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Don’t Block Slow Countries To Improve Your Google Core Web Vitals

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Don't Block Slow Countries To Improve Your Google Core Web Vitals

It is probably not the best advice to block slow countries or regions with the goal of improving your Google search rankings. Yes, Google has a page experience algorithm that is mostly made up of speed factors from its core web vitals. But it is such a light weight factor, the benefits you’d see from blocking those users would not outweigh the negatives you see from blocking those users.

This is a question that has come up numerous times before and the answer has always been, do not block these users from slower internet regions.

John Mueller of Google addressed the question again, this time on Reddit giving another reason not to block these users. He said “if a country is skewing your overall CWV results, that means you’re getting significant traffic from that country, so if you were to block that country, you’d lose significant traffic. Do you want significantly less traffic?” That is an excellent point.

Okay, so many you don’t want those users – that is a different topic. But to block them because it slows down your core web vitals makes no sense. Google said “as we have said before, while this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account. Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes. In addition, because we’re doing this as a gradual rollout, we will be able to monitor for any unexpected or unintended issues.” It is not a big enough factor or set of factors to block whole regions of users.

Then, John outlines in some serious detail, how to see which regions of users are slowing down your core web vitals metrics. Google added these regional breakdowns in 2018 by the way. He said on Reddit “If you want to roughly see what metrics users in different countries are seeing, depending on how many data points your site has, you can *roughly* compare that with Crux country-level data using Bigquery. You’d still need to use whatever user-analytics you have to determine which countries, and how much traffic from those countries would be at play though (so you might see here it’s slow in Indonesia, but not whether it affects a lot of users). Doing this in BigQuery is pretty cool (imo, but I’m just happy that I figured it out), and a limited number of requests/month are free.”

He then gets pretty technical into how this is done in the post, so check it out.

But again, should you block countries or whole regions because those regions have slow internet speeds. The answer is almost always no.

Forum discussion at Reddit.


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Google Spam Update, Volatility & Indexing Bug, AI Overviews Tracking & FAQs, Google Maps Exploit, Google Ads, AppleBot & More

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Google Spam Update, Volatility & Indexing Bug, AI Overviews Tracking & FAQs, Google Maps Exploit, Google Ads, AppleBot & More


For the original iTunes version, click here.

We had a new Google spam update, the June 2024 spam update and what would be an SEO video recap within Google Search ranking volatility, at least this time it was on Father’s Day weekend. Google Search seemed to have an indexing bug last night. If your image snippets disappeared from Google months ago, it is likely a quality issue and not a technical issue. Glenn Gabe posted his adventure on trying to track AI Overviews in Google Search Console. Google posted FAQs on AI Overviews, asking why you can’t disable it but not giving a real answer. Google may be showing fewer links to Reddit and Quora, maybe. Google’s Gary Illyes gave two reasons why a spike in crawling may be a bad thing. Google warned on using JavaScript for structured data in Google Merchant Center. Pound signs in the Search Console reports are about sitelinks, not canonicalization. Google updated its hreflang documentation last week. Bing Webmaster Tools can show a clickthrough rate of over 100%. Google is testing people also ask with 6 results by default. Google’s people also ask mostly show Wikipedia content. Google has this scary Google Maps exploit where you can ruin a business’s local ranking. Google added menu buttons to the Google local panels. Google Maps updated its fake engagement policy. Local Service Ads are coming to Google Maps. Google Ads is forcing some advertisers off credit card payments. Google AdSense has new privacy and messaging for users in some US states. Apple updated its Applebot documentation. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

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Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast player to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

Search Topics of Discussion:

Please do subscribe on YouTube or subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!

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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 21, 2024

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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 unleashed a new spam update – the June 2024 spam update – here is what we know. Google had a big indexing issue last night, that lasted several hours. Google spoke more about the images not showing up in search and that it is more likely a quality issue with your site. Google Local Service Ads will soon show on Google Maps. Google Discover is testing a floating search bar. Google Safe Search has a new set of FAQs. Plus I posted the SEO video recap – it was a busy week!

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google June 2024 Spam Update Takes Target


    Google has released a new algorithm update the search company is naming the Google June 2024 Spam Update. This update does not have anything new specific changes that we are aware of, like some previous updates. Google just wrote, “Today we released the June 2024 spam update. It may take up to 1 week to complete, and we’ll post on the Google Search Status Dashboard when the rollout is done.”

  • Google Search Bug: Not Indexing or Serving New Content


    Google Search may be having a new indexing or serving (or both) bug where it is now showing new content from sites that are creating new content. Sites like the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, CNN, Forbes, and others are showing very few new pages being indexed in the past hour by Google Search.

  • Local Service Ads Coming To Google Maps On iOS


    Google is notifying some advertisers that use Google’s Local Service Ads program that soon their ads will be shown on Google Maps. It will start with the iOS version of the Google Maps app and then expand to other platforms and surfaces from there.

  • Google Search Images Go Missing? Might Be A Quality Issue.


    For the past several months, generally around the helpful content update in September and the various core updates we had over the past several months, there have been complaints with image thumbnails for some sites not appearing in the Google Search result listings. Google responded again to the issue, saying it is not a technical thing for most sites but rather a quality issue.

  • Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Spam Update, Volatility & Indexing Bug, AI Overviews Tracking & FAQs, Google Maps Exploit, Google Ads, AppleBot & More


    We had a new Google spam update, the June 2024 spam update and what would be an SEO video recap within Google Search ranking volatility, at least this time it was on Father’s Day weekend. Google Search seemed to have an indexing bug last night. If your image snippets disappeared from Google months ago, it is likely a quality…

  • Google Posts Safe Search FAQs


    Ashwarya, the Community Manager for Google Search, posted a bunch of resources around Google Safe Search. He wrote, “We are going to help you out in every way possible. Here are a few articles to get you started on Safe Search.”



  • Google Tests Floating Search Bar In Google Discover


    Google is testing a floating search bar in the Google Discover results. So when you load up the Google home page on your mobile device and scroll through some Discover stories, the search bar sticks to the stop and floats over the stories.


  • Google Dublin Whiteboard Signage


    Here is a Google sign that is at the Google Dublin office which also is a whiteboard. You can write messages on the Google logo. I think this is old but I found it on Instagram recently.

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, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News 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 Search Not Indexing & Serving New Content?

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Google Logo Burning Ashes

Google Search may be having a new indexing or serving (or both) bug where it is now showing new content from sites that are creating new content. Sites like the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, CNN, Forbes, and others are showing very few new pages being indexed in the past hour by Google Search.

While all of these sites have produced dozens of stories in the past hour, most are showing 0 to 10 new content (URLs) in the Google Search index in the past hour.

Google has not posted any issue yet in its Search Status Dashboard and I do not see massive complaints yet but I received a notice on X about this (that post was deleted) but I still see the issue.

Here are some examples:

site:cnn.com – within hour – 2 results:

Google Cnn Index

site:wsj.com – within hour 2 results:

Google Wsj Index

WSJ down to nothing:

Wsj Hour

site:nytimes.com – within hour 10 results:

Google Nytimes Index

site:hollywoodreporter.com – within hour – 2 results:

Google Hollywood Index

site:forbes.com – within hour 0 results:

Google Forbes Index

Here are more examples of massive news sites not seeing much content in the Google index in the past hour:

Foxnews Google Index

Nbcnews Google Index

Apnews Google Index

Reuters Google Index

Cnbc Google Index

I often see indexing complaints about Google Search but I rarely see it on sites this big that produce a lot of content.

We last had a larger issue like this in January 2024, then in December 2023, October 2023 and then many more over the years.

Are any of you seeing this?

Update at 7:30pm ET: I waited over 30 minutes for this story to be indexed by Google and it was not. Normally this site is indexed within minutes of a story going live.

Ser Google Index Hour

So I checked Google Search Console and it said the page was crawled on Jun 20, 2024, 7:14:49 PM but the page was not in the Google index:

Gsc Not Indexed

Meanwhile, the live URL inspection tool says there is nothing preventing it from being indexed:

Gsc Can Be Indexed

I did request indexing manually to be sure – but still, not indexed.

Forum discussion at X.

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