SEO News You Can Use

SEO News You Can Use: Is Mastodon Giving Twitter a Run for Its Money?

Amidst the noisy Twitter acquisition, many have found solace in a new app making waves in the social networking realm. Mastodon, a free, decentralized social networking platform where users can post, like and share content as well as follow other profiles, is giving Twitter a run for its money.

The main difference between the two social networking platforms is that, unlike Twitter, Mastodon is not a single platform but a federation based on open-serve software. The servers – known as the “fediverse” – are interconnected and operated independently.

Although relatively new, Eugen Rochko, CEO and founder of Mastodon, announced on November 7, 2022, that it had hit 1,028,362 active monthly users.

The latest SERountable post, however, reported that after analyzing shared links on Mastodon via Google Analytics, they found that Mastodon uses a rel noferrer on outbound links. This means that users that end up o a website by clicking on a mastodon link will be reflected as Direct Traffic.  Unfortunately, this makes it a bit tricky to determine Mastodon referrals in Google Analytics reports.

Whether Mastodon will truly give Twitter a run for its money, however, is yet to be seen. 

More SEO News You Can Use

GoogleAnalytics 4 Rolling Out Custom Dimensions Update: Google announced that it’s in the process of updating its Google Analytics 4 (GA4) custom report builder. This will allow users to add metrics and dimensions tailored or custom to the needs of your business. This was previously only available to Universal Analytics users. Adding custom dimensions and metrics can easily be done by clicking the customize report or library button, scrolling down to reports, clicking add ‘create new report,’ and selecting ‘create detail report.’ You can edit or make a copy of this report using the drop-down menu. To adjust the Report table dimension and metrics, you’ll need to access the Report Data section. For more guidance on how to create a custom GA4 report, visit Search Engine Journal

Google Advises On What to Do When Faced With Negative SEO Attacks: John Mueller, Google Search Advocate, has shared some great advice on how to manage negative SEO attacks. Negative SEO attacks, for example, spammy links to your site or domain, can arise. Mueller answered a Reddit query in the SEO forum regarding the topic, saying that the best way to deal with it is by simply ignoring it. He says that this makes reference to your competitor’s competence. After all, a competent competitor would not need or waste time sending spammy links to your site. Google will most likely pick up these obvious low-quality links, and it, therefore, won’t affect your ranking factors. For more information, visit Search Engine Journal here.

Google Predicts Strength Of Backlinks Ranking Factor Will Drop: Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, recently spoke on the topic of backlinks and their future as a ranking factor. In a live Search Off The Record podcast session at Brighton SEO, Mueller predicted that the significance of backlinks as a ranking factor might lessen over time. Mueller was joined by Lizzi Sassman, a fellow Google advocate, and Myriam Jessier, a Digital strategist and SEO expert, to discuss the topic, especially regarding Google’s penalty criteria for backlinks. He suggests that it may not be worth worrying about as backlinks offer information surrounding its authority and trustworthiness rather than purely providing more information about the content. For more information, visit the Search Engine Journal or the Google Search Central podcast. 

Is it OK To Change URLs for SEO Purposes?: Whether or not URLs should be modified for SEO-related reasons has been a discussion among many search engine optimization (SEO) professionals for some time now. Last week, however, Google Search Advocate John Mueller addressed the issue in response to a tweet – Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Swartz reported – that the risk far outweighs the proposed reward of changing URLs in an attempt to rank better on search engine results pages (SERPs). In fact, changing a URL will rarely help rankings improve; however, there is the risk that it might have a negative impact until it’s been processed. Search Engine Land goes into depth regarding when it’s okay to change URLs, whether for SEO or other purposes such as usability, shareability, visibility or discoverability.

Google Search Console Discover Performance Report Bug: On November 10, Google announced a data problem relating to Search Console reporting, specifically the Discover performance report. Google clarified that this was merely a data logging problem and did not affect Google Discover traffic results. However, this error occurred on October 23, 2022, which could be the reason you might be detecting a noticeable decrease in metrics. For more on this logging area, visit Search Engine Land here.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

Robynn Farrell

Robynn is a content editor and writer at SEOblog. With 3+ years of experience in digital marketing, she specializes in trend analysis, content creation, planning and editing. When she’s not soaking up the sun at the beach or on hikes, you’ll find her puttering about the garden, painting or spending quality time with her couch, binge-watching series.

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