United States Cracks Down on Fake Review Site via @martinibuster

United States Cracks Down on Fake Review Site via @martinibuster

ADVERTISEMENT The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a $350,000 settlement with an online review company. The announcement warns others to not make similar mistakes. There are many affiliate sites that publish product reviews and in some cases it appears that they have never actually used or tested the reviewed products. One tip-off of a fake review is the lack of original photos. In some niches it seems like every review site Google ranks is an affiliate site posting fake product reviews. These are the mistakes that an affiliate site or a review site needs to be aware of in order to avoid getting on the bad side of […]

Amazon Slashes Affiliate Payouts to as Low as 1% via @martinibuster

Amazon Slashes Affiliate Payouts to as Low as 1% via @martinibuster

ADVERTISEMENT On April 14, 2020, Amazon sent notice to its affiliates regarding changes taking effect on April 21st. The changes are dramatic cuts to the affiliate payouts. For example, the Furniture and Home Improvement categories were slashed from an 8% payout to only 3%. There was no indication in the email that the changes were to affiliate payouts. Unless one clicks through from the email to the page with the changes, one would never know. Here is the text of the Amazon email notice: “Hello Associate, We hope you are staying well during this time. We are writing to inform you of upcoming changes to the Amazon Associates Program Operating […]

Google Says Being Different Helps Improve Rankings via @martinibuster

Google Says Being Different Helps Improve Rankings via @martinibuster

In a Google Office Hours hangout, Google’s John Mueller answered a question about why a site lost rankings. His answer focused on the power of being different and how this quality can help a site rank better. Question about a Site that Lost Rankings The publisher apparently may have had pages ignored by Google for ranking purposes. Here is the question: I have a website. I lost traffic. It’s a ringtones download site with 60,000 ringtones on it. On the 17th of December we lost our ranking and if I search my site with a site colon query I only see seven pages available. I’ve not received any manual action. […]

Google Explains How to Remove Pages for SEO via @martinibuster

Google Explains How to Remove Pages for SEO via @martinibuster

On an office hours hangout, Google’s John Mueller discussed a common mistake publishers make when removing content for SEO. He then focused on the best way to remove content for more traffic. Can it Help SEO to Remove Pages? The publisher asking the question wanted to know if removing non-performing pages helped SEO. The idea is that removing “dead wight” will help Google focus on the pages that matter. Question: Can it help SEO by reducing web pages by marking our product pages noindex, which have almost zero impressions in the last 16 months. Currently 10 to 15% pages are like this and they’re just dead weight on our site. […]

Google Suffers Major Defeat – Must Pay French Publishers via @martinibuster

Google Suffers Major Defeat – Must Pay French Publishers via @martinibuster

ADVERTISEMENT Google lost an important case in France that obligates Google to compensate French news publishers for using their content. Google Accused of Abusing Dominant Position The ruling by the French Competition Authority accuses Google of not complying with French laws that order digital organizations to negotiate a fair price for use of content. It was found that Google’s activities had harmed French news organizations who were forced to comply with Google’s terms of allowing free use of their content in Google News. The ruling also said that rather than comply with a 2019 requirement that Google negotiate a fair payment system with news organizations that Google simply withdrew from […]

Google Says Different Content for Googlebot and Users Can Be Okay via @martinibuster

Google Says Different Content for Googlebot and Users Can Be Okay via @martinibuster

In a recent JavaScript SEO Office Hours, Google’s Martin Splitt was asked to define what constituted cloaking. Martin discussed different ways that it was okay for content to be different and still not be considered cloaking. Question: What’s the Gray Line for Cloaking? The publisher asked about the “gray line” between cloaking and not cloaking. “Can you go into more detail what is considered as cloaking and what’s not? Where’s the gray line?” Cloaking is showing Google a page of content and showing users a different page of content. Martin Splitt indicated there are different levels of cloaking where one form is acceptable and another is not. A gray line […]

Google AdSense Explains Why Grandma Swimsuit on a Mannequin is “Sexual Content” via @martinibuster

Google AdSense Explains Why Grandma Swimsuit on a Mannequin is “Sexual Content” via @martinibuster

ADVERTISEMENT A publisher shared frustration with AdSense for what he called a “policy violation” for “sexual content” because of a photo of a mannequin in a swimsuit. The swimsuit wasn’t even a bikini. It was a one-piece swimwear, the kind most people’s grandmothers wear to a public beach. AdSense Begins Displaying Racy Advertising To make matters worse is that while his page received an AdSense notice about because of a one-piece grandma swimsuit, Google began showing racy ads on his site that zoomed in on sensitive areas of male underwear and women’s lingerie. “Then today, what AdSense banner do I see on my site? Something from a lingerie website, with […]

Interview: Rank Fast with Bing Indexing API via @martinibuster

Interview: Rank Fast with Bing Indexing API via @martinibuster

It is said that the Bing Instant Indexing API can literally have your pages ranking in minutes. I interviewed Chris Love (@ChrisLove) who was one of the first to try the Bing API. Chris shares his experience using the API to get fast rankings on Bing. Chris Love is a progressive web app and SEO expert. His testimonial was featured on Bing’s Instant Indexing API announcement. How to Use the Bing Instant Indexing API How does one go about using these APIs in a WordPress blog? Is there a plugin or script that can help? I am not a WordPress developer, but I know the Microsoft Bing Team has worked […]

GoDaddy Acquires Domain Registry of .US, .Biz, .In and .Co via @martinibuster

GoDaddy Acquires Domain Registry of .US, .Biz, .In and .Co via @martinibuster

ADVERTISEMENT GoDaddy announced it is acquiring Neustar’s registry business, which oversees top level domains such as .biz, .co, .in, .nyc and .us. This puts GoDaddy in charge of those domains. Moving forward, all domain name registrars will pay GoDaddy the wholesale price for registering those domains for their customers. The new business will be called GoDaddy Registry. GoDaddy Registry pledged to keep their domain name registration business separate from the new GoDaddy Registry, presumably to prevent any unfair advantages. According to GoDaddy’s announcement: “As part of the transaction, GoDaddy will strictly adhere to a governance model that maintains independence between the GoDaddy registry and registrar businesses.” The intention is for […]

Coronavirus Delays Google Chrome Cookie Update via @martinibuster

Coronavirus Delays Google Chrome Cookie Update via @martinibuster

ADVERTISEMENT Google announced that the introduction of SameSite cookie labeling will be rolled back. Users of Chrome 80 will not have the SameSite labeling enabled. SameSite Cookie Labeling SameSite Cookie labeling is a part of Google’s two year journey toward eliminating third party cookies altogether. This rollout was to help specific third party sites maintain cookies in order to keep the web working normally. For example, if a person is signed in at an online payment site, that person can be treated as signed in on someone else’s site and not need to sign in order to make a payment. Google is trying to stop any disruption in web browsing. […]