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Daily Search Forum Recap: February 22, 2022

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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 released a document that shares that the decade old DMCA / Pirate update can reduce traffic to a site on average by 89% and Google made some improvements to it around redirects. Google said the URL inspection tool referring page is not an important piece of information. Google Shopping added short title attributes. Google Shopping search seems not to use exclusion words. Microsoft Bing is testing colorized search ads and organic results.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Google Strengthens The Pirate (DMCA) Penalty Algorithm

    Google sent a document to the U.S. Copyright Office that explains how Google’s DMCA update (aka the Pirate update) has been strengthened by (1) catching redirect schemes and (2) a site hit by this demotion on average sees a 89% drop in Google search traffic.

  • Google: URL Inspection Tool Referring Page Not Really Important

    Google’s John Mueller said the URLs listed in the “referring page” section of the URL Inspection Tool is not really important. It is just a technical thing showing which URL(s) Google first discovered the page. It has not quality indication and not something to be concerned with, according to John.
  • Google Shopping Adds Short Title Attribute

    Google Merchant Center has added support to Google shopping feeds for a short title attribute. You can use the short title [short_title] attribute to briefly and clearly identify the product you’re selling, Google said.
  • Google Shopping Search Might Not Support Excluding Keywords

    Google Search has long supported excluding words from your search by adding a minus sign before the word in the search box. But there are numerous complaints that this does not work in Google’s Shopping search results.
  • Bing Colorized Backgrounds For Search Ads & More

    Microsoft is testing or rolling out colorized background patterns for search ads, shopping search ads. Frank Sandtmann, a German based SEO, notified me of this, he saw it in the Bing Image search results but I see them in the main Bing web search results.

  • Google Chrome T-Rex Dinosaur Beanie Winter Hat

    Who doesn’t love the Chrome T-Rex dinosaur game? Well, now you can get it on a Google beanie winter hat, if you can find it. This was some swag shared on Twitter the other day.

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

Feedback:


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.




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Google Business Profiles Removing Emojis & Special Characters From Business Names

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Google Store Front Mall

For the past few weeks, there have been reports via the Local Search Forum that Google has been removing emojis and special characters from business names within Google Business Profiles. This means if you try to add an emoji for your name to stand out in the Google local listings, Google may remove that emoji.

Marcin Karwowski posted about this in the forums, he said, “I just noticed that a while ago a huge number of business owners received an email with the same content, that their name was updated and the emoticon was removed from the name. Apparently, Google finally decided to clean it up and removed emojis from names en masse. It’s a beautiful day if emoticons in company names finally disappear.”

Here is a screenshot of a notice he received from Google about Google Business Profiles removing an emoji from the business name:

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Darren Shaw said shortly after that he noticed this also with special characters. Shaw wrote, “I got a notification today about an “®” being removed from a name. This client needs that in their name, though.”

Google has a history of adding and removing emojis from the search results, but the local space has been somewhat left alone from those decisions – that is until now.

Forum discussion at Local Search Forum.

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Microsoft Bing Updates Webmaster Guidelines For Conversation Mode and Bing Image Creator

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Bing Webmaster Guidelines Police Tape

Microsoft has updated the Bing webmaster guidelines to support the updates with the new co-pilot, AI, ChatGPT-powered version of Bing. Bing updated the answers section and added a new section for “conversation mode and Bing image creator.”

The current Bing webmaster guidelines is here and the section Bing updated was around here – it should jump you there.

Here is the new section titled “Conversation Mode and Bing Image Creator”:

The new Bing conversation mode builds on the existing Bing experience to provide users with a new type of search interface. Bing conversation mode generates responses using an AI model that has learned by processing a vast amount of text from the Internet. Based on the user query or prompt, the model produces an output that is coherent, relevant, and creative, according to the input and the context. The output can be a response, a web result, a poem, a story, a code, an essay, a song, or anything else that can be expressed in natural language. Bing Image Creator similarly uses an AI model that has learned by processing a vast number of images from the Internet. Based on the user prompt, the model generates an output image. The conversational model is also informed by and refines its output using available context, such as web results, feedback, and interactions, to improve its performance and accuracy. Ranking within conversation mode generally relies on the same parameters as the main web search results page.

User activity in these features is governed by the Terms of Use and Code of Conduct.

That section was not in the previous version.

Also, Bing updated the answers section to say:

Bing may enhance the results page with additional features to provide a richer search experience for some search queries. For example, if a user types “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” Bing will respond with the answer of “300 m”. For some queries, Bing looks at search results across the web, returns a summarized answer, and links to its sources.

If the query is related to a business, Bing may return relevant information about the business, such as store hours and location. Business owners can claim and verify existing listings on Bing using Bing Places for Business (available in limited markets) to create, edit or update their listing information. In some cases, Bing may partner with third-party content providers, such as local restaurant review sites, to further enhance the user experience.

Previously it said:

Bing may enhance the results page with additional features to provide a richer search experience for some search queries. For example, if a user types “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” Bing will respond with the answer of “300 m”. If the query is related to a business, Bing may return relevant information about the business, such as store hours and location. Business owners can claim and verify existing listings on Bing using Bing Places for Business (available in limited markets) to create, edit or update their listing information. In some cases, Bing may partner with third-party content providers, such as local restaurant review sites, to further enhance the user experience.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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The New AI Powered Microsoft Bing Is Really Impressive & Thought Out

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Bing New Home

Yesterday I was at the Microsoft office with dozens of other media folks (lots of famous YouTubers also) for Microsoft to showcase its next evolution of Bing, the co-pilot for the web powered by the upgraded ChatGPT.

I should start by saying the leaks were accurate representation of this but the demos were far more impressive. Microsoft posted its own blog post over here and my Search Engine Land coverage is here.

I will say, this is far more impressive and thought out than what Google rushed out with Bard on Monday. But Satya Nadella did say Microsoft has been working on this for a while, not just the AI and language models but also how to build it into search as an assistant, as an “intelligent agent” as he put it.

Microsoft showed how you can not only get wicked smart answers, that you’d expect from ChatGPT but also how the user experience in search works smoothly with it. The right side panel that shows you not just the answers, but also the attribution and other ways to expand on those answers. You can also toggle from search to your chat assistant, and the chat feature will just pick up from search and visa versa. It just works together, at least in the demo.

I will have full access to it soon but you can also request access at bing.com/new.

Here is the home page as I see it:

click for full size

Here is a screenshot Bing provided of the chat:

click for full size

I live tweeted the event, where I tried to capture as much of the demo as possible, here are those tweets:

I am in the back of the bus – was sitting across from iJustine:

They funneled us into a breakfast area:

Then we went to the keynote room and Sam from OpenAI was sitting right in front of me:

Then Satya took the stage:

Then Yusuf Mehdi took the stage:

More from Nicole on that over here.

There is a lot there but check out Techmeme – there is so much coverage of this and it is deserved. Also, Nicole did a test drive of the new Bing – her write up is here.

Finally, created this short vlog style video of my experience with this in person media event:

Forum discussion at Twitter & WebmasterWorld.



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