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Page Experience, Pirates, Shopping & Penalties

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Page Experience, Pirates, Shopping & Penalties

It is time for the March 2022 Google webmaster report, where I look back at the past 30-days of SEO news related to Google and highlight the most important changes over that time period. This month we had a confirmed rollout begin of the page experience update for desktop, we learned about an update to the Pirate update, a new shopping ranking factor and more.

Like I said, Google said it began rolling out the desktop version of the page experience update last month, it will continue to roll out through the end of this month – no need to panic over this update. Google also supposedly strengthened the Pirate update from 2012, that impacts sites with a large volume of DMCA takedown requests. Google added a new ranking factor for Shopping search, the shopping experience scorecard. We also learned that MUM is barely used much in Google Search to-date and we had a number of unconfirmed Google algorithm updates.

Google quickly processed the Google News and Google Discover manual action penalties. Google added more messages to Search Console going forward. And we had another data loss with Search Console. There was also a Google crawling issues that was resolved.

Google Maps is now an interactive map in the local pack – which is very cool. Google is dropping the business follow and welcome offers from local listings. Google is testing buyer guides in search and testing messaging in Google Shopping for merchants and customers.

There is a lot going on, but honestly, it was not an insanely busy month like we had in the past. To catch up on last month, see the February 2022 Google Webmaster report.

The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread is still buzzing about that last unconfirmed update.

Here is a summary of the more important stories over the past 30-days:

Google Algorithms:

Google SEO:
Google Search Console:
Google Maps & Local:
Google User Interface:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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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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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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