Daily Archives: October 31, 2021

What Changes to the Quality Raters Guidelines Mean: In Search SEO Podcast

By | October 31, 2021

Don’t forget, you can keep up with the In Search SEO Podcast by subscribing on iTunes or by following the podcast on SoundCloud!

Summary of Episode 54: Analyzing Changes to the Quality Raters Guidelines

It’s 2020 y’all and we’re kicking it off with a living legend. Jennifer Slegg chats it up with us about the Quality Raters Guidelines!

  • Why Google has changed its language around YMYL
  • The meaning of Google shuffling around its categorization of YMYL sites
  • The ever-controversial relationship between the Quality Raters Guidelines and Google’s algorithm

Plus, we jump into the crap people are saying about doing SEO in 2020!

The Top 5 SEO Trends Everyone Is Pumping in 2020 That Will Fall Flat [00:05:28 – 00:18:49]

Mordy loves this time of year not because of the holidays, but because it’s the time of year all sorts of people come out of the woodwork and start making all kinds of hilariously nonsensical predictions about SEO in the new year.

Mordy literally Googled top SEO tips for 2020 and saw all of the crap that came up (for the most part) which brings us to this new segment: Falling Flat in SEO. Because it’s the new year, Mordy felt he needed to do something New Years-ish, and since he’s a horribly cynical sarcastic person, instead of doing the top 5 trends for 2020, here are the top 5 pieces of utter nonsense you’ll hear all year long and why it will fall flat.

In no particular order, let’s begin.

#5: Links & Authority will Save Your SEO Soul: Links are important but seeing everyone under the sun writing about how you need to build this link and that link and how links will save your site is a bit much for Mordy. Same goes for authority. People keep saying you need an author bio and you need your content reviewed by an expert and only then will you rank #1. It’s all a bit linear to Mordy at this point especially in the age of the core update where these sorts of one-dimensional outlooks are not enough. Authority is a concept, it’s a deep concept full of all sorts of latent meanings and implications. It’s not a link, it’s not an author bio, and it’s not content reviewed by an expert. Those are all practical manifestations of authority, but they’re not authority itself.

And this is part of a larger point. SEO was built to speak to machines. Now machines are starting to think like humans. Marketing speaks and has always spoken to humans. SEO is finally catching up to marketing where now we should start thinking of things like intent, targeting, and authority the way a human would and authority to a human is not as linear as an author bio.

[Here’s more of Mordy talking about not seeing SEO so linearly in 2020]

#4: Voice Search is a MUST If You’re Doing SEO: No, it’s not. Mordy knows voice search is real and knows some very well respected folk, such as Barry Schwartz, are very *** on voice search. All Mordy asks is to be careful because, like every year, all of the experts are saying voice search for 2020 is here! And it’s not, at least not yet. Mordy’s point is that he feels something pivotal needs to change in order for voice search to breakthrough because right now we’re using it to turn the lights off, look up the weather outside because pulling the shade is too labor-intensive, and show how smart we are by asking our devices questions it clearly can’t answer.

Voice search needs a moment to catapult it.

#3: FAQ Markup: If you’re all-in on this and going hog wild as everyone says you should be with adding FAQ markup, don’t forget that it must be used applicably. Google is not dumb and the current FAQ party cannot possibly last. So only implement the FAQ when it’s an actual FAQ-type page.

#2: Zero-Click Searches: We all know the data but SEO is not dead and your site is not dead. Mordy thinks 2020 should be about coming to our senses. There is a lot of context that goes around a zero-click SERP. A lot is vertical dependent (the Local Pack is going to be an organic killer but you’re still going to click through on a Featured Snippet that gives you step-by-step instructions on a complicated fix). It’s way more complicated and way more nuanced than it has been presented and discussed. Yes, for those sorts of high search volume keywords, like what’s playing at the movies, clicks are going to be hard, but users do a lot of long-tail searches. Nuance is the name of the game here.

#1: BERT: We know what your thinking. BERT? That’s your number one? Are you nuts? No. Well, yes, but no. Mordy’s not saying that BERT won’t be effective or play an important role as Mordy is a huge supporter on focusing on natural language processing in 2020.

Mordy is listing BERT here because the way he feels it’s being related to is a bit off. Mordy gets the sense that we think, or the “2020 trends” experts think, that Google flicked a switch and now BERT will turn everything on its head and change SEO as we know it in a single bound.

First, realize that BERT’s been around for a bit already and that hasn’t happened. Think back to when RankBrain came out in 2016 and how the conversation around intent really got started only about a year maybe a year and a half after its release. Why? Because that’s how machine learning works. It learns, it improves, it makes changes and this is a big part of the equation. It’s hard to predict exactly what those changes look like. It’s hard to know how effective a machine learning property will be and where exactly it will make its impact.

So please, no more cliches that BERT and NLP are going to turn the SERP on its head! BERT is big and will continue being big. It might even be bigger than Big Bird himself, but let’s see how this develops. Let’s analyze BERT as it grows and makes a deeper impact so that we can come up with a substantive analysis that provides real insight.

Analyzing Changes to Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines: A Conversation with Jennifer Slegg [00:18:49 – 00:56:30]

[This is a general summary of the interview and not a word for word transcript. You can listen to the podcast for the full interview.]

Mordy: Welcome to another In Search SEO podcast interview session. Today we have with us one of the most known personalities within the world of Search. You may know her from her interviewing Googlers of all varieties or from covering search marketing news. She is the one and only Jennifer Slegg!


Jennifer: Thank you for having me.

M: Before we start I have to ask a personal question. I know you’re a Canucks fan and one of my fondest memories as a child was watching the Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1994. Do you have any bad blood still?

J: Yeah, we don’t talk about that.

M: Okay, no worries. Let’s quickly move on and jump into the Quality Raters Guidelines.

Just so that everyone listening is on the same page, what are Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines (QRG)?

J: The QRG is Google’s guide to the sites that they want to rank the highest on Google search results as well as the types of sites they want to see rank the lowest. I see this as the closest How-to guide that Google will give SEOs and site owners of how they should strive to meet what Google wants.

I’m always asked, so I would like to clarify, that quality raters do not have any impact on your site in the live search results. So even if your competitor gets in as a quality rater they cannot do anything that will negatively impact your site. However, they are rating how good or not good sites are so if a rater thinks your site sucks Google will work on making your site rank lower.

M: And who are these raters exactly?

J: These are people who for the most part don’t have an SEO background. They aren’t super searchers. They target stay at home moms. I believe there are 10,000 quality raters and it covers all languages and many countries, so they’re not just US-based.

M: And do you know how one becomes a quality rater?

J: Yes, you find an ad online and you just apply. It’s run through a third-party contractor. If you’re lucky you will be chosen.

M: It sounds like a cushy job.

J: I don’t know how cushy it actually is because you’re basically looking at two sets of search results and determining which side of the search results are of the higher quality. And even the raters don’t know which results are live and which they’re testing. It can be randomized and they have to look at each site, review each site, and find the reputation of each site. If you like searching and are interested in digging around you can find it interesting but I heard raters describe it as a rather boring job. And it’s not like they’re SEOs who are looking for the inside scoop like we do.

M: Yeah, because for me it’s interesting to perhaps see a taste of what’s to come.

J: But I think day in and day out it’s not so interesting.

M: Fair enough. And I must say that I admire you on being able to remember all of these changes. You must have the world’s greatest memory!

J: Thanks, I do have a pretty good memory.

M: So the first change I want to talk about was the one in May 2019 when Google replaced the term “E-A-T” with “Page Quality.” Why do you think they did that?

J: I looked at that change as a quality of life change. They weren’t really changing things from our perspective, it was more for the raters where they were more focusing on E-A-T and not on overall quality because not all pages have to have E-A-T. If you’re looking for a recipe for tomato soup or how to sew a seam you don’t need to rate based on E-A-T but you do need to rate on quality so it was more to simplify things on the raters’ end.

M: But they did keep E-A-T in a few spots.

J: Right and E-A-T is super important to the quality raters. It’s just in a few instances where they pull back on E-A-T and talk about generic page quality.

While we’re talking about page quality, what do you think at its core goes into page quality/authority?

J: This is what everyone wants to know. Obviously, we know links are super important as they give a lot of authority to a website and Google has confirmed this and they need to be natural links. Slapping an author bio on your page doesn’t instantly give your site credibility on Google. Recently, someone came up with this Rent-an-Author scheme where people were paying people specifically to put their bio lines on their bad content. That won’t help as Google said they’re not tracking authorship as much as they did when authorship used to be a thing unless the author is an entity like someone who writes for the New York Times or is extremely well known. If you’re an author with a Wikipedia page you are more considered an entity in that case. Raters are looking at author bios to confirm E-A-T but we know the algorithm isn’t specifically looking for the author bio.

The thing that people get hung up on is that a lot of the things the rater guidelines are talking about are really good for users too. A searcher who lands on your page will like to know who is writing your content, what’s their background, and should they trust this content. People go to the About Us page to learn more about the site. Many SEOs get caught up on what to do for Google, but a lot of the guidelines are not so much for Google but how will this benefit the users. And if it’s good for users you should be doing it regardless.

On the authority part, there are lots of ways to increase your authority. If you’re a local business you can get mentions in your local newspaper. Do interviews, do reviews, or write for other sites, but don’t approach people asking for three follow links in the content or ask to guest blog as that scares people off. If you are writing for another site and your goal is to get links, if your content is really good quality the chances are they’re going to give you the link anyway. And obviously, don’t email a million people for guest blogging opportunities, you want to pick and choose, as you want your content to be on authoritative sites to show off that you’re an authority as well.

M: How does that work though? A case that comes to mind is Google recommending health sites to have a doctor review their content, but how can Google evaluate if the information is accurate or not? If it could be any doctor who knows what they’re recommending to users?

J: That is a good question. Again, Google is looking at these other signals. Is this doctor being linked from other authoritative sites? Is their bio linking out to other places that are lending credibility to them? The raters when looking on a medical site they will look up if the doctor is real and they will rate the site based on if the doctor is real or not. Based on those ratings, Google will determine what to put higher and lower in the rankings.

M: How does Google take what the raters conclude and integrate that into what they’re doing algorithmically?

J: Google runs experiments with the raters. They will work on some parts of an algorithm and then push it out to their raters. The raters are blind to this and don’t know what Google is looking for or testing. They just see two similar search results. Last year I believe they did 650,000 experiments that resulted in 3,200 algorithm updates. When people freak out and ask Google if there was an algorithm update, someone at Google will answer, “Probably.” They have thousands of updates being pushed out within a year. It’s not that easy to track which algorithm was the root cause when 10 updates were released in one day.

So the raters rate the potential updated results with the live results. The Googlers will get this data back and analyze it. Does this change increase the change in the search results, decrease the change, and are there any side effects? If everything looks good they’re likely to push out whatever the update was and if it didn’t work out they won’t.

M: I’m assuming the raters receive extensive training. Is that correct?

J: Not really. It’s like your mom, dad, or sister doing a search. They look at search from a different lens than we do. They look at a site and see if it’s useful while we look at how many backlinks they have or when was the last time they updated their content. And we’re such a small subset of Google users. We’re not normal in any sense when it comes to our search behavior so we’re not the market Google is reaching for when testing algorithm updates. They want to see the average Joe who isn’t as savvy as us.

Now they do have to study the QRG and take an exam. Also, Google will notice that if the rater’s ratings are vastly different than what most other raters are giving then they’ll take notice and address it.

M: Got it.

Let’s jump back into the changes I want to analyze with you. Change #2 was the most recent update back in September where Google split up Shopping from Finance making it its own YMYL (Your Money Your Life) niche or category. Why do you think they did that?

J: I think the big reason is that many people didn’t consider Shopping to be YMYL. I think it was to make it more clear that a site selling anything is considered YMYL. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as they are collecting personal data on these people. But yes, in the broader picture, everyone is surprised that e-commerce sites are considered YMYL and are held on this higher standard.

M: The last change I want to go over is that News resides on the top of the YMYL list and not Health.

J: I think it more has to do with that they made significant changes to the News part of YMYL a couple of years ago. There was a lot of controversy in the search results like fake news and conspiracy theories ranking well in the search results. It got a lot of bad publicity for Google so they updated their guidelines and changed their algorithm to try and combat this fake news.

I remember when Google was just starting when Google used to be the nobody search engine and it was only because they really attacked the spam problem when it became an issue with Yahoo, MSN, and Ask. If Google doesn’t keep up with their search quality at a high level it will open up the door for other search engines to step in. That’s the reason why we left Yahoo and went to Google in the first place.

M: When I think of the problem of Google and news I don’t think about Google having trouble figuring out what’s real or fake and they need the raters’ help. To me, it’s more on the algorithm side. For example, if you type in “breaking news” into Google you will not get great results in the Top Stories carousel. With these issues that Google is having, how will the raters help Google deal with that?

J: When Google released the algorithm and publicized it they also released an update to the QRG at the same time. What they did behind the scenes was update the guidelines and sent it to their raters. They then started testing algorithms to surface the higher quality news and to demote the conspiratorial/fake news. Once they updated the algorithm enough that the raters were rating the updated version higher than the current live results then Google made the announcement with the new guidelines.

M: With that, in their most recent guideline update they said that original content should be considered more authoritative, but just the other day (as of this recording) Barry Schwartz reported Google saying to use the rel=canonical to show the original source, but Glenn Gabe said that it seems that Google is ignoring it. Forgetting the raters, it seems Google is having difficulty determining who is the original source.

J: Yeah, syndication has always been a tricky thing. Canonicals help, but Google says they’re only a hint. Google can still use other signals to determine which has the higher quality or the originating source. So syndication is a bit harder to do nowadays, but although in that regard if a lot of sites really looked into it they might not see much benefit from syndicated content. It was really popular 10-15 years ago, but now people don’t want their content to appear on other sites that will outrank them especially when the site syndicating your content has much more authority than you do. And if your site is being outranked by your syndicated content, there’s probably a reason to it and you should look into your site quality or technical issues because for some reason Google decided to ignore the canonical and show another search result.

I do like that Google is trying to elevate original sources in the search results because it’s always a good thing when news sites do original reporting rather than one site with everyone regurgitating the same thing. No one wants to hear the same story, we want to hear different perspectives. Diversity is always good.

M: Speaking of this, the “original” preference in the QRG update and Google’s announcement to algorithmically preference original content came out within days of each other and to me it reads that there’s a real intrinsic connection between the QRG and the algorithm. I know it’s not a 1:1 connection as John Mueller says, but isn’t there a connection between the general thrust of where both are going?

J: I think there’s a pretty big connection, not to every algorithm, but we’ve seen in the past where there have been specific changes made to the QRG coinciding with various algorithm updates. I always breakdown the QRG to find what exactly changed and a lot it is a signal to me on what Google is thinking of and what they’re working on. It might not be live on the search results now, but it’s in there and the raters are actively checking for this.

M: And I think in the Medic update where I saw there were flavors of change in the QRG that affected the web pages that were demoted. Again, not that it’s a 1:1 match, but there’s that essence of the updates to the guidelines within the algorithmic updates happening at the same time. Do you see that being manifested by the core updates with their tendency to impact YMYL sites?

J: The core updates are interesting because Google says we can’t make changes based on a core update. Plus, the fact that there are 3,000 updates in a year it’s possible that the core update will coincide with something else.

M: You mention you speak to Gary and John and one of the things you’re known for is having access to all of these Googlers. What’s your take on what’s being said and what’s not being said (if anything)?

J: I think Googlers who speak publicly are in a tight spot. I think they want to be more open than they are but if they were more open then spammers will use that information to their advantage and the search results will suffer. I think for any updates we wish they could be more specific about what was targeted so we can fix them rather than trying to analyze who improved and who didn’t. But there are so many other things it could be impacting. For example, a few years ago when Wikipedia switched to HTTPS, everyone who saw their rankings tank thought that Wikipedia was struck by an algorithm update, but we looked into it and found that it was just that Google was dropping the HTTPs and switching to HTTPSs so of course there were rank fluctuations.

We often get the generic “Improve your site quality” phrase after any core update and they say if your site drops then other sites are doing it better so see what you can improve.

For years we had to rely on leaked copies of the QRG. As I got known for doing these QRG updates, I had raters send them to me. So Google is good that they’re now releasing them with official publishing which is awesome that we see them real-time. Another nice thing about the QRG is that while a lot of SEOs talk about big brand named sites a lot of the examples they use in the QRG are tiny sites as well. It’s not just the big brands.

M: Why is that? So they can have a more diverse sample set or because there’s something unique?

J: I think it’s for a more diverse sample set as otherwise we’ll be seeing the BBC, Macy’s, or Amazon in those examples.

M: Before we end today, what are some other changes to the QRG that you think are significant to focus on but haven’t gotten the industry’s attention?

J: There are three things I often tell people. The first is people don’t realize that in the current raters guidelines you can click through to all of the screenshots. You can click through every example and see a blown-up picture. You can use it to really look into detail on what sites they think are good and what sites they think are not. I even talked to people who found their sites listed as poor quality examples and Google never updates those screenshots so your site is permanently considered poor quality in the raters guidelines.

The second thing to mention is that Google actually advocates for sites that run advertisements in the QRG. They tell the raters that sites need ad revenue to support quality content and journalism. Google does say that if it’s excessive (nothing but ads above the fold) or those eye-catching annoying images you always see then those are considered low-quality when it comes to ads per se.

And the third thing is that a lot of people don’t realize that Google made a recent change about clickbait. Google wants to make sure that your titles are matching the content and not using misleading titles. Gary recently said that if Google is rewriting your title tags (for anything other than just adding your site name) you probably should have a look at your title tags because for some reason Google is finding them lacking.

Optimize It or Disavow It

M: If you had to do one over the other would you spend your time trying to recover from a core update by bolstering your author bios on your pages or would you spend your time listing all of the publications that have featured your work on your website?

J: I will say that if you were negatively impacted by a core update that none of these options are great, but for this game, I’d probably focus on bolstering up the author bio just to showcase a little more about who they are, why you should listen to them, where they have been published, if they won any awards, what their social media handles are, or just anything that will get people interested when reading the bio. You can go further and have a short bio on the article page, but when you click on the author it goes into much more detail with lists of their previous posts.

M: Thank you so much, Jennifer, for coming on. I learned so much and I really appreciate you joining us!

J: You’re very welcome.

SEO NEWS [00:57:48 – 01:00:33 – 01:04:10]

Search Console Coverage Reporting Gap: There seems to be a 10-day backlog with the Search Console Coverage report. If you see that there is a gap or a lag there is a good chance it’s not you, it’s Google.

Google Maps Search Carousel: Mordy spotted a new carousel that Google is testing where it shows Google Map lists in carousel form for local queries.

Fun SEO Send-Off Question

How did Google spend New Year’s Eve? 

Sapir kept it traditional by suggesting that Google watched the Times Square countdown. Mordy, being the pessimist realist, thought Google celebrated like most people, drunk and passed out in a **** of their own vomit on the bathroom floor.

Tune in next Tuesday for a new episode of The In Search SEO Podcast.

About The Author

The In Search SEO Podcast

In Search is a weekly SEO podcast featuring some of the biggest names in the search marketing industry.

Tune in to hear pure SEO insights with a ton of personality!

New episodes are released each Tuesday!

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Title Tags are a Tiny Ranking Factor

By | October 31, 2021

Google’s John Mueller, in a YouTube Office-hours hangout, answered a question regarding title tags and search rankings. He addressed whether title tag rewriting impacts rankings and also what effect adding the company name to the beginning, end or at all has on rankings.

Mueller also described the title tag as a tiny search ranking factor.

Search Ranking Impact of Page and Titles Don’t Match

The person asking the question wanted to know if there was a ranking impact when titles are rewritten.

This is the question about title tags and ranking:

“How does it affect the search rankings when page and search titles don’t match?

Often we experience that the page title has been shortened and our company name added to the search results title.

We do add our company name to the end sometimes but the concern is that this is to all our page title and will limit how much we can write in the title.

So the question is really is it better to have shortened titles that can be displayed in the search results or is it better to keep the page titles we have already and let Google choose a different title?”


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Google’s John Mueller Discussing Title Element and Rankings

Google title element and rankings

How to Write Title Tags

The focus of the question is how to write title tags and a concern about whether or not to have the company name, which could take up most of the space.

Mueller answered:

“I don’t think there is any explicit, “what is better” from our side.”

Mueller next noted that the title tag is a “tiny” ranking factor and that the focus of writing a title tag should be on making it relevant to what the page is about.


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Mueller continued his answer:

“One of the things I think is worthwhile to keep in mind is we do use titles as a tiny factor in our rankings as well.

So it’s something where I wouldn’t necessarily make titles on your pages that are totally irrelevant.”

Mueller then made a reference to an answer from the same hangout about how to fix title tags that are rewritten by Google (read How to Fix Google Title Tag Rewrites).

He said:

“But you can try different things out, kind of like I mentioned before.”

Page is What is Used for Ranking

John Mueller next said that the web page is what is used for ranking purposes. He also said that whether or not the company name is used in the beginning or end of the title tag is a personal choice and he minimized any potential impact on rankings based on that choice.

Mueller explained:

“It’s not a critical issue if the title that we show in the search results (we call these title links nowadays), if that doesn’t match what is on your page, from our point of view that’s perfectly fine.

And we use what you have on your page when it comes to search.

So from that point of view it’s like you can put the things
in your title tag on your pages and maybe we’ll show that, maybe we’ll tweak that a little bit.

But essentially your page is what we use as a basis for the rankings.

And with regards to the company name or not, I think that’s a little bit up to you and a little bit also in our algorithms as well in that we do see that users like to have an understanding of the bigger picture of where does this page fit and sometimes a company name or a brand name for the website makes sense to show there.

Some people choose to put it in the beginning or in the end, some people have different kinds of separators that they use.

From my point of view I think that’s more a matter of personal taste and decoration rather than anything related to how ranking would work.”

Title Tag as a Ranking Factor

The search industry is largely in agreement that content is the most important factor, with title tags making it in there as part of the group known as on-page (as opposed to meta content which is not seen by users).

It doesn’t diminish the title tag status as a ranking factor to say it is a tiny ranking factor.

The fact that we 100% know for certain that the title element is a ranking factor makes it important because when it comes to Google search ranking factors there are very few things that are known as a certainty.

Search Engine Journal published a list of top ranking factors and the title tag made it as part of the on-page factors group.

Most surveys on top ranking factors include title tags as a top ranking factor and with good reason, because it is a ranking factor.

John Mueller characterizes it as a tiny ranking factor, which is an observation that some in the SEO industry might not agree with.


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At one time, fifteen to twenty years ago, the title tag was a huge ranking factor. Failure to dump your keywords in the title tag would essentially doom the site to not be eligible to rank.

But like many things from fifteen to twenty years ago, that advice is outdated. Nowadays Google ranks websites that don’t have the exact keywords in the title tags.

Many in the search industry realize this and have adjusted their estimation of title tag impact accordingly.

Nevertheless, there are certain SEO beliefs that are tightly held on to and the belief that the title tag is a critical ranking factor is one of those beliefs.

But it’s important to learn where those beliefs came from and how long ago and to be be ready to adapt ones beliefs to conform to the reality expressed in the search results.


Title Tags are a Tiny Ranking Factor

Watch Mueller talk about title tags at the 15:35 Minute Mark


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Source link : Searchenginejournal.com

SERP News: BERT Hits News Results & Goes Global

By | October 31, 2021

It’s 2020 and what better way to kick off the new year than by looking back at the December 2019 SERP! Don’t think for a second that Google took it easy as 2019 wound down…. The last month of the year saw Google take BERT international and use the natural language processing (NLP) technique to take the Top Stories feature to places no news carousel has gone before. Couple that with an onslaught of local changes to the SERP and you have yourself a mighty month of SERP madness! 

And away we go! 

BERT Goes International & Impacts the Google News Carousel 

Bert in Black & White

On December 10th, it was announced that BERT, Google’s latest tool to help it understand language naturally, has expanded to reach 70 languages. Meaning, Google is now using BERT to better help understand elements of language such as prepositions, multiple-meaning words, and is going beyond English to other languages from Latvian to Nepali to Kazakh, etc. The obvious impact is the better interpretation of queries in markets around the world for the allowance of more relevant results. 

Just one day later on December 11th, Google announced that it has begun using BERT to advance the depth of the results within the Top Stories carousel. The upgrade to the news carousel means that Google has begun segmenting a news story according to multiple topical strains. That is, Google is now showing multiple carousels under a heading that reflects unique storylines. Additionally, the search engine is often showing a carousel of related stories under a heading entitled “Also in the news.”

Top Stories Segmented Carousels

The News Box showing three topically unique carousels on the mobile SERP 

Google attributes the ability to structure the carousel as such to new “story understanding technology,” part of which includes BERT. In specific, Google says that it uses BERT to “examine the related articles and determine where one story ends and another begins.”

To be honest, it took me a minute to wrap my head around how BERT fills such a role. After much thought and a shot of scotch or two here’s how I think BERT impacts the upgraded news carousel…. BERT, beyond helping clarify the meaning of language via context also serves as a Question and Answer model. To this, BERT uses its context clarification magic to determine where within a series of content the answer to a question starts and ends. (This, of course, lets Google offer more accurate answers.)

What I believe is happening here with the Top Stories carousel is that Google is using this ability of BERT, or a similar such ability, to determine where a news topic begins and ends. That is, does the “answer” or topic being discussed in one article match to what is being discussed in another article? Alternatively, BERT is also used as a means of named entity recognition (NER), so it could be Google is analyzing each article from an entity perspective to see what does and does not align. If I had to place a bet, I would say Google is using it more like the Q&A construct I outlined above. Again, Google has not discussed the way it is using BERT here in any detail whatsoever, these are just my own thoughts. 

The Month in Rank Fluctuations


While there was no confirmed or core update in December, the month still sported a few moments of considerably elevated rank fluctuations. The first algorithmic change that shook rank up occurred on December the 6th when our Rank Risk Index caught fluctuation levels reach 82/100 on desktop.

Dec. 2019 Rank Fluctuations

By the 10th, rank fluctuation levels had returned to normal but just five days later the index caught a four-day update that had fluctuation levels hit 81/100. Four days after that there was a more moderate event that had fluctuation levels hit a high of 69/100. 

There were some rumors that Google had rolled an update out on Christmas itself, but as you can see in the image above, the index shows that rank volatility was significantly low at the time. 

Google Updates the Quality Raters Guidelines in December 

In early December, we were privy to yet another update to the Quality Raters Guidelines (QRG), though the changes this time were like a generic bottle of salsa… relatively mild (I like my food to reflect my life… spicy). The most notable update was the insertion of a new introduction. 

The new section outlines that different users search for different reasons and that as such the type of results Google offers for different verticals should reflect that. The example Google uses is that “medical results should be high quality, authoritative…. Search results for “cute baby animal pictures” should be adorable.” 

The change speaks to Google’s ability to profile content according to vertical (which Google has actually discussed in the past). Seeing it here in the QRG only adds emphasis to the notion that how you think about your content should be vertical-specific.     

The SERP Roundup Covering December 2019


As I mentioned in this post’s introduction Google did not take it easy just because the year was quickly coming to a close. In fact, as far as changes to the “local SERP” were concerned, December was the pinnacle of Google’s emphasis on feature experimentation. 

Local SERP Feature Changes: From Colorless Local Pack Ads Labels to Review Carousels 


Google is always tinkering with its local SERP features, but I haven’t seen Google this focused on the world of local elements in quite some time. Moreover, some of the tests and changes are downright fascinating (though some might be downright disturbing depending on your perspective.)     

The Colorless Ad Label Comes to the Desktop Local Pack

The minute Google tests something that makes its ads more organic looking the SEO world is going to “freak.” This time, Google’s colorless & very organic looking ad label reared its inconspicuous head inside the desktop Local Pack

Local Pack Colorless Desktop Ad Label

The Colorless ad label appearing within a desktop Local Pack (Image Source: SERoundtable.com via Glenn Gabe) 

Spotted on December 9th by Glenn Gabe, the colorless ad label is hard to notice at a glance when it resides within the desktop Local Pack. Note, mobile Local Packs have sported the colorless ad label since their general introduction to the mobile SERP a few months ago. 

Google Implements Review Carousels

In a buzz-generating move, Google has taken to show reviews in the carousel form within the Local Finder’s business panels. The carousel both brings reviews into the user’s immediate focus and increases the chances that users will peruse through more reviews. That is, the carousel of reviews shows higher up the panel than the traditional review format. At the same time, the carousel presents functionality that allows the user to more efficiently go through a business’s reviews. 

Review Carousel

A carousel of reviews as seen within the Local Finder’s business panel 

Request Quotes Via the Local Pack 


Google was seen showing a “Request Quotes” button at the top of the Local Pack. What’s “interesting” is that the quotes do not come from the listings shown within the Local Pack. Rather, executing the option brings up a new screen that allows you to secure quotes from multiple vendors that are ‘Google guaranteed’. Meaning, the vendors offering the quotes are part of the Local Service Ads program. As such, the insertion of this button is a Local Service Ad in everything but name.  

URL Cards Appear in the Local Pack 

Here’s another doozy for you that should bring a smile to your face. In mid-December, Google was found testing what I’ll call “URL cards” within each Local Pack listing. That is, the test put a card that included the listing’s favicon (the test was mobile-specific) within a card that presents a URL to the listing’s site. I would imagine that full implementation of this format would be quite welcome as many Local Packs do not contain any direct access to the business’s website.  


Local Pack URL Cards

URL cards appearing within the mobile Local Pack (Image Source: SERoundtable.com via Jason Parks) 

Business Service Area Icon

Local Search guru, Joy Hawkins, caught a nifty little icon inside the Local Panel that actually offers a great deal of information. The new icon depicts a delivery truck that when clicked on brings up a new screen which tells you the areas the business serves that fall outside the boundary of its primary location! Small icon… big information! 

Service Area Icon

The Service Area Icon within the Local Panel indicating the areas served beyond the primary location 

Local Packs with ‘Top-Rated’ Icons

Speaking of icons, Sergey Alakov found Google showing an icon that indicates that the listing is top-rated. Oddly enough, the icon seems to appear when the description also mentions that the location is top-rated. Thus, the icon isn’t really offering the user new information (as the description already says the listing is top-rated) but rather makes that information more noticeable. 

Local Pack Top Rated Icon

Local Pack listing showing with a ‘top-rated’ icon (Image Source: SERoundtable.com via Sergey Alakov)

Local Guide Lists Added to the SERP 

Google is testing a carousel on the mobile SERP that presents lists created by Local Guides (and other users as well). The carousel, applicable to local queries only, shows a series of cards that represent lists related to the initial query’s business type. Clicking on a card brings up the full list and all of the establishments on it. 

Tiles Bring Details to the Local Pack 

Nope, still not done with local changes and tests. In this aberration, Google was testing a ’tile’ format for the Local Pack. That is, buttons traditionally found in a Local Pack were shown in tile form. Among the tiles was a button marked ‘details’. It’s not exactly clear what details Google was showing, but it is interesting to see Google try to stick more info into the Local Pack per se (as opposed to having the user utilize the Local Panel and Local Finder for deeper information). 

Local Pack Tile Buttons

A Local Pack test showing the buttons in tile form (Image Souce: SERoundtable.com via Valentin Pletzer) 

And that concludes our spotlight on local in this edition of the SERP News. If that was not enough for you… there were actually other tests that I didn’t include. Meaning, yeah, Google kind of went nuts with ‘local’ in December!

Google Expands Its Cameo Program 

Google Cameos is a feature within the Knowledge Panel where celebrity-type folks could ask and answer questions about themselves via short video snippets that appeared in carousel form. Now, Google has not only expanded the program to include folks who may not be national celebrities (no insult to Barry Schwartz who is the industry’s closest thing to a celebrity and who was clearly having a good time with this feature): 

Google Cameos

Besides opening the program up to include more people, Google is also showing cameo snippets within its Discover Feed. If you get invited into the program this could be a great way to get yourself out there as you no longer need to rely on users engaging with the Knowledge Panel per se for this feature to appear. Though, I would imagine that the user would have to be searching for you directly or very close to your direct name prior to your cameos appearing within a given Discover feed. 

Multi-Perspective Featured Snippets 

Bing has long offered multiple opinions or “takes” within its version of Featured Snippets. Google has long “borrowed” some of Bing’s SERP feature novelties (yep, that’s a fact). This past month, Google has been spotted testing a Featured Snippet that offers multiple looks at an answer to a question. 

Multi-Perspective Featured Snippet

A Featured Snippet offering multiple opinions via expandable tabs (Image Source: SERoundtable.com via Emily Perry) 

The test had Google showing a Featured Snippet as it always does, however, below the answer per se was a series of extendable tabs under the heading “What others say.”  To me, this is a no-brainer… Google showing multiple perspectives is only a good thing. That said, Google showing the “one true answer” does create an air of authority that it may not wish to forgo in favor of answer diversity. 

Google Pushing for On the SERP Package Tracking 


Google is working towards making the SERP your destination for package tracking. In December, the search engine was seen testing an opt-in program that would show all delivery status details right on the SERP. The program would require shipping companies (i.e., FedEx) to integrate their systems with Google. The result would be the user being able to enter a tracking number and seeing the shipping details right on the SERP without having to head to a website. Before you freak out about Google stealing traffic… I’m pretty sure UPS does not care if folks use Google itself for tracking a package (though, I could be wrong). 


Mobile-Like Movie Carousel Lands on Desktop


Google’s desktop carousel that appears whenever you Google anything from best movies 2019 to the roster for your favorite sport’s team has looked pretty much like the below for a very long time: 

Steelers Roster Carousel

Now, for queries related to watching your favorite movie or your binge-worthy series Google is showing a carousel that offers a horizontal scroll as well as a button to expand the carousel into that which devours all other space on the SERP.

By hitting the button below the carousel, what was once left-to-right experience now results in a vertical scrolling experience filled with all sorts of media options to help you escape the misery that is your life. From an SEO perspective, this ever-loading vertical carousel makes it quite difficult to reach the organic results. 

Google Translate Box Shows Images

In the last edition of the SERP News, I mentioned how Google had begun showing images in some of its Dictionary Boxes for some very simple nouns, etc. The only added benefit I saw of this was for those learning English or maybe for kids. (I mean, do you really need to see an image of a horse when looking up what a horse is? Do you really need to look up the definition of a horse all together?) Now Google is taking its reasoning behind its Dictionary Box images to the next logical place…. the Translation Box. 

When you run a translation for some simple nouns you may see a series of images below the translation. The only upshot of this is that perhaps when translating you’re unsure if the result you receive is what you meant. By seeing a picture I guess you would be able to tell that the translation matches what you meant in your native language. For the perfect example of this, just see below: 

Translation Box Images

Movie Watchlists from the Knowledge Panel 

Reports have surfaced that Google has added a Watchlist button to the mobile Knowledge Panel for movies and TV shows. I personally would **** this if I used Knowledge Panels to find movies and shows. Meaning, I think this is a very helpful feature, it’s just that I tend to find movies on lists (as in What’s New to Netflix in January). That would mean looking at a list of movies/shows and specifically Googling each movie, bringing up the panel, and then adding the flick to my watchlist. 

By the way, at the time of this writing, I do see the button to buy tickets to a movie or indicate that I already watched it, but I do not see the Watchlist button.

Looking Ahead to the SERP in 2020 

Road to 2020

I guess at this point I’m supposed to talk about what I think the SERP will look like in 2020. I could tell you that I think we’ll see all sorts of new elements and upgrades and whatnot but calling such a prediction obvious would be an understatement. I could tell you what new features Google will introduce and what will be important in the SERP feature world, but how can I possibly know that? 

Instead, I’ll share where I think things are headed and that’s ‘options’. More and more options for the user. I don’t mean a small filter here or a tab there, Google has been offering those sort of options to its user since forever ago. Rather, I mean options, whether they be a bubble filter or tabs or whatever, that change the entire SERP. At a certain point, Google is going to have to offer the user options to filter the SERP to their specific needs in order to match the level of personalization users will come to expect. 

Imagine a user searches to buy a product. Google very often shows a slew of product review sites for such queries. Let’s assume that in our case reviews are exactly what the user meant to see. Why not have a filter that lets you ONLY see review sites for the query? Good idea, right? Now imagine what that would mean for “ranking.” I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but this sort of directional move is what I see for 2020 on the SERP. 

Right or wrong, it’s a pretty interesting prediction (if I do say so myself) and a subsequent predicament for the SEO industry. 

Do you agree?  Let me know

About The Author

Mordy Oberstein

Mordy is the official liaison to the SEO community for Wix. Despite his numerous and far-reaching duties, Mordy still considers himself an SEO educator first and foremost. That’s why you’ll find him regularly releasing all sorts of original SEO research and analysis!

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How to Fix Google Title Tag Rewrites

By | October 31, 2021

In an Office-hours hangout Google’s John Mueller answered the question of what algorithm factors are used to decide title tag rewrites. Mueller offered suggestions for a proactive approach for dealing with the title tag rewrite problem.

What Factors Influence Title Tag Algorithm?

The person asking the question wanted to know what factors influenced Google’s algorithm to change title tags.

The question about title tag rewrites:

“In the summer Google released an update in title generation for web pages. Could you tell us what factors this new algorithm decides which titles should be changed.

We tried using the new documentation on this but nothing seems to work.

The update affected some of our pages, most of the time it’s a category page, its title is cut and the brand domain name is added.

We’ve noticed some other sites in the search results have this problem at the same time.

We see that our main rival in the search results have the same titles they’ve been using since before the update.”


Continue Reading Below

John Mueller On Fixing Title Tag Rewriting

John Mueller offers suggestions on how to fix title tag rewriting

Algorithm Factors for Title Tag Rewrites

The person asked for title tag algorithm factors that go into deciding when to rewrite title tags.

Google has already offered that information in documentation of how the title tag rewrite algorithm works.

So Mueller suggested reading that. Mueller mentioned that fact and then moved on to offering tips of what that person should do if they’re not happy with how their title tags are being rewritten by Google.


Continue Reading Below

The person asking the question mentioned that it seemed to be happening with category pages so the answer to why might be what Google calls, “Micro-boilerplate text in <title> elements.”

Boilerplate in this situation means content that is repeated, like in a template. That’s something that could happen in a category page that could make it less descriptive of what is on the category web page.

Or it could be that the existing title tag is simply not accurate but rather a bunch of keywords the publisher wants to rank for.

A highly common title tag mistake is to use the title tag to seed it with keywords instead of using it to describe the web page.

John Mueller responded to the question:

“I think we have some information in the last blog post that we did about these title changes. I would definitely check that out.”

Title Tags No Longer Tied to Individual Query

An interesting insight that John Mueller shared is that titles are no longer tied to individual queries.

Mueller continued his answer:

“One of the I think bigger changes here that happened is that the titles are no longer tied to the individual query.”

How to Fix Title Tags

Mueller next discussed how to troubleshoot the title tag to find the best one.

Mueller advised:

“So it’s something that is really on a per page basis.

On the one hand this means that it doesn’t adapt kind of dynamically. So it’s a little bit easier to test.

On the other hand it also means that it’s easier for you to try different things out in the sense that you can change things on your pages and then you could use the submit to indexing tool and see what happens in Google search results, what does it look like now.

Because of that, it’s something where I would recommend if you’re seeing weird titles on your pages just to try different approaches out and see what works, what’s best for your website, for your kind of content and based on that to expand that to the rest of your website.

So that’s kind of the direction I would take there, to essentially just try it out and try different approaches out.

And because it’s really static on a per page basis, it is something that is a lot easier to experiment with a little bit and to see well what are the different options that I can do
here, how can I show my company name or my website’s name, how can I show the title that is relevant here and all of those different things.

From that point of view, just try things out.”


Continue Reading Below

Mueller continued his response, addressing the part about how the competitor’s title tags aren’t rewritten by stating that Google doesn’t target sites for title tag rewriting.

How to Respond to Title Tag Rewrites

Mueller didn’t expand on what he meant by, “titles are no longer tied to individual queries.” That might be a good question for someone to ask him at next weeks office-hours hangout.

He also advised that it’s okay to change the title tag and submit the URL via search console to see if Google responds favorably to the changes.


Google Search Central Title Tag Documentation

Control your title links in search results

What to Do About Weird Title Tag Rewrites

Watch Mueller Discuss Title Tag Rewrites at the 12:41 Minute Mark:

Source link : Searchenginejournal.com

Global Mosquito Repellants Market 2021 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2026

By | October 31, 2021

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Milk Pasteurization Plant

By | October 31, 2021

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What BERT Does & Means for SEO: In Search SEO Podcast

By | October 31, 2021

Don’t forget, you can keep up with the In Search SEO Podcast by subscribing on iTunes or by following the podcast on SoundCloud!

Summary of Episode 55: What Is Google BERT, How Does it Work, and How Will It Impact SEO? A Conversation with Dawn Anderson

Big time guest with us as The Women In Search SEO Series continues with the one and only Dawn Anderson who gets into everything BERT and SEO: 

  • Clear & understandable details on how the heck BERT actually works
  • The real story on how BERT’s implications will hit SEO
  • What better contextual conceptualization means for content

Plus, we take a look at how the very fabric of the SERP might be changing!

How Google Can Balance Intent Diversity & Personalization


Mordy knows that last week he said he would never ever do a segment on SEO trends for 2020, but he’s doing it anyway as he has thoughts about the future of SEO. Maybe it will come in 2020 and maybe it will come in 2021, but it is coming and it’s a bit offbeat, perhaps funky if you will.

We all know Google is very good at understanding intent and showing multiple intents on the SERP, but this is going to cause a problem for the search engine. The problem will be that Google’s multiple intent targeting will get too good for the SERP. How is that a problem? The problem is Google will further develop its ability to breakdown intent into smaller “particles” but since multiple intents appear on the same SERP Google won’t have the ability to manifest that awesomeness. There’s just not enough room on the SERP.

Think about it like this. You do a search and Google determines it can show you a ton of different result segmentations but what can it do other than show you only a few results for each segmentation. Or think of an entity or a concept. There are so many wonderful aspects of a concept for a user to grab onto, but how many of these different aspects can Google show on one SERP? You can only touch on each intent, you can’t fully tailor to any singular intent.

Now, Google does have a grip on this within Image Search. Type in a query and you get a carousel of bubble filters at the top of the Image SERP. If you search for flowers you get filters for flower types (rose, sunflower, etc.), bouquets (red flowers, purple flowers, etc.), and so on. You can customize the Image SERP to your liking. And this makes sense since there are so many ways to organize flowers (type, color, arrangement, etc.). The issue is this level of conceptual segmentation is coming and is in many ways already here for numerous queries.

Mordy thinks the type of segmentation you see on the Image SERP is coming to the regular SERP. So instead of seeing flower colors in the filters, you’ll see things like site types. Or take an entity/concept. Let’s say you search for baseball. In Mordy’s fictional world of what a SERP should look like you will see filters for teams, rules, history, places to play, etc. This is all for Google to guide the user to what they’re looking for so they won’t have to do an additional search.

All this, of course, will make rank tracking a total nightmare, but that’s another story altogether. But all-in-all the idea that you can customize your SERP is… funky.

A cool idea would be if let’s say you want to see a few different types of sites and want them grouped or thrown into sections. For example, you’re searching for a product and you want to see review sites and then after reading the reviews, you want to see places to buy. It would be funky if Google let you segment the SERP by site-type/purpose. So you first see review sites and then underneath you see sites where you can buy the product.

And this isn’t in some Twilight Zone universe as Mordy saw a post recently from Bill Slawski highlighting a patent that lets Google cluster results according to their “entity identity.” So let’s say you search for “cardinals,” all of the results or features about the birds will be together, all of the results about the baseball team are together, and all of the results about the football team are together. These are entity/concept clusters so it’s not crazy for Google to offer customizable clusters as funky as that sounds.

The point is something that allows user input into the SERP format is coming! 

Getting BERT Right: A Conversation with Dawn Anderson

[This is a general summary of the interview and not a word for word transcript. You can listen to the podcast for the full interview.]

Mordy: Welcome to another In Search SEO podcast interview session. She’s a famed SEO speaker, author, and university lecturer and she just might be the smartest person in the Search industry. She is the manager of Bertey… she is Dawn Anderson!


Dawn: Thank you for having me.

M: By the way, I’ve seen a pop up on your Twitter feed every once in a while…. So I’m assuming you’re a person?

D: Yeah, I have one named Bertie and another named Tedward who’s a pomeranian.

M: Nice. I’m a major fan. I don’t have any now, but when I was a kid I had a few of them.

D: If I could I would have ten Pomeranians, but I can’t because if I did I would never go on holiday.

M: So we can talk about dogs all day, but let’s instead switch to BERT. Not the , Bertie, but the NLP.

Just so everyone is on the same page, fundamentally speaking, what is BERT?

D: BERT is two things. BERT is an acronym for a natural language processing open-source language model and it’s Google’s recent algorithm update which they use in search results and Featured Snippets. Anyone can use the open-source BERT as we have Microsoft who also uses BERT, but it’s not Google’s BERT.

M: I like to joke that BERT helps Google understand the words ‘for,’ ‘of,’ and ‘so forth.’

D: Yeah, and you can have words with hundreds of meanings. Not that the meaning changes, but the use in the language can change.

M: I don’t think people realize how nuanced language can be. Even a synonym has various shades of meaning. I used to be a teacher and we had this synonym thermometer and with various synonyms, there are words closer to the word you’re analyzing or further away. I think that the nuance of meaning is under-appreciated by many people.

D: I think synonyms are easier to disambiguate compared to the likes of homonyms (sound alike but have different meanings) or homographs (spelled the same but have different meanings).

M: Right, so I want to go into that, but to make sure everyone’s up to speed, what does BERT stand for?

D: Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.

M: Let’s try to break that down. What do you mean by bidirectional and why does it make BERT so unique?

D: Let’s say I had a sentence with ten words in it. To truly understand the context of a word in relation to the other words you really need to see the words on the left and right of this target word. BERT can see the words from the left and the right in the context of the word in the middle.

All previous ****** used unidirectional training so the context was only looking at the words that have gone before and not the words that are after the target word. Some ****** in the past like ELMO looked at the right and then the left and then everything at the end, while BERT looks at everything at the same time.

M: By the way, this is how you know it’s based on Sesame Street when you notice there was an ELMO model.

D: Yeah, I saw one model the other day called Big Bird.

M: Seriously? Wow.

I’m going to jump back to this a few times, as back when I was teaching we used to have context clues. When a 4th grader wouldn’t know a word, we would create a sentence with that word and try to use context in the sentence to build an understanding of the definition. It seems as that’s how the bi-directional aspect of BERT works in terms of helping understand via the context.

D: Part of the training process is Google using this masked language modeling which helps BERT and based on the content in the sentence, choose the best word from a list of possible alternatives.

M: Which is basically how humans understand content.

D: Yeah, when we look at a sentence we can get a good guess most of the time of the context. Humans have this common-sense of what words relate to each other which machines don’t have.

M: And this is super important for Google.

D: Another big thing about synonyms is neighborhood words, word embeddings, knowing a word by the company it keeps. Words in a body of text live near each other semantically.

M: Let’s jump letters to T for transformers. What does it mean?

D: The T for transformers is a key part of how BERT works. Let’s say you have the word ‘bank’ and you want to figure out if it’s related to a riverbank or a financial bank. So the transformers look at all the other words in relation to each other to understand the meaning of the word.

M: So it’s ascribing weight to the various words so it knows what to use in order to build contextual understanding.

In a given document or a given page how far back does BERT go back to understand context? Does it go back to an entire paragraph or the whole page?

D: I’m not entirely sure, but what I do know is that it can normally guess the next sentence. This is a feature where the older ****** like Albert had trouble with which is partly why Google has been working hard on this new release of BERT.

M: I’m amazed at what BERT can do, but what are the limitations of BERT? What problems are left that Google can’t currently solve with BERT?

D: Language is complex. Google’s not perfect nor is any search engine perfect
Search engine machines still don’t have common sense. Every day we know there are 15% of queries that we have not seen before or there are news stories that haven’t happened yet.

M: Yeah, and there’s the idea that in the age of machine learning that AI will take over, but there’s an enormous gap that exists where I don’t think it will ever come to a point where a machine can think like a human can.

D: Yeah, there’s only so much you can do until we need the next big innovation. The current solution to understanding context is to build bigger and better ******. That obviously has its limits as it’s not really innovation but feeding the ****** more data and making it more expensive.

M: It’s kind of funny that the quality of human understanding is so deep and hard to grasp yet we’re so worried we’re going to complete this AI picture so quickly.

D: Look on Twitter and you’ll see people misinterpret what someone else has written and that’s a human thing to do. Imagine for a search engine it can be very difficult to disambiguate. There are other cues apart from language that aren’t easy. For example, there are dozens of cities around the world named Manchester so it can be easy to confuse them all.

M: I see your point. I saw an article that claimed that Walmart is coming to Jerusalem, Israel, which wasn’t true as it was really coming to Jerusalem, Illinois or something like that.

D: And what sometimes happens is people build websites with the wrong parameters in their locations which can lead to ranking issues.

M: There’s been this idea of optimizing for BERT which is obviously insane. Leaving that aside, is there anything to making sure the way you speak or the terms you use on any given webpage are consistent and uniform so you don’t create a discord between the terminology so that BERT understands it correctly. Or does it not matter?

D: You can’t optimize for BERT. I don’t think people understand that these are words and this is a machine that’s trying to understand words. People who don’t work in SEO, like in marketing, think the search engines are cleverer than they really are and they’re not. There is a limit to what machines can do. You have to assist with a sound structure and watch out for disambiguation.

Optimize It or Disavow It

M: If you were faced with the terrible decision to either “optimize for BERT” or “optimize for RankBrain,” assuming you had to do one or the other… which would you do?

D: I’d say neither. You can’t optimize for either. Just fill your site with great content so long as it doesn’t cannibalize itself. You should be creating a big impact. We don’t have much time so think about how to spend it on things that you can optimize for.

M: Thank you, Dawn, for coming on the show!

D: Thank you for having me.

SEO News

Google Working on Some Search Console Bugs: A few Google bugs… again. The URL parameter tool in Search Console is having an issue showing accurate data while the Crawl Stats report is lagging with “old” data.

Google Slow on Reconsideration Requests: Reports abound that Google is very slow these days with their reconsideration requests!

DuckDuckGo is Now a Default Option on Android: The EU is forcing Google to list DuckDuckGo as a default search engine on Android.

Google Drops Table Schema: There are some reports showing that Google may have dropped support for Table schema.

Fun SEO Send-Off Question

What did Google think of the last Star Wars movie? 

Mordy thought Google considers the last Star Wars movie as “duplicate content” as it retreads on previous plot points from Return of the Jedi.

Tune in next Tuesday for a new episode of The In Search SEO Podcast.

About The Author

The In Search SEO Podcast

In Search is a weekly SEO podcast featuring some of the biggest names in the search marketing industry.

Tune in to hear pure SEO insights with a ton of personality!

New episodes are released each Tuesday!

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Milk ATM Machine

By | October 31, 2021

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Bulk Milk Cooler Price

By | October 31, 2021

Planet Baba is the recognized brand as Bulk Milk Cooler Manufacturers and Suppliers in Punjab. These milk coolers are available with great finish. These Bulk Milk Cooler is made with cost effective advance technology with the help of trained and professional architects. Sealed compressors of reputed make Air cooled condenser Split type esign, easy to install Agitator: Free from noise & vibration Maintain equal temp.throughout the tank Control Panel: Mounted on condensing unit itself Can be operating auto/manual mode Digital temp. indicator & controller With safety devices Optional cyclic agitation can be provided.

Easy Opening with gas spring Circular rectangular tank with AISI 304 Grade SS material. Special evaporator with spot & seam welding Suitable for two milking Top cover of Bulk Cooler for Milk has provided proper stiffening pipes & two holes for milk inlet Outlet connection with 2 way B/F Valve Engraved SS dip stick for measuring qty. of milk is provided Insulated with 40 kg.cu.mtr. Density puff material Four legs with 50 mm level adjustment Tank Capacity available : 0.2 kl, 0.5 kl, 1 kl, 2, 3, 5, 10 kl Condensing Unit Details.

Domain History: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

By | October 31, 2021

Unless you’re lucky enough to register a domain name no one has thought of before, chances are a domain registered today will have a history attached to it.

Is there any reason for the new owner of a domain to be concerned with what the previous owner(s) did with it?

Yes, a domain’s history does matter, even after ownership changes hands and it gets repurposed into a new site.

The truth is, domain history matters more than site owners may think. Unfortunately some don’t learn that until it’s too late.

Read on to learn more about the claims regarding domain history as a ranking factor, then we’ll look at the supporting evidence from Google.


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The Claim: Domain History Is A Ranking Factor

Domains can potentially have many different and varying uses throughout their lifetime.

A domain name that’s being used by a legitimate business today may have previously been used by a payday loan website, or a piracy site, or any other type of website that Google frowns upon.

Despite the website itself being new, domain history is said to be a factor for Google’s search results in the present day.

That means a new website could be held back in Google search before it even has a chance to rank.

Is this a genuine concern? Or is it all theoretical?


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Here’s what the evidence says.

The Evidence: Domain History As A Ranking Factor

Google has addressed the topic of domain history and its impact on rankings on a number of occasions.

It’s consistently stated that how a domain was used in the past can be a factor in how Google treats it today.

The impact can range from moderate to severe. The most severe issue a site owner could run into is acquiring a domain with a history of unresolved manual actions.

Google’s manual actions don’t go away on their own, even after the previous owner sells the domain or lets the registration lapse.

If the penalties aren’t dealt with, the domain’s next owner may find their website demoted or deindexed right out of the gate.

This issue is discussed in a video with former Googler Matt Cutts, who recommended researching a domain before purchasing it.

A site owner can immediately find out if their domain has a manual action against it by checking the manual action report in Google Search Console.

That’s the worst case scenario. But it’s only a temporary setback as all manual actions can be resolved.

In other cases, a domain may not have a penalty associated with it, but still have a negative history with Google.


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In those cases, the site may still be impacted in search results. Google’s John Mueller says that’s an issue that will resolve itself over time.

A domain with a brief history of bad activity is not a cause for concern, according to Mueller. If the negative history dates back 10 years or more that may be more difficult to recover from.

The history of any domain can be looked up at Archive.org.

Domain History As A Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

Domain History: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

Domain history is pretty much confirmed to be a ranking factor.


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That’s why Google advises you to do your due diligence and research how a domain was previously used before acquiring it.

The impact of poor domain history varies in severity, with the most harmful being an unresolved Google manual action leading to deindexation.

In most cases, unless the poor history went on for a decade or more, a new website can rise above its domain’s problematic past and rank on its own merits.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/SearchEngineJournal

Source link : Searchenginejournal.com