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Google Search Central Unconference 2022: Quick Recap

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Mihai Aperghis (@mihaiaperghis), an SEO we reference here from time to time, is also a Google Product Expert and attended the Google Search Central Unconference the other week. He has written this blog post and I am posting it here as a super rare guest post on this site. Why? (1) Mihai rocks and (2) this site is about community and Product Experts are the essence of the Google community. I (Barry) personally was unable to attend due to a conflict. Note: Mihai did not ask for a link or a mention, but I added this so it is clear that he wrote this.

Google hosted the 2022 edition of the Search Central Virtual Unconference on April 27, making it the third global Google Unconference and fourth such event so far (counting the Japanese one that took place a few weeks earlier).

Quick Overview

For those unfamiliar with it, the Google Unconferences aim to provide discussion-focused sessions where participants (SEOs, developers, business owners, etc.) join online and share their experiences under a slightly more ‘informal’ structure, as opposed to traditional speaker events or even to Google office hours. The “facilitators” for each session (typically two people) have the sole responsibility of guiding discussions within the topic bounds, making sure all participants get heard and, since the sessions are not recorded, taking notes of the conversations that take place.

This year, the event was once again run by Martin Splitt, the Googler behind the Unconference idea, together with Cherry Sireetorn Prommawin from Google APAC.

Just as with editions from previous years (2021 and 2020), Product Experts such as myself were invited ahead of the event to propose session topics that they would then facilitate, should Martin and Cherry accept their proposals.

I won’t get into more details regarding the Unconference format, since I would probably just repeat what I covered in last year’s recap, so feel free to check that out if you’re curious.

One key difference for this year’s edition, however, was that the facilitator role was now open to everyone, thus allowing Product Experts to send the session proposal form to anyone they might see fit to moderate.

Sessions

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Since this year’s proposal form was opened to more people, the number of proposed sessions was likely much higher than in previous years. Martin and Cherry ultimately selected 25 of them, which were then voted by people who wanted to attend based on their topic of interest.

Also different from last year was the number of participants, which this time was limited to a maximum of about 14 people (as opposed to 20-25 people). This made it easier for more people to speak up during the 45 minute session, as well have an ice breaker or have everyone introduce themselves without taking too much time.

All 25 sessions were ultimately kept, given that there were at least 5-6 people interested in each one. As usual, the sessions were split into two 45-minute blocks, which meant people could only attend one session in each slot:

Session slot A:

  1. Tech SEO Q&A, all your questions answered.
  2. E-commerce SEO Challenges
  3. Making the best use of Search Intent Optimization (SIO)
  4. International SEO
  5. Schema: JSON Successes and Challenges
  6. Organic and Paid Growth Collaborations
  7. How can SEOs and Web developers work better together?
  8. Exploring Google Search Console APIs
  9. Video SEO – Best practices for optimizing videos on Google
  10. Let’s discuss spam and low quality results
  11. Let’s talk about Product review sites
  12. Webmaster & Podcaster
  13. Where do you find help?

Sessions slot B:

  1. SEO A/B split testing ideas
  2. Content: It’s All About Trust, Transparency and (Human) Typing
  3. Can Google See This? Rendering Q&A
  4. Core Web Vitals and how to approach it
  5. Project Management for Digital and SEO
  6. User Journey R&D Discussion
  7. Is Search Console working for you?
  8. Site Troubleshooting
  9. Google Business Profile: Myths and Guidance.
  10. Localization and its Peculiarities
  11. Working with Images on the Web
  12. A positive thing in 2022.. Unconference in Spanish!

There were also two conclusion blocks, one after each slot, in which facilitators presented the main conclusions for each session (thus being a good idea for one of the facilitators in each session to be taking notes). Everything was padded by a 15 minutes intro and a quick wrap-up at the end.

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If you’re curious about the full description for each session, you can find everything on the official event page.

The E-commerce SEO Challenges Session

Since people outside Google or the Product Experts program were able to join as facilitators, I decided to ask the wonderful Aleyda Solis to co-facilitate one of the sessions with me. Together we landed on a list of three potential topics, out of which the E-commerce SEO Challenges one was ultimately chosen and included in slot A.

Being such a popular topic, we managed to have a full room of outstanding people from highly diverse backgrounds. There were in-house SEOs, agency owners, webmasters and marketers, from highly experienced technical people to folks who only recently started learning the ropes.

With her vast experience running conversations on SEO topics, such as with the weekly #SEOFOMO Twitter chat, Aleyda skillfully guided the discussion around some of the popular E-commerce SEO issues, such as product variations and structured data, facets and navigation indexing, but also dealing with SEO implementation costs and getting buy-in from management or leadership people. I took the note-taking job this time, focusing on getting everyone’s opinion down in order to draft a few takeaways.

Since there will likely be an official Google blog post that will provide more details on each session’s conclusions, I won’t really delve into more details here.

What I can say though is that it was an excellent session. Almost everyone that joined had a story, a perspective or an opinion they wanted to share, which made for a really pleasant conversation.

After the session timer ran out, everybody was moved back to the main room to listen to all of the slot A session conclusions, where I was happy to present our own.

Slot B and Wrap Up

Since I had no session to facilitate in slot B, I happily chose to attend the Working with Images on the Web one, which was masterfully moderated by Roxana Stingu and Olesia Korobka.

The topics discussed ranged from image indexing and meta data, to AI, MUM and other cutting-edge info that I was completely unaware of up until then (seems it’s harder to keep up with everything in SEO nowadays!).

After the session ended, facilitators from all slot B sessions presented their takeaways, after which we bidded farewell to everyone and called it an evening (or morning, or night, depending on where everyone was joining from).

All in all, I’m really happy for how the event turned out and very grateful to Martin and the Google team for giving SEO enthusiasts the opportunity to facilitate sessions. If you haven’t joined any of the Unconference events so far, I highly recommend you keep an eye out for the next one. Something tells me there will be (hopefully many) more editions coming soon.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 19, 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’s URL shortener will stop working in a year and all those billions of links / redirects will vanish. Google says ccTLDs do help a little for ranking. Google gave advice on how to know if your SEO team is doing good. Google Merchant Center Next now supports supplemental feeds. Google local lets you search by product with your camera. And I posted the weekly SEO video recap.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

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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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 18, 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.


We’re seeing more Google Search ranking volatility, is this a sign of the core update coming? Google is testing AI Overviews on by default in the UK, even on some Workspace accounts. Google Merchant Center Next is coming to all merchants now. Google’s site reputation abuse policy forced a public company to lower earnings forecasts. Google is testing bolding the query in the search box when unselected.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Search Ranking Algorithm Volatility – July 18th


    We may be seeing the start of a Google Search ranking algorithm update, as I am starting to see volatility spiking in the Google Search results and a spike in chatter within the SEO community. I know we are expecting the next core update to touch down in the coming weeks, so maybe Google is testing/evaluating something now?

  • Google Tests AI Overviews In Workspace Accounts In The UK


    Google AI Overviews are only really live in the United States, for personal Google accounts (not Workspace accounts) and on Chrome browsers. Well, Google seems to be showing AI Overviews to some Workspace accounts in the UK.


  • Google Merchant Center Next Coming To All Merchants


    Google announced that Google Merchant Center Next, the updated version of Google Merchant Center it announced at Google Marketing Live in 2023, is now coming to all merchants this month. Google has already begun notifying merchants and advertisers of this via email and will continue to do so over the month.



  • Google’s Site Reputation Abuse Update Leads Gaming Affiliate To Reduce Financial Forecast


    Catena Media, a publicly-traded online gambling information company, issued their Q2 earnings update a couple of weeks ago, saying they have reduced its revenues forecast due to the Google Site reputation abuse policy update.




  • Google Bolding Query In Search Box When Cursor Out Of Search Box


    Google is testing bolding the query in the search box when you click your cursor outside of the search box, otherwise the query is in normal plain font text. This is a weird one – don’t you think?

  • Doogler Google Office Bed


    Here is a photo of a Doogler, Google dog, at the Google Dublin office in a dog bed – a Google dog bed. The dog looks a bit tired and for some reason is lying near the bed and not on the bed.

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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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 17, 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 has finally ended its labs experiment for Search Notes. Google Knowledge Panels tests showing store rating reviews. Google tests renaming short videos to quick takes. Google Ads in Japan changed the term brand match to intent match. Google is testing query refinements under the ad carousel.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Search Notes Finally To End


    There was a lot of speculation that Google would remove the Search Notes feature from the Google Search labs results last May after living past its official end date of December 2023. Well, Google told 9to5Google that Notes on Search and Discover is finally going away.

  • Google Ads Changed Broad Match To Intent Match In Japan


    Google Ads has changed what they call broad match to intent match in Japan. So now it is called (Intent Match), it was called (Partial Match).

  • Google Knowledge Panels Tests Store Ratings Reviews


    Google is testing showing store ratings review stars in the knowledge panels for some retail stores. Clicking on the stars will take you into the Google Store Rating panel.

  • Google Tests Renaming Short Videos To Quick Takes


    Google is testing renaming the short videos carousel to quick takes in the Google Search results. Short videos are quick videos Google surfaces in its search results from YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and other sources and now Google is testing naming them “Quick Takes.”

  • Google Ads Query Refinements Under Ad Carousel


    Google seems to be testing a query refinement ad option. Where Google is showing other search queries related to the ads it is showing under a sponsored ad carousel in the search results.



  • Google Paris France Olympics Signage Adapted


    In April, we covered the prep the Google Paris, France office put together for the upcoming Olympics events by dressing up its lobby signage in Olympic sports. Well, the sign changed a bit. Here is a more recent photo I found on Instagram.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

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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