Welcome to the latest installment of my ongoing unofficial series that I’ve just spontaneously decided to name “Google Changes Everything”. Today, we’ll be discussing Google Analytics 4, which as of its October 14 announcement constitutes the biggest change that Google has ever made to the most important piece of marketing software that they (or anyone else) ever created. I hope to give you a sense of the big changes that this new iteration has brought to this extremely popular web analytics platform, and to cover everything that I feel you need to know as you begin to use it.[Read more…] about Google Analytics 4: Crawl Before You Walk
This post is about how to do a work-from-anywhere job during times when you don’t actually know where you’re going to be from one day to the next. I didn’t expect to be writing this post until Oregon’s wildfires thrust me into the middle of that experience one week ago today; now, I am finding it difficult to imagine writing about anything else.
See, here’s the sad part. After three months of a rather strict lockdown, we Oregonians were even more excited than usual for the arrival of summer because we knew we could congregate outdoors at greatly reduced risk. Sure enough, June ushered in a bunch of socially distant backyard hangs, and they really were a soothing tonic. We got to see our friends’ actual faces, scratching that ancient itch for immediate social contact that we’d tried to ignore all spring. Never mind that we still had to constantly maintain six feet of distance, refrain from sharing food or drinks, undertake rigorous and convoluted bathroom access protocols, and put up with the thousands of mosquitoes that didn’t get the Covid memo; it was all worth it! We knew that fall would bring an end to this blissful phase before too terribly long, but being that September is typically the nicest month of the year in Oregon, my wife and I had booked thirst-quenching social activity of this kind for every weekend through the end of the month. We could make plans again! Things were looking up.
As Deadwood’s Al Swearingen once said, “announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.”[Read more…] about Working from Wherever
Google’s announcement a few weeks ago that they’re phasing out the Structured Data Testing Tool in favor of a new, totally insular successor called the Rich Results Test definitely didn’t add any smiles to my summer.
The key difference between the tools is that this new one will not validate any structured data entities unless and until those entities drive rich results in Google Search. In other words, Google is deprecating a standards-based tool in favor of a results-based one, a change which, despite their predictable efforts to frame it as an “upgrade” (🥳), carries the message that structured data shouldn’t matter to you unless they generate rich results for your website in Google Search — that is, unless your search traffic can benefit directly from them today (and with all due thanks to Google, of course). Ask not what you can do for the semantic web; ask what the semantic web can do for you.
The frequent readers among you are no doubt already familiar with UpBuild’s core company values. Today, we’re announcing a new initiative that will strengthen our commitment to three of those values in particular — purpose, betterment, and transparency — by making our collective expertise available to you, when you need it, absolutely free of charge. We’re calling it the UpBuild Help Desk.[Read more…] about Introducing the UpBuild Help Desk
Well, it happened again: Google went and made new rules, and gave us a startling reminder of how deeply we had dug in on the old ones. On some level, we SEOs go to bed every night believing that the game will be the same tomorrow as it was today, even as we constantly attend and deliver talks about how much it has changed over the years. I don’t know where that disconnect comes from, but it’s probably just an impulse to protect our sanity; if we really took time at the end of each day to reflect on how many times the very definition of our job and our industry has changed since we first got started, who knows how many more tomorrows we could bring ourselves to face.
Featured snippets first arrived in 2014 and sent shockwaves through the content strategy world immediately. The fact that Google had created a special class of search results page that offered an organic position superior to #1, and that access to that position could be (in theory, anyway) attained on content alone, shook up a lot of our old talking points.[Read more…] about The Great Featured Snippet Shake-Em-Up