Google: We Ignores Most Links Within Press Releases

Google’s John Mueller said this morning in a video hangout at the 35:32 mark into the video that Google’s algorithms ignores more links found within press releases. He said Google automatically ignores these links because often the press releases are from the company’s themselves and thus are not really natural links. Thus Google tries to ignore these links.
He did add that the links won’t necessarily hurt you but they won’t benefit you.
Google said in the past that press release links should be nofollowed because they consider them unnatural links. They added them to their link schemes guidelines a while back as well. Back when Matt Cutts was around, he said these links won’t help you.
So if you have a lot of press release links, they won’t help but they shouldn’t hurt you anymore. Unless you are really spammy with them…
Here is the video embed at the start time of when John started talking about this:
[embedded content]
Here is the transcript:

So we try to ignore links from things like press releases because we know in general companies put the press releases out themselves. So any links in there are essentially placed by themselves.
But if these links happen and they’re out there it’s not something you need to worry about because you can’t really take them all back.
I just wouldn’t rely on kind of press releases as a strategy for building up links for a website because like I said we do ignore most of those.

Forum discussion at YouTube.

Google: Providing APIs Won’t Reduce Search Results Scraping

There was a somewhat fun conversation on Twitter around the new URL inspector tool. Some SEOs are saying that if Google provided an API for this tool, it would reduce scraping of the Google search results. As you know, scraping Google’s search results is against their terms of service and Google is not a fan of those that do it.
But the truth is, Google has done very little to stop the popular tools from scraping their search results. There have been times where they caused problems for the tools but overall, scrapers still do what they do best, scrape.
Now when someone mentioned to John Mueller of Google that providing this API for the URL inspector tool would reduce scraping, John laughed. He said, “Hah, I doubt it.” Adding also that it is not right to say we will break your TOS (terms of service) if you don’t give us a feature we want, is not a good argument.

I find the argument of “we’ll break your tos less if you give us what we want” somewhat unconvincing.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) June 25, 2018
The topic of scraping is very interesting because technically Google is one big scraper but of course, we can always use robots.txt or other methods to prevent Google from indexing or scraping our content.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

What Type of Content Is Most Effective for Attracting Website Traffic? [POLL] by @A_Ninofranco

Content is essential for SEO. It is – and will continue to be – one of the most important organic search ranking factors.
Now that we’re in the age of content explosion, churning out and distributing multitudes of content has never been more convenient.
But if you are particularly looking to improve your visibility in search engines, you have to know what kind of content you should be creating.
So which content type is the most effective for bringing website traffic?
We asked our Twitter community to find out what trends they’re seeing. Here’s how they responded.
What Type of Content Most Effectively Attracts Traffic?
Here are the results from this #SEJSurveySays poll question.
According to SEJ’s Twitter audience:
Written content is the most effective type of content for attracting website traffic – with 40.4 percent of respondents saying so.
34.3 percent view video content as the most effective content form in driving traffic to their website.
Visual content is the top traffic-generator for 25.3 percent of the respondents.
None of them have found success in using audio content to attract website traffic.

Understanding How SEO & Content Work Together
Content is important for SEO. But not just any content will do. You need to create high-quality content that is useful and informative to searchers. As Google puts it:

“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors…”

No matter what type of content you decide to use, creating a high-quality piece should be your paramount consideration. If you are providing relevant and engaging content to your users, search engines will take notice.
There are so many things you can do to optimize your content for search. Check out this list of articles from our SEJ contributors to learn helpful content optimization tips:
Have Your Say
Which type of content is most effective for driving traffic to your website? Tag us on social media to let us know.
Be sure to have your say in the next survey – check out the #SEJSurveySays hashtag on Twitter for future polls and data.
Image Credit
Chart created by Shayne Zalameda

Google: Google Analytics Won’t Hurt Or Benefit Your Search Rankings

Google’s John Mueller felt the need to explain on Twitter that there is no penalty for using or not using Google Analytics on your web site. Google doesn’t rank a web site any better or worse because you use or don’t use Google Analytics.
Here is John’s tweet:

Just to be clear: there’s no penalty for using or not using GA with regards to search.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) June 28, 2018
He did add that it does help uncover information about your web site and gives you insights into making your web site better:

GA can give you lots of insights about your site & how users enjoy it, but it’s not required for search.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) June 28, 2018
But having the Google Analytics snippet in your HTML doesn’t give you a ranking boost or ranking decline.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

Disallowing Robots.txt In Robots.txt Doesn’t Impact How Google Processes It

Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that even if you try to disallow your robots.txt within your robots.txt, it won’t impact how Google processes and accesses that robots.txt. John said in response to someone asking if you can disallow your robots.txt, “it doesn’t affect how we process the robots.txt, we’ll still process it normally.”
“However, if someone’s linking to your robots.txt file and it would otherwise be indexed, we wouldn’t be able to index its content & show it in search (for most sites, that’s not interesting anyway),” he added. Meaning, Google might not show it in the Google index. Yes, Google does rank robots.txt files if it has content people are searching for.
John did say this in 2012 so it isn’t exactly new information.
Here are the new tweets on the topic:

It doesn’t affect how we process the robots.txt, we’ll still process it normally. However, if someone’s linking to your robots.txt file and it would otherwise be indexed, we wouldn’t be able to index its content & show it in search (for most sites, that’s not interesting anyway)
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) June 29, 2018
Forum discussion at Twitter.

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