It seems like the digital marketing news headlines never stop rolling in, which is why we include a bonus news roundup segment for each episode of the EDGE. The latest features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 366 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Google To Provide Virtual Webmaster Conference After Unconference Sells Out

From Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Roundtable we learn Google To Provide Virtual Webmaster Conference After Unconference Sells Out. Google announced on Twitter it will be holding a “virtual Webmaster Conference event for y’all later this year.”

  • Erin Sparks: The Unconference sold out very quickly, like within hours, which left many feeling a bit disappointed. That was because of the format of having Googlers interacting with the audience, so the number of participants in each session had to be limited.
  • John Mueller: The kind of interaction between audience and Googlers was different than just watching a presentation by Googlers, which was great but did mean we had to keep the numbers manageable. The back-and-forth was great. In the past, we’ve shied away from all-virtual conferences because there are so many out there and people seem a bit tired of them, and it’s just not the same as an in-person conference. There’s not the same energy and engagement dynamics. But the feedback we’ve gotten is that people are just hungry for more information and would be willing to get it through an all-virtual conference if that’s the only way it can be done to serve more people. We’ll try it and see how it goes. And some amount of online conferencing will probably remain with us in at least a hybrid form even after the pandemic is over.


Google: Keywords in URLs Have Minimal Impact Once Content is Indexed

According to Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Roundtable, Google says Keywords in URLs Have Minimal Impact Once Content is Indexed. Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter “the SEO effect of keywords in the URL is minimal once the content is indexed.” Google has said keywords in URLs are a small factor and not to worry about it because it is an overrated SEO factor.

  • Erin Sparks: This seems relatively minor, but it’s something you probably have to keep repeating to get it out there and in people’s heads. So let’s hit again, slugging the URL, and trying to get those keywords in it simply isn’t that important! Once it’s crawled and indexed, Google doesn’t need keywords in the URL, so don’t bother!
  • John Mueller: SEOs like getting everything aligned, which is not a bad thing, so it’s not like we’re unhappy that keywords get put into URLs, it’s just that it gets blown up into something more important or necessary than is the case. It gets “overrated” and then other people think they have to do it and people revamp their URL structure throughout their site and it’s just a waste of time for them and for Google who has to reprocess the whole site to understand the change only to find out it’s not really anything different. It’s not actually helping anything.
  • Erin Sparks: The structure or architecture of a site and its pages is important, but not this fretful wordsmithing of URLs top get keywords into them. And there are always new people coming into the field who need to ask all these basic questions and learn the ropes.


Google to launch “enhanced news storytelling” project with licensed content

On Search Engine Land, Greg Sterling reports Google to launch “enhanced news storytelling” project with licensed content. In June of this year Google announced a news-content licensing program “to pay publishers for high-quality content for a new news experience launching later this year.

  • Erin Sparks: So Google is trying to raise up and promote more high-quality, in-depth news ins spite of the many challenges it faces in making this work on the global scene with such different regulations in other countries. Google is really trying to solidify and strengthen its relationships with the news industry.
  • John Mueller: It does seem like a really good idea, but it’s so complicated it’s hard to see how it’s going to really end up working or what it will look like in practice. But it’s great to see these kinds of initiatives happening.
  • Erin Sparks: And never mind how much more difficult all that is in a highly contentious election year like 2020 with politicians all vying to get their material to rank high in Google Search results.

Connect with John Mueller and Google

Twitter: @JohnMu (

Google Twitter @Google (

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