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Google Says No One Infected By Untitled Search Spam Issue

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Google Says No One Infected By Untitled Search Spam Issue


Danny Sullivan of Google said that no one was infected by the search spam issue around untitled documents. He said this is a spam issue, not a malware issue and “no one is infected with anything.” Sullivan added that the spam team is already on the issue and things are already improving.

I spotted this via a tweet from both Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, on Twitter and also via @bhartzer and we also covered it at Search Engine Land.

You can see the complaints and links to complaints about this both in Hacker News and Reddit. Supposedly, these “untitled” documents were hacked pieces of content that were spam and potentially had malware on them. I cannot replicate any of this now but some of the queries that were impacted, according to the thread were for queries on [name of a file that exists], [GitLab release],[GitLab Community Edition], [check gitlab version], [laser singapore camera], [UCLA laser singapore] , [wordpress transparent images], [LJ corpus], and [present for doctors surgery reddit]. Here are some screenshots of this:

click for full size

Danny Sullivan of Google said “we’re aware and working on it. It’s not malware. It’s spam, something our systems normally would typically catch, so we’re checking on it to improve.” He added “it’s spam, not malware and we are looking into this.” Later saying “our spam team was already on it. It is spam, not malware. No one is infected with anything. I think things are already improving and they’ll keep debugging it.”

Some developers said they directly cleaned up the malware on some of these sites infected by this attack. One said “I’m sure the owners of a WordPress site for a some random company are not doing this on purpose. I’ve personally cleaned the malware from WordPress sites infected with javascript injections that produced pages similar to this.” But like we saw above, Danny Sullivan said these links did not lead to any computer being infected by malware.

Google does take malware very seriously and has a large team devoted to this.

Did you see this in action?

Forum discussion at Hacker News and Reddit.





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Microsoft Bing Search Menu Drop Down With Explore & Collect

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Bing Menu

Microsoft Bing is testing a new search bar interface on image search (I believe) where the search vertical options, such as web, videos, news, etc, are now presented in a drop-down bar and Bing added an “explore” and “collect” option across the bar instead.

This was spotted first by Frank Sandtmann and posted on Mastodon but I am also able to replicate this in Bing Image search. Here is a screenshot that you can click on and enlarge:

click for full size

This was also spotted by Khushal Bherwani:

Frank wrote, “Today I spotted #Bing displaying a new navigation menu on their image #SERP. Now the usual elements can be accessed after clicking on a dropdown. In addition, two more elements are displayed: “Explore” and “Collect”.”

Do you prefer this interface? I get what Microsoft is trying to do here but to me, I might want to jump back to web results or maybe video results sooner than use explore or collect?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.



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Google Publishes A New SEO Case Study

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Google Seo Case Studies Series

A couple of weeks after I said I thought Google would stop publishing SEO case studies, Google just published a new one. This one is on How Vimeo improved video SEO for their customers, specifically by using the indexifembedded rule combined with noindex and adding structured data.

As a reminder, recently, Mariachiara Marsella asked John Mueller if Google could add new case studies. John Mueller responded on Mastodon, “I find it quite challenging for us to do these since search is so dynamic.”

So I thought that was it, stick a fork in it, no more SEO case studies from Google. But I suspect as soon as I wrote that piece, Gary went, I’ll show Barry and got a new one written up. Okay, I doubt that happened…

In any event, the new case study says, “Vimeo adopted Google’s new guidance for video players that use iframe embeds. The new indexifembedded rule paired with noindex allows markup to be attributed through embeds. Since applying this and VideoObject markup, Vimeo videos that are embedded on customer pages are eligible for indexing, without customers having to add markup themselves.”

They also used key moments; the case study reads, “To make all Vimeo Chapters eligible to appear as Key Moments on Google Search, Vimeo added Clip markup to all of their video host pages. Vimeo also implemented Seek markup, so if a video doesn’t have Vimeo Chapters, Google can automatically identify Key Moments.”

Anyway, check out the case study if you do any video SEO, it is an interesting one.

Just super interesting that there have been almost no new case studies in about 18 months and now we got a new one…

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

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Generating Fake URLs On Competitors Site Shouldn’t Hurt The Site, Google Says

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Google Intersection

John Mueller from Google said that bulk-generating fake URLs of your competitor’s site should not lead to negative SEO and ranking issues for that site. “This is not something I’d worry about,” he added.

Mike Blazer asked John, “Bulk generate non-existing URLs on a competitor’s site that lead to 5XX server errors when opened. Googlebot sees that a substantial number of pages on that domain return 5XX, the server is unable to handle requests. Google reduces the page #crawl frequency for that domain.”

John replied on Mastodon saying, “I can’t imagine that having any effect. This is not something I’d worry about.”

Here is a screenshot of this conversation:

Generating Fake Urls Google Seo Toots

Do you agree?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

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