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Barry Schwartz – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:02:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Google My Business adds bulk review management /google-my-business-adds-bulk-review-management-320703 Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:02:45 +0000 /?p=320703 You can now save time and find reviews faster with this new Google My Business feature.

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Google has added the ability to see all your reviews across multiple listings on a single page. You can see this within Google My Business reviews section at https://business.google.com/reviews.

The announcement. Google announced it over here saying “Businesses can view reviews for multiple listings at once. With bulk reviews, you’ll be able to view, reply to, and flag reviews for multiple listings from one place.”

This is available in location groups with 500 or fewer locations, but is not available for organization accounts.

What it looks like. When you login to Google My Business, click on the left side to access the “Manage reviews” tab. Click it to see all your reviews on one page.

Why we care. This can be very useful for those who manage more than one location or listing. You can quickly see all the reviews under your Google My Business account, and you no longer need to click into each individual listing to see its reviews. This should save you time and help you find and report on important reviews sooner.

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Video: Ruth Burr Reedy on human-readable Google ranking signals /video-ruth-burr-reedy-on-human-readable-google-ranking-signals-320584 Wed, 14 Aug 2019 13:11:01 +0000 /?p=320584 Are you focusing in on the wrong thing when it comes to Google algorithms?

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Ruth Burr Reedy, former head of SEO at Moz and now Vice President of Strategy at UpBuild and I had a nice conversation about SEO. We talked about her history in SEO, that she led up the efforts of migrating Moz from the domain seomoz.org to moz.com. We also chatted about what new SEOs should look for when joining an SEO firm.

Then we talked about Google algorithms and the concept behind human-readable quality signals versus machine-readable quality signals. Ruth explained that some SEOs tend to focus too much in the weeds around these ranking inputs while they are likely better off looking at the bigger picture.

You can watch the interview below:

I started this vlog series recently, and if you want to sign up to be interviewed, you can fill out this form on Search Engine Roundtable. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here.

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More from Google on its indexing issues /more-from-google-on-its-indexing-issues-320501 Mon, 12 Aug 2019 17:46:34 +0000 /?p=320501 Google has shared more details on the indexing issues it experienced over the past few months.

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Vincent Courson, Google Search Outreach, has written a blog post about Google’s search indexing problems of late, how it fixed them and lessons it has learned.

In the post, Google explained some of the recent indexing issues the company had over the past few months. This includes the indexing issue with new content from last Thursday, a similar issue from last May and Google de-indexing sites from back in April.

Google’s index is the place where Google stores the results you see in the search results pages. If there is an issue with the index, it can impact what Google serves to searchers. Google stores these URLs in data centers across the world and pushes updates to all those data centers over time.

Google lost part of its index. Google said that it lost part of its index in April because of a deployment issue. “So, as we pushed some planned changes to the Search index, on April 5th parts of the deployment system broke, on a Friday no-less!,” Courson wrote. “More specifically: as we were updating the index over some of our data centers, a small number of documents ended up being dropped from the index accidentally. Hence: we lost part of the index.”

Communication and documentation. Google said that the company communicated the issues over Twitter as quickly as it could. Google also documents these issues in Google Search Console on the data anomalies page and within the Google Search Console reports. In the Google Search Console reports, Google may add an indicator noting the issue and link that over to the data anomalies page.

Here is what that looks like:

Going forward: Google listed three decisions it has made for communicating about indexing issues:

  1. Explore ways to more quickly share information within Search Console itself about widespread bugs, and have that information serve as the main point of reference for webmasters to check, in case they are suspecting outages.
  2. More promptly post to the Search Console data anomalies page, when relevant (if the disturbance is going to be seen over the long term in Search Console data).
  3. Continue tweeting as quickly as we can about such issues to quickly reassure webmasters we’re aware and that the issue is on our end.

Why we should care. No one wants Google to have indexing issues; not SEOs, not site owners, not advertisers, and not Google. But when things do go wrong, it is useful for the SEO community to know details and timing around the issues to be able to communicate to clients and stakeholders that Google has confirmed the problems and why reports may show less traffic on specific days.

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Hotels can now add services, amenities in Google My Business /hotels-can-now-add-services-amenities-in-google-my-business-320475 Mon, 12 Aug 2019 14:06:27 +0000 /?p=320475 Now you can control your hotel details on Google Maps and Google Search.

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Google My Business added support for hotels to login to Google My Business and update the hotel’s services and amenities details.

Hotel attributes. You can add these details within Google My Business under the hotel attributes of the console.

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
  3. Click Info.
  4. Next to “Hotel attributes,” click Edit.
  5. Search for the attribute you want to add and fill in the information. Then, click Save

Google provides a summary of a hotel’s amenities that customers can view from Google Search and/or Google Maps. You can edit this information in your dashboard if you find any of it to be factually incorrect.

Can’t edit? Google said if you’re unable to change this information due to an error or some other issue, you can contact Google and they will be able to assist you.

You can learn more details in this help document.

Why we should care. Google is becoming the go-to-place for searchers to look to for hotel reviews, pricing and details. It is important that you keep the hotels you manage up-to-date and accurate, so that a hotel customer doesn’t get upset that the information they saw on Google doesn’t match the actual hotel’s accommodations. It is also important to keep your hotel’s details accurate by you taking the lead and controlling what is shown within Google.

(Related: Get a Google My Business deep-dive at SMX East)

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Video: Casie Gillette on importance of memorable content for SEO /video-casie-gillette-on-importance-of-memorable-content-for-seo-320471 Mon, 12 Aug 2019 13:59:00 +0000 /?p=320471 Learn from industry vet about the importance of creating strong content and relationships in the industry.

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In our next vlog interview, Casie Gillette from KoMarketing Associates in Boston spoke to me about the concept behind “memorable content.” Content that is so good your readers remember it for a long-long time.

Memorable content is important because that is the type of content we should aim to produce and publish. It not only leads to really great content but also content that people want to link to, share on social media and content that ultimately Google wants to rank well.

Casie and I also spoke about her experience working both as an in-house SEO and an agency SEO. We spoke about the search community and we also talked about why sharing is so important to her values.

Here is the video:

I started this vlog series recently, and if you want to sign up to be interviewed, you can fill out this form on Search Engine Roundtable. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here.

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Google’s indexing issues are resolved /googles-indexing-issues-appear-to-be-resolved-320444 Fri, 09 Aug 2019 14:52:15 +0000 /?p=320444 Google has just confirmed the indexing issues from yesterday are fully resolved.

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Google’s indexing issues are resolved and Google is once again able to both crawl, index and rank fresh new content within minutes. Google has now officially confirmed this and our tests seem to show that this is the case.

What happened. Yesterday, in the early morning hours, Google stopped showing fresh content in its search results. If you filtered the news or web search results for content from sites that published content frequently, it would only show you content from before around 3am ET on August 8th. This was similar to the indexing issues from this past May.

Google confirmed. Google has now confirmed this is resolved, this story has been updated to reflect so. Here is Google’s confirmation:

Resolved. Now, if you filter content from news sites you will see Google showing content from within minutes of the content being published. I was able to test this out on my personal blog and Google indexed the content within minutes.

Here is a screen shot of Google indexing a story I wrote around 7:20am this morning and displaying it in the search results minutes later:

Google thinks so too. John Mueller from Google thinks it is resolved as well. John responded to my tweet saying “We’re still waiting for some final confirmations, but I think things are looking good now.”

Why it matters. If you saw a dip in your Google traffic yesterday, and a lot of your traffic generally comes from new content, then you may have seen a drop in your Google News, Google Discover and other Google traffic sources. Your Google Search Console performance reports may reflect the indexing issue as well.

The issue seemed to have occurred between around 3:00 a.m. ET on August 8th through around 3:00 a.m. ET on August 9th. But again, we are waiting for an official response from Google on the specifics of the issue.

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Google adds playable podcasts directly in the search results /google-adds-playable-podcasts-directly-in-the-search-results-320401 Thu, 08 Aug 2019 13:43:59 +0000 /?p=320401 Google can hear you clearly now and surface content within your podcasts.

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Google announced you can now play podcasts directly in the desktop and mobile search results. Google said “Starting today, when you’re searching for a podcast about a topic on Google, we’ll show you playable episodes in Search results alongside web pages, news, images and videos.”

What it looks like. Here are some screen shots of this in action, including a GIF:

How it works. Google said  it will surface episodes based on Google’s understanding of what’s being talked about on a podcast. That means Google will some how index the words said in the podcasts and show you relevant podcasts based on those words. Google will expand this so that soon you won’t need to add the term “podcast” in your search to see episodes.

Coming to Google Assistant. Google said this feature will also come to the Google Assistant later this year. So when you ask the Google Assistant for podcasts on a topic, it will suggest relevant episodes for you.

US English today. This is launching today in the US for English language queries.

Expanding old podcasts in search. This expands how Google was showing podcasts in search previously only using the titles and meta data. Now Google will show podcasts that have the content within the actual episode, not just in the title or meta data of the podcast file.

Why we should care. If you are not thinking about audio and podcasts in your SEO strategy, you might want to begin looking into it. Google said in its blog post “As part of our work to help podcasters build audiences and grow their businesses, we’ll soon add the ability for publishers to specify where you can listen to their podcasts, such as other apps or websites. This means you’ll be able to discover podcasts that may be exclusively available by purchase or subscription.” Google is clearly looking for ways to promote podcasts in search and you might want to take advantage of these features for your marketing efforts.

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Google not able to index new content, again /google-not-able-to-index-new-content-again-320394 Thu, 08 Aug 2019 13:17:00 +0000 /?p=320394 Google is having issues indexing new content again and the URL Inspection tool is also having issues.

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Google has confirmed that as of earlier this morning it is unable to index new content across the web. There is a bug that Google said is “impacting some sites.”

But it is bigger than some sites. From our view, this seems much larger than just “some sites.” Clearly Google is eager to fix any indexing issues, because Google wants to surface the most recent content from publishers. For Google to not show breaking news from the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other popular magazines is something Google probably isn’t too happy about.

What it looks like. If you try to search for content from a popular news site and then filter to only show content within the past hour, you won’t currently be given any new real content from that site.

Even smaller sites like my personal blog that is in Google News is having issues as well:

So this does seem pretty widespread.

URL Inspection tool bugs. Related to this, Google said the URL Inspection tool within Google Search Console is also having issues. Google said on Twitter, “We recommend waiting for this issue to be resolved, and then checking the URLs later on. Thanks for your patience & sorry for the inconvenience!”

So if you want to try to manually submit your URLs to Google’s index through the tools inside of Google Search Console, you would be out of luck.

Again? Yes, again, Google had issues indexing new content back in May 2019 and also in April had an issue where Google de-indexed many sites back in April 2019.

Why we care. If Google is not able to index your new content, and if a lot of your Google traffic comes from fresh content, then your traffic will likely see a decline through the duration of this bug. This may also have an impact on your Google Search Console performance reports, so keep that in mind as well.

This is currently an ongoing issue and Google has not fixed it as of yet.

URL Inspection tool update: Google posted an update at 11:41am ET that the URL Inspection tool has been fixed. The indexing issues still seem to be having issues. Here is Google’s update:

Indexing issues resolved. Google has posted on August 9th at 10:55am ET that the indexing issues are now resolved. You can learn more over here.

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Video: Mary Bowling on the growth of local SEO and importance knowledge panels /video-mary-bowling-on-the-growth-of-local-seo-and-importance-knowledge-panels-320354 Wed, 07 Aug 2019 14:20:03 +0000 /?p=320354 What a fun discussion with this local SEO legend, who has devoted her life to helping small businesses succeed.

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I had the honor to sit down with one of the most respected and well-liked local SEOs in the industry, Mary Bowling. Mary co-founded Ignitor Digital and spends much of her time educating other local SEOs on the topic, she also has been in the local SEO space before it was known as local SEO.

We discussed the changes in local SEO over the years and then discussed the importance of the local knowledge panel. We discussed how so many small businesses do not fully utilize Google My Business and how keeping on top of your data in that console is very important to local rankings in Google.

At our upcoming SMX East conference, we have added a boat load of local SEO topics. Local SEO is so important for many types of businesses and it is often overlooked by many.

This was a fun interview for me, although the focus on the camera was off, however, that improves in future vlogs. Here is the video:

I started this vlog series recently, and if you want to sign up to be interviewed, you can fill out this form on Search Engine Roundtable. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here.

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Google Search Console sending performance report emails /google-search-console-sending-performance-report-emails-320349 Wed, 07 Aug 2019 14:01:29 +0000 /?p=320349 Your clients may be getting emails from Google Search Console with their performance for the month.

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Google is now sending some verified Google Search Console site owners monthly reports showing how well their sites are performing in Google search. The email report going out now says “your July performance on Google Search.”

What is this report. This report shows a monthly summary of data from your Google Search Console reports. Data from your performance reports including clicks, impressions, average rankings, the top-performing content pages, top countries, mobile vs desktop performance, and much more.

What it looks like. Here is a screen shot from Murat Yatagan on Twitter, but you can see more also from SEO Alive on Twitter (although it is not in English).

Why we care. This will help make sure those who get these emails are keeping their search rankings and SEO performance top of mind. It might lead to more business for SEO agencies because your clients are getting these emails. It also might lead to your clients asking you a lot more questions about their SEO performance. While most of the people reading this site daily probably check in on their Google Search Console reports daily or weekly, your clients might not be. So be on the look out for more client feedback, which you may or may not welcome.

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