Barry Schwartz – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Mon, 24 Jan 2022 13:42:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 Google adds new robots tag indexifembedded /google-adds-new-robots-tag-indexifembedded-378929 Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:41:20 +0000 /?p=378929 This new robots tag lets you define if you want your content indexed when it's embedded through iframes or other means.

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Google has a new robots tag for when you use embedded content on your pages named indexifembedded. Google said with this new tag “you can tell Google you’d still like your content indexed when it’s embedded through iframes and similar HTML tags in other pages, even when the content page has the noindex tag.”

Why we care. If you embed content on your site and want to control indexing of the content on the page, now you have more control with this new indexifembedded robots tag. Give it a try and see if it helps you with any indexing issues you may have had with pages where you embed content.

Why a new tag. Google explained that sometimes publishers want the content on the page to be indexed and sometimes not, when they embed content. This new robots tag gives you more control over communicating those wishes to Google Search.

“The indexifembedded tag addresses a common issue that especially affects media publishers: while they may want their content indexed when it’s embedded on third-party pages, they don’t necessarily want their media pages indexed on their own,” Google said, “Because they don’t want the media pages indexed, they currently use a noindex tag in such pages. However, the noindex tag also prevents embedding the content in other pages during indexing.”

Noindex and indexifembedded. Google said this new indexifembedded tag works with the original noindex tag: “The new robots tag, indexifembedded, works in combination with the noindex tag only when the page with noindex is embedded into another page through an iframe or similar HTML tag, like object.”

The example Google gave was if podcast.host.example/playpage?podcast=12345 has both the noindex and indexifembedded tag, it means Google can embed the content hosted on that page in recipe.site.example/my-recipes.html during indexing.

Code examples. Here are code examples of how to implement it, the first is via normal meta robots tag and the second is via the x-robots implementation:

meta robots
X-Robots

Other search engines. It seems Google is the only search engine to currently support this new robots meta tag.

Why use it? I asked John Mueller of Google why would anyone use this? I am still not sure I am convinced but this is what he said:

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Google updates product structured data for car review snippets /google-updates-product-structured-data-for-car-review-snippets-378924 Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:13:31 +0000 /?p=378924 Car schema is not supported automatically as a subtype of product schema.

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Google has added a note to the product structured data help documentation to explain how to specify car markup and still have Product review snippet feature eligibility.

What is new. The note says “currently Car is not supported automatically as a subtype of Product.” You “will need to include both Car and Product types if you would like to attach ratings to it and be eligible for the Search feature,” Google said.

Code example. Google then provided this example in JSON-LD:

Image: Google.

Why we care. If you are just using car schema or just using product schema on your car and automobile landing pages, you will want to make sure to use both. If you do not, any review snippets may not show up in the Google search results for your site and web pages.

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Google recipe markup now requires specific times, no more time ranges /google-recipe-markup-now-requires-specific-times-no-more-time-ranges-378686 Wed, 19 Jan 2022 13:17:21 +0000 /?p=378686 Google has removed all references to using time ranges in the recipe schema markup help documents.

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Google has updated the recipe schema markup help documents to remove all references to time ranges for food prep, cook time and total time as a supported field type. Now you need to specify a singular time, and no longer provide time ranges.

What changed. Google wrote that it “removed guidance about specifying a range for the cookTimeprepTime, and totalTime properties in the Recipe documentation. Currently, the only supported method is an exact time; time ranges aren’t supported. If you’re currently specifying a time range and you’d like Google to better understand your time values, we recommend updating that value in your structured data to a single value (for example, "cookTime": "PT30M").”

Old docs. the old documentation had references to using minimum and maximum time frames for the range of time it takes to prepare and cook the dish. Here is an old screenshot from the totalTime field about the mix and max ranges:

Now there are only references to using a singular and fixed time without any ranges.

Why we care. If you use recipe schema markup on your pages and have time ranges in that markup, you will want to adjust those ranges to use singular and fixed times. One would assume the Search Console reports will soon show errors for the use of ranges but you should jump on this and modify any uses of ranges in your markup.

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URL changes are not so simple for Google Search /url-changes-is-not-so-simple-for-google-search-378648 Tue, 18 Jan 2022 14:25:25 +0000 /?p=378648 Making URL changes to your site can take several months for Google to process.

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Google released a video on the SEO impact of making URL structure changes to your site. In short, John Mueller, a search advocate at Google, said these URL changes are “not that simple for search engines” like Google. These changes, if done properly, can take several months for Google to fully process.

The video. Here is the short two minute video:

Why is it not simple. Google said since Google stores each URL as an address in its index, and each URL is on a per page basis, when you change the URL, that data for that URL or page needs to be forwarded. All the signals, all the links, all the information Google has about that URL needs to be forwarded to the new URL. That can be complicated and for that reason, Google has detailed site move documentation.

Site move Google documentation. Years ago, Google published very detailed documentation on site moves that you can find over here. John Mueller summarized the key points on the video:

  • Do the research before doing the migration
  • Time the update when it is a good time to have a dip in traffic
  • Create a list of the old and new URLs for mapping purposes
  • Implement the migration with 301 redirects and internal site updates, like navigation, XML sitemaps, etc
  • Monitor the migration with analytics and Search Console

Timing. It can take Google several months to fully process all the URL changes but Google said the “more important” URLs will be processed faster, while the less important URLs will take longer to be processed by Google.

Redirects. Google said again, make sure to leave the redirects, the 301 redirects, in place for at least a year.

Why we care. Many SEOs, site owners, publishers and webmasters have experienced site moves and migrations before. URL changes can be very scary for SEOs, so doing it properly and having the tools in place to catch errors and monitor progress can relieve a lot of that stress.

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Google Search Console launches desktop page experience report /google-search-console-launches-desktop-page-experience-report-378626 Mon, 17 Jan 2022 16:16:22 +0000 /?p=378626 We now have a tool from Google to see how well our desktop URLs do with page experience.

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With the upcoming Google page experience update coming to desktop, today Google launched a new page experience report for desktop in Google Search Console. “To support the upcoming rollout of page experience ranking to desktop, Search Console now has a dedicated desktop section in its Page Experience report to help site owners understand Google’s ‘good page experience’ criteria,” Google wrote.

How to access. You can access the report by clicking here or by going to Google Search Console, and clicking on the Page Experience link under the experience tab.

What it looks like. Here is a screenshot of this report for one of my sites:

More details. Google first launched the page experience report in April 2021 before the launch of the page experience update. The new Google Page Experience report offers metrics, such as the percentage of URLs with good page experience and search impressions over time, enabling you to quickly evaluate performance. You can also drill into specific pages to see what improvements need to be made.

Why we care. You can use this report to make the necessary adjustments to the desktop versions of your pages before Google rolls out the desktop version of the page experience update. As a reminder, we do not expect there to be a huge ranking change due to this update, but it may impact sites more if their stories show in the top stories section, since a solid page experience score is required to show in the top stories carousel.

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Google Ads bug again for Gmail on desktop Safari browsers /google-ads-bug-again-for-gmail-on-desktop-safari-browsers-378613 Sun, 16 Jan 2022 14:05:34 +0000 /?p=378613 Google has confirmed a bug impacting how ads are served on Gmail desktop with Safari browsers.

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Google has confirmed a bug impacting how ads are served on Gmail desktop with Safari browsers. This is impacting only Google Ads that should be served in Gmail for users accessing their email using the Safari desktop browser.

What is the issue. The issue seems to be an issue with displaying or serving the ads to this “significant subset of users” on Safari desktop while accessing Gmail.

When it started. Google said this issue first started on Saturday morning, January 15, 2022 at 9:36 AM UTC.

When will we know more. Google said that it plans on giving us an update on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 8:00 PM UTC. Google said “we will provide an update by Jan 18, 2022, 8:00 PM UTC detailing when we expect to resolve the problem.”

Again. Yes, this happened a couple of weeks ago to the same subset of users back in late December.

Why we care. If you are running Google Ads for Gmail users, then you may see a dip in the number of ads being served. This is a known issue that Google is working to resolve.

Mostly resolved. Google posted an update on January 17th at 11:09 AM UTC saying “The problem with Google Ads should be resolved for the vast majority of affected users. We will continue to work towards restoring service for the remaining affected users, but no further updates will be added to this dashboard.”

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Shopify chat bug leads to titles with (1) in Google’s search results /shopify-chat-bug-lead-1-titles-in-googles-search-results-378586 Fri, 14 Jan 2022 13:11:59 +0000 /?p=378586 The issue is resolved but it might take time for your titles to be reprocessed.

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Over the past couple of weeks there have been complaints from some Shopify site owners that Google was showing a (1) in the title name for their pages in the Google search results page. The issue turned out to be related to a chat feature activated on those Shopify sites, the chat feature fixed the issue and the Google search results should soon no longer show (1) in the title name.

What it looked like. I found a screenshot of this happening for a site in the Shopify forums dating back a couple of weeks ago, here is that screenshot showing the (1) at the beginning of the title name in Google Search.

What it looks like now. The issue was resolved and Google recrawled and processed this specific URL, so the (1) is no longer there:

It will take time. If you still see a (1) before your title name in the Google Search results, give it more time. Google has to recrawl and reprocess all of the URLs that were impacted and that can take time. If you want to expedite it, you can use the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console and submit that URL to the index manually. But again, the issue will resolve itself over time.

Google’s statement. Google published a statement on this issue in the Google forums, basically saying it was an issue with the chat feature dynamically embedding (1) in the title attributes of these pages and thus Googlebot picked up on it and indexed it. Google’s Caio Barros wrote:

Hello, all!

We have been receiving some reports of a “(1)” showing up in some titles in search results. Upon some investigation, our Product Experts noticed that this behavior happened to websites built in Shopify and were using a chat app. It looks like these sites used a chat-bot script which added a “(1)” to the page’s title element. Titles changed with JavaScript can still be picked up, and used as title links in Search.

However, it looks like that script has been fixed to no longer change the page’s title element, so as Googlebot reprocess pages, it will no longer see the “(1)” as a part of the pages’ title, and we can take that into account when generating title links in Search. Keep in mind that title links in Search aren’t always exactly the same as the title element of a page, so it’s not guaranteed that Google will drop that element immediately after reprocessing.

There’s no need to do anything special to have pages reprocessed. This should happen automatically over time. We crawl and reprocess pages at different rates, usually you’ll see important pages like a site’s homepage reprocessed fairly quickly, within a few days at most. Other pages may take longer to be reprocessed.

Thank you all for the reports!

Why we care. If you see (1) in your titles in the Google or Bing search results, it was likely due to this chat feature in Shopify. Again, the chat feature fixed the issue and the search engines will eventually recrawl and reprocess those titles and show them correctly in the search results. It is a widespread issue, not a Google bug, but it was related to a feature in Shopify that had this unintended consequence in search.

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DuckDuckGo passes 100 billion searches /duckduckgo-passes-100-billion-searches-378573 Thu, 13 Jan 2022 19:22:13 +0000 /?p=378573 DuckDuckGo, the privacy focused search engine, keeps growing steadily.

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DuckDuckGo, the privacy focused search engine, announced it has surpassed 100 billion searches – all time. It posted this announcement on Twitter.

100 billion searches. Here is the announcement on Twitter:

A year ago, the search company announced it was hitting over a 100 million searches per day. Now if you look at its public traffic statistics page, it shows all time searches passed 100,024,437,307 and the highest daily number of queries it saw to date was 110,439,133, that record was this past Monday. DuckDuckGo continues to grow on a daily basis.

Why we care. Pressure over consumer privacy has prompted Apple and Google to block third-party cookies from tracking users across the web. That same focus on privacy has also helped propel DuckDuckGo past 100 billion searches all-time. Its success, while modest, may provide new or existing search engines with a roadmap to chipping away at Google’s dominance or avoiding it altogether by concentrating on an underserved base of users.

It is still miles behind Google, but DuckDuckGo is gradually closing in on Yahoo! and Bing, so a future in which it is as much a part of the conversation as Bing may not be that far off. Nevertheless, optimizing specifically for any non-Google search engine remains highly unlikely.

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IndexNow now officially co-sharing URLs between Microsoft Bing and Yandex /indexnow-now-officially-co-sharing-urls-between-microsoft-bing-and-yandex-378562 Thu, 13 Jan 2022 17:30:00 +0000 /?p=378562 Plus, you can now use api.indexnow.org's endpoint to submit URLs.

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The Microsoft Bing team said that the IndexNow protocol is now at a place where those participating are co-sharing URLs submitted, meaning if you use IndexNow to submit URLs to Microsoft Bing, Microsoft will immediately share those URLs with Yandex, the company announced.

Co-sharing URLs. The promise of IndexNow was to submit a URL to one search engine via this protocol and not only will that search engine immediately discover that URL, but it will also be discovered on all the other participating search engines. Right now, that is just Microsoft Bing and Yandex, but Google is exploring using this protocol.

Microsoft said “the IndexNow protocol ensures that all URLs submitted by webmasters to any IndexNow-enabled search engine immediately get submitted to all other similar search engines. As a result of co-sharing URLs submitted to IndexNow-enabled search engines, webmasters just need to notify one API endpoint. Not only does this save effort and time for webmasters, but it also helps search engines in discovery, thus making the internet more efficient.”

Microsoft said that Bing “has already started sharing URLs from IndexNow with Yandex and vice-versa, with other search engines closely following suit in setting up the required infrastructure.”

When this first launched, the participating search engines have not yet begun co-sharing URLs – but now they are.

IndexNow API. Also, you no longer need to submit the URLs to https://www.bing.com/IndexNow?url=url-changed&key=your-key or https://yandex.com/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key. IndexNow.org is also directly accepting these submissions at https://api.indexnow.org/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key

Microsoft Bing updated this help document to make it easier to understand how to set this up at any of those URLs mentioned above.

80,000 sites. Microsoft said that 80,000 websites are now using IndexNow for URL submission. “80k websites have already started publishing and reaping the benefits of faster submission to indexation,” the company said. Last November, the company said 60,000 of those websites were using IndexNow directly through Cloudflare, which added a toggle button to turn on this feature for websites using Cloudflare.

Also, Microsoft Bing recently released a WordPress plugin for IndexNow to make this process easier.

What is IndexNow. IndexNow provides a method for websites owners to instantly inform search engines about latest content changes on their website. IndexNow is a simple ping protocol so that search engines know that a URL and its content has been added, updated, or deleted, allowing search engines to quickly reflect this change in their search results.

How it works. The protocol is very simple — all you need to do is create a key on your server, and then post a URL to the search engine to notify IndexNow-participating search engines of the change. The steps include:

  1. Generate a key supported by the protocol using the online key generation tool.
  2. Host the key in text file named with the value of the key at the root of your web site.
  3. Start submitting URLs when your URLs are added, updated, or deleted. You can submit one URL or a set of URLs per API call.

Why we care. Like we said before, instant indexing is an SEO’s dream when it comes to giving search engines the most updated content on a site. The protocol is very simple and it requires very little developer effort to add this to your site, so it makes sense to implement this if you care about speedy indexing. Plus if you use Cloudflare, it can be turned on with the flip of a switch.

Now that co-sharing URLs is enabled, you should see your content flow faster between Microsoft Bing and Yandex, hopefully other search engines will adopt this protocol going forward.



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Google Business Profiles sets waiting period for new owners and managers /google-business-profiles-sets-waiting-period-for-new-owners-and-managers-378551 Wed, 12 Jan 2022 19:13:39 +0000 /?p=378551 Newly granted users now must wait 7 days before they can manage all the features of the profile.

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Google updated its Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, help documents to say that when you add a new owner or manager to a business profile, those new users may have to wait seven days prior to being able to manage all the features of the profile.

New limits. These new limits are documented over here but I found them via Ben Fisher’s blog, where it says.

When a new owner or manager is added to an existing Business Profile, they must wait for 7 days before they can manage all the features of the profile. During this 7 day period, the new owner or manager gets an error if they try any of the following:

  • Delete or undelete a profile.
  • Remove other owners or managers from a profile.
  • Transfer primary ownership of a profile to themselves or a third user.
  • An existing owner or manager tries to transfer primary ownership of the profile to a new owner or manager still in their first 7 days.

If the new owner or manager deletes their account within the first 7 days, they’re removed from the profile. If they undelete their account, they must be added to the profile again.

Why we care. So if you added new owners and/or managers to a Google Business Profile and that user cannot manage all the features for that business listing, then this is why. It is a new limitation Google is making, maybe to increase security and prevent fraud or hack attempts.

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