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Google Says Stop Using 403s or 404s To Reduce Googlebot Crawl Rates

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Bee Googlebot

Gary Illyes posted a new blog post on the Google Search Central site asking all of you to stop using 403 and 404 server status codes to reduce the crawl rate of Googlebot. He said they have seen an uptick in the number of sites and CDNs doing this and they need to cut it out.

Gary wrote, “Over the last few months we noticed an uptick in website owners and some content delivery networks (CDNs) attempting to use 404 and other 4xx client errors (but not 429) to attempt to reduce Googlebot’s crawl rate.” “The short version of this blog post is: please don’t do that,” he added.

Instead, he said Google has documentation about how to reduce Googlebot’s crawl rate. “Read that instead and learn how to effectively manage Googlebot’s crawl rate,” he added.

Gary also posted on LinkedIn saying, “Friday rumble… ramble? One of those. Anyway: the 403 and 404 status codes will not help you quickly reduce crawl rate. If anything, they might have the opposite effect. We have documentation about how to reduce crawl rate and unsurprisingly 403/404 is not in them.”

There are more details in the blog post.

Forum discussion at LinkedIn.

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Menachem Ani On New Google Ads Clients & E-Commerce With Google Ads

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Menachem Ani Small 2

In part one, we spoke about who is Menachem Ani and also about how to structure performance max campaigns in Google Ads. In part two, we talk about onboarding new clients and e-commerce with Google Ads.

Menachem told us sometimes clients come to him from other agencies, and a lot of the time, it is from customers who are starting from scratch. He said it is easier to take over a client with an account because they already have data and numbers to work with. I then asked him about red flags about taking on Google Ads clients, and he said things to watch out for, including not giving campaigns enough time to perform. So often they like to do a quick audit of the campaigns prior to taking on the client.

In terms of how much time you need to give a campaign, it varies, it depends on budget and volume. It also can vary on the cost per click, but you need a certain level of conversions and traffic to measure. Sometimes it can take four weeks, and sometimes it can take twelve weeks. During those weeks, you are actively tweaking the campaigns to improve things and make progress.

I asked him if there was a situation where Google Ads was not the right fit for a customer. He said when it comes to lower order value with private label brands, and Google Ads might not be a good fit.

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We then transitioned to talking about all Google is doing around e-commerce and what he is doing to leverage that. He said first thing, do not be resistant to change, adopt it and figure out how to make the new thing work for your clients. We also discussed the confusion between Google Ads, and Google Merchant Center organic versus ads. He gave us a brief history of this and how this is changing.

Menachem also explained when to use Google Shopping Ads versus Performance Max.

More to come, but to learn more about Menachem Ani follow him @MenachemAni and on LinkedIn.


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Google Doesn’t Allow Charitable Donations In Exchange For Business Reviews

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Charity Box Filled With Stars Google Logo

Google has told Joy Hawkins that giving charitable donations in exchange for a positive review on your Google Business Profile listing is against its guidelines.

It would go specifically against the fake engagement policy that reads, “Paying, incentivizing or encouraging the posting of content that does not represent a genuine experience.” A charitable donation would be considered “incentivizing” and thus against the rules.

Joy wrote, “In this case, the person leaving the review isn’t technically receiving the incentive since the money is going to a charity, but Google confirmed it is still against the guidelines. Although the user leaving the review technically isn’t getting the money, it can still lead to bias towards a positive review given the incentive of a donation. Ultimately, Google doesn’t want the customer experience to be swayed either way.”

How does Google know this? That is a totally different story.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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A Home Away From Home Google NYC Mural

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A Home Away From Home Google NYC Mural

Here is a photo of a newish mural put up in the Google New York City office. It was named “A Home Away From Home.” The artist, Carla Torres posted it on Instagram and wrote “I had these photos of the final result and some process of “A Home Away From Home” mural for Google NYC. It was so much fun to work on this piece I enjoyed every minute of it. If you want to know more about the creative process behind it please see the video next to this post.”

Here is the embed:

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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