Anyone have any of their GMB listings suspended recently?
I have seen a lot of chatter in a few groups about another massive wave of suspensions. I have not seen it myself though.
There are a couple of GMB management tools that seem to often be involved in these suspensions, but I cannot wade through the BS to tell. The tools and their owners have a lot of defenders.
Anyone seeing anything similar?
I'm just trying to collect some data to make sure people do not drift into trouble, especially when managing client accounts.
Perhaps surprisingly I have not seen many of the people who had snippets and were impacted by this bellyaching. I think that shows that most of the clicks were going to snippets versus their traditional listing. That is something we really had no way of testing before.
This is a big change.
In the past, if you earned a featured snippet, you still maintained your "normal" organic position on page one as well. That is no longer the case. Now a page that has the featured snippet will have their normal snippet moved to the top of page 2.
People who have snippets are going to be pissed they are no longer going to control 2 positions on the first page. Those who didn't have 2 positions are going to be happy about the change.
Also with this change, the featured snippet is now officially position 1 and part of the 10 organic spots on page one. If a featured snippet is shown, 9 other SERP listings will be present instead of 10.
So I came up with some custom CSS and HTML for a project that ended up creating a bunch of repeated anchor tags in the HTML mark up.
This markup involved image mouse overs, so it's not like there was an obnoxious amount of affiliate links on each page, that's just how to the markup had to be coded to achieve the CSS effects I wanted with out using JS.
This wasn't my intention, but I ended up with a few pages that had as many as about 70 nofollowed affiliate links.
I've seen plenty of sites that have about 40 or so anchor tags that were affiliate links on one page and those pages ranked just fine, so at the time I wasn't concerned about it.
I gave up on the site as it was not performing well and I finally got around to trying to figure out what was going on.
When I mean not performing well, in my experience it seemed like something was pretty clearly wrong with the site.
I didn't have any rankings on page 3 or higher, even on extremely specific phrase match keywords, that the content really should be ranking on.
So to test, I removed the mouse overs on one page, which cut out about half of the anchor tags, then I cut some additional links out.
For the first page, I added a bunch of text and reworked the page, which obviously skewed this test, but I was about half way through doing the changes I wanted to do, I saved the page and went to bed.
Overnight I guess Google Bot came by (verified in my log) and re-crawled the page.
I had no plans on indexing the page as I wanted it to be a good test, but I requested index on the page and with in 20 or so minutes, my ranking basically went up by about half of the number of positions the page was before.
The upward bounce up could be caused by request index, but I generally find that the page will return to about that position later on, even if it drops a day or two after pressing request index.
So, I tested another page, this time only removing the extra affiliate links, then requested index.
Approximately the same result occurred and the page jumped up dramatically, about half of the number of positions again.
So, does having excessive affiliate links/nofollow links hurt SEO?
To me it would seem so.
This isn't a 100% perfect pure isolation test, but I'm more concerned with my site performing and not trying to figure out what exactly Google didn't like.
It's possible that it just doesn't like my mouse over code, but somehow, I doubt that.
Edit: Added a GA screenshot. Obviously a pretty night and day difference in the impressions. It looks like it's going up further today as well. I'll probably start working on it again now that the issues seems to be resolved.