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Google Bugs With Indexing, Ads, Analytics, & More, People Also Ask Back, Automated Messaging, Review Scams and More

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Google had plenty of bugs, some really big ones, this week including not indexing new content for a day in Google Search. Note, there were rumblings of a Google algorithm update shortly after the indexing bug, but it might be related. Google Ads, Analytics, AdSense, and so on all had not just one outage, but two reporting outages in a 5-day period. Google may also be investigating a recipe search bug. Google’s people also ask feature is now back to normal levels in desktop search. Google is testing a knowledge panel card layout box that is interactive. Google Search Console now lets you verify your site using DNA CNAME. Google Business Profiles messaging now lets you add FAQs which will be used to automate answers to questions submitted by customers. Google is taking action on the recent one-san review blackmail scams. Google is testing a new label for reviews noting they are not verified. Google local pack has an hours filter that lets you filter by day of the week or specific hour. Google Ads announced that Google will start the process of automatically “upgrading” accounts to Performance Max for Smart Shopping campaigns. Google Ads is testing map pins with photos for locations. Google Ads has a new political policy around ad visibility and language. Google soon will be testing a new augmented reality prototype, like Google eyewear. Google’s timer and stopwatch in Google Search stopped working. 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.

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Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Business Profiles Removing Emojis & Special Characters From Business Names

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Google Store Front Mall

For the past few weeks, there have been reports via the Local Search Forum that Google has been removing emojis and special characters from business names within Google Business Profiles. This means if you try to add an emoji for your name to stand out in the Google local listings, Google may remove that emoji.

Marcin Karwowski posted about this in the forums, he said, “I just noticed that a while ago a huge number of business owners received an email with the same content, that their name was updated and the emoticon was removed from the name. Apparently, Google finally decided to clean it up and removed emojis from names en masse. It’s a beautiful day if emoticons in company names finally disappear.”

Here is a screenshot of a notice he received from Google about Google Business Profiles removing an emoji from the business name:

click for full size

Darren Shaw said shortly after that he noticed this also with special characters. Shaw wrote, “I got a notification today about an “®” being removed from a name. This client needs that in their name, though.”

Google has a history of adding and removing emojis from the search results, but the local space has been somewhat left alone from those decisions – that is until now.

Forum discussion at Local Search Forum.

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Microsoft Bing Updates Webmaster Guidelines For Conversation Mode and Bing Image Creator

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Bing Webmaster Guidelines Police Tape

Microsoft has updated the Bing webmaster guidelines to support the updates with the new co-pilot, AI, ChatGPT-powered version of Bing. Bing updated the answers section and added a new section for “conversation mode and Bing image creator.”

The current Bing webmaster guidelines is here and the section Bing updated was around here – it should jump you there.

Here is the new section titled “Conversation Mode and Bing Image Creator”:

The new Bing conversation mode builds on the existing Bing experience to provide users with a new type of search interface. Bing conversation mode generates responses using an AI model that has learned by processing a vast amount of text from the Internet. Based on the user query or prompt, the model produces an output that is coherent, relevant, and creative, according to the input and the context. The output can be a response, a web result, a poem, a story, a code, an essay, a song, or anything else that can be expressed in natural language. Bing Image Creator similarly uses an AI model that has learned by processing a vast number of images from the Internet. Based on the user prompt, the model generates an output image. The conversational model is also informed by and refines its output using available context, such as web results, feedback, and interactions, to improve its performance and accuracy. Ranking within conversation mode generally relies on the same parameters as the main web search results page.

User activity in these features is governed by the Terms of Use and Code of Conduct.

That section was not in the previous version.

Also, Bing updated the answers section to say:

Bing may enhance the results page with additional features to provide a richer search experience for some search queries. For example, if a user types “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” Bing will respond with the answer of “300 m”. For some queries, Bing looks at search results across the web, returns a summarized answer, and links to its sources.

If the query is related to a business, Bing may return relevant information about the business, such as store hours and location. Business owners can claim and verify existing listings on Bing using Bing Places for Business (available in limited markets) to create, edit or update their listing information. In some cases, Bing may partner with third-party content providers, such as local restaurant review sites, to further enhance the user experience.

Previously it said:

Bing may enhance the results page with additional features to provide a richer search experience for some search queries. For example, if a user types “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” Bing will respond with the answer of “300 m”. If the query is related to a business, Bing may return relevant information about the business, such as store hours and location. Business owners can claim and verify existing listings on Bing using Bing Places for Business (available in limited markets) to create, edit or update their listing information. In some cases, Bing may partner with third-party content providers, such as local restaurant review sites, to further enhance the user experience.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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The New AI Powered Microsoft Bing Is Really Impressive & Thought Out

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Bing New Home

Yesterday I was at the Microsoft office with dozens of other media folks (lots of famous YouTubers also) for Microsoft to showcase its next evolution of Bing, the co-pilot for the web powered by the upgraded ChatGPT.

I should start by saying the leaks were accurate representation of this but the demos were far more impressive. Microsoft posted its own blog post over here and my Search Engine Land coverage is here.

I will say, this is far more impressive and thought out than what Google rushed out with Bard on Monday. But Satya Nadella did say Microsoft has been working on this for a while, not just the AI and language models but also how to build it into search as an assistant, as an “intelligent agent” as he put it.

Microsoft showed how you can not only get wicked smart answers, that you’d expect from ChatGPT but also how the user experience in search works smoothly with it. The right side panel that shows you not just the answers, but also the attribution and other ways to expand on those answers. You can also toggle from search to your chat assistant, and the chat feature will just pick up from search and visa versa. It just works together, at least in the demo.

I will have full access to it soon but you can also request access at bing.com/new.

Here is the home page as I see it:

click for full size

Here is a screenshot Bing provided of the chat:

click for full size

I live tweeted the event, where I tried to capture as much of the demo as possible, here are those tweets:

I am in the back of the bus – was sitting across from iJustine:

They funneled us into a breakfast area:

Then we went to the keynote room and Sam from OpenAI was sitting right in front of me:

Then Satya took the stage:

Then Yusuf Mehdi took the stage:

More from Nicole on that over here.

There is a lot there but check out Techmeme – there is so much coverage of this and it is deserved. Also, Nicole did a test drive of the new Bing – her write up is here.

Finally, created this short vlog style video of my experience with this in person media event:

Forum discussion at Twitter & WebmasterWorld.



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