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Google Top Stories Eligibility For All Pages, Not Just AMP Or Good Page Experience Scores

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Google Top Stories Eligibility For All Pages, Not Just AMP Or Good Page Experience Scores


This is just a reminder, since I covered this back last April but I forgot myself, there is really no top stories eligibility requirements in Google Search anymore. It use to be that you needed to have AMP pages to be eligible in top stories on mobile. But that went away and you also do not need to have good page experience to be in top stories either.

As a reminder, the awkwardly placed core web vitals FAQs clearly says so:

Q: Am I eligible for Top Stories carousel if my webpage is not clearing Core Web Vitals?

A: Yes. With the upcoming change to Top Stories carousel, all web pages irrespective of their page experience status or Core Web Vitals score are eligible for Top Stories carousel. When the changes go live the compliance with Google News content policies will be the only requirement, and we will use page experience as a ranking signal across all the pages.

It also says:

Q: If publishers decide not to use AMP, how will they know their content is eligible for Top Stories carousel?

A: With the upcoming change to Top Stories, any news publisher’s content whether via AMP or another technology is eligible provided it complies with Google News content policies. Whether content shows up in practice will depend on a number of factors that ranking considers, and page experience criteria will be one of them. To be clear, any content irrespective of its page experience metrics is eligible for Top Stories feature on Google Search.

Q: If my AMP pages don’t have a good page experience, are they still eligible for the Top Stories Carousel?

A: Yes, any content that meets the Google News content policies is eligible to be displayed in the Top Stories carousel. Page experience refers to a collection of signals that are all important to deliver a good page experience, and the signals are becoming a factor in ranking, including in the Top Stories Carousel. This means that page experience factors, in addition to many other factors including the content itself and the match to the query, will determine its placement in the Top Stories carousel. Publishers should be focused on making improvements to page experience a relative priority over time as page experience ranking becomes the norm that users expect and other publishers would want to match.


John had to remind me of this when I asked:

So again, any site is really eligible to show in top stories on mobile or desktop, even if it has a poor page experience score.

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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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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