Why you should watch this replay!
We held our January SEO News webinar on January 25, and there’s been loads of news to share. We’ve been talking about the page experience update (again — this time for desktop), a new robots tag, Microsoft’s new IndexNow plugin, WordPress 5.9, and a whole lot more! As a bonus, a special guest joined us in this webinar: Bas van der Lans from WordProof. We started the webinar with Bas’ presentation, before getting into the details of this month’s SEO news. Watch the replay or read our recap below!
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Recap and resources
- 03:05 – What is timestamping and what does it have to do with blockchain?
Can you trust all the information you find online? Even though the internet has brought us many great things, it has a deep-rooted issue with trust. Trust must become part of the Internet’s DNA. This is exactly what a blockchain timestamp offers: a unique fingerprint of the state of a document or content that is stored in a blockchain transaction. With that, you can prove that the document exists in exactly that form at the moment of the transaction and you can connect an identity to the blockchain address. Read more and get the WordProof plugin right here.
Find out more about WordProof with these resources:
- Slides of the presentation;
- Case e-Commerce content protection;
- WordProof Academy;
- Timestamps Copyright;
- 23:00 – Google’s page experience update is coming to desktop, along with a new desktop page experience report
Google’s page experience update is coming to desktop. Page speed is now an explicit ranking factor. It came to mobile-first, and now it’s turning up on desktop as well. In addition, there’s now a desktop page experience report in Google Search Console. If you’re not already looking at your page speed, you definitely should be now. These reports even give you recommendations.
- 24:06 – Can Google’s help documents be trusted?
Google did a video about their help documents and whether they can be trusted. And the conclusion is pretty much a resounding no. It’s hard to maintain. There were two interesting takeaways. One is that they encourage users to give them feedback if something is wrong. And secondly, they suggest that you should test things and use your common sense when trying stuff out.
- 25:58 – New robots tag: indexifembedded
This new indexifembedded tag that they’ve introduced allows you to say ‘I will noindex this page, but if this page is embedded as an iFrame in something else, index it there’. If you’re a massive news publisher with a big video library on a separate hosting platform, maybe you might use this, but most people don’t need to worry about this too much.
- 28:05 – Microsoft releases IndexNow plugin for WordPress and announces sharing of submitted URLs
Microsoft has released an IndexNow plugin for WordPress. It’s good to know that IndexNow is not really ‘index now’ — it’s ‘crawled now’. So they will crawl and when they’ll find a page that is set to noindex then they’ll do nothing. When Microsoft introduced IndexNow, the idea was that you don’t have to ping each search engine individually. It’s understandable that Microsoft wants to achieve that, but do we trust Microsoft in being the proxy and pinging all these search engines? That’s a big commitment.
- 32:32 – WordPress 5.9 to fix lazy loading performance regression
Recently, WordPress introduced automatic lazy loading for images. So your browser will only download images near the screen. Really great, except they overdid it a bit, and it would lazy-load images above the screen too. With the new 5.9 release, WordPress is now better at deciding which images it should preload and automatically lazy-load. Which will help your pages load even faster.
- 33:59 – WordPress 5.9 performance improvements
Other tech news
- 35:06 – DuckDuckGo passes 100 billion searches
DuckDuckGo has passed a hundred billion all-time private searches. Now, they probably won’t kill Google. But as a user, if you want a different search experience, that’s definitely worth exploring. And if you’re very privacy-aware, then DuckDuckGo is actually a very good search engine.
- 36:27 – Bad news for US cloud services
In Europe, we have a data privacy law called GDPR. Recently, there was an Austrian case, in which they’ve said ‘you can’t use Google Analytics on your website’. In response to that ruling, the Dutch authority (for example) made remarks that they will probably update their ruling. They will probably tell us not to use Google Analytics or to change our Google Analytics settings to be more privacy-friendly. There is a chance, that in a few months, nobody in Europe will be able to legally use Google Analytics anymore.
- 40:36 – Shopify steps up China expansion through tie-up with ecommerce giant JD.com
This was actually super big news: Shopify has made a deal with jd.com, which is basically giving access to the Chinese market for everyone on Shopify in the US. JD will ship the stuff that they want to sell to the Chinese market from the US to China. In so many ways, this feels like the world opening up and it seems like a really big step.
Yoast SEO news
- 41:30 – Yoast SEO 17.8 and 17.9, plus YoastCon – Shopify edition
Yoast SEO 17.8 mostly had fixes and enhancements and nothing really major. But Yoast SEO 17.9 had a very nice Wincher integration and support for Japanese. The fact that we now support Japanese is something we’re very proud of. It’s an entire new market and there are a lot of WordPress users in Japan. It’s also great to have this Wincher integration, which can help you track the performance of your keyphrases. And last but not least, we had an online YoastCon with some great talks. Almost 5000 people saw them already, but you can still rewatch it on our website if you missed it!
Joost de Valk
Joost is the founder and Chief Product Officer at Yoast. He spends most of his time at Yoast working on Yoast SEO and its add-ons. As Chief Product Officer he makes sure the roadmap for all our products is managed.
Jono is a digital strategist, marketing technologist, and full stack developer. He’s into technical SEO, emerging technologies, and brand strategy.
Sebastiaan van der Lans
Sebastiaan is chairman of the Trusted Web Foundation and CEO of WordProof. He has a big heart for open source. In 2006 he co-founded Amsterdam-based open-source agency ‘Van Ons’, which is a leading digital agency now, serving over 100M page views a year. In 2020, WordProof won Europe’s ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ contest 2020. Sebastiaan has a strong passion for improving the playing fields of publishing, SEO, and e-commerce. Solutions by his teams are actively being used by over 100.000 organizations. Let’s build the Trusted Web, together!