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Daily Search Forum Recap: February 6, 2024

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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 explains the difference between ranking signals, ranking factors and ranking systems. Google said it will clarify E-E-A-T and quality raters guidelines. Google Search Console may lose verification with the Google Domains to Squarespace Domains migration. Google is testing adding “web results” to the search menu. Google AdSense is scaling publishers up to CPM bidding. Google Ads confirmed a bug with “confusing ad text” and there is another bug with updating credit card details.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Explains Systems Are Machines That Use Ranking Signals & Factors Which Are Fuel


    Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, gave a good analogy of the differences between ranking systems, ranking signals and ranking factors. He said signals and factors are the same, the “signal/factors are like fuel; systems are the machine that uses them,” Sullivan wrote.

  • Google To Clarify E-E-A-T & Quality Rater Guidelines Documentation


    Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said we should expect to see more clarification from Google on its creating helpful content page, specific to the section “Get to know E-E-A-T and the quality rater guidelines.”

  • Google Tests Adding Web Results To Search Menu (Return Of Ten Blue Links)


    Google is testing adding the ability to search for just web results, like you would filter by just video results, just image results, just news results, just shopping results and so on. Google is testing placing “web results” to the top search bar under the search box.

  • Google Ads Bugs With Confusing Text In Ads & Updating Credit Cards


    Google Ads has some new bugs today, one that Google confirmed over advertisers received a notice for “confusing text” for their ads and the other not yet confirmed around advertisers being unable to update their credit cards on file.


  • Google AdSense Publishers CPM Bidding Hitting Close To 100%


    Last November, Google told its AdSense publishers that it would be switching how it pays them for the Google Ads they embed on their websites. Now, it seems like many AdSense publishers are noticing that Google has completely switched over to this new payment model. Note that not all are switched from CPC to CPM bidding fully.

  • Google Search Console May Lose Verification With Squarespace Migration


    Google is sending some domain holders who were with Google Domains and who are automatically being migrated to Squarespace notices that their Search Console verification may go away. This is only if you do not host your DNS records with Google and you set up DNS verification with Google Search Console.

  • Search Liaison Visits Google Search Central Team


    Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, went to visit the Google Search Central team in Zurich last week. Here is a photo with Sullivan with Martin Splitt, Lizzi Sassman and John Mueller. Gary Illyes I think was in Kolding, Denmark for a conference.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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NYC’s lunatic lawsuit against social media could drive millions of tax dollars away

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NYC's lunatic lawsuit against social media could drive millions of tax dollars away

In the realm of dangerously misplaced urban priorities, nothing compares with the lawsuit the Adams administration filed last week against five social-media sites — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok — claiming they cost the city $100 million to treat mental-health issues supposedly caused by young people’s “addictions” to their content.

The city blames the platforms for such youth-afflicting maladies as depression and suicidal “ideation.”

But if there’s a death wish in all this, it is the city’s.

All the sites but Snapchat are owned by companies with vast Manhattan real-estate holdings that pay enormous property taxes and other real-estate-related taxes that keep the metropolis’ services — everything from the NYPD to obscure art-review panels — afloat.

Mayor Adams’ campaign to punish the companies for their alleged evil influence on kids is chutzpah run amok. 

It’s an effort to change the subject from the real bad influences the city inflicts on our youths — such as schools that don’t teach and rotten public housing that breeds an underclass of high-school-age carjackers and murderers.

Not, of course, that the “social” site owners don’t have plenty to answer for.

Every political lie they post, every destructive “dating tip,” every sickening image that borders on child porn is reason to rein them in.

But a New York City suit to shake them down for cash won’t do it. 

Only legislation or regulation out of Washington can bring them to heel.

But the tech giants might well reconsider their commitment to the Big Apple over lawsuits that, however ineffectual and misguided, will cost them fortunes to defend.

If you think companies don’t care when City Hall deliberately targets them, recall that Philip Morris USA moved from Park Avenue to Richmond, Va., soon after the Michael Bloomberg administration enacted tough citywide anti-smoking regulations.

Both the company and the city naturally denied the law had anything to do with the decision to leave.

And of course the sky is green, too.

Manhattan’s office buildings prop up the city’s entire economy.

The real-estate-related taxes they pay are the golden goose to the city treasury, for which they generate more dough than Wall Street.

Today’s office market is vexed enough by vacancies at a record-high 20% and depressed sale prices.

The last thing we can afford is to risk chasing out companies that feed the municipal piggy bank and provide tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.

Google, YouTube’s parent, owns 111 Eighth Avenue — a leviathan that occupies the entire block bounded by Eighth and Ninth avenues and by West 15th and 16th streets.

Google’s parent, Alphabet, paid the city $54,175,200 in property taxes alone on the building in 2023, according to city assessment and tax data.

Google held a series of opening celebration events this week at the St. John’s Terminal building at 550 Washington Street, which it bought for $2.1 billion two years ago, where it will house thousands of employees.

Gov. Hochul, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine attended a Wednesday ribbon-cutting.

But reps for City Hall were conspicuously absent.

Could you blame them for not showing their faces after the city demanded Alphabet pay unspecified monetary damages and “equitable relief” for prevention education and mental-health treatment?

Ironically, the Commercial Observer reported, the St. John’s building is “meant to reflect the company’s commitment to New York City, with Big Apple-themed touches like a hollow ‘Google’ sculpture in the main hall where the letters are filled” with “red ‘I Love NY’ mugs, little Statues of Liberty and mini yellow taxis.”

Thanks, Eric Adams!

Consider, as well, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta.

The company has around 2 million square feet in Manhattan.

It leases more than 750,000 square feet in the Farley Building, where the rent it pays helps make possible landlord Vornado’s billion-dollar upgrades to Moynihan Train Hall and Penn Station. 

Meta also anchors 50 Hudson Yards, where its lease for more than 1 million square feet makes it the tower’s largest user.

And although China-owned TikTok faces entirely appropriate scrutiny and political pressure over its questionable content, it’s worth recalling it helped stabilize “ghost town” Times Square when it took more than 200,000 square feet at 151 West 42nd Street in the dark days of 2020.

Of course, TikTok can go elsewhere if it chooses.

So can Meta and Alphabet. 

Should it happen, the city can blame itself for blaming them for a youth crisis that’s entirely of its own making.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: February 22, 2024

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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 has a bug with negative keyword operators in shopping search. Google’s shopping carousels dynamically change the results below it. Google is testing fading in search result snippet text. Bing Search has sub-sitelinks. Bing is testing next page and refresh page links in the footer.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Bug With Google Shopping Exclude Search Operator


    Google has a confirmed bug with using negative search operators, a way to exclude words from your search results, within Google Shopping. Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, confirmed the issue on X saying, “We did have a bug where it wasn’t working within some shopping results. That might not be resolved yet.”

  • Bing Search Sub-Sitelinks (Expandable Sitelinks)


    Bing Search’s sitelinks can sometimes be expanded to see sub-sitelinks, deeper level sitelinks. This is something Google experimented from time to time but something Bing Search does on mobile right now, at least for me.

  • Google Shopping Carousel Dynamically Changes Products Below


    Google has these latest styles and shop the look carousels for some clothing queries. Now when you swipe through the carousel, Google will dynamically change the products listed below them.


  • Google Fading In Text Of Search Result Snippets On Scroll


    Google is testing fading in the text of the search result snippets as you scroll down to see more search results. The text is a light gray, and then it becomes a more solid black as you scroll toward that search result snippet.

  • Bing Tests Next Page & Refresh In Place Of Normal Pagination


    Bing is testing replacing its search pagination bar at the footer of the search results with a “next page” button and a “refresh” button. This is instead of showing the number of pages of search results that you can click on.


  • Google St. John’s Terminal Office Ribbon Cutting


    Yesterday, Google opened a new office in New York City in St. John’s Terminal. Google has a blog post with more details, a video and more photos. But here is a ribbon cutting with important Googlers and politicians from yesterday.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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Daily Search Forum Recap: February 21, 2024

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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 again says they want to do better with ranking smaller sites in the search results, but do they? Gartner said search volume will drop 25% by 2026, what do SEOs think? Google Ads sitelinks has a weird eligibility bug. Gmail is pushing Google Ads in the interface. The Google App has a toggle between Search and Gemini.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google: We Want To Reward The Best Content No Matter Site Size


    For the past 20 years, probably even longer, the debate about Google giving preferential treatment to large sites over small sites has been a huge topic in the SEO world and that has not changed in 2024 from 2004. Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, recently said on X, “yes, we should be rewarding the best content, regardless of site size.”


  • Only 20% Of SEOs Think Search Volume Won’t Change By 2026


    The other day, Gartner, a respected research firm, predicted that “traditional search engine volume will drop 25%, with search marketing losing market share to AI chatbots and other virtual agents.” So I asked SEOs what they think and only 20% of SEOs think search volume won’t change by 2026.

  • Google Ads Sitelink Unknown Eligibility Bug


    Google Ads has an issue with some sitelink assets where it shows the sitelinks are eligible but “limited” and the reason says “unknown.” Google’s Ads Liaison said, “the team is aware of this issue and currently on it.”

  • Google Pushing Google Ads Consults In Gmail Accounts Pop Ups


    Google is pushing some businesses to sign up for a free Google Ads consult with a Google representative through their Gmail accounts. This is in the form of a pop up in the Gmail interface, it is not a normal spammy email solicitation but rather a pop up.


  • Google App Adds Toggle Between Search & Gemini


    The popular Google app, the Google Search app, now has a toggle at the top to quickly switch between Google Search and Gemini (formerly Google Bard). It shows up at the top and is defaulted to Google Search with the super G logo but you can see the Gemini logo that you can tap on to switch to Gemini.



  • Googlers Built & Donated Skateboards


    Here is a photo from the Google Palo Alto office of some members of the Google Cloud team building and then donating skateboards. They had some event where they made skateboards and helmets for an organization named Friends for Youth.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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