Daily Search Forum Recap: June 25, 2019

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: Influx In Google Alert Spam Shouldn’t Impact Your Google Rankings
    We have probably all seen it, an influx in spam related to the subscriptions you set with Google Alerts around your web site and brands you track. But Google’s John Mueller and Danny Sullivan said that influx of spam in Google Alerts should not have any impact on your Google search rankings.
  • Google Search Console Adds Copy & Search Code
    Yesterday Google added two new features to Google Search Console’s tools. You can now copy the code in the testing tools and you can also search for words within the code in those tools as well. This works within many of the tools including the AMP Test, Rich Results and URL Inspection tool.
  • Google Search Console Data Delay Resolved But Google Is Investigating
    Yesterday we reported that the coverage report within Google Search Console was delayed by 10-days. This morning Google fixed the issue or it fixed itself, but Google did say “but we’re still looking into this to make sure the issue has been completely resolved.”
  • Google: We Do Not Show Favicons On Some Browsers
    So while not showing attributions on featured snippets was a bug, in that same screen shot, Google not showing favicons is not a bug – it was intended. Danny Sullivan from Google confirmed on Twitter that “lack of favicons is not a bug here.” “With some browsers we show a simpler results format.” he added.
  • Google: Featured Snippet With Zero Attribution Was A Bug, Not A Test
    Google has said that the featured snippet without an attribution was a bug and 100% not something Google is testing. Danny Sullivan from Google was pretty upset with me for calling this a test when I never asked Google if they were indeed testing it.
  • Google Rainbow Bagels For Pride Month
    Google has been giving out rainbow colored bagels at the Google Mountain View office and New York City office and probably more. Here are some photos of the rainbow pride bagels I found on Instagram.

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Promotion Building

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 24, 2019

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:

  • Images In Featured Snippets & Google Search Console Rankings Can Confuse You
    Do you ever notice that your rankings in Google Search Console shows you rank for a particular keyword phrase in position one but you can’t figure out why. Sometimes it is related to regional rankings and you need to use the filters to narrow it down, but other times it can be related to featured snippets.
  • Google My Business Team Backlog & Experiencing Delays Of 2-3 Weeks
    Google My Business has told one local SEO via Twitter direct message that the team is delayed 2-3 weeks. They wrote “please be aware that the team is currently experiencing a backlog and responses may be delayed for up to 2-3 weeks.”
  • Google To Webmaster: Start Over & Make A New Web Site
    Every now and then you hear advice from Google to a webmaster where they simply give them the hard news that they need to start over. Google’s John Mueller did that on Sunday when he told one webmaster that he needs to start over.
  • Google Search Console Coverage Report Suffering 10-Day Delay
    Yet again, Google Search Console is having reporting issues. This time the coverage report is now experiencing a 10-day delay. Normally this report is about two to three days behind schedule – which is normal. But 10-days is not a normal delay.
  • Google Tests Knowledge Panels Without Attribution
    Google is testing displaying knowledge panels in the search results that do not show any attribution. When I test this, I get Google attributing Wikipedia for the content but in a test that @Venkatramani spotted, it shows a similar knowledge panel but has no link or attribution to Wikipedia for the content or images.
  • Google Cloud On Mount Everest Base Camp
    Here is a photo I found on Twitter from Robert Enslin, President of Google Cloud sales, who brought the Google Cloud flag up to Mount Everest. He posted a message about joining his team at Google.

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Promotion Building

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Google Maps Fake Business Problem Gets Big Media Coverage

You and I and the whole local SEO community know how bad the Google Maps business listing spam issues are. We’ve been covering it forever. We know Google is trying to make efforts to improve things but the spammers are always one or two steps ahead of them.

Well, now this problem has made its way to the big media with the Wall Street Journal writing Millions of Business Listings on Google Maps Are Fake – and Google Profits. “Google Maps is filled with false business addresses created by firms pretending to be nearby,” they wrote. And then it goes through everything you and I know that these spammers are doing. They make the story very personal and real.

The local SEO community is happy for the coverage, hoping it leads to bigger and more significant efforts from Google:

Google did respond explaining How we fight fake business profiles on Google Maps – again, all stuff you know.

In any event – we will see if this larger more widespread media coverage will make a difference in how Google tackles this big problem…

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Shift, Google vs Genius Lyrics, Google Search Console, Maps, YouTube & More

This week in search I covered a possible Google algorithm and ranking update on June 19th. Google said the core update and Panda update are not the same thing. Google was accused by Genius as stealing their lyrics, Google said they will investigate but they license the content from third-parties and now labels it as such. Google Search Console removed the preferred domain setting. Google is testing the new evergreen GoogleBot in the mobile-friendly test, URL inspection tool and other tools. Moz said the Google diversity update really didn’t do much to diversify the search results. Google does show hidden content as featured snippets. Google said there is no fixed time to snapshot rendered content. Google posted a poll asking if you would want a filter to see which links are nofollowed for your internal link report. Google said disallowed URLs do not impact your crawl budget. An SEO poll shows that too many SEOs are still focused on desktop analysis vs mobile. Google Search Console image search performance data is missing from June 5th through 7th. Google can show emojis, links and unicode in rich results for FAQ markup. Google is testing a lot of new interfaces, I summarized a bunch of them. Google My Business launched new features yesterday around short names, cover photos, logos and more. Local SEOs are complaining that Google My Business suspension reinstatements are taking too long. Google Duplex is now working on mobile, I posted some screen shots. Google is testing hotel search boxes without a local identifier. Google is testing showing Google Posts that are related to your searches. Google Maps fake business listing problem is getting some big attention now. Google is testing a new ad carousel that is named people also considered. Google’s Webmaster YouTube channel broke 300,000 subscribers! That was this week in search at the Search Engine Roundtable.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 21, 2019

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 & Promotion Building

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 20, 2019

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

Search Features

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 19, 2019

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:

  • Possible Google Search Algorithm & Ranking Update June 19th
    I have been watching the chatter this morning from the SEO community on WebmasterWorld and social media and I am seeing an increase in signals that there may be a Google algorithm and ranking update rolling out this morning.
  • Google Removes Preferred Domain Setting From Search Console
    Google announced it has removed the preferred domain setting from the old Google Search Console interface. It is gone – I don’t see it anymore and you can no longer set this in Google Search Console.
  • Google Does Show Hidden Content In Accordions & Tabs As Featured Snippets
    The other week we asked if Google shows content within tabs or accordions or other forms of hidden areas in the featured snippets section. We asked this because Google said for the normal search results snippet, Google said they don’t show this type of content but for featured snippets they would. The answer is – they do.
  • Complaints Over Google My Business Reinstatement Delays
    There are many local SEOs who are complaining about the delay with Google My Business in reinstating businesses that were suspended. I am seeing numerous complaints in the forums and on Twitter about this.
  • SEO Poll: Many SEOs Still Focusing On Desktop Page Analysis
    Alyeda Solis posted a Twitter poll that received almost 1,000 votes that showed that many SEOs are still pretty focused on the desktop analysis of their web pages. So while Google is taking a mobile-first approach, SEOs still seem to spend a considerable amount of effort on desktop.
  • Google To Genius: From Now On, We Will Show You Who Is Stealing Your Lyrics
    Got to love this exchange – you have Genius coming out saying we caught Google red handed stealing/scraping our lyrics from our web site. Google then yesterday says, we didn’t do it, we paid for LyricFind to give us these lyrics they may have stolen from you guys – so blame them. Then LyricFind is like, we asked Genius for more details and they didn’t get back to us – so what do you want from us.
  • Google: Pages Can Rank For Image Alt Text Content In Web Search
    John Mueller from Google stated on Twitter that your web pages can rank in Google web search for content that you put within image alternative text. He also added this is easy to test, and SEOs have over the years, by putting a unique string of text in their alt tags and seeing if Google will show the page in the search results after that page is indexed.
  • Google Jokes: Neural Networks For Babies Book
    John Nack, a Product Manager, Digital Photography at Google, posted a photo of someone giving him a new book titled Neural Networks for Babies. Why? I don’t know why but I guess there is some joke th

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Promotion Building

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 18, 2019

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 Duplex Bookings Tested In Mobile Search
    Google is testing bookings using Google Duplex, but I have yet to see how it looks as a user when they use Google search to book a reservation. Thibault Adda shared screen shots of this being tests on an Olive Garden in Florida.
  • New Google User Interface Updates: Refine Layers, Mini-Carousels, Shopping Toggle, Mortgage Calculator & More
    There are just so many Google user interface tests that are going on now, some are live, some are being tested, I don’t have enough time to put them into their own stories. So let me document some of them below, not all of them. In summary, the ones I am covering below are expanding the refine by layers to mobile, a mini-carousel for people also ask, a shopping box that lets you toggle between Google Shopping and comparison sites, a new mortgage calculator and more.
  • Google Search Console Missing Image Search Traffic Between June 5th & 7th
    Google posted on the data anomalies page that due to an internal issue Search Console did not capture some image search statistics from June 5th through June 7th.
  • Google Doesn’t Have A Fixed Time To Snapshot Rendered Content But…
    The folks at Screaming Frog said on Twitter that their tests indicate GoogleBot is willing to wait about five seconds for its snapshot of rendered content. John Mueller of Google said that time sounds reasonable but they do not have a specific time because “it can vary significantly for reasons like caching.”
  • Google Falafel Doodle
    Today on Google’s home page is an animated falafel. I’ll be honest, I am not a huge falafel fan and yes, I’ve had my share since I visit the middle east (Israel) every now and then. But for some reason, today, June 18th, Google decided to celebrate the food.
  • Google Sofa Shrubs
    Here is a photo from a Google event in Dublin with a sofa, a couch, made out of shrubs or bushes. I totally expect the Google office there to have some of these sofa bushes to be planted throughout t

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Promotion Building

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 15, 2019

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: Core Update Is Not Like The Panda Algorithm
    Danny Sullivan from Google said on Twitter over the weekend that the Google core updates are not like the old or new Google Panda algorithms. He said “the core update isn’t like Panda of old (and no, it’s not like Panda of new, either).”
  • Google Tests Hotel Search Box Without Local Identifier
    Sergey Alakov posted on Twitter screen shots of Google showing the hotel finder box but without putting in the location of the searcher. So you searched for [hotel] and Google asks you to enter in the location of the hotel you are looking to book and not pre-fill in your current location.
  • Google Posts Tests “Related To Your Search” – Showing You Relevant Google Posts
    Claire Carlile posted a screen shot on Twitter of Google showing a new section to display Google Posts in a Google local panel. The new section is named “related to your search” and seems to show Google Posts that are more relevant to your search query.
  • Google: We Not Prioritize Portal Web Sites In Rankings
    Google’s John Mueller said Google does not give priority to a portal web site over a static web site in its search rankings. John Mueller from Google said on Twitter “No, portals are not prioritized,” when asked if Google favors portals.
  • Genius: We Caught Google Red Handed Stealing Our Lyrics
    The Wall Street Journal reported that Genius, the lyrics web site, has said they caught Google literally red handed stealing lyrics from their web site without any attribution or payment. Google denies it and says they license the lyrics from a third-party but will be investigating the situation.
  • SEO Cartoon On Subfolders Vs Subdomains
    Here is a very funny SEO cartoon from Mark Williams-Cook on subdomains vs subfolders. How do you know if they are dead? Say something that SEOs debate about and see if anyone who is ‘dead’ can’t spe

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Sudden Spike In Google Search Console Errors & Google My Business Suspensions

I am hearing reports of two separate increases or sudden spikes across both Google Search Console and Google My Business. Some are reporting that within Google Search Console there has been a sudden spike in errors within the error reports. And some are reporting massive increases in suspension notifications within Google My Business.

Google Search Console Errors

I’ve been seeing numerous reports from SEOs that they are receiving a large spike in error notifications within Google Search Console from their client accounts. The spike is more than normal and thus they are wondering if they should ignore the notifications and wait it out to see if the dust settles or take action and make changes.

Dawn Anderson is one of the people who posted about it on Twitter and there are many responses that confirm what she is seeing.

I am not sure if you should wait these out, it might just be that Google dialed up the error reporting – maybe mostly around mobile first indexing? I am not sure, but you should probably look into these errors.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Google My Business Suspensions

It appears Google is finally cracking down on fake virtual offices in Google Maps. Ben Fisher posted on Twitter “Google My Business PSA: I am seeing a rise in all profiles in an account getting suspended due to having a Virtual Office profile in it. Beware, if your fake Virtual Office gets reported as spam, all of your profiles are at risk.”

Joe Youngblood posted a screen shot of suspensions he saw that were actually real brick and mortar stores, so something is off:

It seems the local SEO community is happy that Google is doing something about this finally…

Forum discussion at Twitter.