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Possible Bing Algorithm Update on January 18, 2023

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Bing Algorithm Update

After a crazy December with Google updates, including both the Helpful Content Update and Link Spam Update, it seems Bing might have been holding off until 2023 for its own update. I received several reports of serious volatility with Bing rankings and traffic starting on January 18th into January 19th and I dug in a bit across sites. And yes, it does look like there was some type of algorithm update that heavily impacted some sites (across verticals).

Although most site owners focus on Google, there are still some sites receiving a lot of traffic from Bing. I know that might be hard to believe, but it’s true. I plan to dig in more soon, but for the sites I checked that surged or dropped, you can definitely see a distinct change in rankings and traffic across many queries starting on 1/18 with more volatility on 1/19. For example, for one site that dropped heavily, they used to rank in the top five for a number of queries, and many of those pages dropped to page two or beyond. Actually, I couldn’t even find the site for some of the queries anymore.

And for sites surging, I’m seeing some big jumps in rankings. For example, moving from page two and beyond to page one (and sometimes high on page one). And I can see impact across some international sites as well, so it does seem to be a global update. I’ve also heard from some people running sites outside the US that saw impact.

Here are some examples of surges and drops I’m seeing based on Bing Webmaster Tools data and GA data. Note, the update rolled into the weekend, so it will be clearer over the next few days for sites that were impacted:

Bing algorithm update January 2023

Drop in Google Analytics for Bing organic January 2023

Bing algorithm update drop in Bing Webmaster Tools

Surge during a Bing algorithm update in January 2023

Surge during the Bing algorithm update in January 2023

And here is volatility picked up by SERPmetrics for Bing starting right around the update:

SERPmetrics volatility for Bing in January 2023

Also, a quick note that Bing doesn’t confirm algorithm updates like this (unlike Google which has been announcing major updates for quite some time now). That said, I will reach out to some people at Bing to see if they can comment on the volatility.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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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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