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 took action in the Russia invasion of Ukraine with some new ad policies and restrictions. Google’s local pack map is now interactive and no longer a static map photo. Google is hosting an SEO workshop with Google internal SEO experts. Google is testing placing the search bar filters and options at the top right side of the search box. As a reminder, the top stories box no longer has an eligibility requirement. Plus I posted a new vlog interview today.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
- Google Search Local Pack Is Now Interactive (Not A Static Map)
Allie Margeson from Whitespark noticed that the Google local pack in the search results is no longer a static map. The map is now interactive and lets searchers zoom in and out, move the map around, hover over businesses to see the names and reviews and even click on the map to go to a specific local business.
- Google Internal SEO Experts Hosting SEO Workshop – Is That Okay?
David Mihm pointed out on Twitter that Google is hosting a partner workshop event named “Drive Traffic to Your Website with SEO.” The interesting bit is that the workshop says it is “hosted by one of Google’s internal SEO experts, this workshop will give you a behind-the-scenes view into how Google approaches SEO for its own sites.”
- Google Tests Search Bar Filters & Options On Top Right Side
I am seeing multiple reports of Google placing the search bar filters, you know, the bar that says “all, videos, news, images, more, etc” which is normally placed under the search box, is being tested on the right hand side of the search box. It doesn’t look like a bug but Google has had many weird quirks recently.
- Google Blocks Search Ads From So-Called Donetsk People’s Republic & Luhansk People’s Republic
Google has posted a new legal requirement policy that blocks search ads related to what is going on with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The policy says that entities and individuals who are restricted cannot create or use a Google Ads account or have Google Ads used on their behalf for those who are located in or reside in so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR).
- PSA: Google Top Stories Eligibility For All Pages, Not Just AMP Or Good Page Experience Scores
This is just a reminder, since I covered this back last April but I forgot myself, there is really no top stories eligibility requirements in Google Search anymore. It use to be that you needed to have AMP pages to be eligible in top stories on mobile. But that went away and you also do not need to have good page experience to be in top stories either.
- Vlog #161: Taylor Kurtz On SEO Gratitude & Getting Up Early To Work
Taylor Kurtz (@realtaylorkurtz) is the Founder of Crush the Rankings and he stopped by my office to talk SEO. Crush the Rankings is now about four years old and he started this company based on him working on a site that was ‘black listed’ in Google…
- Making A Video At Google For Edible Food Surplus
Here is a photo from a video production company at a job they had at the GooglePlex, the Google headquarters, where they shot a video recording some Google chefs on the top of edible surplus food.
Other Great Search Threads:
- I don’t think it’s sustainable to rely on the indexing requests for organic changes – it’s sometimes a sign that we’re not convinced of the site overall, and just getting a page indexed won’t change that. It’, John Mueller on Twitter
- To be honest, I don’t think either heading makes the site more relevant to users. It makes it clearer to Google what you want Google to think your page is about, but you’re going to have to do a lot more tha, John Mueller on Twitter
- Googlebot looks at the links on a page and may use them to determine which other pages to crawl. It doesn’t “leave” a site, it only ever looks at individual pages. Link to sites that you think provide valu, John Mueller on Twitter
- Do you have an example of a “good directory”?, John Mueller on Twitter
- Earning from EU hugely drop in past week, WebmasterWorld
- No, not really. We discover lots of URLs, on all kinds of sites, that were don’t crawl. It’s normal that were don’t crawl it all. Of course if your site is very slow, that’s still a problem to check out., John Mueller on Twitter
- There would be more to the story than just 2 domain names, so I’d recommend looking into the bigger picture, and the details. In general, just duplicating content from one country is not a good way to show, John Mueller on Twitter
- There’s no requirement from our side. Noindex, 404, 200, hidden – are all options. If you feel they’re coming back soon, keeping it hidden means you can just make it pop back in. Keeping it live with a “back in, John Mueller on Twitter
Search Engine Land Stories:
Other Great Search Stories:
Industry & Business
Links & Content Marketing
Local & Maps
- Google Maps, Apple Maps, and smartphones are at the forefront of modern war, AppleInsider
- Local Pack Update Allows Searchers to Interact with the Featured Map, Whitespark
- Ukraine, Core Web Vitals and Local Rankings, Local Inventory Ad Click Surge, Near Media
- Google temporarily disables Google Maps live traffic data in Ukraine, Reuters
- Who Is Policing the Location Data Industry?, The Markup
- Why Are My Google Business Profile Posts Getting Rejected?, Sterling Sky Inc
Mobile & Voice
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Google Updates Video Best Practices For Thumbnail Transparency
Google has added one line to its video best practices document explaining that you should have at least 80% of your thumbnail pixels have little or no transparency to enable video indexing.
The new line was added over here and says “Transparency: At least 80% of the thumbnail’s pixels must have an alpha (transparency) value greater than 250.”
This is specifically under the “ensure your videos can be indexed” section of the document.
So if you want those videos or video thumbnails indexed, make sure they are not that transparent.
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