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Google Can Now Crawl From Outside The US

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Google Looking To Make Crawling More Efficient & Environmental Friendly

Gary Illyes from Google announced at the Google Search Central Live in Singapore yesterday that Googlebot, Google, can now crawl from outside of the US. He said, according to reports, that the system to handle this is currently live but may not be used in all cases or it may not be used at all for your site.

Update, this report is not 100% exactly accurate. Gary posted on Mastodon after he saw this story saying “that’s not quite what I said. I said that the IP blocks are allocated and you can check the countries they are assigned to, and we may use them in the future for local crawls.”

Here is the rest of the original story as I previously reported it. But please take into account the update from Gary above.

Kenichi Suzuki, who was at the event, posted on Twitter saying “Googlebot can crawl from a country where the server is located (i.e. from outside US). The system has already gone live but may not be used (at all). In addition, it becomes effective only in a condition where access from outside of the country is blocked.”

Here is that tweet:

We heard rumors that this might happen earlier on this year from Google’s John Mueller. John said then “I could see this [where Google crawls from] expanding over time if we see a broader need.” So it looks like we are there.

Keep in mind, this is probably used for sites that (a) block Googlebot access from US regions, (b) show different content from different countries and (c) Google suspects something fishy based on geo-targeting.

Google previously said that it did not find any benefit to crawling from outside of the US back in 2017. There are however times Google will crawl from a specific region but it is rare.

Forumdiskussion kl Twitter.



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Most SEOs Think Yahoo Won’t Be Able To Compete In Search

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Yahoo 404 Baseball Sign

As you know, Yahoo is planning a come back to search with a new way of thinking about Yahoo Search. What that means, we don’t know yet, but we do know Yahoo is thinking hard about how they can compete. Greg Sterling ran a Twitter poll asking if Yahoo has a shot at it, and most say, nope – Yahoo Search is dead on arrival.

The poll on Twitter asked, “Yahoo is planning to “relaunch” search. Is there a chance to revive it?” It received a nice number of responses, 631 responses. The results were not too optimistic.

  • 43.7% said nope, dead on arrival
  • 26.6% said depends on the UI/UX
  • 29.6% said yes, now is the time

Here is that poll:

Personally, I think Yahoo has a good shot at it, better than most other companies. But time will tell and I am very much looking forward to seeing what Yahoo Search comes out with.

Forumdiskussion kl Twitter.



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Google Clarifies JSON-LD, Microdata & RDFa Are All Supported For Structured Data

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Google Schema

Google has clarified in its search developer documents that JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa are all fully supported forms for structured data and Google Search. Google wrote, “all three supported formats are equally fine for Google, as long as they are valid and implemented properly per the feature’s documentation.”

The old paragraph in the documentation read:

Google Search supports structured data in the following formats, unless documented otherwise:

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The new paragraph in the documentation now reads:

Google Search supports structured data in the following formats, unless documented otherwise. In general, we recommend using a format that’s easiest for you to implement and maintain (in most cases, that’s JSON-LD); all 3 formats are equally fine for Google, as long as the markup is valid and properly implemented per the feature’s documentation.

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This was updated because Google’s Ryan Levering spotted the embedded tweet below, that shows there is confusion on which Google may or may not prefer. Ryan said, “We might need to tweak the wording for Google’s main structured data page.”

He said that Google “primarily recommend JSON-LD because sites screw up Microdata a lot more than they do JSON-LD because it’s embedded. We don’t have some secret plans to remove support for Microdata. Particularly for schema that is either very annotation/text heavy or very simple (so you don’t need to do meta tag gymnastics), Microdata can make more sense.”

So Lizzi Sassman updated the docs to reflect this.

Forumdiskussion kl Mastodon.



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February 4th Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

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Google Algorithm Update

There may have been another unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update – this one also on the weekend, around February 4th, maybe kicking off on February 3rd. I am seeing signs from both chatter within the SEO community, and also, some of the tools are showing big swings around February 4th.

The previous updates we reported about was an unconfirmed update around January 26th, then on January 18th, then January 14th – you can see the full list här.

SEO Chatter

Let’s start by looking at some of the chatter within the SEO community. There is chatter both at WebmasterWorld och här in the comments areas:

Global site traffic continued firm all day Thursday for me and ended at 140.3%. Today has started ok for a Friday.

Seeing some sharp increase in traffic as well. Tech based sites are performing really well. Around 40% increase overall. Although a good share of Chinese bot like traffic is also present.

So, my site got a lovely boost a couple of weeks ago. Keywords I hadn’t ranked for in years plus some I had never ranked for particularly well were appearing. Two weeks later and google have yanked the rug out from under me again. A keywod I was on page 1 for is now bottom of page 4. Another that I was page 1 for – page 8 now.

I’m seeing ranking hold relatively steady, but traffic has been much worse this week. The previous two weeks were unusually high though. Yesterday search was down 17% and the day before that it was flat, but traffic to my home page has dropped considerably again. Most of the decline is USA traffic

Feels like Google released another update on Saturday 4th, no?

I noticed big changes on all my websites around 4 pm GMT onwards.

Massive volatility spotted. Seeing crazy fluctuations in rankings too.

Maybe a G Update is just around the corner?

Got hammered yesterday – almost as bad as any core update.

The fluctuation that started 24-36 hours ago is increasing gradually.

Traffic was up this morning, up until 6am UK time, then zero traffic for 4 hours. 4 hours?? How is that even possible if throttling isn’t the case?

All this chatter was between February 3rd and February 5th.

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

RankRanger:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Mozcast:

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SERPmetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Semrush:

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Accuranker:

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Algoroo:

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Have you seen any big swings in rankings or traffic with your site since the weekend?

Forumdiskussion kl WebmasterWorld.



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