files

Google: We’re Not Going To Index All Your Pages

Google: Nofollow Change Was A Policy Change; No Action Was Necessarily Taken By Googlers Yet


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.

Fred Sax: “My website is doing well in search rankings, but I am not available to see clients for a several months. I posted a notice that I am temporarily unavailable, but I continue to get calls.

While I am unavailable, I prefer to communicate by email. Should I just remove my phone number from my website? I think this would damage my search rankings, and I am selling videos on the website, so I still want high search engine rankings.

Another idea: conceal my phone number in white text; So that the spiders still see the phone number, but my customers do not. I realize this is an old black hat technique for keyword stuffing. Would I be penalized if I used it to conceal my phone number temporarily?

Or, do you have a different recommendation for discouraging calls while keeping the website ranking high?”

Zena Scott: “Can I please get your opinion of hamburger menus on desktop websites, please?”


End of Show Notes

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