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Daily Search Forum Recap: March 1, 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.


IndexNow has grown more support over the past week, now on millions of websites. Google said it does not use disavow files to discover link networks. Google says one site will never always rank above another site. CSS colors are not a Google ranking factor. A poll says that most people think Google will still be dominate in 10 years from now.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Survey Says Google Will Remain Dominate In 10 Years

    Greg Sterling, a search industry analyst (amongst other things), posted a poll on Twitter asking where will Google be in ten years from now. The vast majority of responses said Google will still be dominate in 10 years from now, while only 13% said it will have been replaced by something else.
  • IndexNow Added To Duda, All In One WordPress & Rank Math SEO Plugins

    Last week, Microsoft Bing announced over the course of three days that IndexNow gained support from Duda (a sponsor here), the All In One WordPress plugin and Rank Math SEO Plugin. This brings support for IndexNow to millions of sites, up from well under a million sites using it last time we checked.
  • Google Does Not Use Disavow Files To Target Link Networks

    Google’s John Mueller said again that Google does not use the link disavow files for discovery of spammy link networks. He said on Twitter “usually problematic link networks are easier to recognize in other ways. I don’t think the disavow tool would be a very useful signal there.”
  • Google: One Site Won’t Always Rank Above Another Site

    Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter “it’s never that site A always ranks above site B.” He was asked if Medium articles always rank better than articles found on LinkedIn and John said no. He added “there’s no special search ranking for any particular site.”
  • Google: CSS Colors Are Not A Google Ranking Factor…

    Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter “we generally don’t use color as a factor.” He then added “but CSS tweaks can include a lot more than just color changes.” We know that making site changes can impact your rankings but John has said numerous times before, just making color changes should not impact your rankings.

  • Google Wooden Hammock

    Here is a photo from outside the amazing Google office in Brazil of a wooden hammock. It looks like a nice and relaxing spot to think about how to get people to click on more search ads in Google.

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

Other Search

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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Microsoft Bing Says The lastmod Tag In XML Sitemap File Is Critical

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Bingbot

Microsoft Bing posted a new blog post saying “for XML sitemaps, one of the most critical tags you can include in your sitemap is the “lastmod” tag.” And it will become even more critical as Bing is reworking its crawl scheduling stack to rely more on this lastmod field.

Yes, by June, the way Bing decides what to crawl will be more dependent on the lastmod tag. Fabrice Canel from Microsoft wrote, “we are revamping our crawl scheduling stack to better utilize the information provided by the “lastmod” tag in sitemaps.” This is being done so it can “enhance” the “crawl efficiency by reducing unnecessary crawling of unchanged content and prioritizing recently updated content.”

“We have already begun implementing these changes on a limited scale and plan to fully roll them out by June,” he added.

So making sure your lastmod date is accurate is now even more important. It should be the last time you modified the URL, not the time the URL was first published and not the time the XML sitemap file was generated. In fact, that is the biggest issue Bing found with the field, that it often just shows the date the XML sitemap file was generated and not the date the page of the URL was last modified.

Here are some data points Bing put together on XML sitemaps:

  • 58% of hosts have at least one XML sitemap.
  • 84% of these sitemaps have a lastmod attribute set.
  • 79% have lastmod values correct.
  • 18% have lastmod values not correctly set.
  • 3% has lastmod values for only some of the URLs.
  • 16% of these sitemaps don’t have a lastmod attribute set.
  • 42% of hosts don’t have one XML sitemap

Oh, Bing still wants you to use the IndexNow protocol for the most efficient crawl solution but if you don’t – make sure your lastmod date is accurate.

In terms of Google, in 2015 Google said they don’t really use the lastmod date but then changed that in 2020 they said they do. The current Google documentation says, “Google uses the lastmod value if it’s consistently and verifiably (for example by comparing to the last modification of the page) accurate.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Search Console Video Indexing Report Adds Impressions & Sitemap Filters

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Google mic laptop

Google has updated the video indexing report within Google Search Console to add impression data and a way to filter the report by your available sitemaps.

As a reminder, the video indexing report went fully live in August 2022 after Google started to slowly roll out the video index report within Google Search Console earlier in 2022.

Google added two new features to the report; impression data and a sitemap filter. Here is a GIF of these two features:

Video Indexing Google Report Upgrade

You can now overlay the impressions your indexed videos saw directly in this report. Google said, “the impressions are aggregated by page which means that if the same page appears multiple times in a single search result page (or a single Discover session), then we consider each appearance as an impression.”

Here is what it looks like:

click for full size

Google added, “The Search performance report groups video search appearances by property, not by URL, which means that if multiple pages show in a search results, we’ll count only one impression. As a result, the Search performance report can show lower impression counts than the Video page indexing report.”

The sitemap filter is a nice addition also, so you can see what videos you submitted via your sitemaps compared to what Google really indexed. Google said, “To help you focus on the video pages that matter most to you, you can now filter the Video indexing report to show only video pages that are present in a selected sitemap. The filter applies to all the report features: the chart, chart totals, issue list, and exports.”

Here is a screenshot of that:

click for full size

You also see a section in the sitemaps location for discovered videos:

Again, if Google sees videos on your site, Google will display the new “Video indexing report” on the left navigation bar in the coverage section of Google Search Console. The report shows the status of video indexing on your site. It helps you answer the following questions:

  • In how many pages has Google identified a video?
  • Which videos were indexed successfully?
  • What are the issues preventing videos from being indexed?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Helpful Content & Link Spam Update Done, SEO, Search Console & More

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Chalkboard4 WebmasterReport Magnified 1900px

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