The hosts started the show by reminiscing on the beginning of Search Engine Land, which is now celebrating its 16th birthday. Next up, was the New Google Search Status Dashboard which reports widespread issues for site owners. Other topics discussed include the latest news on the Google Helpful Content Update that targets low-quality content created, a new Link Spam Update that’s about to roll out in 2 weeks, and much more!



Noteworthy links from this episode:


Transcription of Episode 443


Ross: Hello, and welcome to SEO 101 on WMR.FM Episode number 443. This is Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing, and my co-host is my company’s Senior SEO, Scott Van Achte Our last show before 2023. Wow.

Scott:  This year went by quickly.

Ross:  Yeah, it really did. In some ways, and then some other ways it didn’t, you know, typical, but it’s been a good year overall, I guess. I think I have to sit down to think about it. But I think so.

Scott:  I think you know what? We survived. We’re here.

Ross:  We’re alive. Exactly.

Scott:  Yeah. You know, we all woke up every day so far this year. So that’s, you know, what else can you really need?

Ross:  Let’s go with that. I like that.

Scott:  Yeah.

Ross:  All right. Well, let’s start off with a birthday.

Scott:  Yeah, happy 16th birthday, the Search Engine Land, and they turned 16. I find it hard to believe it’s been around since 2006. I feel like it wasn’t that long ago. But I guess it has been.

Ross:  It doesn’t feel like it was because that was the switch from search engine watch where Danny was to Search Engine Land, which was his creation.

Scott:  Yeah, 16 years ago. I just

Ross:  It felt like not that nearly that long ago. And I remember how much I despise the name.

Scott:  Do you still, though?

Ross:  It’s grown on us. I don’t know.

Scott:  So, are you going to sing Happy Birthday?

Ross:  No, no,

Scott:  I’m not either. I’m sure there are zero listeners that want either of us to sing that, but I will make this pledge, though. If a thousand people join our Facebook group. I will sing Happy Birthday on the next SEO 101.

Ross:  Oh, there you go. Everyone. Yeah, you got to get make that happen, Facebook group.

Scott:  And they won’t because zero people want me to sing it. So that’s actually, if we don’t get a thousand people, maybe I will. You better sign up, or I’m going to start singing. I’m still looking.

Ross:  Thank God for editing.

Scott:  Just bleep me out.

Ross:  Or on someone else’s voice.

Scott:  Oh, that could be fun. We can use AI. An AI Happy birthday message.

Ross:  AI episode will be covering a few things

Scott:  Yeah, no kidding.


New Google Search Status Dashboard

Ross:  All right. Well, let’s jump into SEO news. The new Google Search status dashboard. I don’t know much about this. So, fill us in.

Scott:  No, it’s just a small little thing. But it’s kind of cool. Google has launched this new status page. You can look at And it’s really simple. And it just shows crawling, indexing, and serving issues of the last seven days, if there are any. So, for the most part, you won’t really need this tool. But if you suspect there’s an issue going on at Google, maybe your site isn’t getting crawled. You’ve got some new content. You’re like, I wonder if it’s me, or if it’s possibly an issue at Google, you can check out this tool. And if there is a crawling issue, it will show up there. So then, you know, maybe that will help take some mystery out of any troubleshooting you happen to be doing. Not necessarily something you have to check every day. I would only check it if you suspect a problem and you want to confirm your suspicion. But, you know, a lot of website hosts have been doing this sort of thing forever. Checking for statuses of uptime and all that kind of stuff. So, it’s good to see Google do something similar.

Ross:  I know a few clients who are website helicopter parents that are going to be all over that.

Scott:  Yeah. Oh, for sure. I know a few for sure. Every day, they get seven less clicks. What’s going on?


December Google Helpful Content Update

Ross:  Yeah, well hear about it. They’re very good at what they do. But they are a little high-strung about their sites, and I get it. It’s their source of income. But we chuckle sometimes. And I, actually we know they do, too. They realize it. So, oh, more updates about the Google helpful content update. That makes sense. Yes. Is it? Okay. It began on December 5th.

Scott:  On the first day of Christmas

Ross:  Lead away

Scott:  Yeah. Began on December 5th, I’m not going to.

Ross:  I set the scene.

Ross:  Oh, I am not a good storyteller. I’m tired, man. You got kids, you know. Yeah, so I’m not going to say that first. But again, it is a global update impacting all languages. I believe all the helpful updates have been like that. The gist of the helpful update is the same. It targets low-quality content created primarily for search. The system has now been updated with additional signals to help Google identify content created for search versus people. Kind of the same, just like a new iteration of the same helpful update. The rollout should take around two weeks to fully roll out. So, Merry Christmas, internet. Here’s a rollout that will end right around Christmas Day. So, they’re good at that, aren’t they?

Ross:  Yeah, they are. They no longer treat this time of year as sacrosanct. They just roll them out.

Scott:  Yeah, so they’re going to be some people scrambling. Hopefully not too many people. If you’ve got a good site with good quality content, you don’t have to worry, it’s really that simple.


December 2022 Link Spam Update

Ross:  Unless you’re worried about the next update, the December 2022 link spam update began on December 14.

Scott:  Thanks. That’s very helpful, I think, but not in the update kind of way. December 14th is when that started, and I’m going to keep repeating you this whole episode. I can’t help, but you start it, and I go to the notes. I just start at the top, you need to delete it when you say, and then I won’t repeat it. Again, all locations and all languages have two weeks to roll out.

Ross:  You copy-pasted.

Scott:  I did not copy and paste this. It kind of seems like I did, though, doesn’t it? It’s like the exact same. This next line is different, spammy links are neutralized, and credit passed by them will be lost. So, this is where it makes a difference. If you have a lot of really low-quality inbound links to your site but are still managing to pass a little bit of credit to your website, some of those are not going to pass credit anymore. So, if you see a ranking decline, it could be because you have, you know, not bad links. But yeah, bad links. I guess you have links that were useful, and now they’re less useful.

Ross:  Crap, it’s all crap.

Scott:  On the flip side, if your competition has really bad links, and you don’t, you might see a boost here. So, you know, that’s good.

Ross:  This is just really a bigger push than what they already do, which is neutralizing, and any credit passed by little quality links, I guess, is just a bigger push because they’ve updated their spam brain.

Scott:  It was very dramatic.

Ross:  It was. It must be all the sugar from that yogurt I just had anyway. They’re trying to improve it and look for spam out there. Anyone buying links, anyone that, I mean, honestly, if you’re buying links, and they’re so low quality that they can be picked up by spam brain, then you kind of set yourself up, I’m afraid.

Scott:  You’re buying links from the wrong place. That reminds me, a year ago we had a client. He wasn’t a client, but he was. At the time that he was not a client, he went out, and he bought tens and tens and tens of thousands of links for like forty-nine dollars, you know, one of those, and his site was totally trashed. It was gone. He was penalized back when everyone talked about penalties. And they were like real solid things. And it was just like a total complete disaster. I can’t remember how we fixed it for him. Somehow, maybe we switched domains, I don’t remember what happened, but it was a result of buying cheap, cheap, bad links. So, if somebody’s still doing that right now, just stop it. Just don’t do that anymore because these are the updates that’ll hurt you, so.

Ross:  And I realized this sounds very biased, but if you really want to go that route, use a company like ourselves, who’s done the homework, and made sure that, like, we have zero interest in doing links, unless if it’s going to cause us a lack of sleep because our clients aren’t doing better. So, if we’re going to get links for you, we’re going to make damn sure that they are going to have lasting power, and they’re not going to cause any issues. So, you know, I can’t speak for every agency. Sure, I can, there’s a lot of garbage out there. But you know, pick a reputable company, and go that route. Yeah, you’ll pay a little more, but a whole lot less than if something goes wrong. So, you get what you pay for in this circumstance, even more so than many other aspects of SEO. It’s just too dangerous to mess with.

Scott:  Absolutely, yeah. You’re better off if you’re going to buy bad links. You’re better off just building good content, you know, don’t worry about links. Yeah, if you can’t afford good links, don’t link build.


Content Ideas May be coming to Google Search Console

Ross:  If you can afford, yeah, I mean, if you’re going to spend that little money on links unless you’re trying to hurt another company, which I know people do. It’s really not going to have any effect. And you know, if you’re going to spend a lot of money on links that turn out to be pretty bad, why not just spend that on a great content writer and brainstorm some great ideas for content and get them written well? Yeah, it’s just going to pay off so much better. And you’re adding value for readers, your actual clients, your customers, they’re going to have something to look at, and it’s going to draw more eyes. It’s just win-win-win-win-win. It compounds, and it wins so well. we’re all about the compound wins. Can of it. Okay. content ideas, maybe coming to Google Search Console. Ooh, may.

Scott:  Maybe, oh, this should be in our future predictions. I screw that up. I’m officially adding that later under my name. So, Barry reported on this, about this at Search Engine Land, and he hasn’t actually seen it for himself. He was seeing screenshots from Nicolas Ockier. Sorry, I don’t know your name. I know I’m saying it wrong because I’m good at that. Anyways, what it’s looking like is Google Search Console is testing a feature where it’s similar to when Google Question Hub was all in the news. Everyone was talking about Google Question Hub a year or two ago. Similar to that, you log into Google Search Console, and there are going to be content ideas and suggestions right in Search Console. So, if Google sees a topic that you have no content on, and they have minimal content, and they feel it’s a good fit for you, they will suggest that you create that content. So, if you ever see this show up in your Google Search Console, which you might see now, take a look. You probably won’t. It sounds like it’s a very limited experiment at this point. If you do see it, take the advice, and create the content because it’s needed content. And nobody’s out there with it. And yeah, like, run with it. Like I’m going to add that when it shows up. That will be in every single audit we do. And every client we do, we’re going to be watching for that because that’s gold. Well, potentially gold, anyways. We’ll see what happens when it launches.

Ross:  And it’s just yet another reason why you need to have access to your Google Search Console. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, definitely, do a search for Google Search Console in Google, and fill out the information and get access to your site and let the information fill. It’s going to take a little time. And you’ll be amazed at what you can find and be confused.

Scott:  It’s super confusing, too. For sure, a lot of people will be.

Ross:  And fair enough, you know, even if you get something out of it, it’s going to be worthwhile. The best, most probably reliable aspect of it is, at least, you will know if Google finds something wrong with your website. It’s going to alert you because you’ve actually gone and taken the time to log in and create your Google Search Console account. So, claim it, access it occasionally, make it a monthly task. If you’re not, of course, using a company that’s doing it for you, we do this already for all our clients. But, you know, this is something you need to do. If you haven’t already done so.

Scott:  Yeah, so that’s cool. Yeah. And ish

Ross:  Had something to say on LinkedIn about robots.txt. He says a robots.txt file that returns a 500 or 503 status code for an extended period of time will remove your site from search results. Even if the rest of the site is accessible to Google bot. Wow.

Scott:  You know, I thought, wow, as well. And then the more I think about it, the less wow, and the more yeah, duh, is where my mindset goes.

Ross:  That was very not diplomatic, I like that.

Scott:  You know, I try to be, and the reason this seems obvious to me now is that if you don’t have a robots.txt, and you just show a, you know, 404 error, Google knows you’re not trying to tell Google to index are not indexed certain content. So, they’ll just index it. Great. If they find the tag, they find the file, and it tells them what to do. They’ll just follow that. But if the file is showing an error, there’s a server error. Google doesn’t know if you want them to index your site or not. They don’t have evidence for sure that says, hey, don’t index this chunk. And one thing that Gary had said was, you know, without that file, we might index Martin’s awkward hat pictures accidentally. So, you might have content that needs to be blocked that is sensitive. Google can’t find that robots file to tell them what to do. So, they just say, Uh, Oh, we don’t know what to index here. So, everything goes.

Ross:  Yeah. It’s one of those errors that, from an SEO perspective, like an auto perspective, it would be cool to find but not necessarily easy to find either, would it?

Scott:  I don’t know. I would expect that because we check the robots.txt with every audit we do. And I, in almost 20 years now, I have found zero instances where there’s a 500 error for the robots.txt file. I’ve never done that.

Ross:  It will definitely make us wonder. But I don’t think I would have thought that that would be the reason for, well, maybe I would have. It would have definitely been weird enough. And if they had their site removed, then yeah, I would definitely have raised enough bells.

Scott:  Yeah, like now, we’ll know.

Scott:  Now we’ll definitely know.

Scott:  I like to think that I would have been smart enough had I seen that to investigate further and not just say, you need to fix us. I think I would have been smart enough to say this is major. Well, now I am, you know, and thankfully, I learned about this before we ever encountered it. So, there we go. Thanks, Gary.

Ross:  Yeah, and exactly. It’s one of those things that we would have told them to fix anyway, so they would have restored their rankings anyway, or whatever. But it’s really interesting when we get these little tidbits from Google. I would never have thought of it even possibly happening. I don’t even know how you could trigger that status code.

Ross:  Bad web host, I guess.

Ross:   I guess. All right. So, this is a bit of a tradition. I know we’ve flubbed it a couple of years, but we’re doing our predictions for 2023. Cue the music. All right, rascal.

Scott:  I’m always terrible. 

Ross: said to me, let’s do predictions. I’m not feeling creative. So, he is going to be better than mine. I’m just going to say that right now.

Ross:  Yours is good. So, mine are AI-based. Have been in lots of AI research and essentially machine learning algorithms for writing. And it’s fascinating to me. There’s lots of really interesting, high-quality content out there that can be written using AI. And it’s no doubt a game changer. I’m sure you’ve all heard about it or seen ads for new AI this and that. So let me just expound on this with a few guesses for 2023. Number one, Google will continue to try to improve its AI content detection algorithms, but they won’t have much success, and AI content creation will explode. As a consequence, Google will have to tighten up its credit for the original poster of information to reassure original content creators. A pause. I know that’s a bunch. So, Google right now is, I don’t think I’ve heard them upset about it. They’re just saying that they don’t want to see a lot of AI-created content. I think because they see it as being low quality. And absolutely, that’s possible. AI content is out of the box, not the best content. It’s damn good, though. And, of course, I’m only using high-quality stuff. I mean, they cost money because people are using the lesser quality and maybe the very basic AI content creators. I can see how those would be needing a lot more work. At any rate, Google’s trying to detect it has a very good success rate right now for the low-quality stuff. And people’s, you know, their content isn’t going to rate very well. So, they’re going to try and tighten that up. But all the people who create original content are going to be freaking out of it here because AI can’t create content unless it’s already been digested, you know, actually trained on content like that. So, their original content will be the focus of many AI, machine learning algorithms, and people could try to duplicate it. By using this, and they already have in the past, using spinning algorithms, all these different things that take a piece of content, rewrite it in many different ways. And they try to trump the original creator. Well, I think this is just going to put more pressure on Google to give us credit. If we write a fresh, really intelligent piece of content, we’re going to want it protected. And there are going to be lots of pissed-off people as AI takes over and starts to take that credit away from them. Next, AI content debunking articles will be all the rage, highlighting the clear deficiencies of AI content creation for site owners that want lasting benefits. I’ve got more to say there, but essentially, to break that apart. Right now, a lot of people are more, so people are saying, well, AI content really isn’t that good, you know, don’t get too excited about it. There are lots of ways it doesn’t work. And that is absolutely true. But you’re going to see a lot more of that as people jump on that bandwagon. This includes creating any content with a new viewpoint or tutorial for a new product or service. So, if you are creating anything like that, that’s good. I mean, again, AI can’t recreate something that hasn’t already been digested. Actually, I should say machine learning algorithms can’t. It is a form of AI, but it’s not true artificial intelligence. It’s not. It can’t make things up. It has to have a basis to work from. So having a true viewpoint tutorial, all these different things, none of these, these tools can yet do that. Also, product reviews, they can’t do, obviously, unless there’s already been one done and has digested that information, and any kind of thought leadership content. As a result, we’re going to see a greater push for people to create more thoughtful content. Next, automatic AI-written sales emails and email newsletters will be the rage. I can see it already. I was doing a little poking around. I can see the tool coming out already. In a way, it’s not a bad thing. Newsletters are a pain in the butt to do. The only problem is it’s going to be. There’s going to be more of them to pick from and choose from. And I think people will be getting a little bit of newsletter blindness, kind of like banner blindness. It’s going to be a bit overwhelming, simply because everyone’s going to be asking you for a newsletter to sign up for, and the content quality may be dropping.

Scott:  I see a flipside to that too, though, where, and I bet this will happen. Maybe not this 2023. Maybe in a couple of years after that, but where AI will write newsletters that are more individually tailored to each person that’s being sent to? Because right now, you can’t write 10,000 newsletters a week for 10,000 subscribers, but AI could.

Ross:  That’s a good thought. Yeah. individually, finish that thought there, I’m writing, but I think we’re just adding to our show notes now. It’s a good thought. I think it’s also going to be very beneficial. For example, we create our show notes newsletter. I’ve always wanted to have one. We’re going to this year, that’s the goal anyway, to have one of the more tailored newsletters from Stepford again. We actually built a company one year ago, we did one weekly, I think it was crazy. It was once a week or every two weeks.

Scott:  It was every Wednesday; we were doing content.

Ross:  We were whipping it out. And we’re not necessarily going to go back to that kind of level. But we do put up a lot of content out there that’s not newsletter based, but easily an AI could take that information and break it into a newsletter, that would be very beneficial to everyone. So, I’m considering that and looking at options. They could take information from the podcast, and there are lots of little snippets from our podcasts that can be used. TikTok, we’re doing a little of that, most experimenting with that. LinkedIn, you name it, some interesting stuff could be done. And my last tip, before I hand it over to Scott, the Yoast plugin will build more entity-level optimization tools for Premium subscribers. It’s just a guess. But this is a little more, a little above SEO 101. But entities are an important part of optimization. Yoast already has some components that are built in. But after seeing some of the new technology out there for this, I’ve seen it as a pretty obvious add-on for them. Either in 2023 or the next year, but I’m guessing 2023. So, they’re going to be included for premium subscribers or an add-on on top of that. All right. Go for it. Got


List of Google Search Ranking Updates

Scott:  Mine seems so boring in comparison. Now you can go for a coffee, and no, I’m just yeah, so obviously, I feel like Google will dramatically increase the frequency of their major algorithmic updates. I did a quick dig in 2020. There were three. Can you believe there are only three major updates in 2020? 2021, there were 10. And actually, surprisingly, in 2022, there were also only 10. When I was looking that up, I would have sworn to be way higher because I feel like the last six months have just been updated like crazy. Every single episode of SEO 101, we’re talking about multiple updates. I think 23, I bet we hit 15, maybe even 20 algorithmic updates that are worth mentioning. I mean, they have daily updates, but these are the ones that are worth talking about. So, I think that’s going to really increase and keep everybody on their toes. A few months ago, we were talking about Google lens. And some of the SEOs were talking about, you know, why is Google lens data not appearing in Search Console. John Mueller noted that lens is just too new. And I feel like, within the next year, we’re going to start to see that show up in Search Console, some of that data will appear, if not this year, coming up, maybe 2024. I feel like that’s a no-brainer as that becomes more popular, assuming it does. Another one here.

Ross:  What would that mean for our listeners? What does that mean?

Scott:  So, people who are searching with Google, I don’t use Google lens, so I don’t know a heck of a lot about it. But for people that are searching using Google lens to find information, any of that data doesn’t appear in the Search Console right now. So, we can’t see impressions and clicks and all that kind of stuff within the search console. And I think the problem is there’s just not enough data for Google to incorporate that. And I feel like they’re going to.

Ross:  So, for listeners who don’t know what a Google lens is, essentially, it can be on your phone. And it’s like your camera. You open Google lens, and you can look through your phone at whatever you’re looking at. Let’s say it’s my Insta360, my old remote here. I could have that on the table, use my camera and look at it. And perhaps I’m looking for a replacement because it broke or I don’t know other information about it, maybe specs. Google will look at it, analyze the shape, the writing on it, everything. And then it will use that to determine what it is. And then those are search results, and someone clicks through to your website. It would be nice to know that that came from Google lens. I don’t know exactly how beneficial that will be. But as it grows, it’ll certainly be interesting. And perhaps by increasing more information about the content on your page or about the image that you have on your page, that you’ll have a better chance of appearing under that particular search.

Scott:  I know.

Ross:  There’s a lot that’s probably a whole different science to Google lens. So, optimization, but I think it’s a pretty good idea you got there.

Scott:  It’s a whole thing, and it’s going to grow for sure. Okay, the next is everybody’s favorite topic, core web vitals, and the page experience updates. Anyways, not a lot to say about it. But you know what, it’s becoming more and more important, well, I say that like, it’s dramatic, but it’s inching upwards in value. I think there will be more updates, more algorithmic updates, to the page experience update to make core web vitals and the experience scores more meaningful and more important, and I think that’s going to continue. I think that’s not just for this year. I think it’s for 2024, 25. I think it’s going to keep growing to a point where we get annoyed with it and actually have to do stuff. We’re kind of there, but you know what I mean. I also think that quite confidently, in July that SEOs and website owners are going to lose their minds when Google pulls the plug on Universal Analytics, and everybody is forced, whether you want to or not, to use Google Analytics 4. You know, I’ve started playing with it a bit more, I don’t know it nearly as well as I should, but I have six months to figure it out. So that’s a blessing, but that six months is going to happen very quickly. And yeah, people are going to have to start backing up, there’s going to be a push for that. Everyone’s going to be wondering, how do I back up my Universal Analytics data? And everyone’s going to wait until they stop recording data, and you have like a week left to, or it gets deleted, and then people are going to try to figure it out. It’s going to be a push, for sure. I don’t think that’s even a prediction. I think it’s a no-brainer.

Ross:  Yeah, I’d like to, you mention the next one, and I’ll add on.

Scott:  Circle back, and this seems to happen every year. So, I feel like this is almost a no-brainer as well, that Google will rename at least one of their major products, probably Google Business Profile will change names because it’s been at least a year since the last name change. I think it has. So, they’re due for a new name. They can’t seem to keep the right, keep the name straight. If not, maybe it’ll change Search Console again to something else, who knows what they’re going to do. But you can rest assured something is going to change names that confuse everybody.

Ross:  So, did you already see how intent I was about running my notes here? Did you already cover how site owners will feel about Universal Analytics, GSA?

Scott:  Sort of.

Ross:  Okay.

Scott:  I just said they’re not going to be happy about it.

Ross:  Yeah, well, and I’ve been looking a lot into that, too, because it’s going to be huge for all of us. Every single one of us out here listening has a website, this is going to be big and annoyingly time-consuming. So, one of the things that Google seems to be doing is pushing people to transition the content from Universal Analytics to Big Query, which is not, by any stretch of the imagination, user-friendly for a small business, and probably won’t even be worthwhile for them. But it is something that is an option. That’s something that I’ve had to look into because we do have some clients that will want that information and won’t lose it. So that’s one thing. Also, companies like ours, hint hint, will be launching services to assist with the proper set up of Google Analytics 4. It is not straightforward. It seems like it. But it is a fairly substantial transition in how to look at analytics and has some real big pluses and learning for some bright people right now about that. And it’s, yeah, there is a lot of potential, but it’s going to be painful, just transition. One of the default settings when you set up Google Analytics 4, This is an example, is that it will only retain all of your analytics data for two months.

Scott:  Two months?

Ross:  Yeah, it will create, it will keep all of the basics for years. But if you want to do any kind of real crunching of data, looking at the raw data that’s coming in two months, you have to physically change the setting to up to 14 months. Otherwise, it’s gone after two months, and you’ll only be left to the basics. And it has been more difficult to do any kind of, you know, checking on old campaigns and things that might not have been already collected or reported upon. Anyway, that’s just one example of the setting that you wouldn’t even know to change. And I think that because of all the anger that that’s going to cause, Google will probably remove that. Two months, it’s just silly. They’ll make it six months or something, which is better. It’s better than two months. All right, I’ll let you go ahead here. Last one.

Scott:  Yeah, and then the last one, this is, again, a no-brainer on SEO 101, we are definitely going to be discussing at least 10 bugs with the Google business profile

Ross:   In the first month

Scott:  In January, that’s January, this is January’s prediction, right? I will add one more quick thing about search console, or sorry, about analytics, as you were talking, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a company come out and have some kind of financial arrangement with Google, to lease or whatever Universal Analytics and then offer that as a service, to just keep it as is essentially on a paid subscription basis. So, business owners could be like, I want access to that, the way it is now. And they’ll pay ten bucks a month, or ten bucks a year or something, just to keep it alive. Because I feel like there’s money in that. I feel like enough people would pay to keep that data just the way they see it today. Even if it’s not recording new stuff. I don’t know if Google would allow that to happen. Or if there’s even a company out there that wants to start that. Maybe we want to do it. Maybe there’s an opportunity.

Ross:  Yeah, that’s the thing. I don’t think, infrastructure-wise, they’re going to allow that. They could do that now, that’s why they’re pushing people to Big Query, where you can do that and pay.

Scott:  Yeah. Fair enough.


To Report an Infringement or Counter Notification

Ross:  They just are blinders. They don’t realize that that is not something that the average business can do. They won’t even understand how to. I don’t even understand, too, yet. There’s a lot to learn there. So yeah. All right. We’ve got to quickly finish up here. I’ve got a meeting in a minute. But we got some interesting feedback from Connie about his website. It stopped being visible in search and was actually replaced, that’s his homepage and was replaced with a different internal page. And he was having a frustrating time changing that back. Well, it turned out that, despite our recommendations, he found out that his site had been cloned. You discuss this with him, so I’ll let you take the rest there.

Scott:  Yeah. So, he mentioned this to me on Facebook. Yes, somebody had cloned this entire website. So, he had a little panic attack there and figured it out. And then ultimately added some tracking codes, not tracking, but some code to his Shopify site that instantly broke the cloned website, which was great. He saw that one. But things weren’t quite right. And then, he found out after he got a notice from Google that a DMCA notice, a DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a notice of infringement had been filed against his homepage by Google. So, Google removed his home page from the search. And so, then he is freaking out about that, like I would, I would be totally freaking out. Ultimately, Connie did file a counter-notification, and ultimately, after 14 days, his homepage began ranking again. Everything returned to normal, and everything is good. So, this is something I’ll be looking for if we ever encounter this. Again, not an issue we see much, but you know, something else, we learned that if we have this issue, the homepage is not a homepage isn’t ranking. Let’s look into this and see if someone’s filed this, even if it’s incorrectly filed. And anyway, if you want to look into this, if you want to know how to file an infringement or a counter-notification, we have a link in the show notes. It says ugly URL. I’m not going to try to repeat it, but it’ll be in the show notes. I’ll post it on Facebook as well. So, you’ll see it in the Facebook group if you want to know how to do it, or you could search Google now. I’ll give you the link anyways if you want it.

Ross:  Awesome. Well, on behalf of myself, Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing, and my company’s Senior SEO, Scott Van Achte. Thank you for joining us today and this year. We wish you a very happy holiday and a wonderful New Year’s, and we’ll look forward to talking to you in 2023. Holy smokes. And we have a great week, and remember to tune into future episodes, which air twice a month on WMR.FM

Scott:  Great. Thanks for listening. Happy New Year. Happy New Year, everyone.