Good morning, is 100% in-housing realistic?

In our new series on in-house SEO, Jessica Bowman, Search Engine Land editor at large and in-house training consultant, looks at several common scenarios in which it can make sense to bring in outside help to propel your SEO efforts. The considerations will differ depending on the size and complexity of your site and your budget. If you’re planning next year’s budgets, now might be a good time to assess whether external partners could help push along projects that have been back-burnered a bit too long or help you map out a plan of action to take internally. “Even the best companies and top SEO teams around the globe still outsource a few things,” says Jessica. The same goes for PPC teams.

Bingbot is going evergreen, adopting Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser for rendering. This means the Bingbot and Googlebot crawlers will be using the same rendering engine, which should make it easier for site owners to troubleshoot crawling issues. The Bingbot transition will occur over the coming months.

Google is giving local businesses more incentive to add lots of images to their GMB profiles. A new “search by photos” option (first spotted by Mike Blumenthal) is now showing in Google search results for a number of local verticals. 

And speaking of GMB, read on for a Pro Tip for service-area businesses.

Ginny Marvin,

Pro Tip

What should service-area businesses do to improve their Google My Business listings?

“For service-area businesses where Google Maps and Knowledge Panels aren’t really viable first points of impression by consumers, it’s all about optimizing for rankings in the local pack (and Local Services Ads, of course), and that all comes down to building a great reputation and generating links and website authority,” explains Jamie Pitman of BrightLocal. “Having said that, there’s no harm in implementing these tips for an exceptional Google My Business listing should your potential customer come across the expanded version: 1) Make sure your service area is set up correctly in Google My Business for the best chance of appearing in localized searches; 2) Encourage customers to review your business (and get them to upload a photo, too); 3) Add FAQs about your services to Google My Business Q&As; 4) Add your service details and pricing to the Services section of Google My Business; 5) Make your listing visually appealing with a well-designed logo and well-chosen imagery; 6) Don’t resort to Google My Business spam — it’s just not worth it.”

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Choosing a CMS

Sponsored by Magnolia

Companies need a CMS that allows them to turn great ideas into reality quickly, and meet rapidly changing market demands. The market for CMS solutions, however, is vast and complicated. The key is finding a CMS that’s going to fit your unique needs and specific business goals. Read this step-by-step guide to finding the right system for you.

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Search Shorts

Forced crawls, core updates and more.

Forcing crawls. Google’s John Mueller said “If the page is such that our systems aren’t crawling it, then those links aren’t going to do much — and ‘forcing’ a crawl won’t change that at all.”

Core updates. Gary Illyes from Google on core updates: “I think the message got lost: if you’re ‘hit’ by a core update, you shouldn’t think of it as a penalty. You might not be doing anything wrong at all, it might just be that someone is doing something better.”

JavaScript changes. When using JavaScript, it can result in changes being made to the page.  So make sure to speak to your developers to understand what the JavaScript is doing to the page, John said.

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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

How to Find Wasted PPC Spend in Minutes – Seer Interactive

Python 2 Deprecation in Google Ads API Client Library – Google Ads Developer Blog

14 Things I’ve Learned During My 20+ Year Career – SuccessWorks

18 Ways to Diagnose a Decline in Organic Traffic – Seer Interactive

3 Unique Features to Microsoft Ads – Metric Theory

A Breakdown of HTML Usage Across ~8 Million Pages (& What It Means for Modern SEO) – Moz

Google: Cleaning Your Link Profile Won’t Help With Core Updates – Search Engine Roundtable

How To Grow Your SEO Career: Advice From SEO Veterans – Botify

SEO Best Practices for Landing Page Optimization – KoMarketing

To Live or Die by Google Searches Brings an Escalating Cost – Bloomberg

Houston SEO