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.
Last month in the Googleverse was a bit insane, but no needs to worry, I have a single recap post for you to catch up on what you might have missed. Google Search Console picks up links to brand new sites within 7 to 10 days. Google Ads has a new policy around disallowing content that shares personally identifiable information that promotes financial fraud, identity theft, harmful direct contact, or harassment. Too many country selectors for a web page might not be a good thing. SEOs can disagree with Google but sometimes when they disagree, it makes you wonder. Plus I posted a vlog and photo of the day.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
- April 2022 Google Webmaster Report
Welcome to April, the real April, not April 1st, and with that, I have the monthly Google webmaster report for you all. This is a big one, so get comfy and start reading. We had the product reviews update start rolling out, we had the page experience update for desktop finish rolling out and several unconfirmed updates.
- Google: Just Too Many Country Versions Of Your Web Pages
You have all seen them, these country/language switcher menus at the top of the page that let you flip the language and region of the page to be more localized to your taste. But when is it all just too much and not going to help you with Google Search?
- Google Search Console Links Report Shows Links For New Sites In 7-10 Days
Google Search Console can pick up external links to brand new web sites (if there are links pointing to them) within 7 to 10 days, according to Google’s John Mueller. Guess what, I verified it and Google Search Console confirmed spotting the first link on day 10 for my new site.
- When SEOs Disagree With Googlers
For decades now, many SEOs have disagreed with Googlers about how to do SEO and how to rank sites well in Google Search. Some of those who disagree feel Google is either lying to the industry, some feel those Googlers don’t know the answer and some feel they just know better.
- New Google Ads Policy: PII & Financial Fraud, Identity Theft, Harmful Direct Contact Or Harassment
Google Ads announced a new policy that will go into effect on June 1, 2022. This policy is an update to the Inappropriate content that has existed for some time. The new policy will prohibit content that shares personally identifiable information that promotes financial fraud, identity theft, harmful direct contact, or harassment.
- Vlog #166: James Gibbons On Smart Search Marketing Tools That Help You Make Decisions
James Gibbons, the senior customer success manager at Quattr, stopped by my office to do some vlogging with me. We spoke about Jame’s history in the space, working at a lawyer directory first, then moving to agencies like Acronym and Publicis Sapient and then getting into the software space in 2016. James is super passionate about building…
- Google NYC Foam Bubble Party
I find the weirdest photos on Instagram – this one is a woman in foam bubbles in front of the Google NYC office. I don’t think she works at Google, nor is this a Google backed event, but she is holdi
Other Great Search Threads:
- Hey SEOs who are you using for your backlink analysis/data?, Joe Hall on Twitter
- It would also be good to do regular clean-ups of old content, so that people who search for how to do column-layouts in HTML don’t end up on pages recommending tables. A search engine with a good memory is, John Mueller on Twitter
- “Browse by Product” and “Browse by Stores” Category on google local packs. #GoogleMap https://t.co/rF29nTbULP, Khushal Bherwani on Twitter
- I wouldn’t overthink it. Use the redirect type that’s technically correct for your use-case, if you can. It’s only a matter of which URL (source=302/target=301) is used for indexing, the rest is mostly t, John Mueller on Twitter
- Wow – my few week old blog already made an impression with Google Discover – good going @LucidInsider !!!, Barry Schwartz on Twitter
- One week in and my web story is still ranking #1 in Visual Stories for the query “SEO” (in the US + on mobile). Yes, it doesn’t get many clicks, but I have seen it being tested at the very top of the SERP – which will be su, Brodie Clark on Twitter
Search Engine Land Stories:
Other Great Search Stories:
Industry & Business
Links & Content Marketing
Local & Maps
Mobile & Voice
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, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.
Google Says Links Have A Lot Less Significant Impact For Ranking Today
Duy Nguyen from Google’s search quality team said in the Google office hours video that “backlinks as a signal has a lot less significant impact compared to when Google Search first started out many years ago.” Duy said this at the 6:08 mark in that video.
I mean, this comes as no surprise to most of you. We recently covered that Google said links would likely become even less important in the future. And even Matt Cutts, the former Googler, said something similar about eight years ago and the truth is, links are weighted a lot less than it was eight years ago and that trend continues. A couple of years ago, Google said links are not the most important Google search ranking factor.
The question asked that generated this answer was from Adrea, who asked, “why does Google keep using backlinks as a ranking factor if link-building campaigns are not allowed? Why can’t Google find other ranking factors that can’t be easily manipulated, like backlinks?”
Duy answered, “First, backlinks as a signal has a lot less significant impact compared to when Google Search first started out many years ago. We have robust ranking signals, hundreds of them, to make sure that we are able to rank the most relevant and useful results for all queries.”
Then Duy gave the line about how these efforts are a waste of time and money, he said “link building campaigns, which are essentially link spam according to our spam policy. We have many algorithms capable of detecting unnatural links at scale and nullifying them. This means that spammers or SEOs spending money on links truly have no way of knowing if the money they spent on link building is actually worth it or not, since it’s really likely that they’re just wasting money building all these spammy links and they were already nullified by our systems as soon as we see them.”
Here is the video embed:
Duy was asked a similar question like this later on in the video at the 19:39 mark, in which he gave a similar answer. So here is the question and answer:
“I’m new to SEO and I see many websites or videos suggest that I should buy backlinks. Are backlinks as powerful or should I focus on maximizing quality of my site?”
There are always people seeking shortcuts or tricks to manipulate, search, ranking, or spend money to make their sites appear more authoritative to search engines. Link spam is an example of these tricks. We no longer use links predominantly compared to 20 years ago, for example. And also launched many algorithms to nullify links spam, and you probably should not waste your money in spamming links. That money is much needed in creating a great website with great user experience and helpful content.
Forum discussion at Twitter.