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Google Maps Posting Restrictions For User Generated Content

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Google Maps Guidelines

www.seroundtable.com

Google has posted a new help document for posting restrictions around user-generated content in Google Maps. This is specific to reviews, photos, and videos users may update to Google Maps. This may also include content such as ratings or Q&A topics.

I spotted this via LocalU who wrote, “This is the first time that Google has broken down the various types of restrictions.”

Here are those restriction types:

Short-term restrictions

Posting may be turned off for a particular place for a short period of time to help protect the place or area from a spike in irrelevant or offensive content (for example, during a real-world event that attracts off-topic commentary on a particular place). We monitor the place and when we see the abuse attempts and the risk of policy-violating content subside, we lift the restrictions.

Long-term restrictions

Posting on a particular place may be turned off for a longer period of time if its category or geographic area has experienced a continuous pattern of low value or off-topic posts. Contributions are considered low value when they don’t typically play a large part in helping users decide whether to visit the place.

The following are characteristics of places where we may restrict UGC:

  • Generally unvisitable or have limited public access. These are places where people typically don’t have a choice about which location to go to, that aren’t open to the public, or where access to the place may be limited to people who are stationed or assigned there. Examples include police stations and prisons.
  • Attracts ongoing, off-topic content. These places are frequently subject to unhelpful posts like harassment, hate speech, or offensive content, rather than reviews or posts about users’ direct experiences at that location.

Partial vs. full restrictions

Depending on the volume and pattern of policy violating content, a particular place may have posting restrictions on some or all of the types of UGC (including Text Reviews, Ratings, Images, Videos).

Why some places may not have posts, or have only old posts

Some places may have noticeably old content with no recent posts, or no historical posts at all (when you had noticed content before). This may be because the place experienced abuse and the content was removed.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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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?

Forum discussion at X.



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