Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Updates to the DIY SEO course
- Why I’m bringing in webmasters to help with client site work
- The first release candidate for WP 5.5 is out and what that means for you and what I’m looking into
- What’s with the PHP upgrade notification you may be getting in your WP Dashboard
- The new Gutenberg Ninja tutorials in the works
- Why Google updated its GDPR policies
- My ongoing research into first and third party cookie tracking and why I spoke with a lawyer
- Why I like the new Bing URL inspection tool better than Google’s
- Whether or not you should optimize your content for questions
- How the relationship between Google Search and content creators has changed
- The future of affiliate marketing
- A beginner’s guide to writing better headlines
- A big change to Unsplash’s image use license agreement
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s a great way to get the deeper story on what’s reported in Tips Tuesday. And, I almost always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
Who I Help
All tips, advice, and suggestions in this, and all BlogAid posts and tutorials, are intended to empower DIY site owners who are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup. If you have any doubts about what type of host you are on and if the tips I give will work there, see this post on What is Managed Hosting?
First week of August, y’all. And I know for many of you that means getting super busy with all of your holiday posts and such.
For me, it’s like back to school time with all of the new tutorials and such I’ve been creating for you.
In the DIY SEO course, all of the Yoast SEO tutorials have been updated.
For existing members, these were minor changes that you’ve been keeping up with as Yoast changed, so no need to revisit those tutorials. But for new folks, everything in the tutorials matches what you are seeing.
I’m now working on updates for tutorials in:
- Google Connections
- Google Search Console
I’ll be releasing those in batches, so members should look for an email when those come out with details on which ones you may want to revisit.
Bringing in Help for Site Work
My wait list for site audits and other site services is going well into September at this point.
So, I’ve brought in a couple of my long-time webmaster training peeps to help so I don’t run into October and can get more projects through.
Many of my clients are combining migrating to new hosting with their site audit, and that saves them money. But, that’s also a slightly longer project too due to the need to coordinate the processes.
So, if you’re on my wait list, I appreciate your patience, and we’re working as fast and as hard as we can to get projects completed.
If you have an open project, keep in mind that time is of the utmost essence and we all appreciate you moving your parts of the project along as quickly as possible.
Are You Ready to Add Site Audits to Your Biz?
My Webmaster Training course teaches you all about site security and performance.
It’s a must for designers that set up sites for clients, as they need to be set up securely right from the get go.
And site owners are waking up to the fact that speed is crazy important now. So there is even more demand for those services.
You’ll learn how to see what theme elements and plugins drag down site speed.
It will definitely improve your design business.
Plus, if you want to go deeper and learn to offer site audits like I do, it’s all there in the Performance training.
You can be as overloaded with work as I am, if you will commit to the training!!!
I booked $8,000 worth of site work in 6 hours during my Super Summer Sales Event in July.
This training more than pays for itself!!!!
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s dive into this week’s tips.
The first Release Candidate for WP 5.5 rolled out last week.
A Release Candidate means that they have frozen adding anything new to the version and are now solely focused on the remaining bug fixes.
I expect RC2 to roll out this week.
The final release to the public is expected August 11.
Digging into WP 5.5 Changes
Now that we have hit the Release Candidate, I feel a lot more comfortable digging deeper into documenting all of the changes for both WP itself and Gutenberg.
I already have a running list of them, but now I’m gathering deeper details.
I’ll have a What’s New in WP 5.5 post and video for you just prior to the release.
Upgrade PHP Notification
The Site Health Check feature in WP is now telling folks that they have a critical security issue if they are not using PHP 7.4.
That’s not true.
You have a critical security issue if you are using anything below the 7.2 version. And I sure as heck wish they would change that notification’s wording to reflect that fact!!!!
The current PHP version you need to be at on your hosting is 7.3.
We are not quite ready to go up to 7.4, as some plugins and themes have not yet been tested for compatibility.
Now if you’re already there, and things are working, stay there.
And the rest of us will be moving up to it by the end of the year or early next.
Keep watching Tips Tuesday for when to make that move.
See this tutorial if you want to check and/or change your PHP version now.
It shows how to do it on cPanel. If your host has a different control panel, see their support documents for help, or ask them to do it for you.
And just after the WP 5.5 release I’ll start actually recording all of the new Gutenberg tutorials for my Gutenberg Ninja course.
This week I’m continuing to draw up the scripts and info for the other sections like:
- Start Here
- Specialty Block Suite plugins
- Genesis section
- Astra section
I hope to be rolling all of those out in bulk sections this week.
For those in the course, look for an email with details on what has changed.
I received an email from Google yesterday stating that they are making a few changes to their GDPR policy due to a recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding data transfers.
If you see an update from your ad network about this, please let me know, as I’d like to see a synopsis of the changes.
First and Third Party Cookie Research
In the past few Tips Tuesdays you’ve heard me talking more about the changes coming to Chrome halting the tracking of 3rd party cookie data and how some ad agencies, and even Google, want to switch over to 1st party cookie tracking.
I have been in touch with one GDPR lawyer about this and I’m still doing a bit more investigation as to what this will mean to the future of online ads everywhere, plus if there is any extra liability to the site owner for allowing the share of data from their 1st party cookies.
I will keep you posted when I have more info to share.
If you see info about any of this, please send me the link, as most ad agencies are being pretty tight lipped about what actions they are taking, so it’s hard to find anything other than vague info about it.
Bing Webmaster Tools is gaining more ground on Google Search Console with the new URL inspection tool they just released.
I have to tell you, the more I work with Bing Webmaster Tools as I create new tutorials for it in the DIY SEO course, the more I like it better than Search Console. It’s just easier to read and work with.
And I’m seeing more and more clients getting traffic from Bing too.
So, it’s definitely worth us paying more attention to, and that’s why I’m making a new tutorial section for it in the course.
Team Yoast released a very interesting post this past week asking whether you should optimize your content for questions.
The short answer is yes, definitely!!!
But, the full answer is a LOT deeper than that.
In the article, they give you screenshots of all the ways optimizing for questions can get you on the front page of Google.
I teach this in my DIY SEO course too. In fact, I teach you all of the ways to format your content to get into all of the various sections of page one in search.
However, this tactic with questions can backfire.
Unpaid Content Creators for Google
Complaints are getting louder from pro SEOs that Google is becoming far less interested in the fair trade agreement they’ve long had with content creators.
We create authoritative, easy to read content that Google shows to folks looking to solve a problem.
It was a good symbiotic relationship for years.
Google delivered appropriate results of the best content on the web, and we got the clicks for making it.
But, over the last two years, Google has become far less interested in sending anyone off Google.
If they can present the answer right there, they feel that is more beneficial to the person searching for that answer.
And we, the content creator that gave Google that authoritative answer, no longer get as many clicks.
That’s not fair.
We have now become unpaid content creators for Google.
And they are making record profits off of it because they get to show ads to those searchers.
In fact, ads are all you see above the fold on mobile now.
You have to go to pages 2-4 of SERPs, or Search Engine Result Pages to get to any link from a blogger if they didn’t show up in one of those first page sections.
Over the last 2 years I’ve seen more and more pro SEOs give up doing SEO for clients over this, because all a client will accept as a good result is having a clickable link prominently on page 1 of Google search. And that’s insanely hard to do as there are very few organic link clicks outside of those special sections on page 1 now.
As Yoast said, and as I teach, you may get a click from showing up in those special places more than you have a chance of a searcher scrolling down to where your blog post link appears!!!
So, learn how to play the game.
The Future of Affiliate Marketing
So, these SEOs have turned to doing review sites and such, and they are making a killing – way beyond what our personal endorsements of products on our blogs could ever achieve, yet we are putting our personal reputations on the line for them.
Amazon could care less which site the product click comes from.
They are perfectly happy to make sales from these bogus review sites from folks who have never even used any of the products listed.
And I have to wonder if this sharp rise in sites that are insanely optimized by folks who know how to play the SEO game aren’t part of the reason why Amazon cut their commission rates.
It hurt every affiliate, but consider the percentages.
I heard one of these pro SEO folks complain that he lost $20,000/mo over the cuts.
When was the last time you even made $20,000/mo off Amazon sales?
I hope this gives you a better idea of what you are up against if you are blogging for affiliate link dollars.
And I hope you look at the hamster wheel you’re on with content creation and driving traffic to your site to make what little you do from affiliate links.
There may be a better way to spend your time.
Just give it some thought.
You could spend a lot of time and money learning to write great titles and it would be worth every penny.
Think about the title for your post. Or the first sentence in your social media description.
You’re not writing a grammatically correct sentence.
You’re writing, is a title to gain attention and get a click.
And your title is sitting in a sea of titles on Google search and on social media feeds.
Just try this.
Sensationalize the title past your comfort zone and see what happens.
When all that extra traffic hits your site and you make more money, you won’t care anymore if it sounded click-bait-y.
And then go read this post from the nice folks at Blogging Wizard that covers what to do and what not to do with writing better headlines that get clicks.
If you use images from Unsplash, you will definitely want to read this post on WP Tavern about changes to their license agreement.
That’s especially true if you are using their plugin, that was released just 2 weeks ago, to pull in their images directly to your WP site.
That plugin may get pulled from the repository soon.
And, expect that some themes that use images from Unsplash for their demo content to get popped because of this too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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