March 2022 Google Product Reviews Update Rolling Out – Everything We See So Far

March 2022 Google Product Reviews Update

Google is rolling out its third version of the product reviews update, named the March 2022 Product Reviews Update. The previous two versions were the April 2021 Product Reviews Update and the December 2021 Product Reviews Update. The March version was updated to incorporate more signals and criteria in this niche ranking algorithm.

Google started to roll out the March 2022 product reviews update yesterday, March 23, 2023 at about 12:00pm ET. This impacts only English-language pages for now but Google hinted this can rollout to other languages soon, possibly before another official product reviews update. Google wrote “we plan to open up product review support for more languages.”

Google also said it will take about three weeks to complete and can impact “product reviews across many sites” – “many sites” Google said. So like previous product reviews updates, sites hit by this, can feel this in a big way.

As a reminder, the product reviews update aims at rewarding high-level product review content, above thinner product review content. Product review updates are not core updates, but they may be mistaken as such.

This latest version “builds on that work to enhance our ability to identify high quality product reviews,” Google wrote. Google added “this will make it easier for us to get sound purchasing advice in front of users, and to reward creators who are earnest in being helpful.”

Currently, at the time of publishing this – I am seeing very little movement in the Google search results. I suspect that will change any moment now but the SEO industry chatter is quiet on ranking changes right now and the tracking tools have yet to pick up on any volatility. Again, I expect this to change soon, very soon.

Google Product Reviews Update Quick Facts

Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:

  • Name: Google March 2022 Product Reviews Update
  • Launched: March 23, 2022 at around 12:00pm ET
  • Rollout: It will take about three weeks to fully rollout
  • Targets: It looks at product review content
  • Penalty: It is not a penalty, it promotes or rewards “insightful analysis and original research.”
  • Not a core update: Many are going to say this is a core update, it is not.
  • English Language but will expand: This is only looking at English-language content right now but likely will expand soon to other languages, this is a global launch.
  • Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update.
  • Discover: This update can impact your performance in Google Discover, Google previously said.
  • Recover: If you were hit by this, then you will need to look at your content and see if you can do better with Google’s advice below
  • Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to this algorithm but may not communicate those updates in the future. This may be the first refresh that Google has done, it is the first refresh Google communicated about.

What’s New With The March 2022 Product Reviews Update

Google said “we’re launching another update that builds on that work to enhance our ability to identify high quality product reviews. This will make it easier for us to get sound purchasing advice in front of users, and to reward creators who are earnest in being helpful.”

Also the fact that this may work in non-English languages in the future is new.

Google released three new FAQs with this announcement:

(1) Are product review updates relevant to ranked lists and comparison reviews? Yes. Product review updates apply to all forms of review content. The best practices Google shared also apply. However, due to the shorter nature of ranked lists, you may want to demonstrate expertise and reinforce authenticity in a more concise way. Citing pertinent results and including original images from tests you performed with the product can be good ways to do this.

(2) Are there any recommendations for reviews recommending “best” products? If you recommend a product as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, be sure to share with the reader why you consider that product the best. What sets the product apart from others in the market? Why is the product particularly suited for its recommended purpose? Be sure to include supporting first-hand evidence.

(3) If I create a review that covers multiple products, should I still create reviews for the products individually? It can be effective to write a high quality ranked list of related products in combination with in-depth single-product reviews for each recommended product. If you write both, make sure there is enough useful content in the ranked list for it to stand on its own.

Google also posted this graphic showing that product review lists can be impacted by this as well:

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Google also listed these four points about the criteria Google uses for product reviews:

  • Include helpful in-depth details, like the benefits or drawbacks of a certain item, specifics on how a product performs or how the product differs from previous versions
  • Come from people who have actually used the products, and show what the product is physically like or how it’s used
  • Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides — like visuals, audio or links to other content detailing the reviewer’s experience
  • Cover comparable products, or explain what sets a product apart from its competitors

Spring 2022 Google Updated Related?

Over the weekend we reported on what I called the Spring 2022 Google update but was this product reviews update related to this Spring 2022 update? Well, according to Google – no. Danny Sullivan of Google updated us on that saying there was no update during that time. It does make me wonder if maybe Google was testing this but Google would probably say no.

There was a lot of buzz around that update impacting product review sites, even Lily Ray tweeted about that:

But again, the March 2022 Google Product Reviews Update didn’t start to roll out until days after the the unconfirmed Spring update. So again, no – they are not related.

Alan Kent from Google directly said so, these are unrelated:

More From Google

Here are some more details from Google for clarification purposes:

Original PRU Google Advice

Here is the original advice but Google has posted this in a new help document with the new advice from December, this does not include the specific new points listed above:

  • Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
  • Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?
  • Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?
  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?
  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?
  • Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
  • Include links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

I have written about every tiny detail of these product reviews update, just do a search on this site for more.

Multiple Sellers

What about the line on the importance of including links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice, Glenn Gabe asked. Alan Kent from Google said “The update is an improvement of current algorithms. There is no special support for multiple sellers in this update.”

Tracking Tools Showing Volatility?

It is early, less than 24 hours since it started to roll out but here is what the various tracking tools are showing right now. Keep in mind, the bulk of this update should be realized within the first few days. But there will be noticeable changes over the first couple weeks and even “tremors” later on.

As of this morning, at the time of publishing this, the tools are showing nothing right now. In fact, the chatter in the SEO community has nothing around ranking changes yet either. I do suspect we will see changes here, fluctuations, chatter, volatility and so forth in the upcoming days – it just didn’t happen yet but it will.


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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Industry Reaction

Forum discussion at Twitter and WebmasterWorld.

Does Redirecting Links That Lead To 404 Pages Gain Google SEO Value?

We know that links pointing to pages that do not exist, that 404 or some soft 404, are links that are not counted by Google – that is not new. But John Mueller of Google spoke about how sometimes you can redirect old 404 pages and that link may pass to the new page, even if that link is 404ed for years?

To be clear, a link that points to a 404ed page does not count. If that page is 404ed for a year or so, and then you add a redirect, I highly doubt Google will begin to count that link again. But John Mueller said that in some cases, if the links to the two year old 404ed page are super strong, that maybe Google will count it again after you redirect it. Or maybe he was being nice to the person asking the question?

John said “I’d say for for a certain while you can still go back and add a redirect for those individual links that you see like that. I don’t know if after two years it would make a big difference unless there are really strong links that are going to your site and kind of being lost like that.”

This question and answer came up at the 19:43 mark in the video hangout from last Friday:

Here is the transcript:

SEO: Another question is about the broken links on our website where our website has around 40k in pages and doubled the links. So we have around 20k of broken links caused by a migration gone bad from a platform to another platform. Since then we started noticing decrease in organic traffic. We used to rank let’s say for 20k, 25k per day in organic traffic now we’re only getting like 2k to 3k or 4k at max. So do you think it’s a great metric to SEO ranking to remove this these broken links and 404 pages?

John Mueller: When when did you do that migration? Is that longer ago?

SEO: Yes, it happened in 2020, about two years ago now.

John Mueller: My guess is for the most part that doesn’t matter anymore. So it is something I would watch out for with any migration because. Essentially the main thing you want to catch is the situation where someone externally links to your website and that link to your website essentially goes into nowhere. So if you see someone externally linking to a page that is now a 404 page because you forgot to redirect it, that link is is kind of lost. And if you see that happening at a larger scale then those those links are things that you will lose and that can be reflected in the search results over time as well.

I’d say for for a certain while you can still go back and add a redirect for those individual links that you see like that. I don’t know if after two years it would make a big difference unless there are really strong links that are going to your site and kind of being lost like that.

Glenn Gabe summed it up nicely in this set of tweets:

The video goes on to explain what you can look for to see if Google is still trying to access those 404s, hence your log files.

I just doubt a link to a 404 page that has been like that for two years is really recoverable but maybe I am wrong?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

2022 Search ads 360 update: What you need to know

2022 Search ads 360 update What you need to know

30-second summary:

  • Search Ads 360 platform has seen one of its biggest updates in 10 years
  • Performics’ Senior Media Manager, Alex Medawar shares key highlights of the updates around budget optimization, performance monitoring, and inventory management

Google recently announced a new update to its Search Ads 360 platform – and it’s a big one. SA360 has gotten even more powerful since it was first launched over 10 years ago, making it simpler than ever for commercial enterprises to manage their search advertising efforts.

A select number of Search Ads 360 users finally gained preview access this past month.

The new platform experience will start rolling out over the coming months while allowing users to continue access in the classic experience. In this article, I outline what’s new and share effective ways to make the most of your budgets and inventory in the Search Ads 360 platform.

1. Greater support for alternative channels

One of the Search Ads 360 updates includes greater support for alternative search engines such as Microsoft Ads and Yahoo! Japan.

Other advertising channels have been neglected for years, and the consequence has been time-consuming workarounds to link data and make bulk changes.

As a result of the new update, Google promises that you will now be able to get more of your work done from the same place.

For Microsoft Advertisers, SA360 will now support additional features:

  • Response search ads
  • Call extensions
  • Local inventory ads
  • Access to a variety of audience types

For Yahoo! Japan advertisers, you can now utilize dynamic search ads and site link extension scheduling.

2. Access to new features

Search Ads 360 will now offer support for the newest features in Google Ads including:

  • Performance Max – a new goal-based campaign type that lets performance advertisers access all of their Google Ads inventory from a centralized campaign. 
  • Discovery campaigns – allows advertisers to run ads in Google discover feeds to deliver highly visual, inspiring personalized ad experiences
  • Display and YouTube Advertising (previously only in the platform)

Google has also added advanced enterprise innovation features that will allow teams to scale everyday tasks such as:

  • Campaign management
  • Create automated rules
  • Use labels across various advertisers simultaneously

The addition of Templates will combine current features like inventory management and ad builder for a unified and scalable experience.

For media managers who spend hours crafting forecasts, the new Performance Center will include enterprise planning capabilities with spend, CPA, and conversion forecasts in the coming months.

3. Updated inventory management

A revamped inventory management system provides streamlined workflows and more powerful controls over how you use your ad space.

Utilizing an inventory feed, SA360 can generate ready-to-go paid search campaigns using dynamic data such as price, description, and availability of your product from your feed.

This tool is especially useful for industry verticals with frequently changing prices and availability such as:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Live and Streaming Entertainment
  • Recruitment
  • Retail
  • Businesses with geo-specific offers

How it works

  1. Provide high-quality data and make a list of attributes for your feed such as product name, price, and landing page.
  2. Create templates for each type of output you want generated such as a campaign, ad group, ad, or keyword. (Tip: start small!)
  3. Utilize functions and attributes to generate highly relevant ads.
  4. Check your output and optimize until you are happy with the results.

Within minutes, you’ll have ready-to-go, targeted campaigns in your account that ready for launch.

In the new Search Ads 360, marketers will be able to manage templates across client accounts to update ads at scale.

4. Budget management

Any media manager will tell you that managing account budgets and pacing is one of the most critical components of campaign management and also one of the most difficult, especially at scale.

As part of the latest Search Ads 360 release, budget management will be improved and integrated with the new ‘Performance Center’.

Later this year, Google plans to provide complete access to these planning tools, allowing you to experiment with a variety of potential media budget flighting scenarios.


The following are some of the features included in the present budget management system:

  • Visual graphs that include target and estimated spend, plus KPIs such as CPA (cost per acquisition) or revenue
  • Automatic budget allocation and bid adjustments set by your chosen budget bid strategy
  • Forecasting capabilities based on historical performance data that factors in seasonality
  • Estimated cumulative spend and likelihood to hit target spend based on historical data
  • Pacing reports at the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual level

As Google adds new features throughout the year, we can anticipate that these tools will become more accurate and streamlined for enterprise planning.

New look

The new Search Ads 360 experience closely resembles the Google Ads platform with similar navigation and a familiar user experience.

Upon launching the SA360 platform, you can see the identical account overview dashboard found in Google Ads for seamless navigation between the two.

Into the future

With the new Search Ads 360 update, Google opens doors for the next generation of enterprise innovations to optimize performance.

The new updates will help you get more work done in one place saving time and providing a better cross-channel view for data-driven decision making.

To learn all about the new tools, enroll in Google’s new Skillshop modules for Search Ads 360.

Alex Medawar is Senior Media Manager at Performics and creator of Alex As a seasoned digital media expert, Alex Medawar focuses on B2B paid search campaign management and strategy for global brands in the tech space. Utilizing a data-driven approach, Alex believes that both small businesses and large enterprises alike can speak to their audience and drive results within the digital media landscape.

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Categories SEO

Recent Lead Of Google Search Asks Google’s John Mueller For SEO Help

Malte Ubl just left Google a couple of weeks ago after being with the search company for 11 years. He came back onto Twitter to ask some very specific SEO advice from his former Google colleague, John Mueller. The funny thing is, Malte was the lead Google Search for Desktop computers.

He asked about how GoogleBot handles meta-http-equiv-status, he specifically wanted to “mark a document that is delivered with a 200 status code as 4XX further down the streaming response.” He then threw out some ideas, in which John Mueller told him what he can do.

Here are those tweets:

To be fair, Malte was mostly involved in how Google Search was presented to searchers. He did not seem to work much on how Google crawls, indexes or ranks search results but rather how the search results were rendered to the user. His focus, I believe but I can be wrong, was around how Google Search was presented on browsers to searchers. He was also involved in the core web vitals project, AMP, web stories and probably other areas. But when it comes to SEO topics around indexing and ranking, he didn’t really focus much on those areas.

So it does not surprise me that he did not know the answer to this question.

But what I love most, he was not embarrassed to ask this question publicly. I love that. It shows that any of us can ask SEO questions and we should not be self conscious about what others think. Heck, I also do it all the time on Twitter.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Online brand protection: trusted automated monitoring is key

Even though consumers enjoy having the world at their fingertips, they have become all too aware of how much their personal data is abused. According to the Nielsen 2021 Trust in Advertising Survey, 36 percent of respondents distrust ads on social networks, while 36 percent distrust ads served in search engine results.

“As people more frequently shop online, they’ve realized the top ads are not necessarily the best option,” says Josh Stephens, director of Digital Marketing at CWT, one of the biggest travel companies worldwide. “If consumers do not recognize the company name, they will not pay attention, so the ads are becoming a sort of screen blind spot.”

Daniel Creed, head of marketing, planning and effectiveness at Santander UK adds: “As media (particularly online and social channels) attracts increasing public scrutiny and politicization, brands increasingly risk becoming embroiled in controversy seemingly by their mere presence on a given platform at the wrong time.”

Fraudulent behaviour

It is therefore critical all businesses ensure their branding, advertising, and marketing practice integrity, whilst also protecting themselves against the maleficence of advertising fraud.

The unauthorised use of a company’s intellectual property by a third party can create confusion with the customer base, and prospects in terms of business offering, financial model, and a company’s values.

Advertising fraud has become an unintended by-product of the digital era, and left unchecked, can become increasingly rampant. Take affiliate marketing for example – a successful strategy used by digitally-savvy companies but has its own risks.

Affiliate marketing

Even for well-known companies, working with affiliates helps them to tap into audiences outside their traditional channels. Affiliates provide brands and marketers with the opportunity to reach and engage their target audience, creating not only an opportunity for acquisition, but also the opportunity to develop long term relationships with their audiences because of a trusted introduction and recommendation.

However, where traditional channels and affiliates often collide is in paid search, necessitating monitoring to prevent cross-channel cannibalization. “Brands today have become very adept at using paid search as a source of high intent traffic – particularly branded search,” says explains Van Chappell, general manager at BrandVerity, a US-headquartered company which provides paid search and affiliate monitoring tools.

He notes that when affiliates also appear on a search engine’s results page, they “compete” with the brands paid search team, driving up the cost of that traffic.  “It is also unlikely that traffic from branded search is incremental to traffic the brand would get anyway,” Chappell says.

Chappell also says  that “ad hijacks” sometimes occur. “We see affiliates which copy the ads already utilized by brands,” he says. “The consumer types in a search term, they see a search result and it looks like the brand they were looking for – they click on the ad, and it will take them to the site, and so to the user, everything’s fine.”

Behind the scenes

Everything, however, is not fine. Even though the brand will ultimately win the sale, this detour on the consumer journey bears a greater cost for the company. This is because the commission paid to an affiliate is considerably more than the CPC a paid search team pays to a search engine.

There is also an underlying cost to a company’s reputation among affiliates and, ultimately, their brand. “The affiliate channel is very important for brands; it’s a great marketing channel because it is performance based,” Chappell says.

“Affiliate managers, agencies and OPMs spend a lot of time cultivating these relationships and making these connections between publishers that come up with really interesting ways to reach consumers and the brands where those consumers then make purchases.”

Chappell adds a poor reputation “drives quality publishers away”. “It’s damaging for the channel and makes it much harder to have a successful affiliate programme,” he says.

When a brand has a clean and well run affiliate channel in place, it attracts the best partners, which promotes the brand and enables it to reach new audiences.

Chappell expands on the benefits further: “In many ways, some of these techniques [in affiliate fraud] can lead to distraction and lead you to places that you didn’t intend to go. If a brand can keep the search engine clean of all these distractions, the consumer clearly knows where they can go to do what they wanted. It’s a better experience for consumers.”

Keep it clean

Santander’s Creed believes it is not the customers’ responsibility to make the distinction between a platform getting it wrong and brands not taking precautions.

“The onus is on brands to ensure they are making informed decisions and are taking the necessary steps to mitigate and minimise these risks,” he says. “Brands need to understand the risks attendant to each media channel and develop a comprehensive policy for the protection of their brand and evolve the right tactics to protect themselves.”

To maintain a clean affiliate model, companies must monitor their affiliates. There are two ways to do this: manual monitoring and automated monitoring.

The former, for example, involves an affiliate manager typing branded or non-branded keywords into a search engine and monitoring the adverts which appear.

There are numerous challenges to this approach, however. Not only is it time-consuming, but it is also arguably ineffective given fraudulent adverts often look identical to their genuine counterparts.      It is also impossible to capture varying search engine results from just one location using manual monitoring.

Automated monitoring, on the other hand, means all associated affiliates are monitored from one place around the clock. If a false advert appears, brands can crackdown on unsavoury partners quickly, while protecting the customer journey and keeping their marketing budget intact.

In doing so, the brand reputation remains intact which helps them to attract the most successful affiliates. This in turn further promotes the brand in a virtuous cycle that continues to feed upon itself.

Marketing in the digital era promises boundless opportunities, but brand protection is more complex than ever. Fortunately, with the right tools in place, the results become clear.

Vlog #164: David Melamed On Search Spam’s Long Term Search Success & Can Others Compete With Google

David Melamed

In part one of my interview with David Melamed, we spoke about his background and the beauty of the search marketing industry. David Melamed and I in part two then spoke about the long term viability and success of search spam.

David explains he is pretty creative when it comes to coming up with ideas for websites to do well in search. He brought up some old local spam strategies that simply did not work. He said just the other day he received a question about exact match domains. In short, the shortcuts don’t work anymore. You need to be legit and do it the right way and build a real business.

This pivoted our conversation towards the topic about anti-trust issues with Google and how other search engines are just one click away. There are about 20 start up search engines trying to compete with Google. I talk about the early days of Google and we get into politics a bit.

We briefly also spoke about branded search results and the Google Ads policies around there. He is not happy with how Google handles branded searches and how competitors use that to their advantage. But he does not like that this is allowed and even more so, how Google broad matches on those competitor names.

Then we spoke a bit about easy it was to spam Google and search engines but nowadays it is simply not as easy. We spoke about some examples and also about the concept of testing platforms for SEO.

You can learn more about David Melamed on his website at

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.

Google Search Movie Reviews Panel Goes Full Width

Rajan Patel, the VP of Engineering at Google, confirmed with me that Google has rolled out full width movie reviews. So when you search for a movie name and add on “review” to your query, Google will show a full width review panel in web search.

This was spotted by Steph on Twitter who told me “if you type a film title + review in i.e. “fresh review”, the reviews panel takes up the main body with film stats in the sidebar, above the organic listings. Used to be all contained in the sidebar.”

I can replicate it, here is a screenshot you can click on to enlarge for the query [fresh review]:

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As I said, Rajan Patel said it was new and he asked us what we all think:

Google has done a lot with movie reviews over the years.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Daily Search Forum Recap: March 18, 2022

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Google won’t be making Google Analytics 4 a search ranking boost. Google said migrating a domain to a new domain, when the original domain has quality issues, will result in the new domain having quality issues in Google Search. Google may bring back SMS messaging in Google Business Profiles. Google is testing “on these lists” in the local panels. Google launched full panel movie reviews. Plus, I posted the weekly search video recap on YouTube and your favorite podcast player.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Quality: Site With Quality Issues Switched Domains, Saw Temporary Google Ranking Boost & Dropped Again
    On last Friday’s hangout with Google’s John Mueller, Ankit Dalal, an SEO, asked about a site he is working on and what the issue it has with rankings. In short, the site was not ranking well, so they migrated the site to a new domain and the rankings climbed for a three-day period, then after that, the rankings went back down to where the original domain was ranking.
  • Google: Google Analytics 4 Won’t Be A Search Ranking Boost
    Sometimes when Google wants to encourage site owners to take action, they might give us a ranking boost for implementing it. They did it for HTTPS, mobile friendly design, page experience and many more. But when it comes to encouraging folks to switching to Google Analytics 4, Google’s John Mueller said there won’t be any ranking boost in doing so.
  • SMS Messaging Support Returns To Google Business Profiles?
    When Google first launched messaging within Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business), it was done through SMS, text messaging. Then Google removed the SMS portion and just added it to both the mobile app and the web interface. Now, Google might be bringing it back as SMS messaging.
  • Google Tests On These Lists In Local Listing
    Google seems to be testing a feature in a local listing for a venue that says which lists, if any, these venues are on. Often you see websites that have lists of topics like, ten best places to take your kids in a specific location and things like that. Well, now those might show up in the local panel under a section named “on these lists.”
  • Google Search Movie Reviews Panel Goes Full Width
    Rajan Patel, the VP of Engineering at Google, confirmed with me that Google has rolled out full width movie reviews. So when you search for a movie name and add on “review” to your query, Google will show a full width review panel in web search.
  • Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Weirdness, Google Analytics 3 Going Away, Google Local Review Bugs & More
    This week, I covered a possible Google update that ticked off a week ago, but it was weird, the tools didn’t pick up on it. Google announced it is sunsetting Google Analytics Universal Analytics in 2023 and you will need to start using Google Analytics 4…
  • New Mysterious Google Product Found On Swag
    Satyajeet Salgar, Director, Product Management at YouTube and Google, shared a photo of a new piece of swag that was on his desk at Google. He said he is not sure what this logo is but it is a new pro

Other Great Search Threads:

  • I don’t know. I suspect you can find anecdotes either way there, but it’s not by design. It’s not that we’d say “do X in title, Y in h1, and Z in h2” — we try to work with the pages as they come. Anecdotes can st, John Mueller on Twitter
  • I’m not a fan of forced migrations (you know who else needs to migrate to GA4? Search Console)… sometimes the product team needs to make tough decisions. It’s annoying, but a part of the cost of, John Mueller on Twitter
  • Just another reminder that if you publish how-to content, spend the extra 10 minutes & add how-to markup. You can’t beat the SERP treatment w/a carousel of images for each step that link directly to that step in your post. On, Glenn Gabe on Twitter
  • Thoughts on this test? Favicons ranging in different sizing on mobile (note the change for @sengineland) + repeating the domain name, including a variation using bolding. Variation #2 was first spotted last month, but looks like, Brodie Clark on Twitter
  • After 16 years, you’ve probably seen ups & downs, plus updates that you didn’t consider to be “up” dates. Things change, and sometimes they don’t change in the way you want them to change., John Mueller on Twitter
  • Today’s ridiculous crawling issue. Yandex and Bing both spidering tons of URLs with random ved= parameters. Not sure where these are originating. Anyone else seeing this kind of behavior?, Joost de Valk on Twitter

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:


Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice




Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, you can follow us on Facebook and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.

Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Weirdness, Google Analytics 3 Going Away, Google Local Review Bugs & More

This week, I covered a possible Google update that ticked off a week ago, but it was weird, the tools didn’t pick up on it. Google announced it is sunsetting Google Analytics Universal Analytics in 2023 and you will need to start using Google Analytics 4. Google said it won’t encourage people to switch to GA4 by giving them a ranking boost – it won’t happen. Google had a bug with reviews not posting that Google should have fixed. The free Google hotel listings have expanded and added more features and reporting. Google refine this search and broaden this search are live now, but do not use MUM. Google is testing offer carousels for some search results. Google said site quality issues don’t go away when you move the site to a new domain name. Google said the page experience update can be assigned to sections of your site. Google again said it does not use user experience as a ranking factor. Google Search Console’s URL inspection tool is still not fully fixed. Google’s favicon crawler now uses Googlebot and Googlebot-Image tokens. 80% of SEOs expect to see some traffic loss after a site migration. Most SEOs say they use canonicals to manage faceted navigation. Google image search is testing Lens with search, text, and translate options. SMS messaging might return to Google Business Profile messaging. Google is testing “on these lists” in the local results. Google hotel listings have an attribute for free or discounted accommodations for those displaced from Ukraine. Google officially announced the Search Central Unconference. And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast player to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

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Search Topics of Discussion:

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SEO Bright Now: March 15, 2022

The first two weeks of March have seen several important SEO developments, some of which may point to even bigger changes further down the road.

First and foremost, Google’s desktop page experience rollout is now complete. So it’s time to start thinking about desktop signals if you haven’t already optimized for them.

The continued growth of IndexNow is also notable, with several well-known software providers signing up to the protocol this month. Is it the future of indexing? It’s a definite maybe.

And there’s news closer to home. BrightEdge acquired Oncrawl as part of our commitment to data-driven optimization. We’re very excited about what it means for our customers.

Let’s take a look at these and other stories in more depth. Here’s your twice-monthly roundup of all the latest SEO news.

Desktop Page Experience Rollout Finishes

Google has now finished implementing its desktop page experience update. The update applies all mobile page experience factors to desktop, with the exception of mobile-friendliness. While not a major change to the algorithm, it’s still essential that SEOs take note.

Page experience signals are relatively easy to optimize from a technical standpoint. If you haven’t already accounted for them, or are unsure about whether your site meets current standards, then it’s time for an audit.

Google Search Advocate John Mueller provided extra context about how page experience works in an office-hours hangout earlier this month.

In summary, he said that page experience needs to be understood in terms of search intent—if a searcher wants to reach a specific website, page experience will likely be redundant—and that the update is unlikely to cause considerable swings in rankings, at least in the immediate term.

Software Providers Add Support for IndexNow

Several software developers have added native support for IndexNow to their products. SEOPress, RankMath and Duda are three examples. Whenever content changes are made to websites running one of these apps, participating search engines will automatically be notified. Millions of sites use the IndexNow protocol, and that number is growing every day.

While they have yet to sign up, Google has shown some interest. At the moment, Bing and Yandex are the only major search engines partnered with IndexNow. But continued uptake on the part of web admins could herald the next phase of website indexing. And it’s good news for SEOs, especially those that run smaller websites that aren’t crawled as much as larger ones.

BrightEdge Acquires Oncrawl

BrightEdge has been making headlines. We partnered with Oncrawl, one of the leading technical SEO data science platforms.

As Jim Yu, one of the founders of BrightEdge, said in his post on the topic: “Oncrawl pioneered big data infrastructure and semantic analysis of SEO data, allowing for much more control and visibility. Oncrawl has rapidly become a must-have for advanced SEOs and has won numerous awards.”

Expect big things to come and more details to follow.

Google Shopping Experience Scorecard Rewards Customer Experience

Google has launched a program for select merchants called the “Shopping experience scorecard.” US-based e-commerce sellers that participate in Buy on Google or free listings may receive a variety of benefits, including a ranking boost and a Google badge, if they meet several customer experience criteria. These include shipping speed, shipping cost, return window and return cost.

You can access an area dedicated to the Shopping experience scorecard in your Google Merchant Center account. The program is optional, so it’s up to you if you want to provide customer service data to Google. However, if you provide a superlative customer experience, there’s no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity. Your competitors certainly will be.

Queries Related to the Russian Invasion Display New Sections on SERPS

As the dreadful war in Ukraine continues to unfold, people are turning to Google for information and updates. Google has responded to this increased search activity by rolling out several new features on some results pages.

Three new sections appear in response to certain queries related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. These are “Estimated losses,” “Photos,” which displays relevant images, and a list of articles providing general background (as opposed to the latest stories) under the header “For context.”

While these new features seem limited to the on-going war, it’s possible that there will be a larger rollout. If this happens, there will likely be an opportunity for news outlets  to optimize their content for greater exposure.

Google Exploring Ways to Show Short-Form Videos in SERPs

In a recent Search Off the Record podcast, Danielle Marshak, who oversees video content in search results, said that Google is experimenting with indexing more short-form videos (under five minutes and filmed in a vertical aspect).

There are a few problems with serving certain types of recorded content. For example, Instagram and Snapchat videos need to be viewed in an app and therefore can’t be indexed. But this isn’t an issue for other platforms like TikTok.

Short-form video is potentially highly relevant when it comes to meeting the intent behind certain queries, making it likely that Google will pursue this avenue.

Danny Sullivan Weighs in on “Personalization” Debate

You might have encountered the narrative that Google intentionally serves personalized results that cater to searcher biases. This questionable activity, so the argument runs, contributes to an “echo chamber effect” and insulates people from alternative views. That’s a pretty hefty claim.

But it’s largely untrue, at least according to Search Liaison Danny Sullivan. The way Google ranks content is much more mundane and based primarily on location and recent queries, in a way that doesn’t create filter bubbles.

In a short exchange on Twitter with UCLA professor Ramesh Srinivasan, Danny Sullivan said, “Our search results at Google are not personalized in the way that’s described. Two people searching for the same thing in the same location will largely see the same results.”

Think With Google Publishes Search Insights

In February, Think With Google published a report looking at how user expectations have shifted over the last twelve months. It makes for fascinating reading.

Growth of 800% year over year of terms related to winter vacations points towards a large-scale shift in the way people are spending theri holidays. And searches for “24/7 customer service” have increased by 500% compared to the previous year. So you better start thinking about expanding your support department.

Tatiana Perebeinis of SE Ranking Killed in Ukraine

We would like to end this SEO roundup by remembering Tatiana Perebeinis, formerly the chief accountant for SE Ranking. According to a report by the New York Times, Tatiana and her two children were killed by Russian forces while attempting to flee Irpin in Ukraine. She was a well-known and valued member of the SEO community.