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:
- Microsoft Advertising Also Expands Phrase Match To Cover Broad Match Modifier
Microsoft Advertising has announced it will soon begin to allow “phrase match will begin to incorporate behaviors of broad match modifier.” This is a similar move Google did back in February and Microsoft is saying the reason is to “simplify keywords and improve your relevancy when reaching customers.”
- Rachel Maddow Of MSNBC Calls Out Google For Hiding Search Ads But She Likely Has Malware
Rachel Maddow Of MSNBC posted on Twitter that she is switching from Google Search because Google is hiding its search ads, jumping the page all around and when you click on something, it triggers an unwanted ad that opens in a new window. This, to me, sounds like typical malware that overtakes the computer and is not coming from Google’s end.
- Google: Adding Images To Your Pages Won’t Make You Rank Higher
Google’s John Mueller was asked if adding images to your web pages, if that will help you rank higher in Google Search. John said no, he said on Twitter “there is no automatic effect from adding images.”
- Google: We Do Not Penalize Sites For Using Google Analytics
A competitor to Google Analytics named Simple Analytics wrote on its blog “Google penalizes you for using Google Analytics.” John Mueller of Google was asked if this is true and John said on Twitter “No, it’s not the case that we penalize for Google Analytics.”
- Google Shopping Ads Bans Digital Books
Google has disallowed the sale and advertising of digital books on Google Shopping Ads. Google said “beginning May 18, 2021, Google will no longer support the advertising of digital books globally on Shopping ads.”
- Lots Of Photo Frame On This Wall At Google
Here is a wall at the GooglePlex, the main Google offices in Mountain View, that is covered in photo and art frames, all with various Google logos in them. I think they are screens but it is hard to
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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