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Google Search Essentials Replaces The Google Webmaster Guidelines

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Google May Update The Webmaster Guidelines In 2022

Google has replaced the Google Webmaster Guidelines with the Google Search Essentials. The name change is Google’s ongoing efforts to remove the term “webmaster” so that these tools and documentation do not narrow the focus to just “webmasters,” but expands it to publishers, site owners, developers, creators, and so on.

Before I even started blogging (which was in 2003), Google launched the Google Webmaster Guidelines back in 2002 – yes, two decades ago. The name stuck for 20 years but now Google decided it was time to change the name and refresh the guidelines in a very big way.

What Changed

Google changed more than just the name, Google also changed the overall format, added clearer terms and examples and also tried to simplify them for easier consumption. Google explained they updated the:

  • Technical requirements: It is a new section to help people understand how to publish content in a format that Google can index and access.
  • Spam policies: Google updated its guidance for its policies against spam, to help site owners avoid creating content that isn’t helpful for people using Google Search. Google explained that most of the content in these spam policies has already existed on Google Search Central in the “Quality Guidelines”, Google did make a few additions to provide clearer guidance and concrete examples for issues like deceptive behavior, link spam, online harassment, and scam and fraud.
  • Key best practices: Google published new guidance with key best practices that people can consider when creating sites, to create content that serves people and will help a site be more easily found through Google Search.

The new spam section has content on:

  • New deceptive behavior related-topics such as misleading functionality
  • New section on other behaviors that can lead to demotion and or removal, such as
    online harassment, and scam and fraud
  • Consolidated topics related to link spam and thin content

Drilling in, here is the list of changes from Google:

SEO Community Diving In

Here are some of the observations made from the SEO community on the changes here, mostly from Marie Haynes and Glenn Gabe:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Hanukkah Decorations Are Live For 2023

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Google Hanukkah 2023

Hanukkah (aka Chanukah) starts this coming Thursday night, December 7th. Google has added its Hanukkah decorations to the Google Search results interface to celebrate. Google does this every year and I expect to see the same rollout in the coming weeks for Christmas and Kawanzaa but for now, since Chanukah is in the coming days, we have the Hanukkah decorations live at Google Search.

Here is a screenshot of the Chanukah decorations as they look like on the mobile search results.

Google Hanukkah Decorations 2023

You can see it yourself by searching on Google for [chanukah], [hanukkah], but not yet [חֲנוּכָּה‎] or other spelling variations yet but it should soon. It looks better on mobile than it does on desktop results.

To see the past, the 2023 decorations, 2021 decorations, 2020 Chanukah decorations, 2019 Google holiday decorations, the 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and so on.

Happy Chanukah, everyone!

Forum discussion at X.

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SEARCHENGINES

Google Pay Accepted Icons In Google Search Results

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Woman Checking Out Store Google Logo

Google seems to be testing a Google Pay Accepted label or icon in the Google search results. This label has the super G logo followed by the words “Pay accepted” words next to search result snippets that support Google Pay and notate such in their structured data.

This was first spotted by Khushal Bherwani who shared some screenshots of this on X – here is one:

G Pay Accepted Google Search

Here are some more screenshots:

Brodie Clark also posted some screenshots after on X:

Google Pay Accepted Google Search

I tried to replicate this but I came up short.

This is not the first time Google had similar icons like this in its search results.

Forum discussion at X.



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Google Discover Showing Older Content Since Follow Feature Arrived

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Dog Astronut Google Logo

Typically, Google Discover shows content that is less than a day old, but it can show content that is weeks, months, or even years old. However, typically, Google will show more recent content in the Discover feed. Well, that may have changed with the new Google follow feature.

Glenn Gabe, who is a very active Google Discover user, noticed that since the Follow feature rolled out, he has been seeing content that is weeks and months old way more often than before the follow feature rolled out. Glenn wrote on X that “this could also be playing a role. i.e. Google isn’t providing as much recent content, but instead, focusing on providing targeted content based on the topics you are following.”

It makes sense that if you follow a specific topic and if Google Discover only shows the most authoritative types of content, it might be hard for Google to find new content on that topic. So it does make sense that Google may show older content more often for that specific topic you follow.

Here are screenshots Glenn shared:

Google Discover Old Stories Follow

Google Discover Old Stories Follow2

Have you noticed this in your Discover feed?

Forum discussion at X.



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