The Week in Search is a weekly column produced by the Studio team to keep marketing professionals and ecommerce merchants up to date on changes in the search industry, and provide valuable context on what it all means. If you have questions or think we missed something, email us directly.
Grow With Studio is Work From Home
Coronavirus has struck the City of the Violet Crown and so the Grow With Studio team is now on a work from home basis as of today! Luckily, our team has had a partial work from home policy for years so this won’t be too big of a change for us.
Here are just a few of the work from home office setups from some of our team:
Google Cancels Webmaster Conferences
COVID-19 has forced Google to cancel their Webmaster conferences. These events which were to be held at various locations around the world were a new initiative at Google to give SEOs and webmasters first hand access to Google.
Studio Takeaway: Hopefully, they’ll be back once COVID-19 dies down
Google Offers Businesses Advice on What to Do with their Google My Business Listings Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
This week, the Google My Business Twitter profile tweeted a link to support documentation about how businesses can deal with COVID-19 spread and ensure that their customers have up to date information. Here are some takeaways from the support documentation:
- Change business hours: If your business hours have changed, update the times when you’ll be open or closed.
- Update business description: Explain whether or not your business operations are affected by COVID-19. Additionally, you can share information about any extra precautions your business is taking.
- Publish a post: Share detailed and timely updates about what’s going on with your business through Google Posts.
- Update contact info: Make sure your phone number is correct so that customers can reach you.
Studio Takeaway: As a business owner, all you can really do is ensure that your ducks are in a row and share information for your customers. The last thing you want to do is put people at risk by providing inaccurate and out of date information. If you aren’t sure what to do, or how to do it, following these guidelines is a great place to start.
Google in Hot Water for Their How to Hire an SEO Video
Two weeks ago, we mentioned that Google put out a helpful video on how online businesses can go about hiring an SEO. Now a bunch of SEOs are upset that Google recommended that a free website and SEO audit be part of the hiring process.
The general consensus is that Google is wanting SEOs to work for free and that shouldn’t be expected.
SEO veterans like Bill Slawsky is somewhat responsible for the start of the controversy pointing out to Google insiders, Gary Illyes and John Mueller that the recommendation is “really questionable.”
Even Roger Montti of Search Engine Journal are chastising Google for the recommendation, saying “Google’s video was poorly conceived.”
Studio Takeaway: Let’s get this out of the way right now: we offer a free audit and checkup on our site. The reason behind this is we need to be able to provide real, actionable insights into your site before we collect payment. That’s not how an exchange of money for service typically works. I think Gary Illyes puts the case for offering some sort of complimentary investigative audit before you start charging with this Tweet:
Bottom line: SEOs can’t expect to charge right out of the box. It’s not a good way to do business. Sure, if you’re a turn and burn agency that solely deals in quantity, then it might make sense to never do anything free ever, but you certainly can’t just expect to call yourself an SEO expert and start charging to even take a cursory look at a site. You certainly don’t see huge online businesses doing that. Agencies pitch them. Why should the opposite be expected for other businesses.
Other Interesting Links
- Google’s John Mueller says that paid links aren’t the only reason a site is ranking well: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-most-paid-links/354280/#close
- John Mueller says to focus on what quality content looks like for your site, not what Google might think is quality: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/mueller-says-dont-focus-on-what-google-thinks-is-quality-focus-on-this-instead/354626/#close
- Possible Google Algorithm Update on March 10: https://www.seroundtable.com/march-10th-google-search-algorithm-update-29139.html