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This was a pretty busy week, we may have had a Google search algorithm update this week and maybe, just maybe, Forbes got hit hard by it. Google is probably going to revert the favicon and black ad label user interface, lots of tests are going on now. Bing hides the ad label as well, it isn’t just Google. I posted a summary of everything you need to know about the Google feature snippet deduplication change, including Google might be giving us performance data on them, images in featured snippets may change, Google will move the right side featured snippet to the top and until then it stopped deduplicating the right side feature snippets. Google Search Console launched a new removals tool with a few set of features. Google may have issues indexing international pages. Google says they treat links in PDFs as nofollowed links but that contradicts earlier statements. Google said schema markup will continue to get more complicated. Google said do not translate your image URLs. I shared a fun people also ask that looks like an ad, but is not an ad. Google Assistant Actions do not give you a ranking boost. Google is still using Chrome 41 as the user agent when requesting resources but not for rendering. Google Ads switched all campaign types to standard delivery. Google My Business suspensions are at an all time high. Google Chrome is testing hiding URLs for the search results page. Google is hiring an SEO. I posted two vlogs this week, one with Thom Craver and one with Lisa Barone. Oh 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.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

Search Topics of Discussion:

 

 [Source: This article was published in seroundtable.com By Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by the Association Member: Olivia Russell]

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Uploaded by the Association Member: Edna Thomas]

Google is giving site owners the ability to customize how their content is previewed in search results.

By default, Google has always generated search snippets according to the users’ queries and what types of devices they’re using.

However, there was previously no room for customization – it was only possible to allow a textual snippet or not allow one.

Now, Google is introducing multiple methods that allow for more fine-grained configuration of the preview content shown for web pages.

 

These methods include using robots meta tags as well as a brand new type of HTML attribute. Here’s more information about each of these methods.

Configuring Search Snippets With Robots Meta Tags

The content shown in search snippet previews can now be configured using robots meta tags.

The following robots meta tags can be added to an HTML page’s, or specified via the x-robots-tag HTTP header:

  • “nosnippet” – This is an existing option to specify that you don’t want any textual snippet shown for a page.
  • “max-snippet:[number]” (NEW) – Specify a maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet for your page.
  • “max-video-preview:[number]” (NEW) – Specify a maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview.
  • “max-image-preview:[setting]” (NEW) – Specify a maximum size of image preview to be shown for images on this page, using either “none”, “standard”, or “large”.

The above robots meta tags can also be combined, for example:

New data-nosnippet HTML attribute

Google is introducing an all-new way to limit which part of a page can be shown as a preview in search results.

The new “data-nosnippet” HTML attribute on span, div, and section elements can prevent specific parts of an HTML page from being shown within the textual snippet in search results.

In other words – if you want to prevent Google from giving away too much of your content in search results, this is the method you want to use.

Here’s an example:

Harry Houdini is undoubtedly the most famous magician ever to live.

In this example, if someone were searching for a query like “most famous magician,” the HTML attribute would prevent Google from giving away the answer (Harry Houdini) in search results.

What SEOs and Site Owners Need to Know

Here’s a rundown of need-to-know information regarding these changes.

No changes to search rankings
This update will only affect how snippets are displayed in search results. Google confirms these settings will have no impact on search rankings.

Depending on how a site owner chooses to configure these settings there may be an impact on CTR, which could then impact traffic. But that is not related to search rankings.

When do these changes come into effect?
Preview settings for robots meta tags will become effective in mid-to-late October 2019. It may take a week for the global rollout to be completed once it starts.

The data-nosnippet HTML attribute will be effective later this year. No specific timeframe was provided for that particular setting.

 

Will these new changes affect how rich results are displayed?
Content in structured data that is eligible for display as a rich result will not be affected by any of these new settings.

Site owners already have control over the content displayed in rich results by what they choose to include in the structured data itself.

How will these changes affect featured snippets?
Featured snippets depend on the availability of preview content. So if you limit the preview content too heavily it may no longer be eligible to be displayed as a featured snippet, although it could still be displayed as a regular snippet.

The minimum number of characters required for a featured snippet varies by language, which is why Google cannot provide an exact max-snippets length to ensure eligibility.

Can site owners experiment with snippet length?
Site owners can absolutely adjust these settings at any time. For example – if you specify a max-snippet length and later decide you’d rather display a longer snippet in search results, you can simply change the HTML attribute.

Google notes that these new methods of configuring search snippet previews will operate the same as other results displayed globally. If the settings are changed, then your new preferences will be displayed in search results the next time Google recrawls the page.

Google will 100% follow these settings
These new settings will not be treated as hints or suggestions. Google will fully abide by the site owners preferences as specified in the robots meta tags and/or HTML attribute.

No difference between desktop and mobile settings
Preview preferences will be applied to both mobile and desktop search results. If a site has separate mobile and desktop versions then the same markup should be used on both.

Some last notes

These options are available to site owners now, but the changes will not be reflected in search results until mid-to-late October at the earliest.

For more information, see Google’s developer documentation on meta tags.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Grace Irwin]

New markup from Schema.org including HowTo, QAPage, and FAQPage can be used to potentially show your content in Google in a brand-new way. Google previewed this in Singapore a couple of weeks ago

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that it has been testing for the past several months a new form of search results snippets: the way the search results appear to searchers. These new search snippets are in the form of FAQs or frequently asked questions, Q&A (questions & answers) and How-Tos.

Akhil Agarwal notified us about this feature on Twitter, and Google has just sent us a statement explaining the test. Here is the screenshot presented at a recent Google event in Singapore:

Google FAQs QA and How Tos

A Google Spokesperson told us:

We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most relevant, useful results for our users. We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experiment with ways to surface similar previews for FAQ and How-to content.

These new snippet features give more insights into what the searcher can expect from that web page before deciding to click on the search result. Webmasters should be able to mark up their content with structured data and to have their search results be eligible to have question-and-answer previews shown — similar to how supporting metadata around the number of upvotes and the Top Answer feature works.

Google will soon open up an interest form to allow publishers and webmasters to participate in the FAQ and How-to formats shown in the screenshot above.

But if you review the Schema.org website, you can find a lot of this markup available already, including HowTo markupQA page markup, and FAQ markup. So if you want to get started early, consider adding the appropriate markup to the sections of your HTML.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Michelle Robbins - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Jasper Solander]

Google updates the search results features with an expanded featured snippet targeting broad, nuanced queries

Google has been rolling out many new search features over the past few months related to images, featured snippets, and the knowledge graph. Today the search giant released another feature called “multifaceted featured snippets.”

Multifaceted featured snippets will be surfaced for queries that are sufficiently broad enough to allow for more than one interpretation of what was submitted. In these instances, the SERP returned will include more than one featured snippet, with the original query rewritten as the questions the algorithm assumes the user may have intended, and the results displayed in the multifaceted snippet will reflect those new questions.

From the announcement:

  • There are several types of nuanced queries where showing more comprehensive results could be helpful. We’re starting first with “multi-intent” queries, which are queries that have several potential intentions or purposes associated. The query “tooth pain after a filling,” for example, could be interpreted as “why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?” or “how long should a tooth hurt after a filling?”

For example:

garden need full su

Multifaceted Featured Snippets vs. Multi-Perspective Answers

Back in December, Bing began rolling out AI-powered multi-perspective answers as part of its “Intelligent Search” set of new features, which includes Intelligent Answers, Intelligent Image Search and Conversational Search. Multi-perspective answers are just one of the “Intelligent Answers” features that has been live since the rollout. These results surface two (or more) authoritative sources on a topic, and will typically include differing perspectives/answers to the query.

Bing leverages its deep recurrent neural network models to determine similarity and sentiment among authoritative sources, and extracts the multiple viewpoints related to a topic — providing the most relevant set of multi-perspective answers (covered in more detail here).

is cofee good for you

Google’s multifaceted featured snippets may appear not too dissimilar from Bing’s multi-perspective answers, in that they also provide multiple rich results for a single query, but they are instead based on the presumed multiple intentions of a query (resulting in both multiple queries and results) vs. multiple viewpoints resulting from a single query. With these types of broad queries, many interpretations of what the user is actually asking can exist.

Multifaceted snippets aim to provide a more comprehensive and actionable set of results for these multi-intent query scenarios. They differ from multi-perspective intelligent answers in that they presume a different question might be being asked altogether, and surface responses for each of the queries the algorithm assumes the user may have actually intended, as the screenshot below demonstrates:

associative property of addition rule

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in 9to5google.com written by Abner Li - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Dorothy Allen]

Since the European Union Copyright Directive was introduced last year, Google and YouTube have been lobbying against it by enlisting creators and users. Ahead of finalized language for Article 11 and 13 this month, Google Search is testing possible responses to the “link tax.”

Article 11 requires search engines and online news aggregators — like Google Search and News, respectively — to pay licensing fees when displaying article snippets or summaries. The end goal is for online tech giants to sign commercial licenses to help publishers adapt online and provide a source of revenue.

Google discussed possible ramifications in December if Article 11 was not altered. Google News could be shut down in Europe, while fewer news articles would appear in Search results. This could be a determinate to news sites, especially smaller ones, that rely on Search to get traffic.

The company is already testing the impact of Article 11 on Search. Screenshots from Search Engine Land show a “latest news” query completely devoid of context. The Top Stories carousel would not feature images or headlines, while the 10 blue links would not include any summary or description when linking to news sites. What’s left is the name of the domain and the URL for users to click on.

 

This A/B test is possibly already live for users in continental Europe. Most of the stories in the top carousel lack cover images, while others just use generic graphics. Additionally, links from European publications lack any description, just the full, un-abbreviated page title, and domain.

Google told Search Engine Land that it is currently conducting experiments “to understand what the impact of the proposed EU Copyright Directive would be to our users and publisher partners.” This particular outcome might occur if Google does not sign any licensing agreements with publishers.

Meanwhile, if licenses are signed, Google would be “in the position of picking winners and losers” by having to select what deals it wants to make. Presumably, the company would select the most popular at the expense of smaller sites. In December, the company’s head of news pointed out that “it’s unlikely any business will be able to license every single news publisher.”

Effectively, companies like Google will be put in the position of picking winners and losers. Online services, some of which generate no revenue (for instance, Google News) would have to make choices about which publishers they’d do deals with. Presently, more than 80,000 news publishers around the world can show up in Google News, but Article 11 would sharply reduce that number. And this is not just about Google, it’s unlikely any business will be able to license every single news publisher in the European Union, especially given the very broad definition being proposed.

Google will make a decision on its products and approach after the final language of the Copyright Directive is released.

Dylan contributed to this article

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Contributed by Member: Jennifer Levin

New markup from Schema.org including HowTo, QAPage, and FAQPage can be used to potentially show your content in Google in a brand new way. Google previewed this in Singapore a couple weeks ago.

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that it has been testing for the past several months a new form of search results snippets — the way the search results appear to searchers. These new search snippets are in the form of FAQs or frequently asked questions, Q&A or question & answers and How-Tos.

Akhil Agarwal notified us about this feature on Twitter, and Google has just sent us a statement explaining the test. Here is the screenshot presented at a recent Google event in Singapore:

A Google Spokesperson told us:

We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most relevant, useful results for our users. We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experiment with ways to surface similar previews for FAQ and How-to content.

These new snippet features give more insights into what the searcher can expect from that web page before deciding to click on the search result. Webmasters should be able to mark up their content with structured data and to have their search results be eligible to have the question and answer previews shown. Similar to how supporting metadata around the number of upvotes and the Top Answer feature works.

Google will soon open up an interest form to allow publishers and webmasters to participate in the FAQ and How-to formats shown in the screenshot above.

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Contributed by Member: Carol R. Venuti

Time spent increasing meta descriptions for the longer Google search results snippets may have been wasted.

Google has confirmed that only about five months after increasing the search results snippets, it has now decreased the length of these snippets. Danny Sullivan of Google wrote, “Our search snippets are now shorter on average than in recent weeks.” He added that they are now “… slightly longer than before a change we made last December.”

Google told Search Engine Land in December that writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets, telling webmasters back then that there is “no need for publishers to suddenly expand their meta description tags.”

Sullivan said, “There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be most useful. He added Google will not state a new maximum length for the snippets because the snippets are generated dynamically.

RankRanger’s tracker tool puts the new average length of the description snippet field on the desktop at around 160 characters, down from around 300+ characters

… while mobile characters for the search results snippets are now down to an average of 130 characters:


Here is Danny Sullivan’s confirmation:

tweet
If you went ahead and already lengthened your meta descriptions, should you go back and shorten them now? Google’s advice is to not focus too much on these, as many of the snippets Google chooses are dynamic anyway and not pulled from your meta descriptions. In fact, a recent study conducted by Yoast showed most of the snippets Google shows are not from the meta description, but rather they are from the content on your web pages.
Categorized in Search Engine

Learn more about how Google’s featured work, the variations and some of the challenges Google faces with these snippets.

Google has published one of the most comprehensive explanations yet of their featured snippets in a post on the search blog. Featured snippets, in short, are the quick direct answers you see at the top of the Google search results page that appear in response to some search queries.

In this blog post, Google explains what featured snippets are, the various user interfaces and treatments you can get from these featured snippets and how they interact with the desktop, mobile and voice search results. Google says featured snippets are important for mobile search and with voice-activated digital assistants. Google said, “in these cases, the traditional ’10 blue links’ format doesn’t work as well, making featured snippets an especially useful format.”

Google added that they will “continue to show regular listings in response to searches along with featured snippets.” That is “because featured snippets aren’t meant as a sole source of information…. …they’re part of an overall set of results we provide, giving people information from a wide range of sources,” Google added.

Here are some of the screenshots of normally featured snippets that Google may show to searchers on desktop or mobile:

In addition, those suggested video clips, which jump directly into a video result, are also a form of featured snippets. Google said they “recently launched” this experience, but it has been live for at least the past several months:

Those who use Google Assistant or Google Home devices can access their full search results later, when they get to their mobile phone, within the Google Home app.

In the post, Google explains that their featured snippets are not perfect — acknowledging cases of inaccurate or insensitive information, people trying to vandalize the results and spam issues. Google admits they have more work to do and will continue to improve these results over time. As evidence, Google points to their voice quality raters guidelines and those efforts to improve the quality of those results.

Google shared how they may explore showing more featured snippet results to offer more diversity, in the form of adding a “more results” link under a featured snippet:

Or featured snippet tags, to refine the query:

Or showing more options to your question with multiple featured snippet boxes right away in the search results:

“There are often legitimate diverse perspectives offered by publishers, and we want to provide users visibility and access into those perspectives from multiple sources,” said Matthew Gray, a Google software engineer.

We’ve covered time and time again how featured snippets sometimes get it wrong.

Google asks that you submit feedback using the “Feedback” link found within the featured snippets so that the company can continue to make improvements over time.

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz

Categorized in Search Engine

Google says it will soon alter its Search tool to provide "diverse perspectives" where appropriate.

The change will affect the boxed text that often appears at the top of results pages - known as a Snippet - which contains a response sourced from a third-party site.

At present, Google provides only a single box but it will sometimes show multiple Snippets in the future.

The change could help Google tackle claims it sometimes spreads lies.

But one expert warned the move introduced fresh risks of its own.

Snippet
Image captionSnippets provide a quick response to queries but are sometimes based on opinion rather than fact

Google introduced Snippets into its search results in 2014, placing the boxed text below paid listings but above other links.

The idea is to provide information that users want without them having to click through to another page.

Google acknowledged at the time that "fact quality" would vary depending on the request.

But it has been accused of providing "shockingly bad" information in some cases, including Snippets that suggested:

  • women were evil
  • the food additive monosodium glutamate caused brain damage
  • anti-fascist campaigners held an overly simplistic view of the world

Google offered a less controversial example of a problem, in a blog detailing its new approach.

It said that when users asked if reptiles made "good pets" they were given several reasons why the answer was yes, but if they asked if the animals made "bad pets" they were given contradictory advice.

Google Snippet
Image captionGoogle's current system can deliver contradictory advice

It said this happened because its system was designed to favor content that aligned with the posed question, and suggested that offering different viewpoints would, therefore, be a better option.

"There are often legitimate diverse perspectives offered by publishers, and we want to provide users visibility and access into that perspective from multiple sources," wrote Matthew Gray, Google's Snippets chief.

But one company-watcher has doubts.

"Both Google and Facebook are trying to address claims that they played a part in disseminating misinformation," said Joseph Evans, the digital media analyst at the consultancy Enders Analysis.

"Google is addressing one of its most controversial products in this context.

"But it still looks like a refusal of responsibility to say that, 'Sometimes we're wrong, but we can solve the problem by offering multiple viewpoints.'"

He added Google now faced the challenge of when to present more than one point of view, as it was nearly always possible to find a source that contradicted conventional wisdom but not always wise to present it.

Voice search

One consequence of the update is that publishers will face having their unsponsored links pushed further down the Search results page.

But part of the reason the issue is pressing for the US company is the fact its Google Assistant virtual helper relies on Snippets to provide voice-based replies.

Unlike on the web, links to other material are not presented - meaning a potential source of balance is lost.

Media captionWATCH: Google Home's odd answer

This became apparent in March 2017, when BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones's Google Home smart speaker told him former US President Barack Obama "might be in bed with the Chinese" and plotting a coup.

"People were taken aback by Google saying this out loud," Mr. Evans said.

"Voice makes Snippets more influential.

"But we don't know how the change will play out: will users be given multiple responses or be asked if they want to know more after the first?"

 Source: This article was published bbc.com By Leo Kelion

Categorized in Search Engine

The Google search snippets are reportedly being adjusted in order to provide more accurate and correct information.

Google Search Snippets

Google is by far the largest and most robust search engine, and many people rely on the service to provide them accurate and timely information. With the introduction of Google search snippets several years back, the company took the helpful yet potentially problematic step into providing a “definitive” answer at the top of the page based on what they feel is the most accurate and popular response. While Google’s algorithm for coming up with information is extremely advanced and does a good job of pulling up relevant information, it appears as if their search snippet feature has occasionally been completely wrong. As such, the Google search snippets are being updated to more accurately reflect the correct information.

Examples of potentially problematic Google search snippets include suggestions that are completely out of left field. Google stated that “Last year, we took deserved criticism for featured snippets that said things like ‘women are evil’ or that former U.S. President Barack Obama was planning a coup.” They are apparently “working hard to smooth out bumps” with Google search snippets that they “continue to grow and evolve.”

“We failed in these cases because we didn’t weigh the authoritativeness of results strongly enough for such rare and fringe queries,” said Google.

A major issue that Google is working diligently to resolve is the accuracy of search results being dependant on how a question was framed. “This happens because sometimes our systems favor content that’s strongly aligned with what was asked,” says the statement. “A page arguing that reptiles are good pets seems the best match for people who search about them being good. Similarly, a page arguing that reptiles are bad pets seems the best match for people who search about them being bad. We’re exploring solutions to this challenge, including showing multiple responses.”

The majority of the problems with the Google search snippets are due to people trying to game the system and try to get the search engine to slip up and provide inaccurate information. While the likelihood of people taking Google’s apparent insistence that women are evil at face value is quite low, it’s still a concern for the tech giant if their algorithm is prioritizing biased and inaccurate answers to queries.

A Reputation To Uphold

Google deals with an incredible amount of searches each day, and these false search snippets likely only represent a small fraction of the results. However, Google has a vested interest in maintaining their status as a reliable search engine that provides relevant and useful results. By suggesting that Obama is planning a coup, they take a hit to their credibility no matter how obvious it is that the information isn’t correct. TechCrunch reports that a study last year by Stone Temple found a 97.4 percent accuracy rate for Google search snippets and related formats such as the Knowledge Graph information, reinforcing the fact that the search engine is usually incredibly accurate.

Provided the Google snippet stating that the company “now processes over 40000 search queries every second on average” is correct, however, that 3% is not an insignificant amount. By updating the Google snippets algorithm, the company can provide a better service to their users which may translate into better profits as the company obtains more information about web searches – applying that info to targeted campaigns for their advertisers.

Source: This article was published valuewalk.com By Zachary Riley

Categorized in Search Engine
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