• And On and On Again - The #5 Best March Core Update Edition

    As Google's March 2024 Core Update marches on towards its eventual end, Kristine Schachinger and Jim Hedger talk about how a week's worth of rumors, assumptions, and half-baked ideas have led a wide section of the industry to go off half-cocked about the sweeping effects of this update. People are so angry with Google they're deleting and blocking official spokepersons in forums like Reddit while second guessing Google's motives. There have been a few documented recoveries from other parts of this update though there are still no documented recoveries from the Helpful Content Updates run between September and the start of the March 2024 Core Update.  In other search news, evidence is starting to build up that Google's SGE, and other A.I. driven search initiatives aren't actually ready for primetime just yet, Twixter restores blue checkmarks to all popular users with or without user permission, teachers are developing stronger tools and protocols to detect student work performed by A.I., Google publishes a tutorial on identifying INP issues, Gemini is coming to Gmail, and much much more.



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    1h 7m - Apr 4, 2024
  • Keeping up with F.U.D. - The #4 Greatest March Core Update Ever Edition

    As Google's March 2024 Core Update enters its fourth week, and major league baseball finally returns, hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger cover a lot of conversation, theory, and the rising F.U.D. about the update. There are a lot of rumors, deep anger and resentment, and some genuinely bizarre advice being shared in SEO forums. There is also some genuinely good research and discussion happening in other SEO circles but it takes way longer to come to any conclusions and many in the SEO world appear to be rapidly losing patience. The show also covers announcements and news from OpenAI, TwiXter, TikTok, and tries to figure out what Google is doing in the travel, mapping, and shopping spaces.



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    51m - Mar 28, 2024
  • The Fabulous #3 March 2024 Core Update Edition

    As the March 2024 Core Update enters its third week, hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger work to dissect and discuss different aspects of it. The Great Spam Hunt part of the update was said to have ended earlier this week and the fallout has been massive. Along with sites caught in the initial manual penalty sweep, countless niche sites have seen dramatic losses of traffic. Is a recovery possible and if so, what do webmasters need to do to achieve it? We also discuss changes in the management of Google Search following Liz Reed's appointment to Head of Search and speculate on how her tenure might affect the introductions of AI and SGE into Google's core search and other products. As it turns out, Google is introducing a virtual suggestion box asking for feedback on SGE and search in general. We round the show out with as many quick-hit Google stories as we can fit, including how Google recently removed phone numbers from hotel search listings, harmful content warnings on memes in Google images, and Uber's inability to remove its own UberEats buttons from Google Business profiles.



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    1h 2m - Mar 21, 2024
  • The Pi Day with Sitebulb Edition

    In the second week of the largest Google Core Update in Google Core Update history Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger are joined by Patrick Hathaway, cofounder and CEO of what is arguably the most cost-effective crawler/auditor tool out there, Sitebulb. During a core update, there's not a lot of work you can do on content that's going to make a difference until the update is over. What you can do is trim the sails and batten the hatches so your websites can best weather a turbulent time. In fact, keeping your website in optimal running shape at any given time is always a good practice and is the basis of technical SEO. Sitebulb packs an outrageous set of tools and metrics for its price-point. Patrick walks us through Sitebulb's function and features and talks about how a major SEO tool adapts to an ever changing environment. Jim and Kristine try not to gush over a toolset that both use daily with Jim noting a massive SEO win for a certain name brand corporation that's very likely very near you right now that he can absolutely attribute to a Sitebulb audit. We also talk a lot about Google, the March 2024 Core Update, Google's expectations, John Mu's robots.txt, and a hell of a lot more on this Pi Day edition of Webcology, Also Known as: The #2 March Core Update Edition.



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    1h 16m - Mar 14, 2024
  • The #1 March 2024 Core Update Edition

    They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, except for those times when March comes in like a lion and takes out a wide swath of sheep. Then they just say, "whoa!". So Google rode into March like a hungry lion with a staggeringly complicated Core Update, a very serious shellacking of manual penalties, changes to who can monetize content with AdSense, a multi-sweep set of algorithm updates, and changes to guidelines given to search result quality raters. Various Google spokespersons have outlined Google's goals for this update while also trying to explain aspects of the update in their opaque and sometimes uptight Google coded ways. It will take at least four weeks for the March 2024 Core Update to fully play out, during which SEOs and webmasters can expect several sweeps over the course of the next four weeks. Expect a massive house cleaning as Google reacts to a year or more of deep seeded consumer complaints about declining search quality. Google says it intends to eliminate about 40% of spammy content. It remains to be seen if March goes out like a lamb or a lion but one week into the month there's already virtual carnage throughout the Colosseum.



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    58m - Mar 7, 2024
  • A Very Long News Break Before the Storm Edition

    Due to a scheduling conflict, this show was recorded a day late but it went nearly an extra hour overtime because there was just so much to talk about. There was a lot of negative news about AI as AI developers find new sources of content to train on and users find new ways to use and abuse new AI tool sets. From AI developing or enhancing video games to the depravities that have horrified a proprieter of an AI powered porn-site to OpenAI musing about putting AI systems into the bodies of humanoid robots, hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger talk about AI's influence and Google in the week leading up to the March 2024 Core Update. A long but often highly charged and interesting edition.



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    1h 41m - Feb 29, 2024
  • The Cause of SEO for Paws Edition

    Since leaving Kyiv just after the Russian invasion two years ago, Anton Shulke has been raising funds at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/antonshulke to help pets that got displaced, injured, or abandoned during the brutal ongoing war in Ukraine. Anton joins us to talk about the day-long virtual SEO conference, SEO for Paws (https://fajela.com/events/seo-for-paws/) on February 29 at 10:55 am. Check out the line-up! After speaking with Anton, Jim Hedger, and Kristine Schachinger talk through ChatGPT losing its mind on Tuesday, the implications of video-making AI, Google's recent multi-variable structured data advice, and more of Google's issues, and a host of other searchably important things.  Take a few minutes to donate to Anton's efforts and register for the February 29 SEO-for-Paws virtual conference as soon as you can.



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    1h 0m - Feb 22, 2024
  • The There's No Meat to EEAT on SEO Myths Edition

    It was a busy news week made up mostly of Google trying to disabuse parts of the SEO community from the idea that E-E-A-T is anything more than an ideal. Google came out and said E-E-A-T is absolutely and unequivocally not a ranking factor, a ranking signal, or a ranking system and that E-E-A-T has less to do with how sites rank as much as it does with things Google Search Quality Raters should look for when evaluating the quality of search engine results. And yet, some folks wanna argue about it which makes hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger want to talk about it, at least Jim does. The show also covers Google Gemini which is so new and better it has replaced Bard, changes at Google Search Console, How a Helpful Content problem might not be, and how Google might clarify use of AI to generate on-page content.



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    1h 12m - Feb 15, 2024
  • The Tony's Wright Again Episode

    Legendary SEO and all around friendly guy Tony Wright joins hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger for a wide open discussion about the future of SEO. Founder of one of the oldest agencies still operating, WrightIMC, Tony has lived through and adapted to sweeping changes in the course of his career. This episode, recorded on February 8, 2024, covers how to roll with change in a time when even Google itself appears to be having trouble adapting. This was a fun, smart conversation.



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    1h 9m - Feb 8, 2024
  • The Indexing Issues are an Open Metaphor Edition

    Google's reporting major indexing issues and that seemed like the most appropriate metaphor for this week's show. WTF is going on with Google? The SERPs are weird, the future direction of the company is uncertain, it is sending seemingly strange new messages in Search Console, and sometimes its spokespeople say outright contradictory things. To make it more interesting, Google's recent weirdness is only one of many waves in what was an unexpectedly turbulent close to the opening month of 2024. This was an interesting news week and hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger weave several stories together into a fun rolling conversation.



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    1h 9m - Feb 1, 2024
  • The Audience is the Key Edition

    Tom Rusling from Audience Key drops in to talk about the myriad of ways Audience Key makes content creation and performance tracking easy, at least, that's what he came to talk about. This was a fun interview covering a lot of thoughts about the emerging content economy, how to build tools that meet SEO needs, and how AI is doing all the stuff AI is doing. We also talk about a massive data breach that compromised over 26 billion personal records, yet another congressional look at the behavior of AI and big tech, speedy WordPress plugins, and more SEO news.



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    1h 10m - Jan 25, 2024
  • The too big to FAil, too important to flAil edition

    Three weeks into the New Year and Google has been mostly quiet, with the exception of the hounded and outraged who lost in the most recent updates which may well have been upgrades. Google has undergone several fundamental changes in the past year, the greatest of which are affected by AI. Today we talk about those changes in Google search itself and in the business of being Google. Is Google getting worse? It depends. On one hand, a recent German study suggests it might be, while on the other anecdotal evidence suggests spammy content are declining and ultralow quality pages are falling from the SERPs. How is the Search Generative Experience affecting searchers and the world's search engine of choice? Again, it depends. Folks love complaining about craptastic Google quality and Bing can only increase its market share by less than 2%, even after introducing ChatGPT's Copilot. If you ever got the feeling explaining SGE to your clients is as absurd as detailing most Seth Rogan Experiences, this is the show for you.



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    1h 4m - Jan 18, 2024
  • The Technologies Shape Experience Edition

    Another week, another article explaining how SEO has shaped the Web was written by someone who doesn't appear to understand how SEO shaped the Web. The week hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger talk about a piece that appears in The Verge that almost but not quite gets it and then proceeds to share numerous SEO myths and misunderstandings. We also talk about Google's SGE product carousel, more ways to use schema, and new Google changes coming to deal with spam, and hopefully, we dispel a couple of other SEO myths along the way.



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    1h 4m - Jan 4, 2024
  • An Expert Experts Panel Edition - Looking into 2024

    We round up 2023 and look forward to 2024 with what is arguably the most experienced panel in SEO podcasting. Joining Webcology hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger are Ryan Jones - SVP of SEO Razorfish, Topher Kohan - Director of SEO for CBS Sports Paramount Global, Carolyn Shelby - Principle SEO at YoastSEO and Newfold Digital, Doc Sheldon - CEO of Web Narwhal, Grant Simmons - Director of SEO at Clickfluent, and Steve Wiideman - CEO of Wiideman Consulting. Everyone in the panel has at least a decade and a half in the industry. Collectively the group brings over 150 years of acquired knowledge to a conversation that ranges through the impact of AI on the industry to the many updates Google made in 2023. Catch up, look forward, and welcome to an interesting and probably chaotic future. Stick around for the laughs.



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    1h 7m - Dec 28, 2023
  • The SGE Experience Episode with Gavin Klondike

    Gavin Klondike joined Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger to talk about Google's intentions with the SGE moving past the end of the year. Gavin helped explain AI and LLMs earlier this year in our ELI5 episode. This is a fun deep dive into how Google might generate and present SGE results and another good explanation of Googlie AI.



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    1h 8m - Dec 21, 2023
  • The Finally Getting Over It Edition

    Both Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger have coped with the chaos of personal loss in the last month while talking about months of chaos at Google search. Jim talks about the loss of his father-in-law while Kristine copes with having to leave a condo she's loved living in for nearly 20 years. Meanwhile, over at Google, goalposts got moved to define Parasite SEO, some Gemini videos appear to be far out of a credible viewport, Search Engine Land celebrates its 17th birthday, and AI growth accelerates so quickly it's slowing many AIs down.



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    57m - Dec 14, 2023
  • The CShels Yoast AI Edition with Carolyn Shelby

    YoastSEO has a holiday present ready for its Pro users, especially those who use WooCommerce. YoastSEO's Principle SEO Carolyn Shelby joins Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger to talk about the new AI feature in this the 24th version of the Yoast SEO tool. Carolyn is one of the longest serving SEOs in the business. Her career, which started in 1995, spans the entire history of digital marketing. She brings nearly three decades of experience to an experience of a lifetime, making what is arguably the most widely used SEO Toolset on the Web. Carolyn has been a friend for most of both Jim and Kristine's careers. She is also a former WebmasterRadio show host. For long time listeners, and for Jim and Kristine, it's a wonderful reunion on the radio with one of the most special people in our business. 



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    1h 3m - Nov 30, 2023
  • The November 16th is Groundhog Day Edition

    Truckin' through Groundhog Day of November 16th and talking Wikimedia too... "Six weeks until Christmas and all through the Web, not a placement was stirring because they were all dead. The dossiers were hung in massive digital files, defining all pages, their friends, and their while. And in Google's great blender, an awful sort just got slewed, making mincemeat of merchants whose lives just got screwed. I sat alone with rank checkers on screen but could only see red where once I saw green..." November 17, 20?? -- We had a show plan until Google did what Google did and so that plan got 302ed. We do have an interview with WikiCommons super-contributor Joe Mabel who spoke at the WikiConference North America 2023 held in Toronto last week, the one that was briefly truncated by a bomb threat but, because Google did what Google tends to do at this time of year, the interview was way too brief. Considering the importance of Wikipedia to the Web and its impact on search over the years, we could have talked with Joe for hours. Unfortunately, Google screwgled those plans by announcing what could be the most sweeping sets of changes to how Google creates, displays, and distributes search results since its first major update, 20 years ago today. We spend the last half of the episode discussing those changes. To Quote spokesperson Danny Sullivan, "Buckle Up!"



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    1h 11m - Nov 16, 2023
  • The 3 Pillars of Wisdom over 10,000 Years of Load Time Edition

    On the eve of the first-ever brightonSEO San Diego Conference where Kristine Schachinger is going to speak, there was so much in the SEO and web marketing worlds for her and cohost Jim Hedger to talk about. We start with Google's claim that work on Core Web Vitals has saved over 10,000 hours of load time in the two-and-a-half years the set of metrics has existed. That takes us through a slew of Google and SEO news, along with a couple of items related to AI and Twixter before we loop back to the 3 Pillars of Google Search, a serious snippet of wisdom that came out as evidence in the DOJ's anti-trust case against Google. This is a fun and interesting news-related episode covering a lot of ground in an all-too-short hour.



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    1h 4m - Nov 9, 2023
  • The We'll Ruin it Again for Fun and Profit Edition

    An article in Verve titled, "The people who ruined the Internet", teaches hosts Jim Hedger and Kristine Schachinger a valuable lesson; if you're really going to really ruin something as big as the Internet, you'll want to include a live alligator for extra emphasis. Jim and Kristine, who both know most of the people quoted in the article personally, are awestruck at how badly off-base a really well-written article about SEO could be. There's a lot to unpack, dissect, reframe, cut into very tiny pieces, and virtually snort off the turntable here but, like all good SEOs, we try.



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    1h 3m - Nov 2, 2023
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