Daily Search Forum Recap: August 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:

  • Google Ranking Update & Fluctuations July 31st & August 1st
    Seems like since Friday and throughout the weekend there may have been some update pushed out by Google to its search ranking algorithm. There is chatter and there are third-party tracking tools that seem to suggest there was some sort of update. Google has not confirmed any update, so this would be Google updating as normal to them.
  • Google Tests “Also In The News” Box Under Top Stories
    Last week Google was testing “for context” sections within the top stories carousel. This week, Google is testing “also in the news” carousel boxes under the Top stories section in Google search.
  • Google Tests Categorized Sections For Search Results Again
    We’ve seen this numerous times where Google would test sections by category of some sort of its search results. Well, over the past several days Google started those tests back up. Here are some screen shots shared with me on Twitter. Note, I may have missed some, feel free to ping me to add yours.
  • Web Stories Also Get More Exposure In Google Image Search
    SEOs have been loving playing with Web Stories in Google Search for the extra exposure those get and potentially the higher click through rate. But did you know that these are also highlighted in Google’s Image search results?
  • Microsoft Bing – The New Name Of Bing Search?
    Over the weekend a lot of people who use Bing saw a new logo and new name for the Bing search engine. Now it says Microsoft Bing instead of just Bing and the logo is the Microsoft logo, not the Bing logo.
  • Google On When Comments Can Hurt Your Blog & When You Should Block Them
    In the next episode of the Search Off The Record podcast from John Mueller, Gary Illyes and Martin Splitt of Google – they spoke about comments and how they may impact your blog. They also spoke about CMS platforms, how they got hired at Google and JavaScript including the Disqus issue.
  • Vlog #78: Jennifer Slegg On Google Quality Raters Guidelines & Algorithm Updates
    Jennifer Slegg (@jenstar) has a long history in the SEO space but right now is pretty well known for her editorial work on the Google Quality Raters Guidelines and algorithm write ups. When Google launched AdSense…
  • Google Balloon Dress
    Here is a photo Google shared on Instagram of Lavinia Solano’s Google twisted balloon dress. Yes, she made a Google dress out of balloons. Google wrote on Instagram

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Mobile & Voice

US Congress Investigation Suggests Google Uses Clicks & User Data In Search

Rand Fishkin went through a lot of the US Congress documents from the hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google” that happened two days ago. He saw this document that suggested Google users “user signals, like clicks” in Google Search.

He posted this on Twitter:

Search Buzz Video Recap: Bing Webmaster Tools Relaunched, Links Not Most Important Google Factor & Google Rankings With Negative Reviews

This week I covered a bunch of topics including an interesting topic on do negative reviews on the web hurt your chances or ranking well in Google. Google’s John Mueller also told us to forget everything we’ve read about link juice. Bing launched its new Bing Webmaster Tools and added a new URL Inspection tool and a new Robots.txt tester tool. Bing also did some outreach to those who installed the new Bing WordPress URL submission plugin and had issues. Google Search Console added support for image license structured data and the Rich Results test tool support that markup also. Google said they plan on expanding the Rich Results test tool after the complaints from the SEO community. Google’s testing tools also support showing Web Story. Google Home smart displays, the Google Home Hub now shows how-to schema as tutorials. Google is sending notifications to those with job schema to add telecommute markup for remote jobs. Google is testing a new form of local Q&A boxes. Google local pack is also testing product carousels. Google My Business added a new attribute for black owned businesses. Google updated several of its Google Ads policies. Google Ads is testing sub-headlines that are hyperlinks. Google Top Stories is testing “for context” links below the main story. Google is testing thick gray borders in search. And for some reason Google had a “wear a mask and save lives” Doodle the other day but they removed 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:

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 31, 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

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 30, 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:

  • New Bing Webmaster Tools Live With New URL Inspection Tool
    In February Bing announced it was working on a new Bing Webmaster Tools, we saw some early screen shots of it then. Today is the day this new version goes completely live and within the next month the old tool will be gone.
  • Google: Forget Everything You Read About Link Juice
    John Mueller of Google said on Twitter “I’d forget everything you read about “link juice.” It’s very likely all obsolete, wrong, and/or misleading.” But I love when SEOs talk about “link juice” and when I get to use this graphic on this site.
  • Google: Negative Review Sites Don’t Hurt Your Sites Search Ranking
    Google’s John Mueller was asked in a recent Google webmaster hangout video if negative search results about a brand can hurt that brand’s web site from ranking in Google search. John said no – it shouldn’t. John also talked a bit about if there is a need or not to do reputation management in general.
  • Google Again Says Analytics Not Used In Google Search
    Again, again, again and again, Google’s John Mueller said Google does not use Google Analytics in Google Search. Google has been saying this for years and years and even though, many still do not believe Google or it is one of those myths that people are confused about.
  • Google Updates Several Google Ads Policies
    Google announced that it made updates to several of the Google Ads policies around clarification and information purposes. Specifically Google said this is done “to better inform advertisers as to the severity of violations of these policies and if they will result in account suspension without notice.”
  • Google Dublin Street Art With A Message
    I spotted this recently on Instagram from the streets of Dublin not far from the Google Dublin office. I guess this guy didn’t get his AdSense deposit? I mean, I can draw a better stick man than this

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Local & Maps

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 29, 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 Home Smart Displays How-To Tutorials, Like Recipes
    Google has been showing recipes, like step by step on how to make certain dishes, on Google Home Hub or smart displays for years. But now it seems Google is showing tutorials on these smart displays if you have how-to markup.
  • Bing URL Submission WordPress Plugin Outreach By Microsoft
    Microsoft Bing is sending emails to some site owners after installing the new URL submission WordPress plugin. The email is to let these site owners know of a “large number of failures in submission of URLs” to the Bing index. This is leading to searchers “not seeing your domain on priority in the index.” This does not sound great but it seems Bing is on top of it.
  • Google Tests New Interface For Local Q&A Box?
    I think this is a new interface for the old Google Local Q&A box that launched sometime in 2017 or so. Here is the new look that Valentin Pletzer spotted and posted about on Twitter.
  • Google Sending Work From Home Telecommute Markup Notifications
    Google is sending out some emails to those websites that have job listings and can support work from home job positions. As you know, back in February 2018, Google added markup support to its job schema for telecommute ad a job location. Now, with COVID-19, Google is asking those with this schema to annotate your remote jobs with the job location as telecommute.
  • Google Drops The Wear A Mask. Save Lives. Doodle
    Today on Google’s home page was suppose to be a special Google Doodle, a special Google logo, to get people to wear masks. It showed the different letters in the Google logo, wearing different types of masks and then social distancing. Here is the GIF:
  • Matt Cutts & Danny Sullivan In Another Time
    Here is an old photo from 2014 of Matt Cutts when he was working at Google and Danny Sullivan when he was not working at Google together. They are at some event and Danny is showing Matt his Microsoft

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 28, 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:

  • Hacked Government Web Pages With Adult Content In Google Search
    Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison was on the defensive yesterday when there were a number of complaints that Google was showing adult content from governmental web sites. The issue is, it is not a Google bug, instead, it is the governmental web sites were hacked to show this content.
  • Google Top Stories Tests “For Context” Section
    Google Top Stories is fun and we’ve seen Google test a lot of different features around it, including adding more descriptions. But now, Google is testing showing a news story with more context using a “For context” section that shows other news stories related to the story in the carousel.
  • Bing Webmaster Tools Adds Robots.txt Tester
    In the beta version of the new Bing Webmaster Tools, Bing recently added a robots.txt tester. This is like the Google version but this quickly shows you the difference between the HTTP and HTTPS version of the URL.
  • Googlers Working From Home For Another Year – Through July 2021
    Google announced it will allow its employees to work from home for another year, through July 2021. The company pushed its work from home policy out from March 2020 through July 2021. John Mueller from Google said on Twitter “It sucks. But also, the whole situation sucks for everyone. It’ll get better again, but it’s going to take quite a bit of time.”
  • Google Testing Tools Now Shows Web Story
    Google announced this morning on Twitter that its testing tools can now recognize your Web Story and label it as such. Google said “starting today, our testing tools will recognize if your AMP document is a Web Story. In our testing tools and Performance report we’ll use the term Web Story to identify this format.”
  • SEO Is Dead Light Up Sign
    Ross Tavendale shared a photo of a new sign, I think he owns, that says “SEO Is Dead.” It looks like one of those Open neon signs. This is so cool. He said on Twitter “This new sign makes me irration

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 27, 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:

  • Vlog #77: Brian Ussery On GoogleBot & SEO For E-Commerce Sites
    Brian Ussery (@beussery) is the Director of SEO at Razorfish in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also a Google Product Expert at the Google webmaster help forums. He has been doing SEO since 2000…
  • Google Tests Thick Gray Borders Between Search Results
    Google is testing another mobile user interface for its search results layout and design. Here is a screen shot from Mark Osborne of Google using thick gray borders between each search result snippet.
  • Google’s John Mueller Says Don’t Use Loading Screens & Delay Users
    Google’s John Mueller was asked about why Google is showing a blank screen for the Google Cache. Well, John said “to be blunt, perhaps don’t show a loading screen and instead just show your content. *ALL* time you spend showing a loading screen is a delay for users.” I love when John responds in a “blunt” manner.
  • Google Local Pack Carousel With Products
    We have seen Google local pack carousels with images and also Google showed what was “sold here” but I do not believe I’ve seen local pack carousels with products with inventory status. Jackson Lo noticed this and posted a video screen grab of this in action on Twitter.
  • Google: We’re Planning On Expanding The Rich Results Test Tool
    A couple of weeks ago, Google announced the Rich Results Test Tool is out of beta and the Structured Data Testing Tool will be eventually deprecated. SEOs did not like this news and it seems like Google has heard the feedback. Google’s John Mueller said “we are planning on expanding the Rich Results Testing Tool.”
  • An Apple On A Conference Room Table At Google
    This is a photo that is old but more recently posted on Instagram of a green apple on a table in a conference room at the Google Pittsburgh office. I wonder what that apple looks like now after sittin

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Google: Multiple Fact Checks Rich Results May Not Show In Search

Google has updated its developer documentation to clarify that if you use multiple fact checks on a page it may not show up in the search results as rich results.

Google wrote “at this time, Google Search is still exploring ways to surface multiple fact checks. You may not see a rich result that features multiple fact checks in Google Search right away.”

Google added that if you decide to specify multiple ClaimReview items on a single page, make sure they are all relevant to the main topic of the page. Use one of the following methods:

  • Create a summary page with multiple summarized fact checks, each with its own ClaimReview element. Post the full-text version of each fact check on its own page. Each ClaimReview element on the summary page points to the full-page version rather than to the summary page.
  • Create a single page with multiple full-length reviews, each with an HTML anchor. Each ClaimReview element points to that summary_page.html#anchor.

This update was posted to the document on July 23, 2020 and it helps clarify that Google Search is still working on way to display multiple fact checks for a single page, and that you may not see a rich result that features multiple fact checks in Google Search right away.

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Update, Mobile-First Indexing Deadline, Twitter Is Back, Google Breaks Again & Apple Ranking Factors

It looks like you all need some relaxation, so this week I took you to the beach – not that I ever go to beaches but hey, it is a green screen. In the search news, it seems like we have a Google search ranking update yesterday and today, July 23rd and 24th – it is not confirmed yet. I covered the expected new that Google has pushed off its deadline for mobile-first indexing from September 2020 to March 2021. Google has reenabled the Twitter carousel in the search results after removing them last week. Google had a big bug with navigational and site queries. Apple posted its search ranking factors and an updated Applebot help document. Bing created a WordPress plugin so you can quickly integrate your WordPress site with its URL submission API. WordPress has finally added XML Sitemaps in its core in version 5.5 after a year of working on it. Google Search Console performance reports has a new news filter. Google Search Console coverage report had this weird indexing issue notice. GoogleBot will continue to pass its user agent, no matter what Chrome does. Google launched a new mortgage search feature box. Google is testing search refinement features when you scroll. Google is showing a lot of images for some queries for some reason. Google’s local algorithm weighs business names too highly, Google said it is working on this issue. Google My Business seems to have launched a subscription model for upgrading your profile. Google My Business is sending out notifications for duplicate listings. Google can show two phone numbers in your local panel. Google Ads Editor launched version 1.4 with recommendations and much more. Google Shopping shows materials in the web search box. Buy on Google is now commission free and even integrates with PayPal and Shopify. Microsoft Advertising lets you use ShutterStock images for free in your ads. Google Ads is banning COVID-19 dangerous and derogatory ads. 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: