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Google Looking To Make Crawling More Efficient & Environmental Friendly

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Google Looking To Make Crawling More Efficient & Environmental Friendly


Google’s Gary Illyes said on the last Search Off The Record Podcast that Google in 2022 is looking to make crawling more efficient and environmentally friendly. And while Google is investigating ways to do that with IndexNow, Gary said it wont be done in a way “that people expect” with that.

Here is the podcast embed, this starts at about 2:30 into the podcast:

Refresh Crawls

He said one way of doing this is for Google to look at the refresh crawls and see about a way of crawling some pages and URLs less often for those refresh crawls. Discovery calls are for new URLs that Google has yet to index but refresh crawls are recrawls of URLs Google has already crawled before but to see if the page has been updated and has new signals. So Google might crawl old URLs less often or maybe more efficiently.

Gary said “how can we reduce even more Googlebots and other crawlers, Google crawlers’ footprint on the Internet, on the environment. And then, if you think about it, one thing that we do and we might not need to do that much is refresh crawls. Which means that once we discovered a document, a URL, then we go, we crawl it, and then, eventually, we are going to go back and revisit that URL. That is a refresh crawl. And then every single time we go back to that one URL, that will always be a refresh crawl. Now, how often do we need to go back to that URL?”

Gary added, “you could say that, for example, if you take the CNN or Wall Street Journal homepage, which is changing every five seconds, then we do need to go back very often. But then the About page of either of these news outlets, they don’t change too often. So you don’t have to go back there that much. And often, we can’t estimate this well, and we definitely have room for improvement there on refresh crawls, because sometimes, it just seems wasteful that we are hitting the same URL over and over again. Sometimes we are hitting 404 pages, for example, for no good reason or no apparent reason. And all these things are basically stuff that we could improve on and then reduce our footprint even more.”

IndexNow

Gary then commented on IndexNow saying they are experimenting with it but if Google does do something with it, it won’t be in the format we are thinking about. He said “but IndexNow could be something that might be useful, and we are running some experiments to see if that’s the case. Probably, it’s not going to be in the form that people expect, but we’ll see. But I can definitely see that it might prove useful in some cases at least.”

XML Sitemaps

They spoke about XML sitemaps and the issues with it for improving discover and crawling. Basically people change the last mod date in the XML sitemap when the URL has not changed. So Gary said “we are just not going to use it” because people don’t generate these sitemaps correctly and accurately.

Crawling and Ranking

And there is a misconception that crawling more leads to more and higher rankings, that is not true Gary and John said. John said “So I guess that’s kind of also a misconception that people have in that they think if a page gets crawled more, it’ll get ranked more. Is that correct that that’s a misconception, or is that actually true?” Gary said “it’s a misconception.”

Google might be more transparent about how crawling works in 2022, so be ready for that.

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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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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Jeff Ferguson On Starting His Own Digital Marketing Agency

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Jeff Ferguson

In part one, we go through Jeff Ferguson’s long history in search marketing. Here, in part two, we pick up with him starting his own agency. Jeff explained how he was working at this arbitrage company, and they were not profitable for a decade, and then overnight, he helped them become profitable, and they were making a ton of money. But they didn’t do it right, and eventually, they took a major hit. So he was offered a package to leave but picked up doing consulting during that time. He ran his agency for ten years before merging with Amplitude Digital.

He loves agency life and doing his own thing. He is at a point in life where doing his own thing and owning his agency is where he wants to be. He does write a lot of content; he shares a lot of advice on Twitter and Facebook.

You can learn more about Jeff Ferguson at Amplitude Digital and follow him on Twitter @CountXero.


You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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Google Pier 57 Display Wall

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Display Wall At Google Pier 57

Here is one of the many walls at the new Google Pier 57 location. You can see they set up a display wall that houses a Google surfboard, Google letters, Android figurine, and much more.

I spotted this on Instagram.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.



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