SEOConspiracy News #20

Big Tech Hearing

After the Big Tech Hearing (check out our debrief podcast with Kristine Shachinger), it was excepted that legal actions will follow. Google is the first one on the line, but Apple, Amazon, and Facebook will follow.

Following-up on the one-year investigation by the department of justice, Google is the first to receive an official complaint filed on the 20th of October 2020. It doesn’t smell good for Google. Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are next coming up with this kind of stuff.

Reading throughout the whole thing is very interesting because  

I’m a search engine optimizer, a search engine hacker, an SEO, and a digital marketer.

To this day, I don’t think people at that level know that we exist. Google dominates the world of search, and we dominate Google, but we are invisible. Amazing.

A deeply flawed lawsuit that would do nothing to help consumers

Following-up on the official Google blog. Kent Walker, SVP of Global Affairs, answers, “A deeply flawed lawsuit that could do nothing to help consumers.”
When you get a lawsuit from the US Government, it’s an attack. And when you’re attacked, there are a few things you can do: you can counter attack, you can educate, you can ignore, you can complain. Google chose to counter-attack by saying that “Yes, Apple features Google as a default browser because they’re the best, that’s it.”
On Windows, Bing is the default search engine. On Android, Google technology, they give the browser for free, but they have to stop companies doing whatever they want with it, so I don’t know, it’s open-source, but it’s not really open source.
Then they explain that people have a choice, and they follow up with an entire dossier on Google’s approach to competition in the US. An interesting fact that they say in the US because Google is the master of the universe online. I guess they forgot that they belong to a country called America, which has anti-trust laws.
Now you can split and be right on Google side and be wrong on DOJ’s side but calling it a deeply flawed lawsuit and saying that it would do nothing to help consumers…
Well, here’s my argument: I remember the statement of the chairman
for the subcommittee for the big tech hearing, and he said something like if a company starts harming its customer and conducts in
unfair business practices towards our competition, then if there is no alternative, it’s a problem, and we have to fix it.
Yes, it is a problem if you want to live an alternative lifestyle out of Google’s profiling; it’s hard and even near impossible because you can use all kinds of privacy, respectful devices, search engines, or whatever services. Can you stay out of google?
It’s possible; I can do it. Is it possible for anybody? Because that’s the point. Google pretends that DOJ is saying that Americans are too “stupid” to make their own choices. Yes and no, people make the easy option, and the easy trade-off here is “my data so I can use your service for free.”
I’m eager to find out what’s going to happen, and I could make some bets about all the toys that will be taken away from Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

When to cut bait with your agency?

Should you stop dealing with your Digital Marketing agency?
Thank you, Tyson Stockton, for bringing up this controversial topic.
It’s a 12 minutes short podcast, and it’s a topic that I raised not long ago. I’m french and also talking french about SEO and other topics, of course. This came back lately, and I believe that it’s time to
also, address it on my own on SEO conspiracy.
I did it a little bit already with the podcast called The Biggest Lie in the Industry in the search & SEO industry. You can watch it below, but I want to go further, more in-depth on that topic.

PageRank Sculpting

After 11 years, the concept of Pagerank Sculpting surfaces again, but you should focus on what I preach with the Topical Mesh instead.

On Search Engine Watch, Manick Bhan wrote a post called “PageRank sculpting: how to get more from your links.”

PageRank sculpting is a concept that I haven’t heard in over ten years. Eleven years to be exact, because I remember this blog post from Matt Cutts, a dearly missed Googler, who wrote about PageRank sculpting in June 2009.

Here’s the deal. My whole system, what’s called the Topical Mesh, is based around PageRank sculpting and semantic juice flow. Proximity. Who is in relation to what and why. Now you have several ways to go about it, and back in the days, the rel=nofollow was in 2005, so in 2009 google said, “Hey guys, you can’t use the rel=nofollow on your internal links to cut off the PageRank juice, we don’t like it so it’s not going to work and page rank will still flow or will just be lost, I guess put back into the pot.”  

So rel=nofollow is not the way to do it. I spoke about the different ways to go about it already, but you have a trick, a little tiny trick. I will make a video about it. It’s just to kind of cut off link by link. Otherwise, cloaking is my recommendation here. Cloaking white hat. Cloaking, meaning you only touch the internal linking, and you don’t touch one comma of the page rank. Building a mobile version is cloaking anyway. You present a different page to different users. You can do it the right way, the white hat way, or wear a black hat like I do and go all the way, hide the content, and make content for search engines and content for users. But Google doesn’t like that.

HTTPS won. We can’t escape it anymore.

Just beware the technical traps.

On, an article from Dr. Peter: HTTPS is table stakes for SEO in 2020.

I was one of the most reluctant SEO to adopt HTTPS because it can be terrible if done wrong. So now there is no point holding back. We have to go HTTPS, educate yourself, do it right. It’s HTTPS2 for sure, and be careful with your page speed, be cautious about the validity of your certificate. If you haven’t done it, you are like me, last of the bunch, but we can’t stop it. Now, remember that https cuts off what’s called the men in the middle type of attack, which is the overwhelming majority of the kind of hacking. They use it for what’s called phishing. Without going into too many details so it’s most likely a good evolution, but it’s not that like installing 

a WordPress plugin on your blog. Do it right, please, or you will regret it if you don’t make a move or if you did make a move, make sure it’s all good, and that you don’t have an invalid certificate or that your page speed is down the drain because of HTTPS.

Google’s John Mueller gives a weird answer about NoIndex Meta Tag or Robots.txt directive.

I’m just puzzled by Google’s John Mueller’s answer about the new index meta tag, so someone asks about “How does Google handle the robots meta tag” because that’s how the person was managing the catalog of an e-commerce website. The question asks: “We update our meta-robots frequently, index under the index. Last month, we implemented the last modification on product pages, which are back in stock in the last seven days, and marked them and as indexed, but we didn’t see any impact on submitted URLs mark no index. I manually checked some of the last modification URLs Google never seems to follow them.”
And John Mueller’s answer is, “In general, I think this fluctuation between indexed and non-indexed is something that can throw us off
a little bit because if we see a page that is no-indexed for a more extended period, we will assume that this is kind of like a 404-page hold that thought, and we don’t have to call it that frequently, so that’s something where probably what is happening there is that we see these pages as no index. We decided not to crawl them as often anymore, regardless of what you submit in the sitemap file. So that’s something where fluctuation with the no-index meta is counterproductive. If you want those pages to be indexed now and then, for sure, playing around with no index in robots.txt is not the way to handle products that are coming in and out of stock, but I’m very surprised that john Mueller says that it’s kind of like a 404 page. How can you say something like that? The 404 page is an error page, a page that doesn’t respond. Google coming back to call it frequently is all relative; I know that Google comes back month after month after month. If you want Google to forget about a page, send a 410 signal. 410 is like f*** off Google, go away, nothing there.
404 means it’s gone, but Google might come back.
Roger Montti also explains how to handle out of stock product pages. The problem here is, don’t make it difficult; keep it stupid simple. You have a bot, an algorithm that is crawling your pages at light speed. Our job as search engine optimizers, our primary job, is to make the content more accessible and as great as possible. Like this, we make it easy for Google to visit the pages and then rank them high, so no, on/off no-index meta tag or robot.txt is not a good idea.

Our friend Bill Slawski shares his finding about a Featured Snippet patent.

On SEObythesea: Adjusting features snippets answers by context.

A very long post to dissect a pretty complex patent. Long story short: context matters. It’s all about who is in relation to what and why, going back to what I preach, going back to the topical mesh and the surrounding, the environment. The context matters a lot. If you heard about my mystery word game, it’s the key to understanding semantic SEO. If you didn’t already, go over to the playlist Semantic SEO and lookup Semantic SEO explained in 10 steps.

Google invests on Tokopedia

The number it’s between 500 million and one billion for this Indonesian e-commerce giant. I know that market very well, and it’s big. It’s huge. Tokopedia is in the top three. Google is not buying it; they’re investing in it. I don’t know what’s the move but very interesting, mainly since they also spoke with Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Please meet the Step Chickens, self-proclaimed biggest cult on TikTok

Melissa Ong has 2.3 million followers, and 103.5 million likes on TikTok. It’s time, guys. TikTok is ready. SEO conspiracy is going on TikTok. It’s not only for creative kids. It’s time. It’s been there for long enough, and we’re even six months late in the game, but there is room if you got talent. If you want to become an influencer on the platform, yet to come in early is a significant advantage, but if you’re going to use the platform for branding mainly, don’t invest in everything. I usually wait a year and a half to see if the platform will go. This is very interesting because the cult from a TikTok’s perspective is about getting the most significant following around a familiar concept, shared values. Step Chicken is about making silly TikTok dances and making fun of yourself. Here it’s quantity over quality and doing a lot of it; I guess, very impressive.

How Facebook & Twiiter handle the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook and Jack Dorsey from Twitter will appear in front of Congress to check out how they handle the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

They will have to testify before the senate judiciary committee on november 17th. It’s all about how Twitter and Facebook are handling the 2020 election. They won’t let go. DOJ, congress, senate, they don’t let go. It’s a path that started with the DOJ investigation, the big tech hearing and now they will be grilled on everything and nothing and this type of news will only increase.

It’s the end of the news, thanks for watching! See you next week.

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