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Google Blocks Search Ads From Donetsk People’s Republic & Luhansk People’s Republic

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Google Blocks Search Ads From Donetsk People's Republic & Luhansk People's Republic

Google has posted a new legal requirement policy that blocks search ads related to what is going on with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The policy says that entities and individuals who are restricted cannot create or use a Google Ads account or have Google Ads used on their behalf for those who are located in or reside in so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR). Google Merchant Center is also blocking Shopping Ads from Russian Federation state-funded media.

Wikipedia describes these regions as disputed territories in Donbas. The central government of Ukraine regards the republics as being under terrorist control. Both declared independence from Ukraine following an unofficial status referendum in May 2014. Shortly thereafter, both self-proclaimed states merged to form the short-lived confederation of Novorossiya which was suspended a year later. Also in 2014, South Ossetia, a similar breakaway separatist republic, recognized the independence of both states. On 21 February 2022, the two republics were recognized as independent states by the Russian Federation.

Google posted “The Google Ads Legal Requirements policy has been updated to reflect the addition of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) to the list of embargoed countries or territories in order to comply with the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This addition is effective immediately.”

The full requirement says:

Advertisers must comply with applicable sanctions and export regulations, which includes sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), and agree to not cause Google to violate these regulations. You cannot use Ads for or on behalf of restricted entities or individuals. You cannot use Ads for or on behalf of entities or individuals located in sanctioned countries or regions.

In addition, Ads are not available to any entities or individuals that are restricted under applicable trade sanctions and export compliance laws. It is also not available to entities or individuals owned or controlled by or acting for or on behalf of such restricted entities or individuals.

Ad campaigns that are run by or on behalf of entities or individuals that are restricted under applicable trade sanctions and regulations.

Note: Google must comply with sanctions imposed by OFAC. Entities and individuals who are restricted cannot create or use a Google Ads account or have Google Ads used on their behalf. People who are located in or ordinarily reside in embargoed countries or territories cannot create or use a Google Ads account. Currently, there are embargoes on Crimea, Cuba, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

Google also posted it is blocking ads from the Russian Federation state-funded media, it posted this news in the Google Merchant Center announcements section saying “Effective immediately, due to an ongoing sensitive event (the crisis in Ukraine), we are pausing ads from and for Russian Federation state-funded media.”

Here are related stories:

Forum discussion at Twitter.




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Google Helpful Content System, Reddit’s Google Deal, Product Variant Schema, Google Ads, Bing Search & Search Volume Predictions

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Google Helpful Content System, Reddit’s Google Deal, Product Variant Schema, Google Ads, Bing Search & Search Volume Predictions

Google spoke more about the time it takes to recover from a helpful content update and then said it is up to you to decide ice what old content is helpful or not. Google said it wants to reward the best content no matter the site size. Meanwhile, Google will now pay Reddit $60 million annually for faster access to that content – I am not kidding. Google Search now supports new product variant structured data. Google said many of those using the Indexing API wrong are spammy and low-quality sites. Google has a but with negative search operators in shopping. Google’s Shop with AI seems live. Google Ad Strength formula to weight assets quantity and variety more with AI expansions. Google Merchant Center updated how it estimates delivery times. Google Merchant Center now requires images made with AI to be labeled as such. Google is pushing Google Ads ads in Gmail. Google Ads prohibits using famous people or companies to entice people to part ways with money or information. Google Ads API version 16 is out. Google Search is testing a new search bar design. Google Search is testing having forums in the search bar filters. Google is testing fading in the search result text. Bing Search has sub and expandable sitelinks. Bing is testing a next page and refresh page button for pagination. Google local packs tests showing pricing. Gartner predicts search volume will drop 25% by 2026, and only 20% of SEOs think search volume won’t change. 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.

SPONSOR: This week’s video recap is sponsored by Duda, the Professional Website Builder You Can Call Your Own. Also, here is the charity event.

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 For the original iTunes version, click here.

Search Topics of Discussion:

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Massive Volatility Reported – Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

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Google Logo Exploding Cracking

I am seeing some massive volatility being reported today after seeing a spike in chatter within the SEO community on Friday. I have not seen the third-party Google tracking tools show this much volatility in a long time. I will say the tracking tools are way more heated than the chatter I am seeing, so something might be off here.

Again, I saw some initial chatter from within the SEO forums and on this site starting on Friday. I decided not to cover it on Friday because the chatter was not at the levels that would warrant me posting something. Plus, while some of the tools started to show a lift in volatility, most of the tools did not yet.

To be clear, Google has not confirmed any update is officially going on.

Well, that changed today, and the tools are all superheated today.

Google Tracking Tools:

Let’s start with what the tools are showing:

Semrush:

Semrush

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Mozcast:

Mozcast

SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Wincher:

Wincher

Mangools:

Mangools

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

So most of these tools are incredibly heated, signaling that they are showing massive changes in the search result positions in the past couple of days.

SEO Chatter

Here is some of the chatter from various comments on this site and on WebmasterWorld since Friday:

Speaking of, is anyone seeing some major shuffling going on in the SERPs today? It’s a Friday so of course Google is playing around again.

Something is going on.

Pages are still randomly dropping out of the index for 8-36h at a time. Extremely annoying.

Speaking of, is anyone seeing some major shuffling going on in the SERPs today? It’s a Friday so of course Google is playing around again

In SerpRobot I’m seeing a steady increase in positions in February, for UK desktop and mobile, reaching almost the ranks from the end of Sep 2023. Ahrefs shows a slight increase in overall keywords and ranks.

In the real world, nothing seems to happen.

yep, traffic has nearly come to a stop. But exactly the same situation happened to us last Friday as well.

USA traffic continues to be whacked…starting -70% today.

In my case, US traffic is almost zero (15 % from 80%) and the rest is kind of the same I guess. Traffic has dropped from 4K a day to barely scrapping 1K now. But a lot is just bots since payment-wise, the real traffic seems to be about 400-500. And … that’s how a 90% reduction looks like.

Something is happening now. Google algo is going crazy again. Is anyone else noticing?

Since every Saturday at 12 noon the Google traffic completely disappears until Sunday, everything looks normal to me.

This update looks like a weird one and no, Google has not confirmed any update is going on.

What are you all noticing?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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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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