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Most SEOs Opt To Canonicals To Manage Faceted Navigation

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Most SEOs Opt To Canonicals To Manage Faceted Navigation

Joe Hall posted a poll on Twitter asking what do SEOs use most to manage faceted navigation. The vast majority of SEOs responded that they use “proper canonicals tags.” Others responded they use robots.txt and then some said meta robots tag. But most of the over 300 responses said they use canonical tags to manage faceted navigation. Is that the right answer? Possibly or possibly not, a lot of it depends on the specific case.

Faceted navigation is when you have a set page that lets you sort, filter and browse other pages or results by various parameters. So if you have a page on shirts, you might let people filter by color, size, brand, or other parameters. In short, it allows users to narrow down search results by applying multiple filters based on faceted classification of the items.

This gets tricky with SEO in that you need to decide which of these landing pages a search engine should try to crawl and index. If you provide unlimited options, which most search results pages can lead to, Google might decide not to crawl and index the pages that are important to you. For example, maybe you don’t want the blue buttoned colored dress shirt size 16 to be indexed by Google – maybe you just want the blue dress shirts page indexed by Google? Then when you start added pagination to that set, so you have multiple pages of options, it can get super complicated.

Here is the poll results from Joe Hall:

In the old days of SEO, Google and other search engines would chow down on this content, likely index all of it and likely rank it all for long tail keyword searches. These days, not so much. In fact, at some point, Google asked SEOs to just block most of it from spiders. Then the answer to the question became more of a it depends, leading to let Google figure it out. But it is not that simple and SEOs spend a lot of their time figuring which sets should be crawlable and indexable.

Here are some other responses to the poll:

Forum discussion at Twitter.




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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

In this week’s recap, I covered the unconfirmed Google update that seemed to impact product review sites but maybe more on January 26th. Yandex had a huge leak, and SEOs and marketers dug through the search engine’s source code. Google’s answer to ChatGPT might be Apprentice Bard using LAMDA Sundar Pichai of Google basically confirmed this. Google’s John Mueller blasted some links sellers. Google Search Console updated the video indexing report. Google said to try to nofollow site credit links in your footer. Google said spammy links from porn sites should not be a priority. Google said if you redesign your site, the rankings make go “nuts.” Google Search Console verification does not impact your rankings. Google said firewalls and CDNs are the biggest reason for why your site is blocking crawling. Google updated its canonicalization docs in a big way. Google said don’t use relative paths in your canonicals. I posted the big Google webmaster report for Friday. Microsoft Bing said the lastmod field in your sitemap file is critical. The new BingBot might go 100% today. Google Ads announcements and news seemed to have slowed since late last year. Google reported earnings that showed their ad revenue was down 3.6% year over year. Yahoo Search is really going to be making a comeback, I have more evidence. 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.

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Google’s Answer To OpenAI’s ChatGPT?

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Google Chat Bot Ai

CNBC reported the other day that Google is working on its own AI chatbot named Apprentice Bard. Apprentice Bard is reportedly built on Google’s AI LaMDA language model stack and while Google is being more cautious with this rollout, Google is working on testing an AI bot in search.

CNBC wrote, “As a result of ChatGPT, the LaMDA team has been asked to prioritize working on a response to ChatGPT,” read one internal memo viewed by CNBC. “In the short term, it takes precedence over other projects,” the email continued, warning that some employees stop attending certain unrelated meetings.

“Apprentice Bard looks similar to ChatGPT: Employees can enter a question in a dialog box and get a text answer, then give feedback on the response. Based on several responses viewed by CNBC, Apprentice Bard’s answers can include recent events, a feature ChatGPT doesn’t have yet,” CNBC said. This makes sense, as Google can crawl the web in almost real-time and process that information faster than any other company.

The examples given by CNBC show that Google even picked up on the Google layoff news and was able to respond to questions about this. Whereas ChatGPT only has content from 2021 or earlier.

Also, CNBC said Google is working on designing an alternative search interface to support this chat feature. CNBC said, “One view showed the home search page offering five different prompts for potential questions placed directly under the main search bar, replacing the current “I’m feeling lucky” bar. It also showed a small chat logo inside the far right end of the search bar.” “When a question is entered, the search results show a grey bubble directly under the search bar, offering more human-like responses than typical search results. Directly beneath that, the page suggests several follow-up questions related to the first one. Under that, it shows typical search results, including links and headlines.”

Super interesting stuff and I suspect that if Google does release something, it will be a lot better than what we’ve been seeing so far, if that is even imaginable…

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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A New Googlebot Crawler From Google Named GoogleProducer

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Crochet Google Bot Spider

Google may be crawling the web with a new crawler, a new Googlebot, named GoogleProducer. This useragent is not listed on the official Google crawlers page but maybe it is too new to be listed yet?

Hernán Marsili spotted this and asked Google about this on Twitter. He said, “we are seeing a lot of traffic to publisher’s sites with a new user-agent ‘GoogleProducer; (+http://goo.gl/7y4SX) ‘. Our WAF is currently blocking it, but it’s origin is actually Google Proxy hosts. Is this legit traffic?”

That link goes to this page that 404s within the Google News Producer section.

As an FYI, Google Producer is part of Google News and Google Currents, I believe. This help document from Google says, “You will use Google Currents producer to manage your issues (e.g., pricing, description, etc.) for Google Play Magazines. If you’re participating in Google Currents, Producer will look familiar to you. You can manage both your edition(s) for Google Currents and your issues for Google Play Magazines through Producer. See our article on publisher account setup for the steps you need to take to fully set up your publisher account and magazines for Play. If you have any questions about using Producer for Google Currents, please see the Currents Producer Help Center.” Note, the Currents Producer Help Center redirects to the Google Publisher Center help center.

John Mueller of Google said he will look into it:

I guess we will see what he says but until then, I do suspect this is a legit Googlebot crawler.

Update: This is old, an older one:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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