1. LinkedIn App Now Allows You To Schedule Posts – According to LinkedIn “We’re starting to roll out post scheduling on desktop and Android so that our creators can easily plan the content they want to share next, with iOS coming soon. This means you can schedule text posts, videos, and images up to three months in advance.

2. Pinterest Stops Creator Rewards Program – Pinterest has announced that as of Nov 30th, it is ending its Creator Rewards program. The Creator Rewards Program which offered cash bonuses when creators completed goals such as hitting certain engagement metrics.

3. New Ad Targeting Options In Twitter Ads – Twitter announced some new ad targeting options, which look fairly similar to its existing ad goals, but with some important differences. The first update is within its ‘Conversions’ objective, with advertisers now able to focus their promotions onto users that are more likely to take specific actions in response. 

Per Twitter: “Website Conversions Optimization (WCO) is a major rebuild of our conversion goal that will improve the way advertisers reach customers who are most likely to convert on a lower-funnel website action (e.g. add-to-cart, purchase). Our user-level algorithms will then target with greater relevance, reaching people most likely to meet your specific goal – at 25% lower cost-per-conversion on average, per initial testing.”

Twitter’s also launched its ‘Dynamic Product Ads’, which enable advertisers ‘to showcase the most relevant product to the right customer at the right time’.

Finally, Twitter’s also launching its updated Collection Ads format, which enables advertisers to share a primary hero image, along with smaller thumbnail images below it. “The primary image remains static while people can browse through the thumbnails via horizontal scroll. When tapped, each image can drive consumers to a different landing page.”

You can read more about Twitter’s latest ad updates here.

4. TikTok Announces Fall Semester Curriculum Of Its Creative Agency Partnerships (CAP) University – TikTok has announced the Fall Semester curriculum of its Creative Agency Partnerships (CAP) University program, which aims to ‘teach agency creatives how to show up on the platform’. CAP University aims to provide in-depth training and insight for marketing and ad partners, to help them maximize their use of the platform for their clients’ promotions. The initiative was first launched back in April, with an initial course run, but now, TikTok has updated its lesson plan for the next phase.

The most significant new addition is ‘Content to Cart’, which explores the potential of eCommerce in the app, via its evolving set of product and shopping showcase tools.

You can learn more about CAP University’s Fall Semester curriculum here

5. Two New Metrics In GA4 Reports – Google has added two new metrics to GA4 properties – Views per session and average session duration.

Views per session tracks the number of app screens or web pages people look at during a single visit, while average session duration measures the time users spend on the website.

6. Per Google, HTTP/3 Doesn’t Impact SEO – HTTP/3 is a new standard in development that will affect how web browsers and servers communicate, with significant upgrades for user experience, including performance, reliability, and security.

Now Google Search Advocate John Mueller debunks  theories that  HTTP/3 can directly impact a website’s SEO. According to Mueller, “Google doesn’t use HTTP/3 as a factor in ranking at the moment. As far as I know, we don’t use it in crawling either. In terms of performance, I suspect the gains users see from using HTTP/3 would not be enough to significantly affect the core web vitals, which are the metrics that we use in the page experience ranking factor. While making a faster server is always a good idea, I doubt you’d see a direct connection with SEO only from using HTTP/3. Similar to how you’d be hard pressed to finding a direct connection to using a faster kind of RAM in your servers.

7. Google On “SEO Compliance Score” – Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, said (on Mastodon) there is no such thing as an “SEO compliance score” from Google. This was in response to user @bertran making a claim that Google has an SEO compliance score. Just goes to show how much made up things exists in the SEO world. 

Furthermore, Danny shared that the “Search Essentials is covering things we’ve long said: 1) avoid technical errors that prevent indexing content. 2) don’t spam. 3) consider some best practices about producing content meant for humans.

8. Google Has Algorithms To Detect & Demote AI Altered Plagiarized Content – There are “gurus” who are peddling  that AI tools that can (re)generate content that will rank you on top. However, Duy Nguyen from Google’s search quality team said that Google has “algorithms to go after” those who post AI plagiarized content, then the algorithms can “demote site scraping content from other sites.”

Duy Nguyen said, “Scraping content, even with some modification, is against our spam policy. We have many algorithms to go after such behaviors and demote site scraping content from other sites.

9. Google’s POV On Long & Short Content – During a recent Google SEO office hour, the topic of Long & Short Content came up. 

According to Gary Illyes, Google is not more or less likely to crawl or index shorter or more niche content than other types of content. The fact that the content is shorter and perhaps easier to crawl does not guarantee that Google will index it more quickly or more favorably than lengthy stuff. “Niche content can also be indexed. It’s not in any way penalized, but generally content, that’s popular on the internet, for example, many people linked to it, gets crawled and indexed easier,” Gary added.

Then another user asked if splitting a long article into multiple interlinked pages results in thin content. But first, what is think content? 

Some people think that thin content means a webpage with not much content on it. But in reality, thin content is essentially when a site’s text, or info, or visual elements are not relevant to the visitor’s intent or does not provide them with what they are looking for. Thin pages are characterized by a lack of originality, a tiny difference from other pages, and/or a lack of unique added value.  For example, a product page that a retailer copies from the manufacturer site with nothing additional added to it.

Doorway pages are also considered a form of thin content. Because often times these web pages are designed to rank for specific keywords. For example a page created to rank for a keyword phrase and different city names, where all the pages are virtually the same except for the names of the cities.

When an user asked “Would it be considered thin content if an article covering a lengthy topic was broken down into smaller articles and interlinked?” 

Lizzi Sassman from Google answered: “Well, it’s hard to know without looking at that content.

But word count alone is not indicative of thin content.

These are two perfectly legitimate approaches: it can be good to have a thorough article that deeply explores a topic, and it can be equally just as good to break it up into easier to understand topics.

It really depends on the topic and the content on that page, and you know your audience best.

So I would focus on what’s most helpful to your users and that you’re providing sufficient value on each page for whatever the topic might be.

However pagination (splitting one lengthy topic across multiple pages that are interlinked and requires site visitor clicks to the next page to keep reading the content) is fine. Google Search Central has a page about pagination best practices.

 
10. Google: Stop Wasting Your Time By Disavowing Random Links Flagged By Disavow Tools – In SEO, Disavow means to notify Google to ignore the harmful or low-quality links that are pointing to your site and are beyond your control. Third party tools use proprietary algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or toxic the tool company feels they are. According to Google Search Advocate John Mueller, “disavowing random links that look weird or that some tool has flagged, is not a good use of your time. It changes nothing. Use the disavow tool for situations where you actually paid for links and can’t get them removed afterwards.”

Obviously this brings the question, how do you know if the links were paid for specially when you had hired an agency/consultant for a backlink project? My thoughts in the show recording.

 
11. What Google Thinks Of Backlinks & Rankings – So what are backlinks? Backlink in SEO is using another website to link to your website so that when clicked, the user will be redirected to your website. 

During a recent Google SEO office hour, Duy Nguyen from Google’s search quality team said that “backlinks as a signal has a lot less significant impact compared to when Google Search first started out many years ago.  We have robust ranking signals, hundreds of them, to make sure that we are able to rank the most relevant and useful results for all queries.” 

According to Duy, it is a waste of time and effort to generate backlink. Here is what he said :

link building campaigns, which are essentially link spam according to our spam policy. We have many algorithms capable of detecting unnatural links at scale and nullifying them. This means that spammers or SEOs spending money on links truly have no way of knowing if the money they spent on link building is actually worth it or not, since it’s really likely that they’re just wasting money building all these spammy links and they were already nullified by our systems as soon as we see them.

12. Google On NoIndex Pages + Crawl Budget – Crawl Budget is the number of pages Googlebot crawls and indexes on a website within a given timeframe. The vast majority of sites out there don’t need to worry about crawl budget unless you run a very big site, added a bunch of pages, or have lots of redirects. 

On 2nd Dec 22, Lizzi Sassman from Google updated the crawl budget management help document to kill two myths around the crawl budget. They are:

“1. Any URL that is crawled affects crawl budget, and Google has to crawl the page in order to find the noindex rule. However, noindex is there to help you keep things out of the index. If you want to ensure that those pages don’t end up in Google’s index, continue using noindex and don’t worry about crawl budget. It’s also important to note that if you remove URLs from Google’s index with noindex or otherwise, Googlebot can focus on other URLs on your site, which means noindex can indirectly free up some crawl budget for your site in the long run.

2. Pages that serve 4xx HTTP status codes (except 429) don’t waste crawl budget. Google attempted to crawl the page, but received a status code and no other content.

Coincidentally, during the latest SEO office hour, someone asked if a large number of noindex pages that will adversely impact a website’s indexing or crawling. Or if we need to be mindful of Ratio Of index/noindex Pages? Or worry about noindex pages linked from spammy Sites. Here are official response from Google on these questions: 

Noindex is a very powerful tool that search engines support to help you, this site owner, keep content out of their indexes. For this reason, it doesn’t carry any unintended effects when it comes to crawling and indexing. For example, having many pages with noindex will not influence how Google crawls and indexes your site.

No, there is no magic ratio to watch out for. Also, for a site that’s not gigantic, with less than a million pages, perhaps, you really don’t need to worry about the crawl budget of your website. It’s fine to remove unnecessary internal links, but for small to medium-sized sites, that’s more of a site hygiene topic than an SEO one.

Noindex is there to help you keep things out of the index, and it doesn’t come with unintended negative effects, as we said previously. If you want to ensure that those pages or their URLs, more specifically, don’t end up in Google’s index, continue using noindex and don’t worry about crawl budget.