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European News Lose Google Snippets Per French Law

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Google recently announced that in response to a new French law they are removing snippets and images from news sites from displaying in French search results. Showing images and text snippets will be opt-in.

Google’s support page for this change says:

“…in the wake of new copyright law in France, Google will change the way it presents search results for European press publications to people in that country.

Specifically, Google will no longer present snippets and thumbnail images in France for these publications unless publishers displaying content in France have specified how much of this content they want to show in search results.”

European Sites are Affected by French Law

This change affects European journalistic sites that are included in Google News. All sites not currently displayed in Google News are exempt (at this time) and will continue to display text and image snippets.

According to Google, this change affects more than just French news sites, it affects all European news sites. Publishers can take action on their European Press Publication Status by checking the “European Press Publication Status” section of their Google Search Console (visit European Press Publication Status section here).

Screenshot of European Press Publication Status section of Google's search consoleThe article lists a link to Google’s recently revised meta tag developers page that includes new max-snippets tags that can control whether snippets are shown in the search results. It also instructs how to tell Google how much content from a web page is displayed in the form of image and text snippets.

The Real Reason for Customizable Search Snippets?

The French Law may be the reason Google introduced customizable search snippets. This feature was not something publishers were asking for. So it may be that this French law is the reason why Google created customizable search snippets.

According to a report by Matt Southern about Google’s customizable snippet attributes:

“Using the new markup, site owners can customize various search snippet attributes. Attributes could include the maximum length of a snippet, the length of video previews, and the size of thumbnail images.”

Read Google SearchLiaison’s tweet announcement here.

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Read Official Google help center page here:
European Press Publisher FAQ

NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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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

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

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.”

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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

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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