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Blocking USA Users But Allowing Googlebot Is Against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

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Blocking USA Users But Allowing Googlebot Is Against Google's Webmaster Guidelines


Google sends its crew of crawlers, Googlebot, from the United States. That is where 99% of the crawling originates from. If you are not allowed to show your website to users based in the United States, then you also cannot show that website to Googlebot.

You cannot show content to Googlebot when a user trying to access that same page will not see that content from the same region. Google’s John Mueller said it would be against Google’s webmaster guidelines to show Googlebot the content but then show a US based user a screen that says they are not allowed to see this content because of their location.

You can do the opposite, show US based users content but hide it from maybe folks in Russia with a disclaimer of sorts, and that would not be against Google’s guidelines. Why? Because Googlebot crawls from the US, not from Russia.

This is not new, we covered it numerous times but it came up again recently. Here is the recent context:

So if you want to block countries outside of the US, you can do that, if you want – just saying. But you cannot block users from the US.

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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Microsoft Bing Search Menu Drop Down With Explore & Collect

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Bing Menu

Microsoft Bing is testing a new search bar interface on image search (I believe) where the search vertical options, such as web, videos, news, etc, are now presented in a drop-down bar and Bing added an “explore” and “collect” option across the bar instead.

This was spotted first by Frank Sandtmann and posted on Mastodon but I am also able to replicate this in Bing Image search. Here is a screenshot that you can click on and enlarge:

click for full size

This was also spotted by Khushal Bherwani:

Frank wrote, “Today I spotted #Bing displaying a new navigation menu on their image #SERP. Now the usual elements can be accessed after clicking on a dropdown. In addition, two more elements are displayed: “Explore” and “Collect”.”

Do you prefer this interface? I get what Microsoft is trying to do here but to me, I might want to jump back to web results or maybe video results sooner than use explore or collect?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.



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Google Publishes A New SEO Case Study

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Google Seo Case Studies Series

A couple of weeks after I said I thought Google would stop publishing SEO case studies, Google just published a new one. This one is on How Vimeo improved video SEO for their customers, specifically by using the indexifembedded rule combined with noindex and adding structured data.

As a reminder, recently, Mariachiara Marsella asked John Mueller if Google could add new case studies. John Mueller responded on Mastodon, “I find it quite challenging for us to do these since search is so dynamic.”

So I thought that was it, stick a fork in it, no more SEO case studies from Google. But I suspect as soon as I wrote that piece, Gary went, I’ll show Barry and got a new one written up. Okay, I doubt that happened…

In any event, the new case study says, “Vimeo adopted Google’s new guidance for video players that use iframe embeds. The new indexifembedded rule paired with noindex allows markup to be attributed through embeds. Since applying this and VideoObject markup, Vimeo videos that are embedded on customer pages are eligible for indexing, without customers having to add markup themselves.”

They also used key moments; the case study reads, “To make all Vimeo Chapters eligible to appear as Key Moments on Google Search, Vimeo added Clip markup to all of their video host pages. Vimeo also implemented Seek markup, so if a video doesn’t have Vimeo Chapters, Google can automatically identify Key Moments.”

Anyway, check out the case study if you do any video SEO, it is an interesting one.

Just super interesting that there have been almost no new case studies in about 18 months and now we got a new one…

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

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Generating Fake URLs On Competitors Site Shouldn’t Hurt The Site, Google Says

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Google Intersection

John Mueller from Google said that bulk-generating fake URLs of your competitor’s site should not lead to negative SEO and ranking issues for that site. “This is not something I’d worry about,” he added.

Mike Blazer asked John, “Bulk generate non-existing URLs on a competitor’s site that lead to 5XX server errors when opened. Googlebot sees that a substantial number of pages on that domain return 5XX, the server is unable to handle requests. Google reduces the page #crawl frequency for that domain.”

John replied on Mastodon saying, “I can’t imagine that having any effect. This is not something I’d worry about.”

Here is a screenshot of this conversation:

Generating Fake Urls Google Seo Toots

Do you agree?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

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