Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Why I was excited to get the Yoast SEO survey that focused heavily on video
- Bing Webmaster Tool tutorials are in the works
- The new video SEO thing I got to try with my latest Heartwood Art video and post
- A setting you must check asap if you use the Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin
- What’s up with Facebook and Instagram oEmbeds breaking later in October
- Why you should always use your canonical link for sharing
- Google will finally start crawling sites using HTTP/2
- What HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 are and why it matters for your site speed
- What I’m concerned about with Catchpoint acquiring my fave online tester, WebPage Test
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?
Besides tons of client work, this past week I had chats with 2 marketing agencies, got a post out for the first time in 3 months on Heartwood Art, started in on the new Bing Webmaster Tools tutorials, began my documentation for the latest YouTube tools for the new Video SEO course, and perhaps put myself in a position to be a beta tester for new video SEO things that might come from Yoast.
New marketing help for courses
This past week I interviewed 3 new folks to help with marketing my online courses. One was a complete waste of time. We got 28 minutes into our 30 minute consult before she told me that she no longer does some of what she advertises, like landing pages and sales funnels. She just does Facebook ads now.
The other 2 folks look promising and I’ll be meeting again with one of them this week and getting a quote.
Plus, this new marketing person said video is all the rage at conferences, like Social Media Marketing World and such. In fact, she was very excited about my new Video SEO class that is in the works.
And honestly, that may make the difference in who I chose to help me, as she seems a lot more in touch with my audience than the other person I interviewed. Plus, it may also mean more contacts for collaboration and such too.
I also mentioned a little bit of a dilemma that I have with my loyal followers. Y’all sign up for everything I’ve got, and I’ve had to ask that y’all not attend my live webinars so that I have enough virtual seating for folks who are not already in the courses. I asked my peeps to only watch the replay.
The same happens when I’ve run ads in the past. My own peeps click on them, which not only costs me money, but it throws off our analytics.
So, be giving y’all a heads up when we’re ready to start running the ads and asking that you don’t click on them. hahahahahaha
Yoast Survey with heavy focus on video
This past week I received a survey from Yoast that was primarily focused on my video efforts.
Now, I think I received this survey because I paid for their Yoast Video SEO plugin, hence the focus of the topic.
I took the opportunity to also tell them about the need for addressing the RankMath rumors – that it is faster or better, which is just not true for blogger sites.
And I also mentioned my research into the complexities of coordinating video SEO on sites that run recipes with both video ads in the recipe cards as well on the rest of the site and making those work with YouTube videos also in the post.
Not only is the SEO complex to deal with in that situation, making the post load fast is another issue.
I made suggestions for what they might want to include in their Video SEO plugin that would address all of these issues.
I then offered myself as a beta tester and gave them my credentials for doing deep, and accurate case studies.
It would mean so much to me to be able to beta test a solution to all of this and be a spokesperson for it too.
So, we’ll see what becomes of it.
Bing Webmaster Tool tutorials in the works
I’m knee deep into making a whole new section for the DIY SEO course for the new total revamp on the Bing Webmaster Tools. The interface is so much easier to use than Google Search Console.
Right now I’m focused on their Structured Data Testing Tool so I can see what’s going on with video SEO stuff.
I’ll move into the rest of the tutorials this week.
New post and video on woodworking site
Part of my video SEO research is checking out the new Chapters feature in YouTube that came out a couple of months ago to everyone.
I have not posted in my Heartwood Art site in 3 months.
That’s not to say that I have not been making stuff, though. In fact, I’m 3 builds ahead of what I have been posting.
I was right in the middle of producing a 3-part series on one of those builds when a new trend took off in my woodworking groups for making Halloween decor.
So I made my own Easy DIY Wood Jack o’Lantern and tutorial.
It was a quick build and there are not a lot of these on Pinterest, Google, or YouTube. Seems like most of the folks making them are not interested in those platforms and are just doing them as a fun project with the kids and/or selling them on their local Facebook MarketPlace.
So, I jumped on it and we’ll see if it will have a chance to take off with the limited time between now and Halloween.
And, I know I’ve been promising a post in my Hobby Blog to Money Making Site series for several weeks now.
I’ve had it written in my head for a while.
But it looks like all manner of new opportunities are opening with that site and business, and my SEO and analytics data is telling me to make some more changes with it, so I’m glad I held off making that post. I’ll do it as soon as I have time this week or next because these are important changes and I want to get them documented in a timely manner too.
That’s all of the happenings around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
I love the Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin.
But it has a problem with one of its settings that can cause massive extra file creation that eats up your hosting disk space.
See my post for how to check and change that setting, as well as what to do about those extra files if you found it was on.
And please do not ask me for support beyond what is in that post.
It’s best for you to go to the plugin dev’s support for it if you have questions.
However, I would like to hear from you if you had that setting on and how many extra files were on your hosting, just so the whole village will see what the average is for it. Please leave a comment on that post with your numbers instead of emailing them to me.
oEmbed is an open source standard to make it easy to simply place a link in your content and the actual post or video from a 3rd party will be brought into your site.
I’ve never been a fan of oEmbed anything.
It slows down your site to bring in things from 3rd party sources like Tweets and feeds from Instagram and Pinterest and such.
But, I hate to see them get broken.
WPTavern has a nice post with details on the changes to Facebook’s API that will break oEmbeds from it and Instagram beginning October 24th.
They will require an authenticated API connection.
Now, if you are using a plugin to bring in these feeds, it will likely have to change how it makes use of the current API connection. So, look for an update with it between now and Oct 24.
If you were just manually placing the straight oEmbed link in your content, see the article for links to resources for the changes you may have to make.
Always use your canonical links
When folks contact me for a site audit, one of the form fields is a link to their website.
I am stunned at how many folks put in the wrong link.
They use http when their site is https.
Or they forget to put in the www when that is their canonical, just because they like the look of it better.
Folks, all you’re causing yourself is a redirect.
That’s not good for speed or SEO.
Use your canonical anytime you post a link.
Be sure to check the link in your social media profiles too and ensure they are up to date with your canonical.
If you don’t know what your canonical is, from your WP Dashboard, go to Settings > General and you’ll see it there.
This is rich.
5 years after the HTTP/2 protocol was standardized and supported in 2015, and almost a year after HTTP/3 was adopted and supported by Chrome in 2019, Google has finally decided to have their bots start crawling sites using the HTTP/2 protocol for select sites.
You’ll get a message via Google Search Console if your site is being crawled with HTTP/2.
What is HTTP/2 and HTTP/3?
Okay, I hear y’all asking what is HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 and why should we care?
HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transport Protocol.
Think of it as the condition of the road your site data travels on.
HTTP/1 is like a 2-lane highway. All of the data going to and from your host had to travel in single file. It’s slow because we have to wait for one thing to load before another thing can load.
HTTP/2 is like an 8-lane highway. It’s faster because multiple things can load at a time.
HTTP/3 is like a 16-lane highway. It’s super fast because tons of requests can be loading simultaneously.
When you’re delivering 400 requests from a site, this matters to site speed like crazy.
All good hosts have been delivering sites at HTTP/2 for 5 years now.
Since last year, folks on Cloudflare have been able to turn on HTTP/3 with QUIC to deliver their sites even faster for folks using the Chrome browser.
And this is one of the reasons that I do that Cloudflare setup live with my clients. There are over 30 speed and security enhancements that must be properly configured. And I’ve yet to meet a host, or that many webmasters, who know how to do it.
Of course, your site must be HTTPS to get on the HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 highways.
Only a few of the progressive online speed testers check your site using HTTP/2.
My favorite tester, WebPage Test, is one of them.
SEE: How to Run a Speed Test Accurately for details.
And let’s hope the big revamp happening to GTMetrix brings it up to par with this too.
This is huge news, y’all!!
My workhorse tester, WebPageTest (WPT) has been acquired by Catchpoint.
The best that I know it, the original developer of WebPage Test went to work for Google a few years ago. My understanding is that he basically got the inside scoop on what Google was testing and I often saw those things show up in WPT long before they did in other testers.
In fact, all of the Core Web Vital metrics showed up in WPT before they even came to Google PageSpeed Insights (GPSI).
WPT also has a feature to run on the Lighthouse tester, which is the big open-source tester that GPSI picks pieces out of and weights those metrics according to what they think is important.
WPT picked out other pieces of that test data, but didn’t weight them the same as GPSI.
Keep in mind that the actual Lighthouse tester about a dozen more tests and metrics than what you see culled together in these other tester interfaces that are based on it.
So, even though they all say Lighthouse, they are not the same, nor are their scores.
And this is why it is so radically important for site owners to come to someone like me for an audit so that they get the benefit of someone who reads these testers every day and keeps up with the changes and what they are telling you needs to be fixed on your site.
Catchpoint says the free version of WPT will still be available and enhanced. Let’s hope for the better.
But with all things free that are owned by a for-profit entity, we become the product. And I have to wonder how all of the data collected on the free version tests is now going to be used to enhance Catchpoint’s paid offerings.
WPT is a .org site and I don’t think they shared that data. Instead they ran ads to supplement costs.
And you know that I’ll be watching this change VERY closely.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Gimme some love!!
Share this post with all your blogger buddies to support all the free info and help you get on BlogAid – and help your buddies too!!
Subscribe to all BlogAid Posts via email so you never miss anything!
Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.