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Daily Search Forum Recap: January 12, 2023



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 spoke again about using AI-written content for your site and for rankings. Apple launched Business Connect to allow businesses to manage their Apple Maps local listings better. Google Search is testing trending stories from your country and region. Google says to keep your head section clean and without JavaScript. Google said writing SEO case studies is quite challenging. Oh, the helpful content and link spam updates just finished, more on that tomorrow…

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Apple Business Connect: Manage Your Business On Apple Maps

    Apple has reannounced its toolset for businesses to manage their business listings on Apple Maps. It is now called Apple Business Connect, previously named Apple Places and prior to that Apple Maps Connect.

  • Google Reiterates Guidelines On AI Written Content After Bankrate AI Content Writer Gains Attention

    Over the last few days or so, Bankrate has been gaining a lot of attention in the SEO space. They are using AI to write a lot of content and not hide it. With that, Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, responded to the SEO community about Google’s stance on such AI-generated content.

  • Google Search Tests Trending Stories From Country/Region

    Google Search is testing displaying news stories for users in a specific country or region, from a specific country or region. Google titles this section, “Trending stories from country/region” and then shows the country or region as the header.

  • Google: Keep Your HTML Head Section Clean

    Google’s John Mueller said when it comes to your HTML head section, you want to ensure that section is clean and tight. If possible, you don’t want it to have broken syntax because it can break other parts of the page and make it hard for Google to read the page and your users.
  • Google Says Writing SEO Case Studies Are Quite Challenging

    Google has this SEO case studies and success stories page since 2019 and they have updated it a few times, I believe, since. Recently, someone Mariachiara Marsella asked John Mueller if Google can add new case studies.

  • Doogler On Google Rocket

    Here is a Google dog, a Doogler, on top of a rocket ship at the Google office in Palo Alto. How cute. This was posted on Instagram where he wrote, “Announcing Space-S. Now taking bookings for your ne

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:


Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice



Other Search


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 Ad Revenues Down 3.6% Year Over Year



Google Earnings Stock

Google reported earnings last night and their ad revenue not only slowed but was technically lower year over year. Google’s ad revenue was down about 3.6%, while total revenue was up just around 1%.

Here is the snippet from the earnings report showing that:

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Remember, Microsoft reported earnings the week prior and showed slowed growth but still growth. Microsoft Bing Ads grew 10% last quarter.

Here is a look at Google’s earnings numbers for the past 3 years:

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You can see that Q4 2021 was higher than Q4 2022!

Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google, said: “Our Q4 consolidated revenues were $76 billion, up 1% year over year, or up 7% in constant currency, and $283 billion for the full year 2022, up 10%, or up 14% in constant currency. We have significant work underway to improve all aspects of our cost structure, in support of our investments in our highest growth priorities to deliver long-term, profitable growth.”

Hence the mass Google layoffs to cut costs and increase profit. Keep in mind, Google’s profit was insane – $18 billion, that is $1 billion in profit per week! Sure, Google’s net income was down 34% year over year, so I get Wall Street.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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Microsoft Bing ChatGPT Search Interface Screenshots?



Bing Chat

Owen Yin shared some screenshots of what he said he saw on the Microsoft Bing website. It looks like the beta version of the upcoming ChatGPT features that we are all expecting Bing to announce in the coming weeks (maybe even this coming Tuesday).

Owen shared these screenshots on Twitter and then posted more details on Medium.

Here is the home page screenshot that widens and enlarges the search box and says “Ask me anything”:

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Here is his screenshot of the results, the answers being returned:

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And here is the GIF he made of this:

Bing Search Chat Interface

It would not surprise me if this is being tested in the wild by Microsoft Bing, as all the evidence leads to a big announcement about this type of feature being released sometime in the next week or so.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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Google Revamps The Canonicalization Search Help Documentation



Google Cluster Grapes

Google has updated its search help documentation around canonicalization this morning. The Google Search Relations team split in three distinct sections and updated a lot of the content to provide clearer details around how Google Search and canonicalization works.

The three sections include:

All of this use to be on a single help page, which you can review on the Wayback Machine over here to compare.

With this, Gary Illyes from Google dropped another LinkedIn tip on the topic of canonicalization, he wrote:

Friday ramble: you can stack canonicalization signals to strengthen that hint.

You have a rel=canonical pointing from A to B, but A is HTTPS, it’s in your hreflang clusters, all your links are pointing to A, and A is included in your sitemaps instead of B. Which one should search engines pick as canonical, A or B?

If you just change the URLs from A to B in your sitemaps and hreflang clusters, combined with that rel=canonical it might already be enough to tip over canonicalization to B. Change the links also, and you have an even greater chance to convince search engines about your canonical preference.

Recently, Gary also mentioned to use absoluate URLs for rel-canonical.

So check out these new docs and learn a bit more on canonicalization and Google Search.

Forum discussion at LinkedIn.

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