Google Local Panel Displays Descriptions & Links With Scroll To Text

Andy Simpson and Brodie Clark shared screen shots of Google showing descriptions and links in the local knowledge panel. I personally cannot replicate but in some cases the links themselves also do that scroll-to-text and highlight feature that we’ve been seeing in Google featured snippets.

Here is a screen shot from Andy:

Here is another:

Brodie saw it specific for knowledge panels but this is a local knowledge panel:

Anyway, it is interesting to watch Google play with these things and then to see what sticks. I am not sure I like descriptions and links like that in the Google local knowledge panel, do you?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Google On Word Count As A Ranking Signal

We know Google has said numerous times that word count is not a ranking factor, nor is it indicative of quality. We know Google said short content can rank just fine and are not low quality. But Google has to answer this question often enough. John did that this morning in numerous tweets that I wanted to share with you.

Most recently, here is what John from Google said on Twitter:

Not because of BERT:

Not because of page size limitations:

Not because of snippets, in any event, those are interface things, not ranking things:

Word count does not make content more comprehensible:

This is a nice set of tweets from John Mueller of Google on the topic of word count and content.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Search Buzz Video Recap: SEOs Brace For The Next Google Core Update, Search Console Updates & New Structured Data

I did this video from my home office desk location, I figured Iโ€™d change it up a bit. This week, SEOs are beginning to brace themselves for the next big core update – it can be out any day now. Google has a new way to report false positives around security issues with your site in Google Search. Google has new structured data support for home activities, like online yoga classes and more. Google Search Console enhancement report for dataset structured data now shows warnings for the creator property. Google Search Console shows signs of reporting on some featured snippets again. Bing says make sure to include your main pages in your XML sitemaps. Google said links from Wikipedia do not help you with SEO. Google said changing the last modified data on your page too often probably wonโ€™t hurt you. Google said the bandwidth saving benefit of WebP over other formats is not huge unless you are a heavy image site. Googleโ€™s next SEO myth busting video is out, this one is with Glenn Gabe on site migrations. Googleโ€™s Gary Illyes spoke about the sandbox theory from 2004, super interesting. Google has a new video carousel format for TikTok videos. Google mostly updates its search documentation in a reactive way. John Mueller from Google asked if people trust him blindly, the results are interesting. Google Ads is testing a product image rotation feature in the shopping carousel. Google AdSense is rolling out new reporting. And still, 15% of all queries Google sees are new. 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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Search Topics of Discussion:

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Daily Search Forum Recap: August 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:

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 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:

  • Google: Crawling Bandwidth Benefit To Using jpeg vs webp But Minimal
    Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter there is maybe a small bandwidth savings when it comes to GoogleBot crawling your site when you use webp over jpeg image formats. But then you would only see that difference when the site is a “very image-heavy site.” So normal sites probably wouldn’t really see any bandwidth savings there.
  • Bing: XML Sitemaps Must Include Main Ranking & Category Pages
    Bing’s Fabrice Canal said on Twitter “Sitemaps are a daily, and ideally real time, snapshots of all relevant pages of your sites.” “Sitemaps must include these main ranking pages,” he added. This was in response to Dawn Anderson posting something a development team told her.
  • New Google Home Activities Structured Data
    Google added a new section to the supported structured data developer docs for home activities. This structured data should be used on recorded or live videos where you offer instructions on what activities, like fitness classes and so on, to do from your home.
  • Most Google Support Documents Are Not Proactively Updated
    Yesterday in the Google Webmaster Virtual Unconference I asked a Google representative to guess on what percentage of the Google support documents were updated in a proactive way versus a reactive way. The Googler said 60-80% of the time, the docs are updated in a reactive way.
  • Report Issues To Google Search Over Security Issue False Positives
    Google has a new form you can use to report false positives around security issues with your site. In short, if you think your site was mistakenly flagged by Google Search for security issues, you can ask Google for a review using the “Report a Security Issue” button.
  • Microsoft Bing Office During COVID Is A Ghost Town
    Frederic Dubut, Web Ranking PM Manager at Bing, shared a photo from the Microsoft Bing office the other day. It was his first time back in the office in about 5 months and he said not much has changed

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

Daily Search Forum Recap: August 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:

  • SEOs Bracing Themselves For Another Google Core Update
    “Is it just me or have things been a little too quiet recently,” said on SEO at WebmasterWorld. That is the feeling recently since we saw a couple search ranking (or indexing) bugs a couple of weeks ago and it has been 3 months and 22 days since the last core update, the Google May 2020 Core update was on May 4th.
  • Google Charge For Access Free Search Results? Doubt It, Says John Mueller.
    Could you imagine if Google charged a fee for you to enter a query into its search box? Back in the old days, you had to purchase a license to search librarian databases (maybe even today). But imagine if Google charged a fee, like a toll booth, to the web.
  • Google Explains Why You Probably Didn’t Get Into The Virtual Webmaster Unconference
    As you know, the Google virtual webmaster “unconference” is taking place today. It was sold out within a few hours after it launched and thus Google promised to hold a more formal virtual conference to fit more people later this year. Google also briefly explained why it couldn’t let more people into this event earlier.
  • Google Maps Using Overlays For Claim Business Or Suggest Edits
    Google Maps is now using an overlay box when you want to try to claim a business or suggest an edit for a business listing. This is instead of taking you to a new page to claim the listing. Ben Fisher said on Twitter “Claim This Business (CTB) now opens in a new window. Clicking Manage Now starts the verification process and adds it to Google My Business without having to go to Google My Business web.”
  • Google Video Search Snippet Carousel Makes TikTok’s Day
    Here is a newish video carousel look that Valentin Pletzer spotted in the Google mobile search results. It is like the image carousel you see in some search result snippets but with videos, in this case, TikTok video clips.
  • Aurora Morales From Google Preparing For The Virtual Webmaster Unconference
    Here is a photo shared by Aurora Morales from Google who is managing the new virtual Google webmaster unconference with Martin Splitt of Google shared a photo of the planning efforts. You can see a h

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

Other Search

Daily Search Forum Recap: August 25, 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 Google AdSense Reporting
    Google announced it is rolling out new AdSense reporting that will “enable publishers to make decisions to grow their businesses by providing information and insights about their monetization performance, audience and content,” Google said. This is rolling out in the next week or two, I do not personally see it yet.
  • Google: The 2004 Sandbox Ranking Theory Was Likely About Indexing
    The Google Sandbox theory started in early 2004, where new sites would not rank well for a while. Well, Gary Illyes and his Google friends spoke about it in the latest Search Off the Record podcast. In short, Gary said he thinks it wasn’t a ranking related thing but a symptom from how Google’s index worked back then.
  • Google Tests Line Separators Between Search Results Again
    We see Google testing line separators between the Google search results every now and then. We saw it twice in 2015 and every now and then since. Here is another attempt at doing these dividers in the Google search results.
  • Do SEOs Blindly Believe Google’s John Mueller
    There is this Reddit thread asking if you blindly believe and follow what John Muller of Google says. So John actually shared this thread on Twitter and added Twitter poll asking the question. I reshared it, as did dozens of others and there are thousnads of responses.
  • Google Search Console Performance Report Data Hints At Featured Snippet Filters
    Fairly recently Google told us we should not expect to see a filter to see featured snippet related data in our performance reports in Search Console. But then we saw the that Google started showing #:~:text= url parameters in the reports for image results and now Glenn Gabe is seeing them for web results.
  • Google Search Snippet Shows “X Topics Include”
    Kevin Webster shared this screen shot of a Google search result snippet. The snippet says “4 topics include” and then shows those four topics. It pulled from the header tags on the page he said. I think this specific snippet is newish but Google has been doing these types of smart snippets for years.
  • Mask Wearing At Google Austin Near The Cowboy Android
    We’ve seen plenty of photos of the cowboy Android statue figurine at the Google Austin office. But this is the first time I have seen someone wearing a mask near the cowboy. I guess it is best to be

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

Daily Search Forum Recap: August 24, 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 Tests Favicons In Autocomplete Search Suggestions For Local Results
    Google seems to be testing showing favicons or company logos in the autocomplete search suggestions for some local results, specifically brands. Someone posted a screen shot of this in action in the Local Search Forums, here it is:
  • Google Ads Tests Product Image Rotation On Hover
    Jackson Lo shared a video-cast of a set of Google Shopping Ads that shows the product image change and rotate to a new product image when you hover your mouse over the image. He shared a video of it in action on Twitter, but here is a shorter GIF of this:
  • Google: Links From Wikipedia Does Nothing For Your Site & Has No SEO Value
    Google’s John Mueller said on Reddit that links from Wikipedia not only have no SEO value but also those links “will do nothing for your site” from a Google search perspective. In fact, John said all you are doing is “creating extra work for the Wikipedia maintainers who will remove your link drops.”
  • Google Does Have Snippet Controls For Retailers In Search But They’re Not New
    On Friday Google posted a new blog post about an old feature that confused some in thinking what Google was talking about was new. In short, Google told me the reason the company posted about it was because they wanted to remind retailers before the holiday season of these controls but confirmed there were no new features being launched on Friday.
  • Google Virtual Webmaster Unconference Confirmations Needed
    If you were lucky enough to get into the Google Virtual Webmaster Unconference that became sold out within hours, then make sure you check your email to fill out the confirmation. If you do not fill it out, your spot may be given up to those on the waitlist trying to get in.
  • Vlog #81: Pam Auugst On SEO Automation & Donโ€™t Feed Google Everything In XML Sitemaps
    Pam Auugst from Pam Ann Marketing came to my office just a few days before New York went officially on lock down over the COVID-19 pandemic. We were keeping a distance before the official CDC guidelines came out, it is still crazy to me how bad things got since then…
  • Cool Google Game Room With Pool & Ping Pong Tables
    I know there are much larger spaces at Google offices with more games but this one, the decor I guess, seems cooler. I do not know which Google office this is in but you can see a darkish room with a

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

Other Search

Google On August 15th Search Issue: Sometimes We Don’t Have A Lot Details To Share

thanks john

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.

The image above is to show John was a bit tight lipped on the topic. He said “sometimes we don’t have a lot of internal details to share.” Not necessarily because there isn’t something to share but sometimes he said there are “lots of systems at Google and sometimes when when something kind of quirky happens for a really short period of time they just go off and fix it without letting everyone know.”

So whatever happened on Saturday was short (although, I think it lasted all day) but I guess less people noticed because it was a Saturday and Google didn’t really dig deep into what happened because they felt a public explanation was not needed?

Here is the video that starts 13:30 in to the video:

Sorry, I cannot change the YouTube thumbnail, so I did my best with the image above. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the transcript:

John Mueller: We have the top question from Barry. Can you comment more on the August 10th indexing system failure and maybe what happened this past Saturday. See your favorite SEO blog for more details. How do you know what my favorite SEO blog is Barry that’s it’s like are you reading my email?

I don’t have any more information. So my feeling is with the August 10 issue, that’s something where it get resolved reasonably quickly and I don’t know if the team would have more information to share
on that publicly. And with regards to the one on the 15th, I don’t know the details of what happened there.

But that also seemed like something where even you kind of didn’t really see what exactly was changing, just like everyone was complaining and then suddenly it was gone. So maybe that was just something really short.

Barry Schwartz: So I think tech it wasn’t it was only short because I didn’t get back online until Saturday night but I think it happened Saturday morning. So I mean there’s some screenshots from like Glenn Gabe and other people where it shows some pretty significant changes. Um and then things went back sometime around at night at least eastern time. Are you aware of anything that went wrong, not like specifically telling me what went wrong, but did something go wrong?

John Mueller: I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t have any any additional information on that. I mean there are lots of systems at Google and sometimes when when something kind of quirky happens for a really short period of time they just go off and fix it without letting everyone know. Ii think the the earlier issue seemed to have been a bigger one and uh that’s that’s kind of also why it took a little bit longer to get everything redone and we ended up tweeting about it.

Sometimes we don’t have a lot of internal details to share.

Forum discussion at YouTube Community.

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 arenโ€™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 isnโ€™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.

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!