Tag Archive | "This"

Compare Apples to Oranges (In This Case, It’s the Smartest Thing to Do)

We’re having dessert before dinner this week — and it’s a healthy bite too: apples and oranges. While my post…

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This Is What Happens When You Accidentally De-Index Your Site from Google

Posted by Jeff_Baker

Does reading that title give you a mini-panic attack?

Having gone through exactly as the title suggests, I can guarantee your anxiety is fully warranted.

If you care to relive my nightmare with me — perhaps as equal parts catharsis and SEO study — we will walk through the events chronologically.

Are you ready?

August 4th, 2019

It was a Sunday morning. I was drinking my coffee and screwing around in our SEO tools, like normal, not expecting a damned thing. Then … BAM!

What. The. Hell?

As SEOs, we’re all used to seeing natural fluctuations in rankings. Fluctuations, not disappearances.

Step 1: Denial

Immediately my mind goes to one place: it’s a mistake. So I jumped into some other tools to confirm whether or not Ahrefs was losing its mind.

Google Analytics also showed a corresponding drop in traffic, confirming something was definitely up. So as an SEO, I naturally assumed the worst…

Step 2: Algo panic

Algorithm update. Please, please don’t let it be an algo update.

I jumped into Barracuda’s Panguin Tool to see if our issue coincided with a confirmed update.

No updates. Phew.

Step 3: Diagnosis

Nobody ever thinks clearly when their reptile brain is engaged. You panic, you think irrationally and you make poor decisions. Zero chill.

I finally gathered some presence of mind to think clearly about what happened: It’s highly unusual for keywords rankings to disappear completely. It must be technical.

It must be indexing.

A quick Google search for the pages that lost keyword rankings confirmed that the pages had, in fact, disappeared. Search Console reported the same:

Notice the warning at the bottom:

No: ‘noindex’ detected in ‘robots’ meta tag

Now we were getting somewhere. Next, it was time to confirm this finding in the source code.

Our pages were marked for de-indexing. But how many pages were actually de-indexed so far?

Step 4: Surveying the damage

All of them. After sending a few frantic notes to our developer, he confirmed that a sprint deployed on Thursday evening (August 1, 2019), almost three days prior, had accidentally pushed the code live on every page.

But was the whole site de-indexed?

It’s highly unlikely, because in order for that to happen, Google would have had to crawl every page of the site within three days in order to find the ‘noindex’ markup. Search Console would be no help in this regard, as its data will always be lagging and may never pick up the changes before they are fixed.

Even looking back now, we see that Search Console only picked up a maximum of 249 affected pages, of over 8,000 indexed. Which is impossible, considering our search presence was cut by one-third an entire week after the incident was fixed.

Note: I will never be certain how many pages were fully de-indexed in Google, but what I do know is that EVERY page had ‘noindex’ markup, and I vaguely remember Googling ‘site:brafton.com’ and seeing roughly one-eighth of our pages indexed. Sure wish I had a screenshot. Sorry.

Step 1: Fix the problem

Once the problem was identified, our developer rolled back the update and pushed the site live as it was before the ‘noindex’ markup. Next came the issue of re-indexing our content.

Step 2: Get the site recrawled ASAP

I deleted the old sitemap, built a new one and re-uploaded to Search Console. I also grabbed most of our core product landing pages and manually requested re-indexing (which I don’t fully believe does anything since the most recent SC update).

Step 3: Wait

There was nothing else we could do at this point, other than wait. There were so many questions:

  • Will the pages rank for the same keywords as they did previously?
  • Will they rank in the same positions?
  • Will Google “penalize” the pages in some way for briefly disappearing?

Only time would tell.

August 8th, 2019 (one week) – 33% drop in search presence

In assessing the damage, I’m going to use the date in which the erroring code was fully deployed and populated on live pages (August 2nd) as ground zero. So the first measurement will be seven days completed, August 2nd through August 8th.

Search Console would likely give me the best indication as to how much our search presence had suffered.

We had lost about 33.2% of our search traffic. Ouch.

Fortunately, this would mark the peak level of damage we experienced throughout the entire ordeal.

August 15th, 2019 (two weeks) – 23% drop in traffic

During this period I was keeping an eye on two things: search traffic and indexed pages. Despite re-submitting my sitemap and manually fetching pages in Search Console, many pages were still not being indexed — even core landing pages. This will become a theme throughout this timeline.

As a result of our remaining unindexed pages, our traffic was still suffering.

Two weeks after the incident and we were still 8% down, and our revenue-generating conversions fell with the traffic (despite increased conversion rates).

August 22nd, 2019 (three weeks) – 13% drop in traffic

Our pages were still indexing slowly. Painfully slowly, while I was watching my commercial targets drop through the floor.

At least it was clear that our search presence was recovering. But how it was recovering was of particular interest to me.

Were all the pages re-indexed, but with decreased search presence?

Were only a portion of the pages re-indexed with fully restored search presence?

To answer this question, I took a look at pages that were de-indexed, and re-indexed, individually. Here is an example of one of those pages:

Here’s an example of a page that was de-indexed for a much shorter period of time:

In every instance I could find, each page was fully restored to its original search presence. So it didn’t seem to be a matter of whether or not pages would recover, it was a matter of when pages would be re-indexed.

Speaking of which, Search Console has a new feature in which it will “validate” erroring pages. I started this process on August 26th. After this point, SC slowly recrawled (I presume) these pages to the tune of about 10 pages per week. Is that even faster than a normally scheduled crawl? Do these tools in SC even do anything?

What I knew for certain was there were a number of pages still de-indexed after three weeks, including commercial landing pages that I counted on to drive traffic. More on that later.

August 29th, 2019 (four weeks) – 9% drop in traffic

At this point I was getting very frustrated, because there were only about 150 pages remaining to be re-indexed, and no matter how many times I inspected and requested a new indexing in Search Console, it wouldn’t work.

These pages were fully capable of being indexed (as reported by SC URL inspection), yet they wouldn’t get crawled. As a result, we were still 9% below baseline, after nearly a month.

One particular page simply refused to be re-indexed. This was a high commercial value product page that I counted on for conversions.

In my attempts to force re-indexing, I tried:

  • URL inspection and requesting indexing (15 times over the month).
  • Updating the publish date, then requesting indexing.
  • Updating the content and publish date, then requesting indexing.
  • Resubmitting sitemaps to SC.

Nothing worked. This page would not re-index. Same story for over one hundred other less commercially impactful URLs.

Note: This page would not re-index until October 1st, two full months after it was de-indexed.

By the way, here’s what our overall recovery progress looked like after four weeks:

September 5th, 2019 (five weeks) – 10.4% drop in traffic

The great plateau. At this point we had reindexed all of our pages, save for the ~150 or so supposedly being “validated.”

They weren’t. And they weren’t being recrawled either.

It seemed that we would likely fully recover, but the timing was in Google’s hands, and there was nothing I could do to impact it.

September 12th, 2019 (six weeks) – 5.3% gain in traffic

It took about six weeks before we fully recovered our traffic.

But in truth, we still hadn’t fully recovered our traffic, in that some content overperformed and was overcompensating for a number of pages that were not yet indexed. Notably, our product page that wouldn’t be indexed for another ~2.5 weeks.

On balance, our search presence recovered after six weeks. But our content wasn’t fully re-indexed until eight-plus weeks after fixing the problem.

Conclusion

For starters, definitely don’t de-index your site on accident, for an experiment, or any other reason. It stings. I estimate that we purged about 12% of all organic traffic amounting to an equally proportionate drop on commercial conversions.

What did we learn??

Once pages re-indexed, they were fully restored in terms of search visibility. The biggest issue was getting them re-indexed.

Some main questions we answered with this accidental experiment:

Did we recover?

Yes, we fully recovered and all URLs seem to drive the same search visibility.

How long did it take?

Search visibility returned to baseline after six weeks. All pages re-indexed after about eight to nine weeks.

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This Common Belief Could Be Blocking Your Creative Potential

A woman once brought her two Pomeranians to a barbecue I attended. I had never met her before, but after…

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Are small errors like worldwide targeting draining your budget? This Google Ads script can help

The script emails you a customized report to flag issues with your chosen account settings, preventing potential Google Ads catastrophes.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Sandip Bhagat, CIO at Whittier Trust On Why This Is a Good Time For Tech Stocks

“The scope of this regulatory oversight is changing. People used to focus on just consumer welfare and a price effect. That has now expanded to what harm you are doing to competitors and non-price effects. The scope is expanding, and some of these companies—this is Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook—they have engaged in kind of favorable treatment of proprietary products.”

Sandip Bhagat, CIO at Whittier Trust talks about why investors shouldn’t allow regulatory threats and investigations to scare them away from tech stocks, as well as his two top picks.

When you talk about regulation, you have to talk at two levels: privacy first and then antitrust. Privacy may not be such an issue, and in a very perverse way, the large players here may actually come out winners because they have the scale to absorb the cost of meeting that regulatory compliance. They’re also multi-national in nature, even today, so the experience in Europe where the GDPR is already in place will stand them in good stead should it come to the U.S.

Switching to the antitrust component of regulatory risk and one of the things that is being discussed is anti-competitive acquisitions, so I think they would come under attack. What happens in the worst case, there is a forced breakup. We put a very low likelihood for that outcome. But fines will come along the way. There will be rulings that say you give equal parity during search processes and displaying of third-party vendors and their products. All of those we think can be absorbed by these companies because of their free high cash flow margins.

On Buying Tech Stocks Under Scrutiny

Here are two really compelling reasons to think about technology stocks now and really for a secular future. One is macro in consideration, the other one is micro and fundamental.

At the macro level, what is the environment? We have seen slower growth than normal after the global financial crisis and, as a result of that, interest rates are lower. Slow growth and low-interest rates help growth stocks. When growth is scarce, growth companies get rewarded with a higher multiple and low-interest rates help growth stocks because they have a higher equity duration and sensitivity to interest rates.

On Microsoft’s Long-Term Value

If there is one take away, it’s a stock to own for the long-term. It’s a great way to compound wealth. It’s indeed a vehicle for inter-generational wealth transfer. The company has rediscovered itself, moved away from a licensing model to a subscription model. Satya (CEO Satya Nadella) has reformed the company. While they’re making inroads in cloud computing, they are actually very unique in that they can play in the hybrid cloud solution space with a foot in on-premise software along with cloud-based application deployment.

On Amazon’s Brand Loyalty

It’s economic mode is based on scale, convenience and brand loyalty, which doesn’t get talked about much. People talk about the technology backbone of Amazon. But that brand loyalty, they’ve been able to convert that into greater user engagement and adoption and then monetized it with more and more transactions to gain a bigger share of the wallet.

Sandip Bhagat, CIO at Whittier Trust On Why This Is a Good Time For Tech Stocks

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Google’s Indexing Issues Continue But This One Is Different

Last night I reported that Google was having issues indexing new content again, yes – again. Danny Sullivan from Google said it seems like that was the case and said “We’ll post on @googlewmc if we confirm and have more to share.” Nothing was posted there – yet. But it does seem like indexing issues are happening for some sites – not all.


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Uber CEO: We Expect This Business To Be Very Profitable

“Not only do we expect to hit cashflow break-even, but we expect this business to be very profitable at maturity,” says Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. “I think that going forward our spending declines as a percent of revenue. So when you’re growing trips 35 percent year on year your spending is going to increase. But we’re going to get leverage on the marketing line and we’re definitely going to get fixed cost leverage going forward.”

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, discusses the company’s latest quarterly results and predicts that Uber will ultimately be very profitable in an interview on CNBC:

Uber Is Much More Than a Rideshare Company Now

The IPO for us is a once in a lifetime moment. It was a really important moment for the company. Some of what we did like the driver appreciation award, almost $ 300 million that we put in the hands of over a million drivers globally were really important for us to do. It created a messy P&L from an accounting standpoint. I think it is hiding underlying trends that are actually very healthy for the company. If you look at trends for the company which is going to matter long-term, you have got gross bookings over $ 16 billion growing 37 percent on a year on year basis. You’ve got trip volume, and trips are units, growing 35 percent year on year. You’ve got audience, monthly active platform customers, now over 100 million, growing 30 percent. The actual revenue growth excluding the driver appreciation award was up 26 percent. 

What I did tell our investors is to expect that to accelerate into the back half of the year. The back half of the year you are going to see if trends stay the same, revenue growth in excess of 30 percent. When you look at profitability, we beat our own internal targets and we beat Street targets as well. We came in at a loss of $ 656 million. It’s still a big loss but the losses are improving and the take rates are improving. If you back out some of those one-time expenses, we went from a loss of $ 800 million to a loss of $ 656 million. We got much more efficient on the marketing front. We actually took marketing as a percentage down while we were still growing the top line over 30 percent as well. This is much more than a rideshare company now, it’s a transportation company. 

We Expect This Business To Be Very Profitable At Maturity

We are in a situation as far as the network effect of the company where we don’t need to increase the marketing and incentives. We can go in with loyalty plans both for riders and drivers that are going to add to leverage and ultimately profitability of the company. This is a marketplace company that has over 20 percent revenue margins and revenue margins are increasing year on year. Not only do we expect to hit cashflow break-even, but we expect this business to be very profitable at maturity. 

I think that going forward our spending declines as a percent of revenue. So when you’re growing trips 35 percent year on year your spending is going to increase. But we’re going to get leverage on the marketing line and we’re definitely going to get fixed cost leverage going forward. I think that this quarter proved that out and we have to keep hitting our marks in the next couple of quarters. It’s a super-competitive marketplace but we are confident. We like what we saw operationally this quarter.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi: We Expect This Business To Be Very Profitable at Maturity

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Are your DSAs really outperforming standard ads? Find out with this ad copy length performance analysis script

Here’s a script that pulls a report on ad performance based on copy length.



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Build your PPC campaigns with this mini campaign builder script for Google Ads

This script lets you build or add keywords to your Google campaigns following standard best practice.



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Tien Chiu: How This Ex-Google Employee Gave It All Up To Build An Online Business Teaching The Craft Of Color Weaving (And The Story Behind Her First $25,000 Product Launch)

[ Download MP3 | Transcript Coming Soon | iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | Spotify | Raw RSS ] I’m so excited to publish this interview because it shares a success story of one of the most recent people to go through Blog Mastermind 2.0 (this is a 2019 case study!). Tien Chiu has a background as […]

The post Tien Chiu: How This Ex-Google Employee Gave It All Up To Build An Online Business Teaching The Craft Of Color Weaving (And The Story Behind Her First $ 25,000 Product Launch) appeared first on Yaro.Blog.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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