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Google Featured Snippet Callouts, False Premises, MUM & More

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Google From The Web & Other Sites Say Featured Snippet

Google has launched some improvements to featured snippets, about this result and the content advisories in Google Search. MUM now works with featured snippets to help Google understand the notion of consensus and then highlight words in the featured snippets, known as callouts.

I dug deep into this on Search Engine Land, so here is the short version.

Featured Snippet Callouts & MUM for General Consensous

Google featured snippet callouts, the word or words called out above the featured snippet in a larger font, now can be powered by MUM (which is a new and rare use of MUM in search) to check what other sources are saying about the topic. Google said, “our systems can check snippet callouts against other high-quality sources on the web, to see if there’s a general consensus for that callout, even if sources use different words or concepts to describe the same thing.” “We’ve found that this consensus-based technique has meaningfully improved the quality and helpfulness of featured snippet callouts,” Google told us.

Here is what it looks like:

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And Pandu Nayak, Vice President of Search and Fellow, Google, told us that it is hard to game consensus here because featured snippets come from the top search results and those generally are not low quality.

Featured Snippet & People Also Ask False Premise Queries

False premise queries are when a specific query is for information about things that did not happen. Google will show you information that is accurate and remove the false part from the featured snippet in this case. In fact, Google said they have “reduced the triggering of featured snippets in these cases by 40% with this update.”

So if you ask [when did snoopy assassinate Abraham Lincoln] – snoopy did not do that but Google will tell you who did:

This also works for people also ask, because those are built using featured snippets.

About This Result

About this result which launched in February 2021 have been used more than 2.4 billion times Google said.

Google is expanding it to eight more languages including Portuguese (PT), French (FR), Italian (IT), German (DE), Dutch (NL), Spanish (ES), Japanese (JP), and Indonesian (ID), coming later this year.

Plus Google is expanding what it shows in the about this result, adding such as how widely a source is circulated, online reviews about a source or company, whether a company is owned by another entity, or even when our systems can’t �find much info about a source.

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Content Advisories Expand

Content advisories launched in 2020, which tells searchers when Google is not so confident with the search results it is presenting. Well, Google is going to show more of that.

Google said it is expanding content advisories to searches where its systems “do not have high confidence in the overall quality of the results available for the search.” Google said this does not mean that there no helpful information is available, or that a pa�rticular result is low-quality. “These notices provide context about the whole set of results on the page, and you can always see the results for your query, even when the advisory is present,” Google added.

Here are some of the SEO takes on Twitter:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Says If You Redesign Your Site Your Rankings May Go Nuts

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Google Waves

Gary Illyes from the Google Search Relations team posted another PSA on LinkedIn. This time he said, “when you redesign a site, its rankings in search engines may go nuts.”

Yes, this is probably super obvious to most of you reading this site but Gary dives a bit deeper.

He said, “Among other things, search engines use the HTML of your pages to make sense of the content. If for example you break up paragraphs, remove H tags in favor of CSS styling, or add breaking tags (especially true for CJK languages), you change the HTML parsers’ output, which in turn may change the site’s rankings.”

In short, when redesigning, sure – go ahead – make the site pretty. But changing the core HTML can result in ranking changes.

Gary recommends, “try to use semantically similar HTML when you redesign the site and avoid adding tags where you don’t actually need them.”

So if you can change the design but at the same time keep things in the HTML looking similar, that is your best bet. Change a lot without changing a lot – if that makes sense.

Forum discussion at LinkedIn.

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Yandex Search Ranking Factors Leaked & Exposed

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Yandex Leak

Yandex had a boatload of its source code across all its technology allegedly leaked by a disgruntled employee and part of that was the source code for Russia’s largest search engine – Yandex. As you can imagine, SEOs and others are diving in and seeing what they can learn from the source code.

I personally did not download the source code, so I did not go through it myself but I wanted to share what people did find via Twitter from their investigations of the source code.

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Will this help you do SEO on Google? Probably not but hey, it is super interesting.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Unconfirmed Google Update Impacting Product Reviews Sites On January 26th

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Google Product Reviews Update

On Thursday, January 26th, there were some signs of a possible Google search ranking algorithm update. The signals and chatter I was tracking, honestly, were not at super high levels. However, now that I see Glenn Gabe shared some really shocking charts of sites previously impacted by Google updates but now seeing a big swing. This is not necessarily a product reviews update but rather sites in the product reviews space that are seeing massive swings on the 26th.

Let me first share Glenn’s charts, which he posted on Twitter and said, “Heads-up, run a product reviews site? Google pushed something on 1/26 that, once again, impacted some product review sites HEAVILY. These are sites I’ve documented before with crazy surges/drops, even outside of Product Reviews Updates. Let’s see if this sticks. I hope it does.”

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Here is that tweet:

Starting on the 25th, I began to see limited chatter kick into gear at WebmasterWorld. The chatter there was not specific to the product reviews update but it could have been related to it. Here are some quotes from there:

My site has been climbing rankings all week and yet today the traffic has been dismal (UK). Do I smell an update?

My ranks, as I said, have been getting better after being in decline steadily since this time last year. I haven’t done anything to improve. Could this mean that google are indeed looking at different ranking signals, not just links? I could have gained a link or two that has turned it around I suppose but no evidence so far.

After great improvement over the month of January, got a big bang down since January 24 onwards. Changes again?

Definitely, something is wrong with Google. My traffic is going down without any reason. Are there any delays with Analytics?

I don’t know what’s going on, but my website has been in free fall for a week now. And it’s the usual picture again, old news articles or meaningless keyword spam ranks in my area on the top places. It’s really no fun anymore …

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

Mozcast:

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Semrush:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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RankRanger:

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Accuranker:

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SERPmetrics:

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Algoroo:

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So the tools are not lighting up but this update may have been something tweaked with the product reviews update, or a new update impacting product review sites or limited to those segments of websites?

Have any of you seen any big changes around January 26th?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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