Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- How Google’s Product Review Update will impact affiliate marketers
- Why you can’t ignore your site for long stretches
- The final tests we’re doing for the Video SEO course
- Why I’m tripling up on the testing and where else you’ll see the new tutorials
- New TOS for site audit clients on the way
- What was in the WP 5.7.1 security release
- More bugs reported for Reusable Blocks
- Why we need a better comment system
- The 2 plugins Genesis is deprecating
- Google shuts down Feedburner RSS to Email service
- Why Google changed the name of Core Web Vitals to Page Experience
- What’s in the Evolving CLS metric Calculation
- A welcome delay in the rollout of Google Page Experience
- New Core Web Vitals options from Mediavine
- New metrics in WebPage Test for CLS
- Will WordPress block Google’s FLoC tracking
Listen to the Podcast
Spill the Beans Livestream tonight
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. We spill the beans on this week’s news, breaking stories for the day too, and special info just for those who watch. So come join us live for the party.
Who I Help
All BlogAid posts and tutorials are intended to assist business-minded, hands-on bloggers and webmaster designers who are serious about making money and who want to stay up-to-date with site changes.
Holy cow!! There was a LOT of late breaking news on Monday and I’ll tell you all about it in a moment.
We met some big goals here at BlogAid this week and we’re getting close to launching new things for you.
Plus, I have new info on Core Web Vitals for you too.
And we have some clarity on the latest big Google algorithm update for product reviews that I think you’ll like too.
And notice that I said we, not I, as everything happening at BlogAid right now is a true team effort, which thrills me.
I sure was glad to see this algorithm change at Google.
Go read my post and discover why Google’s April 2021 Product Review Update is good for bloggers who endorse products they actually use.
I know that for many of you, CoVid threw your schedule for a loop last year.
And maybe you are just now coming out of that loop and getting your bearings again.
For some folks who were not already making money with your site, maybe you thought it would be okay to put it on ignore.
Well, that’s a myth.
Read my post to discover why you can’t just ignore your site for long stretches and the minimum things that you need to pay attention to, even if you can only devote 15 minutes to it.
Video SEO Course Update
Woot!!! All of the tutorials are complete except for the 2 that involve the how-to blocks in Gutenberg as well as the recipe plugins.
And for those I’m calling on my video seo tester group this week to help try different scenarios to see what works best.
Both Yoast SEO and the Create plugins have how-to Gutenberg blocks.
Those are fantastic for SEO as they contain special schema formatting that Google eats like candy.
And, they have spots to add videos to visually demonstrate how the thing is done.
Tripling Up on Testing
Right now I’m testing the how-to blocks without video and I’ll be adding new tutorials to my courses for:
And, of course, I’ll be gathering all manner of schema markup info on the recipe plugins while I’m at it.
I’ll reserve that for the new case study I’ll be doing on the top recipe plugins right behind launching the Video SEO course.
So, I’m trying to maximize my time on these tests and get more info out about them to all courses.
New Boutique Hosting Update
The new site is being spun up for purchasing the new hosting.
That requires the design, of course, but also the mechanism for purchase and appropriating the account.
And then there is a lot of content to create about Terms of Service and other legal things.
New TOS for Site Audit Client Perks
As I mentioned in last week’s Tips Tuesday, I’m drawing up a new TOS for continued access to all site audit client perks.
You have to keep your site up to date with audits to stay in our free member area and private Facebook group.
That’s mainly because the rate of change with hosts, security, sites, Cloudflare, and more is so rapid now that I can’t support sites that are not current else my advice could cause something to break. Or worse, we waste a lot of time guessing at the issue and nothing fixes it simply because the site is not current.
And, this new TOS will be in alignment with the new messaging all over BlogAid about who I help.
I’ve written the first draft and am letting it simmer for a bit before sending it out to ensure I’ve got everything in it that is needed, and to ensure the tone of it conveys why this is a perk and not a penalty.
Site Services Update
We’re still hanging around July-ish for my wait list.
I was able to onboard more folks last week and several of those projects will be fast as they are site audit checkups and/or migration/site audit combos where it’s just a checkup for more folks coming off SiteGround.
Those are quick and cheap and we should be through them in just a few days each.
That’s all the happenings around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
WordPress 5.7.1 Released
A minor release of 5.7.1 rolled out to sites last week.
It was mainly bug fixes.
And because it was a minor update, it should have auto updated for you.
Reusable Blocks Bugs
I love Reusable Blocks in Gutenberg! I think it is one of the most powerful features in the new editor.
But, it has been somewhat buggy ever since it rolled out.
The WP 5.7 release was supposed to have addressed the remaining bugs. But it seems to have created a few new ones too.
I’ve heard that the 5.7.1 update took care of them.
But, I can’t say that I’m too crazy about one of the new features that saves a newly created Reusable Block when you save the post or page on which it was created.
I was waiting for the bug fixes to update my tutorial for creating Reusable Blocks in the Gutenberg Ninja course.
I hope to get that out to you this week even if all bugs are not fully fixed because how you name and manage them has changed pretty radically.
Last week I asked my Webmasters what their favorite way would be to remove the URL/Website field from comments. Honestly, I think that field is what most spammers are after.
Even if their website URL is a nofollow link, it’s still a backlink.
Perhaps getting rid of that field will help make my site less attractive to spammers.
There are plugins to remove it, but it can also be done by adding a few lines of code to your theme’s functions.php file.
And I am no fan of piling code into that file if it has nothing to do with the theme. When you change themes, poof goes that function too.
There are also plugins that let you add such code too, sort of like the Insert Headers and Footers plugin we use for manually adding our Google Analytics script. But it can only handle scripts. And this code is not that.
I use a plugin on my member sites called My Custom Functions for adding code like the one needed to get rid of the Website field in comments.
So, no matter which way you go, you have to add some type of plugin to avoid hard coding in your theme’s file.
With that in mind, I sure was glad to see this post from Justin Tadlock that may draw some attention to just how many years WordPress has ignored the native commenting system.
And I hope the WP devs simply overhaul the whole thing if they touch it at all.
Two older Genesis plugins have been rolled into the framework core, so it’s no longer necessary to offer them as plugins.
However, lots of folks are still using them as plugins and don’t want to update their theme to pull on the source code in the framework.
The 2 plugins are:
- Genesis Simple Edits
- Genesis Simple FAQs
On May 3rd, no one will be allowed to download these 2 plugins.
But, folks who already have them will still get updates.
Please do read the post from Genesis for more details if you have either of these 2 plugins.
14 years ago Google purchased Feedburner. And we had a scare back then where we were all concerned that they may just shut it down. If I remember correctly, they shut down the Japanese RSS feed service without warning or such right around then.
Since then, Google has made a few tweaks to it, but has pretty much left it alone until now.
This July, they will be removing the RSS to Email function.
There are a few bloggers who have been around a while still using it. I used to use it back in the day too, but when the threat of it possibly shutting down made many of us jump ship and go to services like MailChimp for RSS to Email delivery.
You can easily download your subscriber list from Feedburner.
And the reason so many folks turned to MailChimp for it is that they allow you to import that list without emailing everyone on it to ask their permission first. The way they get around the that is with a checkbox for you that says all of these folks gave you permission to be on that list.
And if you are still doing RSS to email using any service, seriously consider stopping that practice. It fell out of favor about four years ago. Folks started writing personalized emails with links to the posts instead.
And another reason to stop that practice is to not have your entire post in the email so that folks will click over to your site.
Plus, you don’t want to deliver your entire post to scrapers anymore either.
READ: Make it hard for scrapers to grab your content for more details.
Core Web Vitals Tips
Core Web Vitals is Now Called Google Page Experience
Because Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics include more than speed, Google decided to change the name of the whole project to Google Page Experience.
This is now a combination of all existing ranking metrics plus the new Core Web Vitals metrics.
This change comes more than a year after the initial announcement of Core Web Vitals, and that is the name folks like me have written endlessly about for the last 12 months.
So, I expect that it will take some time before it catches on.
Last week Google announced a change to how they are calculating CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift).
It involves making the metric fair for those who have pages that are open for a long time – such as a recipe post.
If that post runs ads, the rotation of those ads in different sizes could make the content jump around as folks are reading.
And that’s a bad User Experience (UX).
Because Google is still tweaking their testing tools and reports for Core Web Vitals metrics, they have decided to delay the rollout of the new ranking factors.
In a post released on April 19, Google said that the gradual rollout will start in June instead of May.
They also said that it won’t take full effect until August.
That means you still have time to get on my wait list for your site audit and get your site ready if you do it now!!!
There is also a new Page Experience Report in Google Search Console.
I don’t expect it to be any more accurate, or less volatile than the Core Web Vitals report that this report replaces.
Me and my site audit clients have watched it swing wildly on a weekly, or even daily basis.
And it is an average at 75% over a 28 day period. So even if you make tweaks to your site, it could be a month before you see that change in this report.
Plus, it is based directly on site visitor feedback from the Chrome browser, which accounts for the wild swings.
Mediavine Core Web Vitals Options
If you run ads from Mediavine, be sure to see the livestream they did on their Facebook page on Thursday, April 15, to learn about the options they have in your Mediavine Dashboard to help improve your Core Web Vitals scores.
Mediavine also published a Core Web Vitals Page Experience Checklist that I suggest you get too, even if you don’t run ads.
You most definitely want to take advantage of these options, especially those that impact CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) with ads refreshing as mentioned previously.
Keep in mind that most testers only check CLS on initial load.
It does not check ad areas down the page collapsing during scroll, or ads of different sizes loading as folks read your content.
Mediavine is addressing the CLS all through the page, including changes when the page is open for a long time, such as a recipe site.
And keep in mind that my site audits will help you fix all of the above-the-fold CLS issues.
So, there’s more than one thing to check and fix with this.
I sure do appreciate the fact that my workhorse tester, WebPage Test, is all over this new change with measuring CLS.
Instead of just calculating it on initial load, they will now look at all of the shifting sections and calculate each one.
I have been using WPT for just desktop metrics and then using the paid version of GTMetrix for mobile testing, as it showed the CLS and other mobile version load issues better.
But, I’m looking forward to doing mobile tests on WPT again and I’ll be updating the tutorials for my Webmaster Training course asap with the new info.
3rd Party Cookie Tips
This is late breaking news and I just got a post out about it same day on Monday.
As Chrome drops 3rd party cookie tracking due to privacy concerns, WordPress is poised to consider blocking its replacement called FLoC.
Read my post from yesterday to discover what this means for bloggers who run ads on their site, and the ad targeting industry for everybody.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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