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Google Says Branded Searches With Keywords Don’t Help You Rank

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Google Mountain Woman Laptops

Google’s John Mueller said people searching for your brand name and a keyword phrase does not help you rank better in Google Search or perform better SEO-wise. So having people search for your brand name followed by a keyword phrase won’t help you rank better.

I know this is probably obvious to some, but sometimes I find questions being asked that seem new to me and I like to cover them. The question was worded, “Do branded queries, like + [brand name], help a website rank for non-branded queries?”

John Mueller replied on Mastodon saying, “No, I don’t think that would make much sense.”

It is just too easy to spam, if you think about it. I believe this is how folks use to spam Google Suggest, auto-complete, in the old days.

Here is the full back-and-forth on this topic on Mastodon:

Google Brand Keywords Seo Question

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

Note: This was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today, I am currently offline for Passover.

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Google Father’s Day Weekend Search Ranking Volatility Update

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Google Fathers Day Doodle

Happy Father’s Day – it looks like we are seeing some pretty significant ranking fluctuations and volatility within the Google Search results over the past day or so. Yep, yet another big Google weekend update of sorts – of course – not confirmed by Google.

I am seeing a huge spike in chatter from SEOs here where these SEOs are seeing big ranking changes for the keywords they track in Google Search. The tools; some of them have never been this heated but most of the tools have not yet picked up on the volatility – I do wonder what they will show tomorrow.

Like I said, yet another weekend update, because we had weekend Google Search ranking updates or volatility over the past several weekends now. We had one last weekend, June 8th. We also had unconfirmed updates on June 5th and then on the weekend, June 1st. That was followed by the Memorial Day weekend, then we had around May 22nd, May 16th, May 9th, May 3rd and April 25th. Before that the March 2024 core update started on March 5th and ended on April 19th, 45 days later.

SEO Chatter

Here is some of the early chatter at WebmasterWorld and comments here:

USA traffic is dying again…last two days way down the entire day, and then suddenly surges at the end of the day to break even. I hardly think that is a real traffic pattern, and the complete lack of any new sales inquiries this week proves it. My last actual sale was three weeks ago. That is impossibly bad…I am beginning to think that everyone has stopped spending completely in expectation of a recession. Are people seeing a decline in sales from other (non-Google) channels? I don’t sell via amazon and other sources.

I’m seeing more and more sites that are stopping or being updated very rarely than before. Some have been abandoned for months now. The once precise SERPs are now replaced with sites with the most generic results possible and with forums everywhere or short superficial guides written by brands. I’ve noticed that Bing is also going the Google route, I’ve done some searches with completely wrong results. I don’t know what’s going on, but it looks like there’s an intention to destroy the web.

Something has definitely happened in the past 24 hours.

More rank drops.

Seems like Google is going for the kill.

+Traffic drop…Unimaginable Traffic drop…expected it to hit 0 within a week but it seems max 3-4 days is enough for that.

So again I’m seeing garbage in Google search results.

Paid for articles on major news site ranking on top, then some more high DR sites abusing the high DR only to rank high, then sites that don’t load at all, sites that don’t have the product listed at all, ..ebay, amazon.. an that on top of 4 ADS at the beginning.

Same in almost every niche

Added spam links in my niche

are you all ready for a big shuffle for Father’s day? Seems Google has already started it in my niche. We had a few quiet days.

massive drop infact…im disheartened that traffic will touch 0 in 5-6 days…im not sure whether there r others like me who r experiencing such massive traffic drops approx 50-100 daily traffic drop

I think it is super early but I suspect a lot of the tools to match with this chatter tomorrow – I guess…

Google Tracking Tools

Some of these tools, like Accuranker, have not been this heated in a very long time. Some tools are still not showing the volatility yet but maybe they will tomorrow?

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Algoroo:

Algoroo

Semrush:

Semrush

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Mozcast:

Mozcast

SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Mangools:

Mangools

Wincher:

Wincher

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

I’ll try to come back later today and tomorrow to update these screenshots with more recent data.

What are you all noticing over the Father’s Day weekend?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Google Weekend Volatility, Google On Search Leak, Elizabeth Tucker Interview, Apple Intelligence & More

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Google Weekend Volatility, Google On Search Leak, Elizabeth Tucker Interview, Apple Intelligence & More


For the original iTunes version, click here.

Google Search had more weekend volatility, surprise, surprise. Google responded more to the search leak around Navboost, clicks and user interactions. I interviewed Google’s Elizabeth Tucker on the March core update and much more. Google said you can recover from the helpful content update after a core update. Google spoke about fixing a few pages and how that can help, or not, with the helpful content update. Google said sometimes search experiments cause issues with Search. Google said you cannot completely disregard desktop for SEO. Google Search Console performance reports gain merchant listings for the image tab. Google added return policy structured data to the organization level. Google dropped home activity cards from Search. Google said the lastmod date in your XML sitemap is either trusted or not. Google said you should disallow crawling of action URLs. Google needs to fix product variant structured data. Google is testing organizing the search results. Google is testing shaded favicon, site name and URL in the top of the snippet. Google is testing local five packs. Google is testing QR codes in the local panels. Google Business Profile websites now completely 404. Bing is testing black review stars. Google is testing call and location extension new formats. Appel Siri is getting more useful with Apple Intelligence and ChatGPT. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Sponsored by Similarweb, the all-in-one- strategic SEO software. Get clarity of the SEO landscape through competitor analysis, keyword research, rank tracking, SERP insights and more. With industry-leading traffic and keyword data, based on real user journeys, Similarweb gives SEO professionals the whole picture so they can strategize smartly and drive sustainable business growth.

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Please do subscribe on YouTube or subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!

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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 14, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google experiments sometimes cause problems for Google Search and they need to revert them. Google Business Profile websites now 404. Google Ads it testing new call and location extension formats. Google is testing a new from sources across the web snippets. SEO bloggers are the reason Googler’s don’t share as much, sorry. Plus, I posted the SEO video recap (in a daze).

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Weekend Volatility, Google On Search Leak, Elizabeth Tucker Interview, Apple Intelligence & More


    Google Search had more weekend volatility, surprise, surprise. Google responded more to the search leak around Navboost, clicks and user interactions. I interviewed Google’s Elizabeth Tucker on the March core update and much more. Google said you can recover from the helpful content update after a core update…

  • Google: Sometimes Search Experiments Conflict Causing Issues


    In the last Search Off The Record podcast, Gary Illyes from the Google Search team said that sometimes issues can arise within the Google Search results due to two experiments that conflict with each other. He said at the 19:41 mark, “Very often there are experiments that need to be rolled back because two experiments might interact very badly with each other.”

  • Google Business Profiles Websites No Longer Load – 404


    Google Business Profiles websites, which stopped loading websites and began redirecting to the Google Business Profiles listing on Google Maps now completely 404 – as expected. It was supposed to stop working completely this past Sunday, but it did not stop working until later this week.

  • Google Tests New Call & Location Extension Ad Format


    Google may be testing a new call extension and location extension ad format. This format shows up as a carousel of links or buttons that you can scroll through below the ad snippet in the search results.


  • Google Tests Multiple Featured Snippets Under From Sources Across The Web


    Google is testing a new look for the “from sources across the web” search results feature. This one looks like the multiple features snippets look, with the perspectives design, but is titled under the “from sources across the web” search results.

  • I’m The Reason Googlers Don’t Reply With Nuance


    Did you know that SEO bloggers, like myself, are the reason you see fewer and less nuanced responses from Google Search reps? John Mueller from Google said so on Reddit, where he wrote, “Love the SEO news/bloggers, but it also means I can’t reply to things with nuance publicly.”



  • Google Dinosaur Eating A Baby


    Stan, the Google dinosaur, has a baby in its mouth, as if it is eating the baby. Stan is the Google dinosaur that is located at the GooglePlex, the Google Mountain View offices in California.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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