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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

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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 Helpful Content System, Reddit’s Google Deal, Product Variant Schema, Google Ads, Bing Search & Search Volume Predictions

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Google Helpful Content System, Reddit’s Google Deal, Product Variant Schema, Google Ads, Bing Search & Search Volume Predictions

Google spoke more about the time it takes to recover from a helpful content update and then said it is up to you to decide ice what old content is helpful or not. Google said it wants to reward the best content no matter the site size. Meanwhile, Google will now pay Reddit $60 million annually for faster access to that content – I am not kidding. Google Search now supports new product variant structured data. Google said many of those using the Indexing API wrong are spammy and low-quality sites. Google has a but with negative search operators in shopping. Google’s Shop with AI seems live. Google Ad Strength formula to weight assets quantity and variety more with AI expansions. Google Merchant Center updated how it estimates delivery times. Google Merchant Center now requires images made with AI to be labeled as such. Google is pushing Google Ads ads in Gmail. Google Ads prohibits using famous people or companies to entice people to part ways with money or information. Google Ads API version 16 is out. Google Search is testing a new search bar design. Google Search is testing having forums in the search bar filters. Google is testing fading in the search result text. Bing Search has sub and expandable sitelinks. Bing is testing a next page and refresh page button for pagination. Google local packs tests showing pricing. Gartner predicts search volume will drop 25% by 2026, and only 20% of SEOs think search volume won’t change. And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

SPONSOR: This week’s video recap is sponsored by Duda, the Professional Website Builder You Can Call Your Own. Also, here is the charity event.

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Search Topics of Discussion:

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Massive Volatility Reported – Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

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Google Logo Exploding Cracking

I am seeing some massive volatility being reported today after seeing a spike in chatter within the SEO community on Friday. I have not seen the third-party Google tracking tools show this much volatility in a long time. I will say the tracking tools are way more heated than the chatter I am seeing, so something might be off here.

Again, I saw some initial chatter from within the SEO forums and on this site starting on Friday. I decided not to cover it on Friday because the chatter was not at the levels that would warrant me posting something. Plus, while some of the tools started to show a lift in volatility, most of the tools did not yet.

To be clear, Google has not confirmed any update is officially going on.

Well, that changed today, and the tools are all superheated today.

Google Tracking Tools:

Let’s start with what the tools are showing:

Semrush:

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Semrush

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Mozcast:

Mozcast

SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Wincher:

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Wincher

Mangools:

Mangools

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

So most of these tools are incredibly heated, signaling that they are showing massive changes in the search result positions in the past couple of days.

SEO Chatter

Here is some of the chatter from various comments on this site and on WebmasterWorld since Friday:

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Speaking of, is anyone seeing some major shuffling going on in the SERPs today? It’s a Friday so of course Google is playing around again.

Something is going on.

Pages are still randomly dropping out of the index for 8-36h at a time. Extremely annoying.

Speaking of, is anyone seeing some major shuffling going on in the SERPs today? It’s a Friday so of course Google is playing around again

In SerpRobot I’m seeing a steady increase in positions in February, for UK desktop and mobile, reaching almost the ranks from the end of Sep 2023. Ahrefs shows a slight increase in overall keywords and ranks.

In the real world, nothing seems to happen.

yep, traffic has nearly come to a stop. But exactly the same situation happened to us last Friday as well.

USA traffic continues to be whacked…starting -70% today.

In my case, US traffic is almost zero (15 % from 80%) and the rest is kind of the same I guess. Traffic has dropped from 4K a day to barely scrapping 1K now. But a lot is just bots since payment-wise, the real traffic seems to be about 400-500. And … that’s how a 90% reduction looks like.

Something is happening now. Google algo is going crazy again. Is anyone else noticing?

Since every Saturday at 12 noon the Google traffic completely disappears until Sunday, everything looks normal to me.

This update looks like a weird one and no, Google has not confirmed any update is going on.

What are you all noticing?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Google Hanukkah Decorations Are Live For 2023

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Google Hanukkah 2023

Hanukkah (aka Chanukah) starts this coming Thursday night, December 7th. Google has added its Hanukkah decorations to the Google Search results interface to celebrate. Google does this every year and I expect to see the same rollout in the coming weeks for Christmas and Kawanzaa but for now, since Chanukah is in the coming days, we have the Hanukkah decorations live at Google Search.

Here is a screenshot of the Chanukah decorations as they look like on the mobile search results.

Google Hanukkah Decorations 2023

You can see it yourself by searching on Google for [chanukah], [hanukkah], but not yet [חֲנוּכָּה‎] or other spelling variations yet but it should soon. It looks better on mobile than it does on desktop results.

To see the past, the 2023 decorations, 2021 decorations, 2020 Chanukah decorations, 2019 Google holiday decorations, the 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and so on.

Happy Chanukah, everyone!

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