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Google Search Console International Targeting Setting Can Take Weeks To Update In Search

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Google Search Console International Targeting Setting Can Take Weeks To Update In Search

Google’s John Mueller said that it can take from a week to a couple of months for Google Search to pick up on the international targeting setting you selected in Google Search Console. He said it would likely go faster for news sites but other sites can take up to a couple of months.

Aleem Bawany asked John Mueller how long it takes to “expect to see the results or the impact” after the setting is changes in Google Search Console? John replied that he did not know exactly but his guess would be “anywhere from a week or two to maybe a month or two.” He added “with regards to a news website, I suspect it’ll be a little bit faster than usual.”

I should note, this setting is still in Google Search Console but in the “legacy tools” section and does not work for domain properties, only for specific URLs – at least at the time I wrote this story.

John said this at the 32 minute mark:

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Here is that piece of the transcript:

ALEEM BAWANY: All right. I’ll do that. Thanks very much. Just a quick question. How soon would these settings take effect? Let’s say I make it international. How soon can I expect to see the results or the impact?

JOHN MUELLER: I don’t know. My guess is it’ll be anywhere from a week or two to maybe a month or two. So that’s the time frame that I suspect it takes for something like the geotargeting setting to change. With regards to a news website, I suspect it’ll be a little bit faster than usual, just because with a news website, we would focus on the newer content, and with the newer content we would see the setting very quickly. So probably more on the shorter side for a news website. But I don’t know all of the systems that are involved with geotargeting settings changes.

There is a whole other part of this conversation where Aleem thinks the site is penalized but John told he no, it is not. That maybe it has to do with this geotargeting setting. That part started at 26:52 mark into the video, here is that transcript:

ALEEM BAWANY: Thanks for taking my call. So we have a situation where we have a news website that’s one of the leading financial publications in the country. They’ve done well always. And there’s another sister website, completely unrelated. But again, it’s a smaller site, smaller traffic, a smaller number of stories daily, smaller number of stories overall.

The bigger website, the financial publication, over time we suspected that previous stakeholders, they did some nefarious activities. We think it’s penalized, but there’s no way for us to know that it’s been penalized. But lately what we noticed was that the other website sometimes takes stories from the financial publication with attribution. And on the lesser website, on Google News, it always seems to end up ranking higher. And we realized that the smaller website with the lower page rank potentially is ranking higher. We figured that something is afoot or something is amiss, and we don’t know how to go about it. I’ve disavowed a lot of links– over 3,000 links, and a lot of domains as well. We realized a lot of traffic is coming from Blogspot. Some of them are shady. We realized there was about 200 or 300 URLs that were marketing related. We blocked those about six to eight months ago.

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We still are not able to rank higher. In fact, what happens is, on Google News, we’ll have a story. We’ll be the exclusive. We’ll be the first one. The whole E-A-T thing will be trustworthy. We are exclusive. We will rank very high. And as soon as even this lesser website or other websites publish the same story, even if they do a spin on our take, or if they have a genuine story, or a copy of or extrapolating from our story, when they do that, they suddenly start ranking higher. And we’ll immediately start disappearing into oblivion.

And now I’m tasked with improving the SEO. The editors are frustrated. We put a story, it’s original, and kind of feeling out of options on what to do. And the second part of the question is, with the Disavow list, there’s two ways to get the list. One is on these SEO Tools, the paid tools. They come up with a lot of URLs that don’t show up in the Search Console. So we’re looking at those lists, adding them to our Disavow list, and adding them. Should we be looking at both sides or not? And what are my options if there any recommended reading, or any– how should I go about this? Thank you.

JOHN MUELLER: Yeah. I think you posted on YouTube as well with the domain, right?

ALEEM BAWANY: Yes.

JOHN MUELLER: So I took a quick look at the domain beforehand, and I don’t see any kind of manual action or penalty associated with that domain. I also don’t see any issue with regards to the links for that domain. So my suspicion is, you probably don’t need to put a lot of time into the Disavow work. And probably even just focusing on Search Console links, if you actually find something really problematic there, would be enough. So that’s– I think from the overall point of view there, I don’t see anything really holding back this website in Search.

The main thing I did notice, though, is that you have geotargeting set up in Search Console for Pakistan. I don’t know if that’s by design, if that’s something that you’re trying to do. If you want to make a general English-speaking news website, then probably it makes sense to turn off the geotargeting there. So that might be something that can help you.

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The other thing I think that I just realized in listening to your question is that you’re focusing very much on Google News. And while Google News does a lot of things similar to Google Search, I don’t know if it does everything in the same way. And in particular with regards to the ranking there, I don’t know if there might be separate things that Google News would do that doesn’t apply to Google Search.

So what I would also do there is try to contact someone on the Google News side. In the Help Center for Google News publishers, I believe there’s a form that you can use to contact the folks on the Google News side and to try to get some input from them as well. So that’s the direction I would take there.

I think when it comes to Search, the geotargeting, if you want to target countries other than Pakistan, like a general English-speaking news website, then I would definitely turn that off, because that can have an effect there in that it really focuses on Pakistan and then slightly focuses less on other countries.

Here is how Glenn Gabe summed that part up:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

We had two periods of Google Search ranking volatility this week, one last weekend and one on Thursday or so. Google court documents say search quality has improved and not degraded. Google dropped the see more results in the local panel this week for a period of time until it fixed that bug. Google also removed the news tab but that seemed like a bug also and was fixed. Google has a bug with the European hotel/travel results being hijacked. Google also broke the filetype search operator for a while. Google Analytics is seeing a lot of referral spam from Poland. There is new structured data carousel beta details. Google is testing a most-read articles carousel in the search results. Google is also testing popular opinions carousels. Google local panels is testing expandable menus. Google has this reviews disclaimer for “people like.” Google Analytics added new default Google Ads reports. Google Ads Performance Max placement reports to show the search partner network. Google Ads is testing limited by budget status color coding. Google Ads support reps may use Google Translate to chat with advertisers. Microsoft said it will bring back testing of Bing Deep Search. Google said that Microsoft tried selling Bing to Apple but Apple didn’t want it due to quality issues. A survey shows SEOs dislike Google more now than ever. And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Sponsored by BruceClay, who has been doing search marketing optimization since 1996 and also has an amazing SEO training platform.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast player to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed. For the original iTunes version, click here

Search Topics of Discussion:

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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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Early Signs Of Another Google Search Ranking Update On February 28/29

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Google Logo Ranking Rocks Falling

I am seeing early signs of a possible Google Search ranking algorithm update starting yesterday, February 28th, and into today, February 29th. The chatter started to spike yesterday amongst the SEO community and some of the third-party rank tracking tools are showing a spike in volatility.

Again, Google has not confirmed an update in over 16-weeks now but we have had plenty of unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm updates since then, including a weird one this past weekend.

Keep in mind, we are all waiting patiently for the next big Google update that Google has been promising since November.

So what are we seeing related to this possible unconfirmed Google Search update?

Google Tracking Tools:

Let’s start with what the tools are showing:

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SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Semrush:

Semrush

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Mangools:

Mangools

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Mozcast:

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Mozcast

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Wincher:

Wincher

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

Some of the tools have not yet updated for the day, so I may come back here to update them later.

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SEO Chatter

The SEO chatter is just starting up and most of the chatter I am seeing is coming from the comments area here (I’ll weed out the noise for you by embedding the relevant comments here) and some from WebmasterWorld:

Had a week (again) of amazing conversions – today, just dropped like a rock…here we go.

Anyone else experiencing low Traffic today??

Awful today. After 2 reasonable days

Yes. This week has been horrendous since Monday. I’ve hit the lowest low since September.

Google traffic was better than usual on Sunday and Monday, normally traffic is almost dead from Saturday to Monday. Today, however, things are looking bad. Google traffic so far is significantly lower than usual on a Tuesday. This back and forth is really getting on my nerves.

On Sunday I also noticed uphill traffic, then today when I woke up it was -20% and now -7%. They just move a paa higher or lower and the traffic suffers

Same here…Sunday and Monday very strong traffic. Tuesday off a cliff again. USA traffic is -22% at 4:30pm. The question is, when traffic is high is it converting?

Yesterday was a miserable day for me, as I expected. -43% compared to Sunday and Monday. Sistrix shows a drop of 5.1% for my website in its visibility index today. A look on my direct competitors shows that they have been hit even harder. Other websites that I monitor have also fallen sharply.

Maybe whatever rolled out over the past weekend reverted in some way?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: February 27, 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 local pack dropped the ability to see more results, for 16+ hours. Google Search’s travel/hotel listings are being hijacked in the EU regions. Google Analytics 4 now has a new default Google Ads report. Google Ads now color codes the limited by budget status. Microsoft wanted to sell Bing Search to Apple but Apple said it had quality issues, Google said.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Drops Link To See More Local Results From Search Results


    Google has dropped the “more places,” “view all” and links to see more local results from the local pack, the places box, in the Google Search results. This happened last night around 5 pm ET, and I thought it was a bug, but so far, Google has not yet fixed the issue.

  • Google Europe Search Hijacking Bug With TripAdvisor, Booking, Hotel.com & More


    Google Search may have a bug in the European regions with hotel listings being hijacked by spammy sites. Google will show TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, Booking.com and other legit sites in its search results but when you click on those listings, you’re taken to a different site, a spammy site.


  • Report: Microsoft Tried Selling Bing To Apple But Search Quality Issues Held It Back


    According to a court filing by Google, Microsoft tried to sell Bing, its search engine, to Apple but Apple did not want it because of search quality issues and lack of investment. Plus, Microsoft pitched Apple to make Bing the default search engine but that was rejected as well.

  • Google Analytics Adds New Default Google Ads Report


    Google Analytics seems to have added a new default Google Ads report to the performance reporting section. This is if you have linked your Google Analytics 4 profile with your Google Ads account.

  • Google Ads Limited By Budget Status Now Color Coded


    Google Ads now will use colors, like yellow and red background highlights, for the “limited by budget” status column. I assume a yellow indicator color is not as limited as a red indicator color.


  • Google Photos Sprinkle Waffle


    Here is an old photo I just recently found on Instagram but is from way back in 2015. It is of a fancy looking waffle in a Google Photos box, it looks delicious but by now I am sure it is pretty hard to eat.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

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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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