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The Industry Mourns The Loss Of Bill Slawski

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It pains me to write this – Bill Slawski, a man who has literally helped transform the SEO industry into what it is today, has passed away on Tuesday, May 17th. I’ve personally known Bill for two decades, starting when I first got into SEO and learning from Bill in the old Cre8asite Forums.

Bill Slawski is someone I would coin the mentor to the SEO community. He knew SEO better than most, he understood how search engines work inside and out and he understood how to build sites that work for users and search engines. But no, he didn’t keep that knowledge to himself and look to cash in through easy money. Instead, he mentored me, he mentored you – the search community. From his writing on patents and SEO on SEO By The Sea to speaking at countless events, to hosting webinars and helping people on social. He was never shy when it came to correcting SEO myths and theories or to correct subtle inaccuracies on social. Heck, I referenced Bill’s work on this site countless times. He was literally the man you could go to in order to validate anything on search and SEO.

That man, our SEO mentor, our educator, our instructor, our Bill is no longer with us. It is hard to think of an SEO industry without Bill Slawski. But he has left us with a huge amount of published knowledge on the internet, on social and on video. He has taught us all to be better SEOs, to dig deeper into the truth, to truly understand how search operates and to do it for the betterment of our colleagues and the search industry.

Bill was one of the few people to have two nominations for the say something nice about an SEO campaign I ran years ago, you can read that entry here. As you may remember, in December 2020, Bill had a stroke and he was recovering, he was super active during his recovery in the industry and continued to help the industry throughout. That lead to an outpouring of stories people shared online of how Bill has helped them over the years – take a moment to read some of those stories.

Bill – you have no idea how much you’ve impacted this industry. You will be deeply missed not just by those you’ve directly helped, but all the SEOs you helped indirectly through your knowledge.

We will miss you – may you rest in peace.

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Here is some, not all, but some of the industry reaction to Bill’s passing:

There is just so much more on social about how much this man meant to us all.

We will miss you Bill!

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Core Update Volatility, Helpful Content Update Gone, Dangerous Google Search Results & Google Ads Confusion

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Google Core Update Volatility, Helpful Content Update Gone, Dangerous Google Search Results & Google Ads Confusion


For the original iTunes version, click here.

This week, we covered that the Google March 2024 core update is still rolling out 38 days later, but we saw more volatility this week. Just a reminder that the Google helpful content update no longer exists. Gary Illyes from Google again says core update and indexing are independent. Google responded to complaints about dangerous and harmful search results. Google says ranking well in other verticals like shopping, images and others, does not negatively impact your web rankings. Google updated its structured data carousels beta documentation. Google says don’t disallow your internal footer links. Google says there are minimal differences between using a 404 and 410 status code. Google is testing short videos in the search bar. Google is not removing the site command. Bing is testing removing the cache link and the estimated number of search results. Google SGE is testing AI overview tabs. Bing is testing sources across the web AI. Google image search now has pixel-level object segmentation. Google Ad strength is not used in the auction, Google says. Google is testing sticky sponsored labels. Google Ads is also testing people also considered labels in the search ads. Google Ads tests “get phone number” buttons instead of the “call” button. Google released its Merchant Center product data specifications for 2024. Google Maps has a new flow for suggest an edit. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

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Search Topics of Discussion:

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Daily Search Forum Recap: April 12, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google says indexing systems and algorithm update systems are independent and don’t impact each other. Google clarified its structured data carousel beta to add feature availability and where the markup goes. Google says ranking well in product results, images, etc does not impact how well you rank in web search. Google is testing mentioned in section within the knowledge panels. Google Maps updated its suggest an edit workflow. We have a recap of the Google Search Central Live event in Romania from Mihai. And I posted the weekly SEO video recap.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

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Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.

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Google Search Results Can Be Harmful & Dangerous In Some Cases

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Google Degrade Robot

Over the past few weeks, Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has been replying to complaints about some examples of search results being not just low-quality but also potentially harmful and dangerous. The sad part to me is that a couple of years ago, this was not the case with the Google search results (for the most part).

When I interviewed Hyung-Jin Kim, the Vice President of Google Search, at SMX a couple of years back, he told a touching story about this topic. He explained that a family member of his was going through a medical issue and that he went to Google Search to find answers. As a VP of Google Search, his goal was to make sure that the Google Search results never led anyone to information that can end up hurting that searcher. That is where EEAT came from, partially, to ensure the search results did no harm and were not dangerous.

Now, we have way too many complaints about the Google search results offering up dangerous and harmful results. Google has responded to some of those saying they are taking in the feedback and will do better in the future. A lot of it stems from Google showing more Reddit results because they say searchers seek it out. But as Steve Jobs use to say, “Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do.”

Danny Sullivan wrote, “Appreciate the feedback. Aware of these concerns. Have passed them on. Have been talking with the team about them.”

Here are some examples, some we shared before, of Google responding to some of these examples:

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It is actually something we spoke about a bit on our daily recap video (a new series) yesterday.

Maybe Google needs to show this warning more often these days when Reddit shows up as Higman points out:

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Google No Matches

While Google continues to say search quality is better and unhelpful content will be reduced by 40% or so, while also promising quality improvements time and time again – most SEOs don’t expect much change.

I didn’t embed a ton of examples but I do expect Google to work on this issue and for this to be a thing of the past at some point… I hope…

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Forum discussion at X.



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