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Another SEO Claims Higher Rankings Without Content Hidden In Tabs

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Another SEO Claims Higher Rankings Without Content Hidden In Tabs

A few years ago, we reported that Google said despite some of the SEO case studies, content collapsed and hidden within expandable tabs (accordions) will be indexed and ranked fully. Well, Dan Shure tested it again and he said no, it is not.

Dan posted on Twitter that he saw a really big boost in rankings for “extremely competitive” terms after he decided to make the content that was hidden behind accordion drop-downs visible by default. He did add that the content was below the fold in this situation and this was both on mobile and desktop interfaces. He also said it was mostly FAQ oriented content and by showing the content by default to users, i.e. not having the user need to click to expand the content, the content show a boost in rankings. He also said that the content, while collapsed, was fully rendered in the HTML, so Googlebot did see it and index it, but it did not rank well.

Dan shared this Google Search Console chart to show the increase:

click for full size

As a reminder, in 2018, Google said the case studies are wrong and Google first told us this back in 2016, that when on mobile, content hidden in accordions, tabs, etc for user experience purposes will be given full weight and not demoted like did in the past. Google has confirmed this messaging many times but needs to do so again.

So the lesson here is test it yourself and see for yourself. If removing the collapsable content feature is easy, try it for a bit, see what happens. See if it hurts user experience or not and if it improves rankings or not. Every site is different, every query has its own landscape – so test.

Forum discussion at Twitter.




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February 4th Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

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Google Algorithm Update

There may have been another unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update – this one also on the weekend, around February 4th, maybe kicking off on February 3rd. I am seeing signs from both chatter within the SEO community, and also, some of the tools are showing big swings around February 4th.

The previous updates we reported about was an unconfirmed update around January 26th, then on January 18th, then January 14th – you can see the full list over here.

SEO Chatter

Let’s start by looking at some of the chatter within the SEO community. There is chatter both at WebmasterWorld and here in the comments areas:

Global site traffic continued firm all day Thursday for me and ended at 140.3%. Today has started ok for a Friday.

Seeing some sharp increase in traffic as well. Tech based sites are performing really well. Around 40% increase overall. Although a good share of Chinese bot like traffic is also present.

So, my site got a lovely boost a couple of weeks ago. Keywords I hadn’t ranked for in years plus some I had never ranked for particularly well were appearing. Two weeks later and google have yanked the rug out from under me again. A keywod I was on page 1 for is now bottom of page 4. Another that I was page 1 for – page 8 now.

I’m seeing ranking hold relatively steady, but traffic has been much worse this week. The previous two weeks were unusually high though. Yesterday search was down 17% and the day before that it was flat, but traffic to my home page has dropped considerably again. Most of the decline is USA traffic

Feels like Google released another update on Saturday 4th, no?

I noticed big changes on all my websites around 4 pm GMT onwards.

Massive volatility spotted. Seeing crazy fluctuations in rankings too.

Maybe a G Update is just around the corner?

Got hammered yesterday – almost as bad as any core update.

The fluctuation that started 24-36 hours ago is increasing gradually.

Traffic was up this morning, up until 6am UK time, then zero traffic for 4 hours. 4 hours?? How is that even possible if throttling isn’t the case?

All this chatter was between February 3rd and February 5th.

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

RankRanger:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Mozcast:

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SERPmetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Semrush:

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Accuranker:

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Algoroo:

click for full size

Have you seen any big swings in rankings or traffic with your site since the weekend?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Jeff Ferguson On Issues With SEO Studies & Ranking Factor Studies

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Jeff Ferguson

In part one, we go through Jeff Ferguson’s long history in search marketing. In part two, we pick up with him starting his own agency. Then in part three we talk about the state of SEO studies.

In short, he goes off on his rant on SEO studies done on ranking factors and other areas. In short, he was not a fan of those studies and he wrote a lot about how they were done wrong. He wasn’t saying the intent was wrong, the companies that made these studies really wanted to help. But doing ranking factor studies are just too hard and really hard to prove.

Of course, it ruffled a lot of feathers in the SEO community. But he goes through more on why he did what he did and what he wanted to get out of it.

You can learn more about Jeff Ferguson at Amplitude Digital and follow him on Twitter @CountXero.


You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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Apple Maps Street View Camera Backpack

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Apple Maps Street View Camera Backpack

Here is a photo of some guy walking around Israel with an Apple Maps street view backpack. It was captured by Hillel Fuld the other day and posted on Twitter.

Google has its own street view backpack, which is more impressive to look at.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.



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