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.
Google made 4,500 changes to search in 2020, that is up from 3,200 in 2019 – I guess COVID didn’t slow them down. The Google keyword planner tool has not shown data in over 24-hours but you can export the raw data if you want, this was resolved this afternoon. Google Shopping campaigns has a bug that resulted in huge drops in impressions, this was resolved this afternoon. Google Ads is rolling out a new campaign set up screen. Google is testing new carousels for research, people also shop and similar products. SEOs mostly said COVID did not change how they do SEO and more.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
- Google Made 12.5 Changes To Search Each Day In 2020
We cover tons of Google changes here, from user interface changes to ranking changes – most of which Google does not announce or confirm. But yesterday, Google said it made 4,500 changes in 2020 to Google Search. That is 12.5 changes per day or over 17 changes per work day in 2020.
- Google Keyword Planner Tool Not Showing Data
For the past 24-hours or so, the Google keyword planner tool within Google Ads has been broken. It is giving people errors and showing “no data” found responses.
- Google Shopping Bug Leads To Huge Impression Declines
Google Ads seemed to have a bug last week with Google Shopping in some regions, like the UK, but I think others, where the shopping listings were not showing up. Some advertisers were claiming drops in their listings from showing up by over 90%, yes, 90% impression drops for Google Shopping campaigns.
- Google Search Tests Carousels: Research, People Also Shop & Similar Products
Google is testing a number of additional carousels in Google Search. These carousels are titled “research,” “people also shop” and “similar products.” Here are screenshots and screencasts of these in action from those who spotted them.
- Google Ads Campaign Set Up Redesign
Google Ads seems to have launched a redesign for the campaign set up form/wizard. The new interface moves the steps from the top to the left hand side bar, and takes you through a new step by step process to set up your Google Ads campaigns.
- COVID Change How You Do SEO? Poll Results
J Turnbull posted a poll on Twitter asking SEOs if COVID changed how you do SEO. Like any SEO poll, the results were somewhat mixed. But of the 259 responses (not a ton), 52.5% said no, COVID did not change how they do SEO.
- Clear Google Umbrella From 2017
Here is an old photo from 2017 of two people together, one holding a clear Google umbrella inside a building. Isn’t there a thing about not opening an umbrella inside? Anyway, here is that photo from
Other Great Search Threads:
- 5Blocks data shows that over the past couple of days there has been a significant dip in @Crunchbase search ranking for individuals and companies. Most of the pages we checked had been de-indexed by Google., David Sedley on Twitter
- A site:-query is a pretty artificial query, and if you know the URL already, I’m not sure what more you’re looking for …, John Mueller on Twitter
- Google labeled us as a duplicate of our competitor, Local Search Forum
- I think there’s a balance to be found. If anyone knew the perfect & only answer to a question, fine — that’s rarely t, John Mueller on Twitter
- Pinging search engines directly is just as good, yeah. I guess the tricky part is that the site owner doesn’t see it happening. (Though honestly most shouldn’t even need to see it happening – too m, John Mueller on Twitter
- Title Checker: check how Google is changing the appearance of your title tags 🚀 600 free requests per month. Check any search query, across all countries and languages. 🙌 https://t.co/f7Y2copT1F https://t.co/TL1P4Y2, Andrew Charlton on Twitter
Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, you can follow us on Facebook and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel or just contact us the old fashion way.
Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.
A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:
“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.
Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.
Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”
Continue Reading Below
Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.
The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.
The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.
The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.
Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update
Product Review Update Targets More Languages?
The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.
Continue Reading Below
But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.
This is his question:
“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.
So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.
…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”
John Mueller answered:
“I don’t know… like other languages?
My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.
But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.
But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.
I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.
But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.
And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.
So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.
But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”
Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?
While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.
Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.
One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.
It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.
Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update
Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines
John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global
Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark
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