The first episode of the year started with a Google Search ranking update. The hosts then moved on to Yoast updates and then to unique SEO tips that you could apply to your website. Ross and Scott capped off the show with 2022 SEO predictions.

 

 

Noteworthy links from this episode:


 

Transcription of Episode 423

 

Ross: Hello, and welcome to SEO 101 on WMR.FM episode number 423. This is Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing and my co-host is my company’s senior SEO, Scott Van Achte. Happy 2022! I can’t believe it’s halfway through the month of January already.

Scott: It’s crazy how time flies. Happy New Year to you! I can’t talk, we we’re talking about this earlier, I’m bumbling over all my words. I don’t know. Maybe that’s my 2022 issue. Yeah, we’ll see. 

Ross: For me, it’s sleep. I just seem to be getting over half my night’s sleep these days, so I end up making some really brilliant moves, like shocking myself about how stupid I can be. Anyway, it bodes well for a good year.

Scott: I think that this year is actually going to be a good year. I had kind of a good omen this morning. My chair got stuck on something and I rolled it away and it was on a quarter. I picked it up, a random quarter on my floor from 1963, Canadian quarter from back when they still use real silver. I looked it up and it’s worth about $4. 

Ross: No way! 

Scott: So I found a $4 quarter on my floor. Like come on, that’s got to be a good sign, right? 

Ross: That’s you, though. You’re one of the only people I know who seems to win contests and gets flown to places.

Scott: It’s true. We’ve had some good luck. The only thing is, am I really gonna sell this quarter? It’s gonna cost me more in gas to drive to a guy who’s gonna buy it for maybe two bucks. So it’s just gonna sit on my shelf. 

Ross: Hold on to it. There you go.  Well, it’s high time we catch up on SEO news and there’s lots going on. We were a little surprised that it has… I don’t know, it’s been a little light on the news angle but let’s just jump right into this. 

Google Search Ranking Update On January 11th (Unconfirmed)

Google search ranking update on January 11. Yet another unconfirmed update but you know, Barry at Search Engine Roundtable does a good job of keeping track of these. There is some buzz going around that there was an update. There seems to be a lot of fluctuation, some action out there. Whether or not it’ll be an official update is a whole ‘nother thing entirely.

Scott: Yeah, I’ve started doing some digging. This update was apparently on January 11. I’ve done some digging into our client rankings and their organic traffic. We’ve got one client in Australia and his traffic jumped about 10% but there’s not enough data to really know if there’s a connection there or not, and 10% isn’t extreme by any means. Other than that, all the clients that I’ve looked at, you wouldn’t know that there was an update based on their rankings or traffic. Not to say there wasn’t an update but I’m not really seeing much of an impact of that. 

Ross: The other thing, too, is it’s so early. It’s interesting to know that but is it really gonna pan out over the long term? Who knows? Oftentimes, what we see is, it’s just going to solidify, it’s gonna stabilize. 

Scott: Exactly. I think if we look into it in about a week or so, it’ll be a better indication. If there’s a sustained growth of that 10%, I can maybe attribute it to a ranking update. If it is just a one day thing, it’s just nothing, really.

Ross: Yeah, that’s a blip.

Yoast SEO is Coming to Shopify

Ross: As I predicted in an earlier show, there is now a Yoast SEO for Shopify. I may or may not have heard about that before it came up but it’s just the same. I wasn’t supposed to know anything. Anyway, it is coming to Shopify and it’s long overdue. Even before I even had the thought of that, I just kind of expected it was there and I was shocked when it wasn’t. So I’m happy to hear it’s coming. It will be released on January 18. It looks like it’s $30 a month. Is that right?

Scott: Yeah, the cost is being listed as (I think this is on either the Yoast press release or might have been on a search engine somewhere that the cost is) $29 per 30 days. That kind of seems like a pain in the butt billing process there. A little under a buck a day. What I find interesting there with the cost is they don’t have a free version like, you know, everyone in WordPress uses free but I get why they might not, because it’s a whole new market. It’s also significantly more expensive than Yoast for WordPress. I think for Yoast premium, it’s about 100 USD a year. This is about three times as much money but I also don’t know what programming is involved in the back end to make it work with Shopify, maybe it’s just exponentially more difficult for them to program it and you know, the cost is warranted. I’m not sure.

Ross: There could be some royalty fees to Shopify, who knows. 

Scott: Yeah, there could be all kinds of stuff going on there but it is cool to know. We have some clients who use Smart SEO in Shopify, and I’ll be curious to see if I decide to recommend that they make the switch or not. Once it’s live, maybe one of our clients has a .dev site we can test it on or something. We’ll see. It sounds very promising, though. It’s so awesome for WordPress. I can’t see why people wouldn’t want to use them for Shopify.

Ross: Yeah, it’s early on. Yoast was bought and it’s…but not that it wasn’t before but now, it’s got bigger pockets. So it’s possible that unlike most first releases, they’ve already worked out a lot of bugs. Then again, who knows? So keep that in mind. There may be a lot of bugs in the beginning, there may not. Keep your ear to the ground if you have a Shopify site. Let’s say thirty bucks a month is not bad at all, right? I think this makes sense from their point of view, too, because we’re talking e-commerce here. You’re gonna be making money off it. A little more directly than just a simple WordPress website. 

Scott: Yeah, I  guess that’s true. If you talk about WordPress websites, Yoast is on a lot of blogs that may not be monetized so people aren’t going to pay 30 bucks, it’s just not going to happen. But on an e-commerce site, $20 is nothing if the site is successful that is.

Ross: Hopefully, anyone with a website and e-commerce, 30 bucks is nothing to your bottom line, even if you’re starting out. You’ve got to have some kind of budget for a startup. Anyway, this next one really kind of boggled me. I had never even heard of this before, but I’ll let you handle it.

Yoast & Keyword Tracking 

Scott: Yoast has now integrated keyword tracking within the WordPress plugin using rankings provided by Wincher. I feel bad I’ve never heard of Wincher. I know their website pricing is all in euros so maybe they’re big in the UK, I don’t know. Hopefully, the rankings are good. They look promising. I’m not sure who this will really apply to, how many people are going to take advantage of this but if you have a Wincher account and you’re using it, it kind of seems like a no brainer to integrate it. The costs may or may not be significant. Again, depending on your purposes here but if you don’t pay for Wincher, there’s a free option. It is kind of confusing because you’ve got Yoast and Wincher. If you have the free versions of each, it doesn’t really do a lot other than just playing with it. That’ll allow you to track up to five keywords and you can attribute up to one keyword per post. So really, it’s for a playground testing type purpose only, at that point. If you pay for Yoast premium, but you don’t pay for Wincher, then you still only get five keywords but you can track up to five keywords per individual posts. Again, you’re playing around a bit but it’s not going to be wildly useful.

Ross: That’s okay, though. If you’ve got lots of posts, for 1000 posts, are 5000 keywords being tracked?

Scott: No, it’s only five keywords total, across five different posts. If you pay for Yoast and not Wincher. If you pay for Wincher and not Yoast, then you can track a total of 10,000 keywords at one keyword per post. That’s where it actually starts to become useful because you’ve got, essentially, 10,000 posts you can do some level of tracking on, at one keyword each. Then of course, if you pay for Yoast premium and pay for Wincher, you can track 10,000 keywords still, at up to five keywords per post. There is a lot of like mumbo jumbo here but the point being is if you want to really utilize it, you kind of have to pay for both. Wincher fees start at 29 euros per month, which I think is around 30-35 USD.

Ross: I bet it’s for every 30 days.

Scott: Every 27 days. No, I’m just kidding. Then of course, Yoast premium is 99 USD. This would make sense for somebody who’s already using Wincher. If you’re already using Yoast premium, you could take some advantage of this. If you’re not paying for either of those, I’m not sure what Semrush charges for a one-site kind of basic plan because we have an enterprise level plan, I believe. Just using Semrush might be useful. I think there’s a good reason for this and there is a lot of value that can be offered from it but you know, there are a few variables in play there. 

Ross: I’m getting the feeling that Wincher is probably a tool that’s part of a company that bought Yoast. Maybe that’s why there’s this connection all of a sudden. It all happened last year so this is kind of coincidental. I don’t know. 

Scott: I feel like I want to look into that. You might be right or like they’re both owned by the same umbrella company or something. 

25 Unique SEO Tactics That Deliver Big Results

Ross: Alright. Anyway, I found this article on Search Engine Journal. I was scanning through them all as we usually do, and this one was a great article, not to say that’s very rare or anything like that, but this one particularly stood out for me by Brandon Gaille. Thanks Brandon, for a great article. The title is 25 Unique SEO Tactics That Deliver Big Results. Catchy, yes. Other than many that I read, this one actually seems to deliver on some really good ideas. I am not covering all of them. Here are some that really stood out:

  1. Create highly linkable original research posts by polling Facebook groups. As I understand this, again, this is my skimming of the article, but you would go to Facebook groups that you’re part of, poll people about a particular question that’s of interest and one that you’re researching. Get the responses and do that across different Facebook groups, and then create an original research article showing the results of each one in each group. Pretty interesting. I think that would be kind of cool. Or just simply aggregate them all. But it’d be very timely and you could probably infer some information out of there that would make it even more interesting and more linkable.
  1. Write posts on the most searched industry stats in your niche. Assuming you have a niche, know what people are looking for for stats and find them, try to assemble the top ones that people would normally be looking for all in one article.
  2. Get passive links year round by ranking position 1 for low competition phrases. This one made me a bit puzzled, but I looked into it. I’m quoting him here, “a study by Ahrefs looked at 10,000 non-branded keywords and found that position 1 on google receives a median of 24 do- follow backlinks every year.” Pretty interesting. They’d be low competition, not super searched but still has some teeth. Getting number one ranking for that can lead to fairly simple link building.

Scott: Which would definitely have that effect of more important phrases ranking. 

Ross: Exactly. It really does help bolster your overall authority and allow you to get the rankings you really want. It’s a good idea.

  1. Do interviews on podcasts with high domain authority sites. I’ve thought about doing this for our podcasts but it doesn’t really make sense [for us] but you could interview different high domain authorities, owners of different sites and get them to link to the podcast or your podcast. Or, again, I don’t know which one this is, but both make sense. You could be interviewed on podcasts with high domain authority sites and they’ll link to you. That’s probably more like what they’re thinking.
  1. Promote your most linkable asset with targeted paid ads. Good idea. If you have something that you find has legs, it seems to get links. Let’s do some paid ads to it. See if you can get some more at a much less cost than trying to do any kind of manual premium link building.
  1. Keyword tips is a whole section that I’m skipping. Not to say there weren’t any good ideas here, this is a little more detailed.
  1. For posts that ranked #3-10, add more content to the tail end of posts to safely move up the rankings. Another solid idea. Something we should probably do. Although our articles are so old now. Getting into them and maybe adding more to the tail end that you think could help push it up a bit, go for it. You still maintain the overall layout of that original article that was deeply thought out (well hopefully) and then you’re just adding value so it does have an opportunity to potentially move up.
  1. Write 40 – 50 word paragraphs to rank for more Featured Snippets. This may or may not work but.. I mean, look at how a particular article was written, if you’re going to look back at old ones. See if there’s ways to make specific paragraphs more concise and also highly relevant to a potential Featured Snippet. Now, this is all kind of its own science there, you can read a lot about how to get your own Featured Snippets, and I do suggest that, if you want to go that route, but it’s a solid idea. You can even write a new article that is focused on that.

Scott: I feel like that’s just good common sense as well because you start to get these longer paragraphs and people get lost in them, they don’t care. I feel like small digestible paragraphs are just naturally good writing to begin with. 

Ross: It is. If you wanted to do that and also really focus on the attempt to get a snippet then you would just make it a little more information dense, let’s say, or more query-based. Interesting stuff.

  1. Add a frequently asked question (FAQ) to the end of your post covering questions from Google’s People Also Ask. A brilliant idea. I love that one. Whenever you’re doing a search, you often see a thing in Google, People Also Asked at the bottom of the article, or ‘related searches’, that kind of thing. Well, perfect. Look at that and take that information and add it as an FAQ at the end of your posts, take each of those and then build on that.
  1. Use artificial intelligent SEO tools to make your post the most comprehensive post on that topic. It’s a little more controversial and you will certainly have to play around with the various gobs of tools out there. Holy crap! Every time there’s a new AI SEO tool, it’s a little overwhelming but there are probably ones that are better than others. I have yet to finally dig in and test them all or test a good chunk of them. They often have the ability to reformat content that you’ve written, or consolidate a whole bunch of content online that you can then rewrite. That’s a little more controversial, but the idea here is to make the post that’s based on using artificial intelligence to attempt a better result in terms of the layout and to rank and, of course, the comprehensiveness.
  1. Create stat infographics that have a 16:9 aspect ratio. I didn’t read this one, I added it in at the end there. I’m guessing that that will allow you to show up better in various things here.

Scott: There would definitely be, as infographics typically are, a bit of a link building component to that, I’m sure.

Ross: Yeah. It says here, “There are very few pieces of content that will generate backlinks and social shares like a stat infographic.  Step 1, do a search for a topic of your Google blog posts plus statistics.  Step 2, identify the top five most compelling stats.  Step 3, create a 16:9 image that highlights the stat and mentions the source.  Step 4 strategically place each of your stat infographics throughout your post.  Pro tip: using the 16:9 aspect ratio will make your stat infographic look great on desktop and mobile.” Interesting.  I mean, there are a lot more I didn’t write any more down. It says “25” after all, and they all have different overall themes. I think there’s three themes throughout. Anyway, I highly recommend checking that out. I loved it! I wouldn’t say that it’s as well as this but whatever I did write for wherever it was at the time, Search Engine Guide, I think was one I was writing for, I’d always try to put something really valuable together like this and I think this guy’s…I’m impressed. This is well done.  Alright, what is next here? But before we get into that, let’s take a quick break and when we get back, we’re going to talk about Google Search Console. 

Welcome back to SEO 101 on WMR.FM. Hosted by myself, Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing and my company’s senior SEO, Scott Van Achte.

Google Search Console Rich Result Report Error Handling Updated

Ross: Google Search Console rich result error handling updated. What’s this? 

Scott: That’s a big mouthful for not a lot. This is just another one of those little things. Google has been dealing with their reports and Search Console a lot lately and making changes and I wanted to include it because I don’t like it when people panic. Sometimes they see changes and they panic. What’s happened here is Google has changed the way it evaluates and reports errors in product structured data. That’s it. That’s all they said. So essentially, the way that Google is reporting on product structured data has changed so you may end up seeing an increase or a decrease in errors showing up in that reporting. I mentioned this so that if you’re seeing this increase or decrease, it’s not the result of something you’ve done to your website. If you’ve seen an increase in errors, Google’s just noting more of them, and you need to fix them, but nothing has actually changed. You haven’t been hacked. I mean, sometimes that’s the first gut reaction when you see a big change or big spike in errors is that “I’ve been hacked. What’s going on?” No, you haven’t. Or if you see a decrease in errors, it’s not because someone’s magically fixed them. I don’t know, I don’t know why you’d see a decrease necessarily. Anyway, this happened at the end of December. So if you’re seeing a change, any kind of spikes or declines in these errors, still fix them, of course, but no need to panic. Nothing weird is going on.

12 Important Image SEO Tips You Need To Know

Ross: Now this was interesting. Originally, we debated where this shit’s fallen, in terms of our layout here, but “12 Important Image SEO Tips You Need To Know” I can remember not long ago (to me not long ago) but it was probably 10 years ago, doing a lot of writing about image SEO. It was really getting its feet under it and it was quite a popular topic, then. It goes on kind of like a wave. It goes up and down. Some of it’s pretty straightforward, everyone sort of knows it. Why don’t you run through that one, too? 

Scott: Yeah, I just saw an article on Search Engine Journal. Anna Crowe wrote it and it caught my eye and I thought that a lot of it is 101 level stuff. It’s basic. It’s nothing groundbreaking or new here but maybe it’s things that you just don’t know. She had 12 important image SEO tips listed. I’m not going to go through all 12 just because some of them aren’t necessarily SEO related but they are relevant to image stuff. A few things here:

  1. Choosing the right image format. First of all, a png versus jpeg versus webP. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know much about webP except it’s a good idea. But things like png files are great if you need really high resolution. If you’re maybe a photographer or something like that, you can get that better quality but it does come at a cost where your file sizes are going to be a bit larger. So jpeg is kind of the norm. WebP, I feel like, it’s kind of the best of both worlds, is what I gather but I don’t know much about it.

Ross: Yeah, it’s pretty much taken over these days and thankfully. I don’t know much about it either, in terms of I’ve never designed in it or anything but as a file format, apparently, it’s highly efficient for web. That’ll be good news.

Scott: Absolutely. 

  1. Compress images. You really want the smallest file size possible to get the quality across what you want. I often use this little stupid image editor, it’s called IrfanView. It’s super easy. You open up your jpeg and you ‘Save As’ 80% quality or something like that. Typically, if it’s for screen purposes, you don’t see any difference but the file size drops dramatically. If you’re using plugins, which is what most people will be doing, they’re not gonna be manually doing this. WP Smush is one, there’s a million…I think Kraken does image optimization for compression, correct?

Ross: It does. I haven’t used it in ages. It does it more manually. There is a plugin too that will allow you to do it.

Scott: That’s right. So there’s a ton of different plugin options in that but make sure your images are compressed.

  1. Using unique images, which I never really thought of but it obviously makes perfect sense. It’s just like duplicate content. It just never really crossed my mind really, because I’m not doing design per se. But don’t just copy and paste random images online for lots of reasons. First of all, you’ll run into copyright issues, of course, but having unique images, you’re more likely to have them rank.

Ross: It’s also going to improve the overall stickiness and appeal of your website because who wants to see tons and tons of stock photos that we’ve seen everywhere else?

Scott: Yeah, exactly. I love it when you go to a small business website and they’ve got a picture talking about their business and a stock image of random people, as if that’s their staff when it clearly isn’t. Have a photographer come in or somebody with a new phone that actually is good. I don’t know. Just get some good pictures. 

Ross: Yeah, if you don’t have a big staff and you really don’t have an option there, maybe pay more of a premium for some images. You don’t have to do it for all the different images you use, but for those specific key images, get them from a really decent place, like Getty Images. It’s gonna get more money but because it’s more money, it’s going to be less often used. It won’t be as ubiquitous online. 

Scott: Yeah, absolutely. 

  1. Customizing image file names. I see this happen all the time and it’s so frustrating if you can’t do anything about it. Often, sites will be using their content management system or CDN and the images come across this big long, random string of characters for the filenames. If you can have a filename that says, “Red BMW” or whatever, I don’t know, but a file name that’s relevant to the image that can help you rank for that image. Customize the file names, don’t just have 1234.jpg, or whatever, make it relevant to the image.

Ross: Also customize the one that you get when you do download a stock photo. So many of them are just so obviously the original information from the stock company. 

Scott: Happens all the time. iStock whatever and then 400 different numbers.jpg. 

Ross: 

  1. SEO friendly alt text or alt attributes. Makes perfect sense here, right? I don’t know what they mean by “SEO friendly.” If you do alt attributes, it’s supposed to describe the image you’re looking at. When you add an image, there’s an option to add alt attributes just right in there. “This is a picture of a red BMW.

Scott: I would’ve written “bright red BMW.” 

Ross: I like it. If you do that, it’s meant for screen readers for the visually disabled to get an understanding of what they could be looking at, what’s showing on the screen. But it also just so happens to be really good for SEO because it describes the image. It’s a win-win. 

Scott: Perfect, yes.  The next is kind of along the same lines as the file names. 

  1. Having a good file structure, if you can. Even like WordPress, by default, think of something like wpcontent/uploads, which isn’t great. Honestly, I should know if you can, and I’m sure you might be able to customize that. I’m going to look into that after this. The same thing, if you have some CDN that you’re using or other content management system, sometimes you can’t customize that. But do it if you can.
  1. A lot of people might not think about this for image optimization, but optimize the containing page. I think most people probably do that. Anyway, if you’re thinking about image optimization, chances are your website is also optimized. But if you want an image to rank for a certain term, have it on a page that either ranks for that term or is at least optimized for that term. In a broad sense, at least, so make sure that things like title tags are relevant to the imagery on those pages and that sort of thing.
  1. Also define the dimensions in the code. Now, a lot of content management systems like WordPress do this now, you don’t have to really think about it in WordPress.

Ross: Does it? 

Scott: I’m pretty sure it does. When you’ve got the response, or maybe it’s Divi, specifically, that does it. 

Ross: You’re probably right. I don’t notice these things, you’re in the code more often than I am. 

Scott: Yeah. If you don’t define the dimensions of the image that when the website loads, it will load… eventually, it should look fine in most cases, but it kind of loads clunky and things bounce around. That can actually hurt your cumulative layout shift score with the page experience update, which has a very low impact these days but that will increase. By defining the dimensions, that helps with that. It helps keep your users from getting annoyed and it can help with rankings, apparently. 

Ross: 

  1. Mobile friendly makes them responsive. What that really means is it’s nothing to do with the images, it’s just that your outline of the page. I guess there’s a validity to this too when it comes to the image sizing. You know, you’re talking about image file structure and change in WordPress, this is also something that’s always sort of stuck out for me and I never get a chance, I never remember to research it. But ensuring that there’s a mobile version of an image so that it’s not just shrinking the image to make it work on your phone, but it’s actually designed for your phone. What you can do when you’re creating a desktop or creating a website of any kind, is create different images for the different viewing ports. So different handset sizes and stuff. It can get crazy, you could do it for every type of handset if you wanted to. I’m not sure how much that’s automatically done in WordPress. Ideally, you would have something that’s designed for that viewport. That way, yes, you’re still loading an image that’s the same, it’s just a different dimension but as a result, you can lower the file size dramatically. Are you aware of that or anything about that, Scott?

Scott: Not extensively, no. 

Ross: 

  1. Next is to include images in an XML sitemap. There is an image sitemap that you can have and this is really helpful for Google image search, or at least it was. Just  yet another thing I haven’t had to really work on in a long time. If you optimize an image, or include image sitemaps, I think most of it’s done automatically by Yoast these days.

Scott: Yeah, things like Yoast and a lot of the XML sitemap plugins do it automatically. Every now and then we run into clients or we do audits on sites where they’re not using plugins to do this kind of stuff. If you’re not using a plugin, create one or make sure you tick the option in the plugin to generate one or find a plugin that does it. That sort of thing.

2022 Predictions

Ross: Cool. Alright, we’re gonna round things out with something that John Carcutt used to love to do. You’ve already put some down here and I might just go with yours because I haven’t had a chance to write anything but I did have a little thing to add in the end. Anyway, these are predictions for 2022. What are we going to see? What’s going to happen in the Google verse and the search engine world? Why don’t you start with yours and I’ll try to put a few together.

Scott: As we’re getting ready to do this podcast, Ross says “We should do some predictions today.” I’m like “Great, I’ve got to get really creative really fast.” I should have thought about this two or three weeks ago and started putting something together. So if they’re not as entertaining or accurate as they probably should be, that’s just how it is because the next episode will be too late, because then we’re probably into February, and nobody wants predictions in February. So I threw a few together here.  The first one I threw up is, oh geez! bad choice of words, is Google’s core updates will continue on at least a quarterly interval, or possibly more frequently. We’ve definitely seen over the past few years, core updates are becoming more and more frequent. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we saw them monthly at some point. So there’s that. I think that’s fairly likely that could happen. Page experience updates for desktop will have little to no effect, or nobody will notice.If it’s anything like the mobile page experience update that we saw in 2021. I feel like the desktop one will basically be the same.  I do think that core web vitals for mobile will increase in importance, although probably nominally. I think that core web vitals, like I said just a second ago, launched with very little impact, really, but they are going to build from that. The page experience aspects are going to just grow in importance and it’ll probably be more incremental, we won’t see any big boosts there. Expect that they will become more and more important as the years go on. Similar to how secure websites kind of had the same thing. Mobile Friendly was kind of the same thing.  I think we’re gonna see more and more people talking about AI generated content. John Mueller even said, I think it was in December, that AI generated content will likely be permitted within Google’s terms soon. So right now, they kind of are against it but I feel like it’s a no-brainer that it’s going to come and it’s going to grow and people are going to be chatting about it more and more.  The last two are sort of tongue in cheek but I feel very possible. Google business profile will change names because it’s been about every 18 months that they change names, so why not? 

Ross: Yeah, why not cut that in half, you make it just sometime this year. 

Scott: It could be an annual thing.  Also, Google will shut down one of its popular services. I don’t know, I feel like Ross has a post on Facebook every few months like “Damn you Google. Why did you shut down ___? 

Ross: Oh, yes. I used to care and I used to do them but now, I stay the hell away from their new stuff. But whatever they shut down was something you really love and need. 

Scott: For sure. It’s gonna be something critical. It’s not some service you’d be like “What was it that they shut down?” It’s gonna be something big. 

Ross: I think it’s funny like one of the things that they launched and I stayed the hell away from hasn’t shut down, ironically. That’s Google Keep but I’m waiting, man. That’s gonna go. 

Scott: I don’t know what that is. 

Ross: Well, it’s kind of like Evernote for Google. They were pushing it pretty hard for a while there. So, a few for me here: Google will improve local SEO policing, finally. We’ve already seen and sort of building on what they did at the end of 2021 with some of the biggest changes to local SEO since the beginning, really. Where they really did clean up a lot of the issues such as too much text, too much keyword stuffing, and business names and stuff. Let’s hope they continue that trend and do some more of that this year. I think one of the ones they could be focusing on, it’s going to be one of the hardest ones, and it’s just probably pie in the sky but looking at whether or not businesses say they exist really do, and they could do that by using their local guides, and providing some sort of an incentive for them to go and take a photo. You know, you get extra points, if you take a photo of their latest location just to see whether or not they really do have signage and stuff.  Next, these are kind of fun. Well, this one is. Bing will steal more market share. Every year, it seems to just tweak like another percentage point. Give it credit, man. It might just be the turtle that wins the game, or at least impresses the crap out of us all because it does seem to earn more and more market shares. It’s really winning people over, not me yet, but it’s getting there. I just have an allergy to too much Microsoft. It’s bad enough that I use Windows. 

Scott: While you were talking… because I haven’t looked up market share for a long time. We used to look it up probably monthly and I do a little blog post about it but I feel like nobody cares anymore. So I stopped. I just quickly found a really quick chart. There’s probably more if I kept digging, but Bing’s global market share in the desktop realm has been steadily growing for about the past 10 years in 2009 – they were at about 2%, 2021 – they were right around 6%. It’s been kind of a steady increase for that whole period. I feel like that’s a pretty fair prediction. 

Ross: Yeah. Privacy based browsers and search platforms, I think, are going to be growing even more this year. There’s just no end in sight in terms of people’s distrust, and all it’s gonna take is yet another, and this is probably another reasonable guess is that, there’ll be a Google version of the Facebook whistleblower, at some point. Maybe this year, I’m hoping this year, that’s going to show just how much crap they’re doing. I just don’t trust them anymore, man. Especially, you think about these people who were kicked out of Google, who were actually fired because they were trying to enforce the Don’t Be Evil on Google saying, “Hey, guys, why aren’t you following this anymore?” It makes you wonder just how much they can’t talk about. That would be no surprise to me, if that came up. Search sites like DuckDuckGo, I think are just going to get more and more market share as well. Again, it’s going to be small but if any of these big changes happen, it could be a major leap too.  When will Google have its own cryptocurrency? Will it be this year? There’s so much cool stuff happening in that market that I wouldn’t be surprised. 

Scott: You just answered one of my predictions. Google will probably set up their own cryptocurrency soon, and then they’ll cancel it by the end of the year. 

Ross: Yeah, they’ll all go on a big trip and just shut it down. 

Scott: Yeah, exactly. 

Ross: Anyhoo, those are a few for us. The other element, I guess, is e-commerce. I’d add to this. E-commerce experienced a massive boom throughout the COVID over the last few years, and I don’t think that’s going to slow too much. I know that Shopify is seeing some drops in stock, its prices went absurdly high and there might be some correction there. No, I’m not a stock guy but I kind of keep track of Shopify because I’m fascinated with its growth. Maybe it will lose a little market share as more people spread out to different platforms, but e-commerce is killing it and it’s going to continue to, I’m sure of it. Well, there you go. We’ve got some tips there. They’re not bad for throw togethers. 

Scott: I think we did alright, all things considered. 

Ross: But we’ll see what everyone else thinks. I’m sorry guys if you don’t like it. We’re so sorry. Anything else you’d like to add? 

Scott: Oh man, I think my voice, I’m gonna lose it soon here. I think I’m good. 

Ross: Alright. On behalf of myself Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing and my company’s senior SEO, Scott Van Achte, thanks for joining us today. Remember, we have a show notes newsletter, you can sign up for it at seo101radio.com. Don’t miss a single link and you can refresh your memory of a past show at any time. Have a great weekend. Remember to tune in to future episodes, which air every week on WMR.FM 

Scott: Great. Thanks for listening everybody! Have a great 2022!