Search Buzz Video Recap: Another Google Search Ranking Glitch, Search Console Insights & Google Headers With Images

It was another exciting week in the search world, with this past Saturday kicking off yet another Google search ranking or indexing bug. John Mueller from Google would not give me more details on this issue. Google also officially confirmed the Google Search Console Insights reporting tool, which we covered a while back. Google Search Console added new reports to debug signed exchange issues in AMP. Google launched a weird feature that would show a graphical header based on your query, it was quickly removed after some adult oriented graphics turned up for some queries. Google said new sites launched on old domains do not default to mobile-first indexing. Google said keywords in the URL have minimal impact after the content on the page is indexed. Google said header tags aren’t going to make you rank better in search. Google does not want machine translated content in its search results. Most SEOs consider accessibility when doing their SEO work. Google uses a bunch fo signals for canonicalization. Google expanded its search activity cards to support shopping, jobs and recipe related results. Google My Business has a new performance report that gives you a slightly different view of your data. Google Local panels is displaying this awkward looking map. Google Ads upgraded the performance planner tool to have shared budgets, shared access and support conversion delays. Google Ads also upgraded the access controls by adding a new billing level and account owner leave. Microsoft Advertising launched version 11.28 of the Microsoft Advertising Editor this week. Bing Shopping now can show free shopping listings, but in the footer, well beneath the paid listings. And Google has promised to host a larger virtual webmaster conference at the end of this year. I need to figure out this green screen stuff, it isn’t perfect at all. 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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Daily Search Forum Recap: August 21, 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:

  • Search Buzz Video Recap: Another Google Search Ranking Glitch, Search Console Insights & Google Headers With Images
    It was another exciting week in the search world, with this past Saturday kicking off yet another Google search ranking or indexing bug. John Mueller from Google would not give me more details on this issue…
  • Google On August 15th Search Issue: Sometimes We Don’t Have A Lot Details To Share
    Earlier this week, on the August 18th webmaster office hours with John Mueller, I asked John for more details on first the Google indexing failure on August 10th and then if he can share any details on what happened last Saturday, August 15th. The short answer is that no, he cannot share anything more about either of those topics.
  • Squarespace Gets Embedded Search Console Reports
    Squarespace, the web site builder tool, now can show data from Google Search Console within its portal. Google announced on Twitter “If you’re a Squarespace user, you can now see how people found each of your pages in Search.”
  • Google Uses These Signals For Canonicalization
    Canonicalization is when Google tries to combine any URLs together as one when it thinks there might be duplicate URLs. How Google does that can depend on a lot of different signals. John Mueller of Google listed some of the signals Google uses for canonicalization.
  • Google: Sometimes Swapping 404 URLs Out To Get Indexed Faster May Help
    Google’s John Mueller said that sometimes “swapping out the URL can certainly help” when that URL has been 404ed or noindexed for a while. He said “sometimes our systems are so used to a URL not “working” (noindex, 404, etc) that it can take a bit of time to get back.”
  • Poll: Most SEOs Consider Accessibility When Working On Websites
    Ruth Everett asked on Twitter if SEOs consider accessibility when doing SEO on a web site. The question was worded “Hey SEO friends, a quick q, is website accessibility something you consider when working on a sites SEO?” The vast majority of SEOs do, on some level, consider accessibility when doing SEO work on a site.
  • Google Partner Soccer Jersey
    We’ve seen this jersey before, but on a dog, not a human. Here are the Google Partners soccer jerseys Google gave out as swag to some agencies back in 2018. Yes, I am fetching some of the old photos

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Daily Search Forum Recap: August 20, 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

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Daily Search Forum Recap: August 19, 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:

  • Google Search Customized Headers Based On Query
    This is wild, I mean, I think it is a bit over the top even for Google. Google is changing the background heading image for the Google search results based on your query. If you search for things like [creative ideas], [ideas for christmas], [flower ideas] and even others, Google will swap out the white background with an image background.
  • New Publishers Say Their Content Is Not Being Ranked In Google News
    There are a nice number of vocal SEOs and online publishers who have been complaining all year long about their new online publishing news web sites are not being indexed and ranked in Google News. It is hard for me to debug any of this but they asked that I bring some of their complaints to a wider audience.
  • Google My Business New Performance Metrics
    Colan Nielsen spotted a new analytics dashboard for Google My Business data named performance metrics. It is a bit tricky to get to, but it is available via the updated inline editing features. They also don’t seem to match up with the Google My Business Insights data.
  • Google Expands Search Activity Cards To Shopping, Jobs & Recipes
    Google Search activity cards are not new, they’ve been in testing since 2018 and launched in January 2019. But Google has upgraded them for shopping and product searches, job searches and recipe searches. Google said they have “updated them for shopping, jobs & recipes, to show you related and new information.”
  • Bing Shopping Now Allows Free Listings In The Footer
    In April Google allowed free listings within the Google Shopping tab and then expanded it to the main Google web search results. Bing seems to be following suit and allowing free product listings in the Bing Shopping tab of search. But those free product listings may go unseen since they seem to be placed in the footer.
  • Google Ads Societal Biases Targeting Being Disabled In 30 Days
    In June we reported that Google will prohibit targeting ads based on employment, housing, and credit. Google now said this is going into play in 30-days from now, on October 19, 2020. Google said “in an effort to improve inclusivity for users disproportionately affected by societal biases; housing, employment, and credit products or services can no longer be targeted to audiences based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP code.”
  • Julius Lothar Meyer Honored With Google Doodle On 190th Birthday
    Julius Lothar Meyer, the German chemist who was one of the pioneers in developing the first periodic table of chemical elements, is being honored by Google today with a Google Doodle on his 190th birthday. Google wrote “Happy birthday, Julius Lothar Meyer, and thank you for braving the elements for the sake of scientific knowledge!”
  • Google NYC Security Feeding Dog
    This is Rick from Google NYC, I am not sure if he is security, maintenance, a greeter or something else but look at how nice he is. The dog knows to come to him for a treat. Check out the video from

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Daily Search Forum Recap: August 18, 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

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Daily Search Forum Recap: August 17, 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:

  • August 15th – Another Possible Big Google Search Algorithm & Ranking Update
    Super rare that I come on, on a Saturday night, and write something here. But I turned up the computer after Shabbat ended and I see the SEO community is buzzing in a big way about some significant changes to the Google search results today. This is not as big as that bug from last Monday but it does seem very big.
  • Google Search Console Insights Is Live For Some
    Google has announced a new Google Search Console Insights BETA tool for publishers. We told you this was in the works a couple of months ago and now Google officially confirmed it. Google said “today we’re starting to roll out a new experience to beta testers: Search Console Insights. It’s a way to provide content creators with the data they need to make informed decisions and improve their content.”
  • Vlog #80: Patrick Stox – Heavy On Technical SEO with a Touch Of Humor
    Patrick Stox (@patrickstox) is now the Product Advisor, Technical SEO, & Brand Ambassador at Ahrefs. Prior to that he was at IBM, he worked there for four years. This was my last interview at SMX West, so I was a bit loopy…
  • Google: Header Tags Are Not Magical Pixie Dust That Make Your Site Rank Better
    Over the weekend there has been a lot of chatter about headers and their importance for ranking in Google search. It may have been that what John Mueller said in a recent video hangout was taken a bit out of context (trust me, I know, I have done this too). John Mueller of Google clarified on Twitter afterwards on header tags “they’re useful for understanding the context of content (text & images), but they’re not magical pixie dust that will make your site rank better.”
  • Google: We Do Not Want Machine Translated Content In The Index
    There has been a ton of chatter in the SEO industry around GPT-3, Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3, an autoregressive language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text and its use for translating content that Google might want to consume. Google does not want to consume it, Google does not want you to use GPT-3 to translate your content and be fed it for indexing.
  • Google: XML Sitemap Do Not Help With User Experience
    Pascal Birchler, a Developer Programs Engineer at Google and works closely on WordPress related tasks, used this 𤅠facepalming emoji after quoting this on Twitter “a good-looking XML sitemap will bring a better user experience.”
  • Google Australia Notice – The Way Aussies Use Google Is At Risk
    Australians who go to Google are seeing a notice, a pop up, on Google Search that reads “The way Aussies use Google is at risk.” It adds “your search experience will be hurt by new regulation” and then asks the user to dismiss the alert or learn more.
  • A Private Google Office 5 Months Into COVID-19
    We’ve seen some Googlers say they have ventured back into the Google office. Some to retrieve stuff and some had to go back to maintain things. Here is a photo of a private office at Google Dublin af

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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Indexing System Failure Caused Major Search Result Fluctuations

Well, this was an interesting week, to say the least. Monday afternoon we saw some insane Google search ranking fluctuations with really unusual search results coming from Google. It turned out it was a glitch with Google’s indexing system that trickled down to impacting the search results you saw on Monday night. The issue lasted for several hours and Google confirmed it was fixed. Yesterday, Google posted a video on how Google search works to make improvements, including that it made 3,620 improvements to search in 2019. Google Image Search works with that highlight and scroll down feature, which seems weird. Google is testing people also ask on the right side and also tests search results without borders. Google is trying out virtual people cards in India but you can BPN there to get in. Martin Splitt posted a video with Rachel Costello on all about canonicalization, it is worth a watch. Google said again, guest blog post links have zero value. Google says there is no issue directly with having too many outbound links. Google said it does not monitor sites that are in disavow file lists. Google rich results test now has support for article structured data. Google Image license markup does not help with rankings. Google is asking those leaving local reviews for more details. Google has upgraded its inline Google My Business editing in search and maps. Google My Business now shows if a third party service is powering your menus for your restaurant. Google AdSense will no longer support paying via Western Union. Google Merchant Center has a new method to exclude your products from specific countries. Google announced its virtual webmaster unconference this week and it was sold out within a few hours and the waitlist has over 500 people on it. 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!

August 15th – Another Possible Big Google Search Algorithm & Ranking Update

Google Update

Super rare that I come on, on a Saturday night, and write something here. But I turned up the computer after Shabbat ended and I see the SEO community is buzzing in a big way about some significant changes to the Google search results today. This is not as big as that bug (the indexing system failure) from last Monday but it does seem very big.

We have both the SEO forums, social media and even many of the trusted rank checking tracking tools all showing huge signs of an update.

The first signs seemed to be early this morning but if you count local changes, those seemed to have started Friday morning. So yes, I am seeing both Google web search ranking changes and also local search ranking changes. Let me be clear, this seems nothing like what we saw on last Monday afternoon with Google. The search results do not seem wrong or bad, I don’t think – at least not as obvious as the Monday issue. But there is a lot of chatter and the tools are ‘lit up’ (as the cool kids would say).

Let’s start with the SEO chatter, from the ongoing WebmasterWorld forums and also Black Hat World forums has a bunch of chatter. Here is some of it:

Did the world forget to come back from your fishing trip samwest?

Totally dead this Saturday morning.

Not sure what is going on….

I don’t know if it’s too early to scream with happiness, but as far as I can see this morning, a new Google SERP update is on the scene. Namely, my positions are where they were 3 months ago. In other words the positions were almost 100% restored at the moment before the May update. And that’s fantastic news for me. I made a couple of changes to website that I suspected could have caused a loss of position and I don’t know if it affected it, but it doesn’t matter at all anymore since my project is where it has always been.

This Saturday morning, August 15 2020, is extremely beautiful. happy! happy! happy!

They don’t do core updates on Saturday and Sundays. Another glitch?

It wouldn’t surprise me. SERP monitors are on fire showing some of the highest volatility I’ve seen in a long time. I guess we’ll have to wait for the dust to settle to see if it’s a glitch or another algo update.

I think already happen ….massive drop for my organic traffic and come adsense see like something negative happen too

I see massive increase in my rankings. Many of my KWs have jumped up very very nice!

Another “glitch”?

UPDATE: I’m still rising high and reached positions where I was after the *GLITCH*

Seems like google has finally did justice to us and we are ranking where we should rank

I’m seeing some positive movement from my keywords today

Today 100% We have Googgle Update

TADA! My rankings have fallen a bit again :/ Not too bad so far.. Its still okay

Indeed it does.

So far so good on my end. Few improvements.

I guest its the “glitch” fix.

Here are some tweets today asking me about this:

Here are screen shots of the tracking tools.

SEMrush – this is crazy high for SEMRush:

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RankRanger – I do not know if I’ve ever seen RankRanger this high?

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Accuranker – super high as well:

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Mozcast – is pretty high as well:

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The other tools seem pretty stable right now, but who knows what they will show tomorrow?

Here is the local tracking tools:

BrightLocal:

click for full size

Here is a thread about it from the Local Search Forums where Joy Hawkins wrote “BrightLocal’s Flux tracker had a high score yesterday. I’m wondering if anyone saw any major changes in the search results? This is one that I was looking at yesterday.” No one has responded yet.

To sum up:

  • I am seeing chatter of an update on August 15th
  • Some of the more trusted tools are showing very high fluctuations in Google
  • Also seeing this in local rankings, not just web rankings.
  • It is not like the glitch from Monday (the chatter is not that high and the results don’t look that off)

So – did you notice huge changes on August 15th? Let us know.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld forums and also Black Hat World forums.

Daily Search Forum Recap: August 14, 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:

  • Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Indexing System Failure Caused Major Search Result Fluctuations
    Well, this was an interesting week, to say the least. Monday afternoon we saw some insane Google search ranking fluctuations with really unusual search results coming from Google. It turned out it was a glitch with Google’s indexing system that trickled down to…
  • Video On How Google Search Improves Results Both Algorithmically & Via Policies
    Yesterday, Google published a new short video on how Google search works. This was on specifically how Google Search continues to improve results. Clearly this is in response to the US Congressional hearings from a few weeks ago. The video is super simplified but I think does a great job explaining what Google does to make changes to search to make it better.
  • Google: No Such Thing As Too Many Outbound Links
    Google’s John Mueller was asked if there is such a thing as having too many outbound links, even if those links are natural. John said “I’m not aware of anything like that.” He did add that maybe there is a situation where you are lacking content because you have so many links, i.e. like directories.
  • Google: High Domain Authority With Backlinks Does Not Guarantee High Rankings
    Google’s John Mueller said even if your site has “high domain authority with backlinks” there is no guarantee that it will lead to high Google rankings. This is a good continuation from our coverage of Moz spam score and DA not being Google ranking factors.
  • Google My Business Upgraded Its Inline Editing In Search & Maps
    Google announced that you can now edit your Google My Business listing directly from Google Search and Google Maps. Truth is, this is a feature Google kind of launched in 2017 but now Google improved the user interface and made some additional improvements.
  • Google Explains That Canonicalization Is About Duplication Management
    Google has another SEO mythbusting video, this one is on canonicalization and it is with Rachel Costello and Martin Splitt. Martin Splitt explained first you need to understand that canonicalization is about duplication management. But the whole video has tons of excellent nuggets on this complex SEO task.
  • Google Can Help You Find Live TV & Sports Games
    Yesterday Google announced it can now help you find live TV shows to watch and also live sports game through the MLB and NBA leagues. Google said “today we’re adding new features to Google Search in the U.S. to help you quickly find the live games you’re looking for. And when the game is over, we’re here to help you discover live TV shows or movies that you may like too.”
  • Google Working From Home Box
    Daniel Waisberg, who works primarily out of the Google Tel Aviv office, shared a photo of a box he received at his home from his employer. It is a cup, two mugs, a pen, some stickers and magnet. The

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Daily Search Forum Recap: August 13, 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:

  • 500 SEOs Waitlisted For The Google Virtual Webmaster Unconference
    Like we reported yesterday, the Google Virtual Webmaster Unconference was sold out within a few hours after it was announced. Google opened up a few more spots yesterday morning but those were taken very quickly. Martin Splitt of Google said there are now 500 people on the waitlist for this event.
  • Google Image Search Highlight Can Now Highlight Text On Your Web Pages
    You know that Google Search on some browsers can now highlight text and even scroll down to the portion of the page with the text from the search results page to your web page. Well, now it seems to also work not just in web searches featured snippets but also in Google Image search.
  • Google My Business: Your Menu Managed By An External Service
    Google My Business seems to be rolling out a useful feature to let business owners, mostly restaurants, know that their menus displayed on their local listing is managed by an external service. This screen shot, shared by Thibault Adda, shows an example of this.
  • Google Tests Search Results Interface Without Borders
    We saw Google testing featured snippets without being enclosed in borders. Well, now Google is testing its search results interface without borders around any of the search result features. Not the people also ask, not the knowledge panels, not the local box and so on.
  • Moz Spam Score Does Not Influence Your Google Rankings
    Google’s John Mueller sometimes has to confirm the more obvious questions including that Google does not use DA, a Moz metric. And now that Google does not use the spam score metric from DA. Believe it or not, Google uses its own scores, signals and ranking factors and does not use Moz, a third-party company, metrics for its rankings.
  • YouTube Festival 2020 Recordings At Google Germany
    It is not often when I see people working at the Google offices these days but here are some people doing some recording or taping at Google Germany offices for the YouTube Festival 2020. They are we

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