August SEO Office Hours & Other News

Howdy, everyone. Today’s newsletter is off to an unbelievably late start. Better late than never. It could be worse. At least we didn’t get swept up in the excitement over the fake, room-temperature superconductor levitation stories. A bunch of people did. We were too busy going down the competitive Scrabble rabbit hole. It was much more rewarding than the deep dive we recently did on Microsoft Excel eSports (a scene with surprisingly brassy participants).

We received a reminder email from Google yesterday about their inactive account policy. We wrote about this policy some time ago when Google announced it for the first time. If Google feels like it’s a good time for a reminder, then we do too.

Google is going to start deleting inactive accounts on December 1. Your account is considered active, and ineligible for deletion, if you’ve used it to read or send an email, upload or download something from Google Drive, watch a YouTube video, conduct a Google search, download an app from the Play Store, Sign in with Google to access third-party websites or applications, share a photo, and so forth. Essentially, so long as you’ve interacted with any Google product with your Google account(s) since November 2021, you have nothing to worry about. Google says they’re enacting this policy for safety reasons. The website goes over a lot of Google’s concerns.

There are some exceptions. Google won’t delete an inactive account if it contains a gift card with a positive balance. If you have as many Google accounts as we do, it might be a good idea to send all of them $1 gift cards to make sure the accounts don’t disappear on you. Google will also keep your account alive if you’re managing a minor’s account with Family Link (and that minor’s Google account is active). Also, if you’ve used a Google account to publish an app, and that app is active, Google will not delete it.

The Google Search Central YouTube channel released a new SEO Office Hours video on Wednesday. The format of these videos has been all over the place over the past since late 2021. July’s video had three hosts. John Mueller is the only voice we hear this time around.

The new video is 13 minutes long and answers 16 questions. We’ll list all of the questions below. If one of them piques your interest, you can click on the link to go directly to the part of the video that addresses it.

How many URLs can a sitemap index file have?
Does setting ARIA attributes improve SEO?
Should I redirect canonicalized “domain/en” to “domain,” or is being canonicalized enough?
Do the elements of the link after a hashtag (#) in the URL affect how it’s displayed in the search results?
Why is my site not ranking despite low competition and good SEO?
How can I see if my newly bought site has a penalty?
Is it okay to use product rich snippets for real estate properties?
Can hreflang be used to link similar content targeting different countries, even if not direct translations?
Can we use a white font, but on a colored background?
Does the use of an article HTML tag have an impact on Google?
Is it a problem for SEO to have a mix of relative and absolute links on our website?
For structured data on a French website, should we write the opening days in English or French?
Is the IP address a Google crawler?
Does Google treat certain tags as a signal that the website is attempting to give a good UX?
Why does the Google cache page show a 404 error for my site?
Online gambling websites appearing on our domain that originate from Google’s smartphone crawlers. Help!

It was surprisingly annoying to list those questions out and link to the timestamps associated with them, so we probably won’t break down future SEO Office Hours videos this way again. We’ll see. Please let us know if you find this formatting helpful.

That’s all we have time for today. We’ll close things out with some links. First up, if you want to read about a worst-case influencer marketing scenario, take a look at this Washington Post article about the now-obliterated relationship between Adidas and Kanye West.

Google Ads published a help article on Tuesday that outlines the way advertisers can harness its suite of AI tools to optimize winter holiday campaigns. Sure– they’re still four months away. That’s kind of the point. Take it all in now to make sure you’re prepared for December.

Finally, to circle back to something we shouldn’t have covered in a marketing newsletter in the first place, we’re happy to report that a judge just revoked Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail. He’s headed to jail. This news just broke. Hell yeah.

That’s all for today. Take care of yourselves out there. Have a great weekend.

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