Daily Search Forum Recap: July 3, 2020

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.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Video: Bing Webmaster Guidelines & Ranking Factors, Google Shopping is Free & Search Console Insights
    I pre-recorded this one, not using my normal camera, hope it came out okay and hope I am back to the normal routine next week. In any event, I published the monthly Google webmaster recap, you can catch up there. Bing updated its Bing Webmaster Guidelines, there is a bunch of new things there including rel sponsored and ugc…
  • Google Tests Local Panel Ads Again, But With No Opt Out
    Over the past few days Tim Capper has been noticing ads back in the local knowledge panels again. I personally was unable to replicate, but now I can here and there. Greg Sterling confirmed with Google that this is a new “pilot program” they are running again.
  • Google Maps Tests Local Listing Carousel In Footer
    Andy Simpson spotted this interesting Google Maps interface test. It shows a local listing or local pack carousel in the footer section on the Google Maps view. I don’t believe I’ve seen this before, but it is kind of nice.
  • Google Search Console Video Structured Data Reporting Tweak
    Google announced on Twitter that it made a change to how Google Search Console reports on your video structured data. Specifically, Google wrote “if you use video structured data, our reporting is now aligned with the docs and…
  • Google Testing People Also Search For & Top Trends On Right Panel
    Stephen Watts is in a Google test where Google is testing placing the people also search for and top trends feature on the right hand panel. Normally this is in the main search results on the left but here Google is testing it on the right.
  • Google NYC Pride Logo Sign Up
    Every year, at most of the Google offices around the world, Google replaced the signage on the outside of their buildings with a rainbow color version of the sign. This is done for Pride Month and this year, with COVID, it is no different. At least at the Google NYC office and some other offices.

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Search Buzz Video Recap: Bing Webmaster Guidelines & Ranking Factors, Google Shopping is Free & Search Console Insights

I pre-recorded this one, not using my normal camera, hope it came out okay and hope I am back to the normal routine next week. In any event, I published the monthly Google webmaster recap, you can catch up there. Bing updated its Bing Webmaster Guidelines, there is a bunch of new things there including rel sponsored and ugc support and Bing listed out its ranking factors; things that Google does not use, Bing says they do use. Google’s June 23rd update may have given a nice boost to federal and governmental web sites. Google Shopping is now free on Google Web Search, not just Google Shopping. GoogleBot is now able add products on your e-commerce site to your shopping cart – pretty crazy. Google is testing Google Search Console Insights, where it shows you more Google Analytics imported data directly in Search Console. Google updated its how Google search works help document. Google may still have some issues some implementations of Disqus comments. Google said using stock photography does not hurt your web search rankings; but it won’t help you rank in image search. Google said the CLS page metic is measured through the entire lifecycle of the page. Google Search Console tweaked its reporting for video structured data. Google replaced the sponsored label in search with the ad able. Google said it is fixing the garage door spam issues in Google Maps very soon. Google Maps is testing a local listing carousel on the footer of the page. Google local panels is testing displaying a story view for your images. Google is testing local panel ads that you cannot opt out of again. Oh and if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

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For the original iTunes version, click here.

Search Topics of Discussion:

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July 2020 Google Webmaster Report

It is time for the monthly Google Webmaster Report where I sum up the more important organic Google topics for SEOs and webmasters. The big news is that Google had some unconfirmed algorithm updates and one was big that had a larger impact on government sites. Google is going to be removing counterfeit goods from organic search. Google Shopping is going free, even on Google.com. Oh, and Google has a new head of Google Search – Prabhakar Raghavan.

Google Search Console is testing something called Google Search Console Insights. It has a deeper level of integration with Google Analytics and gives you a perspective of your traffic that Search Console previously did not give you. Search Console also added search appearance filters for recipe results.

Google took a stronger stance on guest posts for links, paid or not, they should be nofollowed. Google updated its how search works help document. GoogleBot is able to add products to your shopping cart. Google fixed an issue, partially, with indexing comments powered by Disqus. And you can now get fact labels on images if you want to use ClaimReview schema there.

There is a lot more, both on the SEO front, local side and Google is testing a ton of user interfaces. But they did launch the featured snippet highlight feature after a lot of testing.

The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread is pretty new, not much there right now. And to catch up on last month, check out the June report.

Here are the topics below:

Google Algorithms & Ranking Updates:

Google Misc: Google Search Console: Google SEO: Google Local & Maps: Google User Interface Tests:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Google Replaced The Sponsored Label With The Ads Label

Yesterday Google has removed the “Sponsored” label on the Google Shopping Ads and replaced it with the black “Ads” label you see on normal Google Search Ads. Ginny Marvin from Search Engine Land said this is “streamlining” the ads label.

Here are before and after screen shots that I saw myself on the desktop results.

Old “Sponsored” Google Ads Label (click to enlarge):

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New “Ads” Google Ads Label (click to enlarge):

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Ginny also produced an excellent history of Google Ads labels.

I prefer it read “Ads” versus “Sponsored” – so I am happy with this change.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Google: Stock Photography For Google Search Does Not Matter

Google’s John Mueller was asked if using stock photography on your pages would hurt the page’s chances of ranking well in Google search. Do you need a unique image per page? John Mueller responded on Twitter that “it doesn’t matter for web-search directly.”

He did add “for image search, if it’s the same image as used in many places, it’ll be harder.”

Here are those tweets:

Now, John did say in December 2018 that it is worthwhile to have unique images on your pages. But again, here he was referencing image search ranking. He said:

I think having a unique photo is definitely a good idea. Because if it’s the same photo that’s reused across a number of different articles, we’ll we’ll pick one of those articles for for image search to show as the landing page for that. So you’re kind of in the same group with everyone else if it’s the same photo. Whereas if it’s a different photo, then we we can show it separately in image search but that’s specific to image search.

It’s not the case that if you have good images that they will make your site rank better in web search. So it’s kind of kind of separate there. But that’s something where but sometimes good images show up as well in the normal search results. With like or you have the the images one bar on top or something like that. So I I think if you have a chance to to have your own images I think that’s definitely worthwhile.

I was trying to find that classic stock photo everyone uses with a smiling call center representative, but I used a cat instead for this story.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Vlog #73: Chris Sherman On Growing Two Authorities In Search Marketing News & Conferences

Chris Sherman

Chris Sherman has been serving the SEO and SEM industry since the super early days, from Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies to Search Engine Land and Search Marketing Expo. He was there from the beginning and in 2019, at the last SMX event that year, Chris announced he is retiring. Here is my interview with this man, a man who helped form this space as we know it.

His first job in SEO was working for The Mining Company, which eventually became About.com (and now Dotdash). This site launched in 1997, just so you know the age of it. His job there was to write articles about the state of search, covering search engines like Excite.com and other older search engines. He met up with Danny Sullivan when Danny did the keynote and the Internet Librarian Conference. Danny spoke about his early paper on the Webmasters Guide to search engines, and this was the first of its kind. Then in 2001, Danny sold Search Engine Watch to Internet.com, and then he was hired to work at Search Engine Watch under Danny. Chris Elwell was the person who was involved in the acquisition and they moved into Search Engine Strategies, the conference.

Then that company sold Search Engine Watch to Incisive Media, he stayed on for a bit when Danny (and others) went to start Search Engine Land. But he joined Search Engine Land and the Third Door Media company shortly later to help form that company. Both companies he worked at became authorities in the space.

He is going to be working on personal projects; word-working and cooking. He said he isn’t sure if he is done professionally but he has times to think.

You can follow Chris Sherman on LinkedIn.

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 Tests New Fonts For Search Results Page

Google seems to be testing new font styles for the search results pages. Here is some screen shots of the current font that I see, followed by screen shots from some folks on Twitter noticing a new font style.

Here is what I see (click to enlarge):

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Here is what @shemiadhikarath sees:

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Here is what @jackalswitch79 sees:

click for full size

Google is always testing, here is one more test that is ongoing.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 26, 2020

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.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Unconfirmed Update, Disqus Indexed, Structured Data & EAT & Google Analytics With Search Console

I got my normal camera back and with it, we went to London – again, let me know your thoughts on the camera and if you want a specific background. I covered two Google algorithm updates, a bigger one on June 23rd and a smaller one over the weekend – Google did not confirm these. Google also fixed an issue with indexing Disqus comments. Google said again it does not measure EAT and John Mueller explained that adding structured data won’t tell Google that your site is trustworthy, authoritative or an expert on the topic. Google is going to be doing some sort of new integration between Google Analytics and Search Console. Google says you cannot control where GoogleBot crawls you from. Google Posts now disallows political or social commentary and personal rants. Google added ClaimReview schema support to Google Images Search, so you can get those fact labels on there. Google is testing how to schema on desktop, this time with image thumbnails. Google expanded business messaging in local and search. Google also shows expanded hours in search for businesses. Google Ads updated the test my site tool, added feeds in apps, deep linking and new ad reports. Google is sunsetting the Google Partners Acceleration program. Google is testing people also search for ads carousels on desktop. Google ads is moving some targeting options to target impression share strategy. And Google said one percent of queries in Australia were news related. Oh and if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. 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 to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

For the original iTunes version, click here.

Search Topics of Discussion:

Please do subscribe on YouTube or subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!

Google: You Cannot Control Where Google Crawls You From

We know Google almost always crawls from the United States of America. But sometimes Google can send out its army of bots from other regions. You can not explicitly request Google to crawl from a specific region or location. Google does this on its own. Of course, you can try to block GoogleBot but that is not safe.

John Mueller of Google was asked if there is a way to prevent GoogleBot from crawling his site from China. John said no, “there is no mechanism to do that, sorry.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.