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Daily Search Forum Recap: March 17, 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.


The big news today is that Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics, what you know as Google Analytics and replacing it with Google Analytics 4 – data will not be migrated, which is a sad thing. Google expanded the free hotel listings and added more features and reporting. Google search is testing offer carousels in web search and more about links in local listings. Most SEOs do expect some traffic loss when doing a site migration. Google moved the dates for the Search Central unconference back a bit.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Reaction Towards Google Killing Google Analytics 3 For Google Analytics 4

    So Google is doing away with Google Analytics 3, aka Universal Analytics and you will all have to switch to Google Analytics 4, aka GA 4. Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. That means you need to set up GA 4 really soon so you can compare year over year data – GA 3 data won’t migrate to GA 4.
  • Google Offers Carousel In Search Result Snippets

    Google Search has a carousel, which may or may not be new, that shows categories of offers from a merchant as part of the overall snippet. The carousel is beneath the main snippet and sitelinks (if available) and shows a scrollable carousel of offer categories.
  • Google Search Local Business Listing Tests More About Button

    Google seems to be testing a new button in the local business listings, the local panel, that has a “more about” button. The button drives someone from the web search version of the local listing to the more detailed overview tab section of this local listing.
  • Google Officially Announces Search Central Virtual Unconference – April 27th

    I was a bit too eager in reporting the dates for the Google Search Central Virtual Unconference the other week. Google changed the tentative dates on the registration page to now show that the event takes place on April 27th from 11am to 2pm ET, with registration opening on March 30th at 6am.

  • Poll: 80% Of SEOs Expect Some Traffic Loss After Site Migration

    A Twitter poll by Natalie Mott showed that almost 80% of SEOs do expect to see some traffic lost when managing a site migration. There were over 1,300 votes on this poll, which is a lot for an SEO Twitter poll, and 78.3% said they do expect a traffic drop, whereas 21.7% said they do not.

  • Free Google Hotel Listings Expand To Search & Maps, Adds Reporting & Controls

    Google announced that the free Google hotel listing is released a year ago is now expanding. Google will now show these free hotel listings in Google Search and Google Maps. Plus, Google added some more reporting and hotel controls for management.

  • Google Rope Sleep Area

    Here is a photo from the Google Zurich office of another sleeping area, this one is made up of ropes, the ones you’d see at an indoor playground, but this area is filled with more comfy pillows and pa

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Feedback:


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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

In this week’s recap, I covered the unconfirmed Google update that seemed to impact product review sites but maybe more on January 26th. Yandex had a huge leak, and SEOs and marketers dug through the search engine’s source code. Google’s answer to ChatGPT might be Apprentice Bard using LAMDA Sundar Pichai of Google basically confirmed this. Google’s John Mueller blasted some links sellers. Google Search Console updated the video indexing report. Google said to try to nofollow site credit links in your footer. Google said spammy links from porn sites should not be a priority. Google said if you redesign your site, the rankings make go “nuts.” Google Search Console verification does not impact your rankings. Google said firewalls and CDNs are the biggest reason for why your site is blocking crawling. Google updated its canonicalization docs in a big way. Google said don’t use relative paths in your canonicals. I posted the big Google webmaster report for Friday. Microsoft Bing said the lastmod field in your sitemap file is critical. The new BingBot might go 100% today. Google Ads announcements and news seemed to have slowed since late last year. Google reported earnings that showed their ad revenue was down 3.6% year over year. Yahoo Search is really going to be making a comeback, I have more evidence. 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.

Sponsored by BruceClay, who has been doing search marketing optimization since 1996 and also has an amazing SEO training platform.

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Google’s Answer To OpenAI’s ChatGPT?

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Google Chat Bot Ai

CNBC reported the other day that Google is working on its own AI chatbot named Apprentice Bard. Apprentice Bard is reportedly built on Google’s AI LaMDA language model stack and while Google is being more cautious with this rollout, Google is working on testing an AI bot in search.

CNBC wrote, “As a result of ChatGPT, the LaMDA team has been asked to prioritize working on a response to ChatGPT,” read one internal memo viewed by CNBC. “In the short term, it takes precedence over other projects,” the email continued, warning that some employees stop attending certain unrelated meetings.

“Apprentice Bard looks similar to ChatGPT: Employees can enter a question in a dialog box and get a text answer, then give feedback on the response. Based on several responses viewed by CNBC, Apprentice Bard’s answers can include recent events, a feature ChatGPT doesn’t have yet,” CNBC said. This makes sense, as Google can crawl the web in almost real-time and process that information faster than any other company.

The examples given by CNBC show that Google even picked up on the Google layoff news and was able to respond to questions about this. Whereas ChatGPT only has content from 2021 or earlier.

Also, CNBC said Google is working on designing an alternative search interface to support this chat feature. CNBC said, “One view showed the home search page offering five different prompts for potential questions placed directly under the main search bar, replacing the current “I’m feeling lucky” bar. It also showed a small chat logo inside the far right end of the search bar.” “When a question is entered, the search results show a grey bubble directly under the search bar, offering more human-like responses than typical search results. Directly beneath that, the page suggests several follow-up questions related to the first one. Under that, it shows typical search results, including links and headlines.”

Super interesting stuff and I suspect that if Google does release something, it will be a lot better than what we’ve been seeing so far, if that is even imaginable…

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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A New Googlebot Crawler From Google Named GoogleProducer

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Crochet Google Bot Spider

Google may be crawling the web with a new crawler, a new Googlebot, named GoogleProducer. This useragent is not listed on the official Google crawlers page but maybe it is too new to be listed yet?

Hernán Marsili spotted this and asked Google about this on Twitter. He said, “we are seeing a lot of traffic to publisher’s sites with a new user-agent ‘GoogleProducer; (+http://goo.gl/7y4SX) ‘. Our WAF is currently blocking it, but it’s origin is actually Google Proxy hosts. Is this legit traffic?”

That link goes to this page that 404s within the Google News Producer section.

As an FYI, Google Producer is part of Google News and Google Currents, I believe. This help document from Google says, “You will use Google Currents producer to manage your issues (e.g., pricing, description, etc.) for Google Play Magazines. If you’re participating in Google Currents, Producer will look familiar to you. You can manage both your edition(s) for Google Currents and your issues for Google Play Magazines through Producer. See our article on publisher account setup for the steps you need to take to fully set up your publisher account and magazines for Play. If you have any questions about using Producer for Google Currents, please see the Currents Producer Help Center.” Note, the Currents Producer Help Center redirects to the Google Publisher Center help center.

John Mueller of Google said he will look into it:

I guess we will see what he says but until then, I do suspect this is a legit Googlebot crawler.

Update: This is old, an older one:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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