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Google Algorithm Fluctuations, FLoC FLoPs, New Google Robots Tag & More

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Google Algorithm Fluctuations, FLoC FLoPs, New Google Robots Tag & More

This week, we had another unconfirmed Google search ranking update on January 22nd. Google has admitted defeat with its FLoC cookieless proposal and is now going with Topics API. Google launched a new robots tag named indexifembedded that controls indexing of embedded content. Google Search Console had an image search reporting bug it is working to fix, it is just a reporting issue. Google Ads has new tools to help you transfer from smart shopping and local campaigns to performance max. Google probably won’t go live with a label in the search results that meet the page experience update criteria. Newzdash data shows that 67% of Google search results have duplicated top stories and web search results. An SEO poll shows that most SEOs agree that if Google gave 100% transparency in the search results it would lead to poorer quality results. A dental office is named Dentist Near Me but is that a good local SEO strategy? We also have an SEO poll on near me queries. Google’s John Mueller said there is no schema for product images in search. Google launched a new search refinement named People Search Next. Google Maps now shows “updates from customers” which might be a concern for review management. Google is deprecating the Google My Business API on April 20th, it will be replaced. Google is once against testing search results without snippet descriptions. Google confirms it is testing showing favicons in the search ads. Google image search related colored theme design. Google is discontinuing Cameos on Google. Google AdSense is separating out YouTube earnings with other earnings. Google Assistant now lets us say “stop” without saying “hey Google” first.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 Sponsored by Duda, the website building platform ranked #1 in Google’s recent CWV report, is offering 15% OFF their annual plans with a special promo code for you at agency.duda.co/barry.

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Google Hanukkah Decorations Are Live For 2023

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Google Hanukkah 2023

Hanukkah (aka Chanukah) starts this coming Thursday night, December 7th. Google has added its Hanukkah decorations to the Google Search results interface to celebrate. Google does this every year and I expect to see the same rollout in the coming weeks for Christmas and Kawanzaa but for now, since Chanukah is in the coming days, we have the Hanukkah decorations live at Google Search.

Here is a screenshot of the Chanukah decorations as they look like on the mobile search results.

Google Hanukkah Decorations 2023

You can see it yourself by searching on Google for [chanukah], [hanukkah], but not yet [חֲנוּכָּה‎] or other spelling variations yet but it should soon. It looks better on mobile than it does on desktop results.

To see the past, the 2023 decorations, 2021 decorations, 2020 Chanukah decorations, 2019 Google holiday decorations, the 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and so on.

Happy Chanukah, everyone!

Forum discussion at X.

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Google Pay Accepted Icons In Google Search Results

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Woman Checking Out Store Google Logo

Google seems to be testing a Google Pay Accepted label or icon in the Google search results. This label has the super G logo followed by the words “Pay accepted” words next to search result snippets that support Google Pay and notate such in their structured data.

This was first spotted by Khushal Bherwani who shared some screenshots of this on X – here is one:

G Pay Accepted Google Search

Here are some more screenshots:

Brodie Clark also posted some screenshots after on X:

Google Pay Accepted Google Search

I tried to replicate this but I came up short.

This is not the first time Google had similar icons like this in its search results.

Forum discussion at X.



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Google Discover Showing Older Content Since Follow Feature Arrived

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Dog Astronut Google Logo

Typically, Google Discover shows content that is less than a day old, but it can show content that is weeks, months, or even years old. However, typically, Google will show more recent content in the Discover feed. Well, that may have changed with the new Google follow feature.

Glenn Gabe, who is a very active Google Discover user, noticed that since the Follow feature rolled out, he has been seeing content that is weeks and months old way more often than before the follow feature rolled out. Glenn wrote on X that “this could also be playing a role. i.e. Google isn’t providing as much recent content, but instead, focusing on providing targeted content based on the topics you are following.”

It makes sense that if you follow a specific topic and if Google Discover only shows the most authoritative types of content, it might be hard for Google to find new content on that topic. So it does make sense that Google may show older content more often for that specific topic you follow.

Here are screenshots Glenn shared:

Google Discover Old Stories Follow

Google Discover Old Stories Follow2

Have you noticed this in your Discover feed?

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