Google Organic Search Doesn’t Have A Negative Keywords Feature

I know this is obvious for most of you but while Google Ads (AdWords) has a way to exclude your site for coming up in the search results for specific keywords, Google organic search does not. You cannot tell Google, please do not rank my site when people type in keyword X or Y.

John Mueller from Google confirmed this obvious statement on Twitter saying “No – just focus on what you really want to be seen as being relevant for.”

Daily Search Forum Recap: December 14, 2018

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

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Chatter, Bad Links, News Bugs, Bing Machine Learning & More

This week I covered a possible small Google algorithm update that touched down sometime over the week. Google said you really shouldn’t have to worry about bad links but if you do, you can use the disavow file. Google changed up the AMP error report to be more generic. Google News publishers are still complaining about indexing and ranking. Bing said machine learning helps them make search ranking more human curated like. Google said just because a lot of scrapers take content from your site, it doesn’t mean your site is quality. Google moved some of the old reports in the old Search Console to the new ones. Google fixed the data bug between the old Search Analytics report and the new Performance report. Google rolled out image thumbnails in the related searches section. Google made the URL clickable in the search results snippets. Local SEOs are saying that the Google Posts traffic have drastically declined. Google renamed in Google My Business the communications manager to the site manger. The Google Maps For You Tab is now on iOS devices and expanded to more countries on Android. Google Lens is now on iOS devices. Google is closing down Google+ even soon because of another security issue. Google posted their Year in Search for 2018. I am sorry about the internet issue, the main Wifi router dropped during the recording. That was this past week in search 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.

Limited Chatter: Google Search Algorithm Update This Week

For the past week or so, I’ve been seeing chatter within the community about Google search algorithm updates. Truth is, the chatter is very limited but those who are complaining are seeing huge changes for their sites in Google search. But again, it does not seem very wide spread.

The reason I am covering it is because after about five days of hearing this chatter, it is still going on. Most of the tools show normal volatility but some are a bit off the charts. It can be that a lot of people are already taking it easy before the holidays and are not noticing the changes on their site, thus not chatting about it in the SEO communities. Or it can also mean that very few sites are impacted by whatever is going on.

Generally, Google doesn’t make huge changes to their ranking algorithms before the holidays. But that is not always the case.

In any event, here are some comments from WebmasterWorld, Black Hat World and Local Search Forums:

There could have been another update over the weekend, possibly links based, I’ve seen a bit of chatter.

Saw an huge drop off in conversions yesterday. Wondering whether it was the Christmas break or the lead up to more roll outs. Normal Traffic and SERPs positions.

Something very fishy is going on now. Today we have experienced a fall in good amount of traffic.

Me too, after 12 hours I was only at 15% of average but at this time of year this is normal for me however I wasn’t expecting it to happen until this weekend … People’s Xmas works holidays seem to be getting longer!

I am witnessing a 15-20% drop across all my sites since Friday. Still continuing. There goes December too.

I have also observed the same but can’t find exactly what is the update. Searched a lot on Google and found some broad core algorithm is there.

One of my clients who experienced a huge traffic drop post Medic Update (traffic drop of about 150%!) has had a big uptick in the last 2 days. More importantly, his “money maker” keywords that fell off the first page with Medic, are now back on first page, 3-5 position! We have been doing some work on the website for sure, but I am wondering whether we have just had another Google algorithm event. Anyone else seeing similar recovery for Medic victims?

So there are a nice number of complaints in the SEO forums but again, it is not at the levels of the “bigger” updates.

Here are the tools and what they show:

Mozcast:

click for full size

Google: We Don’t Need To Notify You Of Bad Links Because We Just Ignore Them

Since the Penguin 4.0 update Google devalues bad links versus demoting the pages they link to. So when John was asked why Google Search Console doesn’t have a way to notify webmasters of bad links pointing to their site, John said “If we recognize them, we can just ignore them – no need to have you do anything in most cases.”

Here are the tweets asking about this:

Can links hurt you? Well, Google still has manual actions for unnatural links to your site – so bad links can hurt you. But algorithmically, and the tools that would detect it algorithmically likely would not hurt your site – instead they would be ignored, as if they are not there – which may be like it hurts.

Google Search Console Performance Reports & Search Analytics One Day Off Still

Back in January, we reported that when you look at the new Google Search Console Performance report and compare it to the old Search Analytics report, they do have the same data but the day they plot the data is a day off from each other. With Google shutting down the old Search Analytics report in two days from now, this is a concern for some.

Here is the old Search Analytics report for a client; notice it says the data is plotted for December 8th:

Here is the new Search Performance report for a client; notice it says the data is plotted for December 7th:

Google: Scrapers Are Not A Google Quality Or Ranking Signal

Google’s John Mueller had to say on Twitter that people scraping your content is not a signal that Google will rank your content better. John Mueller said “Scrapers copy all kinds of content without judging the quality, so I don’t think that would be a really useful signal.”

I guess the question makes some sense. The person who posted it asked if others think your content is good enough to scrape, maybe Google would use that as a signal to as well?

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Changes, Sticky Search Bar, Filter Bubbles, Livestreams & Holidays

This week I covered the big monthly Google webmaster report for December. Google may have done a big search algorithm update last Friday. Google launched their sticky rounded search bar last Friday night. Google said they do not have a filter bubble, despite what DuckDuckGo says. Most SEOs think you should not delist a hacked site from the search results. Google now supports livestreams in their search results with new structure data and the indexing API. Google Search Console had a data bug where they lost image search data from December 1st. Google may shut down the old Search Console reports on December 13th. Google Images updated their best practices guide, but not much has changed. Google added structured data for question and answer pages, but it is not for FAQs. Google said it is worthwhile to have unique images on each page if possible. Google Assistant is trying to do broadcasting and podcasting with audio news. Google local listings test a new design for how they show images in the listings. Google Posts is testing like buttons. Google shows a “sold here” section for some local packs. Google launched their holiday decorations in the search results for Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. That was this past week in search 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.

Daily Search Forum Recap: December 7, 2018

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 Algorithm Changes, Sticky Search Bar, Filter Bubbles, Livestreams & Holidays
    This week I covered the big monthly Google webmaster report for December. Google may have done a big search algorithm update last Friday. Google launched their sticky rounded search bar last Friday night. Google said they do not have a filter bubble…
  • Google Assistant Testing Audio News
    Google announced audio news for the Google Assistant. This is not speakable markup or YouTube videos playing on the Google Home Hub, this is real audio news, like broadcaster, podcaster, etc that produce audio form content.
  • Google Again: Do Not Worry About Words Or Keywords In URLs
    Google’s John Mueller said it again, do not worry about words or keywords in the URLs. John responded to a recent question on Twitter saying “I wouldn’t worry about keywords or words in a URL. In many cases, URLs aren’t seen by users anyway.”
  • Join Google’s John Mueller In Zurich For A Webmaster Hangout
    Google’s John Mueller rarely invites people to join him for his webmaster hangouts but when he does, it is a good opportunity to have some fun at a Google office. If you are in Zurich this December 21st, you can go to the next hangout at the Google Zurich office.
  • Google To Shut Down Many Old Search Console Reports December 13th
    Google has posted the date of December 13, 2018 as the date they will be removing some of the old Google Search Console reports. The reports are already replaced by similar reports in the new Google Search Console.
  • Hauling Google Bikes
    Here is a photo of a truck with a bunch of Google bikes stuffed in the back of it. I guess this trucks drives around the Google offices to relocated bikes left? Or maybe they are picking up stolen bi

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

Google Assistant Testing Audio News

google home

Google announced audio news for the Google Assistant. This is not speakable markup. or YouTube videos playing on the Google Home Hub, this is real audio news, like broadcaster, podcaster, etc that produce audio form content.

Google said they are opening a developer preview that you can fill out a form over here to participate in. Google said:

This new experience will bring you an audio news playlist assembled in that moment, for you. It starts with a briefing of top stories and updates on topics you care about, and extends into longer-form content that dives deeper into more stories. At any point in your day when you want to listen to the latest news—as a morning wake-up, during your commute, or while jogging—the Google Assistant will be ready with new stories and updates to the ones you’ve already heard. Plus, using your voice, you can easily ask the Google Assistant to skip a story, go back or stop.

To improve and build out this audio news experience, we’ve built an open specification, available for news organizations that would like to participate. The prototype relies on single-topic stories—segmented out from newscasts or shows—to contribute to the audio news feed.

Audio journalism requires new capabilities and workflows for both print publishers and broadcasters, whether it’s adding a sound booth or segmenting larger broadcasts into shorter stories. To help with this, the Google News Initiative provided funding to a number of news organizations, such as KQED and McClatchy, to support building out more audio capabilities for the industry as a whole.