Daily Archives: November 18, 2021

Serp News: Algo Update, Featured Snippets Tweak & More

By | November 18, 2021

While we may be in the new year, we’re not done with 2017 just yet. Google closed the year off on the SERP with a heavy hitting algorithm update and some of the most interesting SERP feature tests and upgrades that we’ve seen all year. Whether it was images in AdWords ads or more content inside Featured Snippets, Google capped the year off in a way that was anything but boring. 

One Last Google Update in 2017

Machine learning never takes a vacation, so despite being on the cusp of the holidays, Google rolled-out a significant algorithm update. On December 20th, the Rank Risk Index caught a one day spike in rank fluctuations on desktop (two days on mobile). Reaching a fluctuation level of 71/100, Google’s end-of-year update was not a mere blip on the radar. 

Rank fluctuations increased on December 20th per the Rank Risk Index 

This comes after some speculation that there was an update that rolled-out circa December 14th. While our data does show an increase in rank fluctuations around that time, they were not nearly as significant as the changes in rank we saw on the 20th. 

Featured Snippets and Knowledge Panel Get a Content Update 


In early December, Google announced that related searches and more images would be coming to Featured Snippets. Google has stated that the new additions are meant to help users discover more about a topic. What’s interesting is, I have not come across the new layout as of yet. 

Like Featured Snippets, Google also added the related search carousel to the Knowledge Panel. Also, Google is now showing a carousel of related topics that at times appears above the Knowledge Panel. Both of these features now commonly appear within mobile Knowledge Panels. 

People Also Search For - Knowledge Panel

A People Also Search For carousel within a mobile Knowledge Panel  

Google is constantly making changes to its SERP features, particularly the Knowledge Panel. So it is a bit interesting that the search giant made an official announcement about these specific changes. 


SERP Features Test & Changes – December 2017 


As I mentioned earlier, Google ended off the year with some real zingers. Particularly, there were some fascinating tests to both the SERP and SERP features that could have a deep impact should they become permanent fixtures.  

The Two-Result SERP 

Early in the month there were reports of SERPs showing with almost no organic results. These SERPs were dominated by numerous SERP features that left room for just two organic results. 

Limited Organic Results

A mobile SERP showing just two organic results (image source seroundtable.com)

Additionally, the “next page” button did not show on this SERP. Instead, Google simply displayed a button that read “See more results.” Tapping here caused dynamically loading search results to be added to the present “page.” I’ve actually seen this dynamically loading SERP before. It would be quite interesting if Google eventually went with the format. Seeing this along with limited organic results in a way makes sense, as in this case there are no pages, making it easier for Google to avoid the critique of having limited results on Page One.  

The Best Answer Carousel 


Also early in the month, Google tested a new SERP feature, Best Answers (as dubbed by the industry). Showing at times when a query brought up results from forum sites, Google was running a carousel of answers within the organic results. The carousel would show multiple answers from the forum in order of those answers with the most votes. The way I think of it is almost like a carousel of Featured Snippets with content made up of forum answers. It would be quite interesting if Google permanently brought the feature to the SERP. If so, I would venture Google may use answers from the carousel when responding to voice search queries, as doing so would eliminate some of the inaccuracies that come along with Featured Snippets. 

Best Answer Carousel

The Best Answer carousel that appeared within the organic results for forum sites during a recent test (image source: seroundtable.com)  

Organic Results Come to the Local Panel 

Google is now showing a limited set of organic results within the Local Knowledge Panel. Generally showing 3 – 4 results, this is an interesting addition to the Knowledge Panel. That is, I’m not sure of the upshot here. The sites shown are generally those of the entity within the panel, map sites, or review sites such as Yelp. However, the panel already includes a link to the entity’s site, has a button for directions, and includes all sorts of ratings and reviews. It just makes me think this might be less about functionality and more about optics. 

Knowledge Panel Organic Results

Organic results inside the mobile Local Panel 

Notable Moments in the Knowledge Panel 

Creating a timeline of sorts, Google tested a carousel showing chronologically ordered snippets of information within the Knowledge Panel. The information on each card in the carousel was pulled from different websites, with a link to the site itself. This appears to have been a limited test as I no longer see the element appearing within the panel. 

Notable Cards - Knowledge Panel
Notable cards create a timeline in this test to the Knowledge Panel (image source: seroundtable.com) 

The Q&A Feature Makes Its Way to Desktop Knowledge Panels


Appearing within mobile Knowledge Panels since August, Google has pushed the Q&A feature to desktop. The feature is a great content opportunity as it allows site owners to ask and answer their own questions with the content showing right on the SERP. In this way, the Q&A feature is an FAQ of sorts, though users can also ask and answer questions as well. 


Google Upgrades Flight and Hotel SERP Features…. Again


Back in August, Google’s Flight Box and hotel Knowledge Panels received a highly potent upgrade that brought searching for flights and hotels to a whole new level of ease. In December, these features underwent another round of upgrades. Specifically, the Flight Box now offers tips designed to save you money. The Tips Box was added back in August, though back then it did not present users with much in the way of information. 

Hotel Local Packs also saw an update with Google giving you the ability to track hotel prices via automated alerts. That is, Google will actually email you with price changes to hotels (this feature is set to roll-out sometime in 2018). On top of that, Google is also providing notification when/if hotels in a given area may be busier than usual, and therefore more expensive, right in the Local Finder. This comes as Google also fully rolled-out its hotel price slider within the Local Pack.

Hotels Busier than Usual

A notification inside the Local Finder tells users if hotels will be busier and therefore more expensive for a selected **** range

No matter how you look at it, Google is certainly approaching its flight and hotel SERP feature with new zeal. As I’ve mentioned previously, such upgrades may be part of a new revenue strategy that comes on the heels of the Chrome ad blocker. 

Image in Ads Test


On December 18th, Sergey Alakov found Google running an image within an AdWords ad. What’s interesting (other than the obvious), is that the image seems to be generic (as the site in question has no such image). More than that, the ad content seems to have been dynamically generated by Google. Really the whole thing is a bit bizarre. At the same time, I would not discount the notion that Google will push images to its ads, as doing so makes them appear that much more organic.

Ending the Year in a Big Way 

Google really did end the year with a bang when you think about it. Just imagine if some of the tests we saw actually get rolled out. Both images in ads and a best answer carousel, have the potential to seriously shake up the SERP. In the case of the latter, showing a carousel of forum answers could have a real impact on the clicks those sites would have otherwise earned. Also, it was not altogether surprising to see Google add even more elements to its flight and hotel SERP features. That being said, is Google done? Will we see another round of flight and hotel upgrades in 2018? Are big changes on the horizon? Let me know what you think!      

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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The Top Google My Business Updates of 2021 [E-Book]

By | November 18, 2021

Top Google My Business Updates of 2021 [E-Book]Google is constantly developing, testing, and launching new features to improve consumers’ experience with search. As a brand, taking advantage of these features can help your locations stand out in search, provide important information to compel conversions, and help differentiate your location in those key moments when an on-the-go consumer is deciding which business listing best suits their needs.

Many of these features and attributes are vertical-specific and available only to businesses with the relevant primary category. Understanding which updates and improvements are available to your GMB listings is essential for optimizing your profiles and improving local search visibility.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Differentiate your locations from close competitors
  • Better optimize your listings for maximum visibility and rankings
  • Improve your customers’ experience

Learn the most impactful GMB updates for multi-location brands that have come out this past year.

Download your free copy of “The Top Google My Business Updates of 2021” today

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Google SERP Feature Volatility & Your SEO Strategy

By | November 18, 2021

If you keep track of the news within the SEO industry, you’ll notice that Google constantly changes the data patterns of its SERP features. Throughout 2017 we reported on what must have been nearly a dozen major SERP feature increases or decreases. These near-constant SERP feature gains and losses piqued my curiosity and made me wonder, just how stable are some of the most important features on the SERP? Is the perception that many features undergo significant fluctuations accurate? Just how volatile are SERP features likes Featured Snippets, Knowledge Panels, Local Packs, and AMP?

Pulling the Curtain

A Little on the Method


Before proceeding, let me just walk you through the data I’m about to present. What I did was take a SERP feature and see what percentage of Page One SERPs the feature appeared on. I then looked at the next month’s data and recorded how many percentage points where gained or lost. For the sake of having a more complete picture, I looked at the 1st of one month in relation to the 1st of the next month, as well as the 15th of one month relative to the 15th of the month that followed (since I wrote this post before January 15th, the latter dataset has one less point of analysis).  

The Math Robot

Just for example, say that SERP feature “A” appeared on 45% of all Page One SERPs on January 1st, but only 40% on February 1st. This was recorded as a 5 percentage point loss. Now, the question is, which month does this data belong to, January or February? Since most of the data came during January, and because doing otherwise would be confusing, I called this data “January’s” data. The same goes when I looked at the data on the 15th of one month compared to the 15th of the next. In the case of January 15th’s data versus February 15th’s data, I simply refer to this as January’s mid-month data on the graphs below. 

I did this for both 2016 and 2017 for Featured Snippets, Knowledge Panels, and Local Packs. In regards to AMP, only data from 2017 is included in this study (since AMP in organic results was only introduced once 2016 was well underway). 

After collecting this data, I simply determined the average fluctuation and calculated the standard deviation. I used the standard deviation to determine if a feature was more or less stable and how the 2017 figures compared to 2016 (except in the case of AMP).

In a nutshell, there is a pretty decent amount of data that was analyzed. However, it is not an exhaustive set, and of course has its limitations. 

==> Find out how to deal with SERP Volatility

Featured Snippet Volatility – Not What You’d Expect 

So of course I’m going to start off with Featured Snippets. Besides for being seen as the Nirvana of SERP features, there was speculation that Google was limiting the feature. A lot of this caution came as there was a change in Feature Snippet data patterns back in November of 2017, just as more Knowledge Panels hit the SERP. But what does the data say? Are Featured Snippets volatile? Is your SERP strategy in jeopardy? Are zero-ranking wins harder than ever to come by? No, no, no, and no.  

In fact, of all of the SERP features I analyzed, Featured Snippets were the most stable feature in 2016 and in 2017. 

Featured Snippets Standard Deviation


Year  2016 2017 
Standard Deviation   0.611  0.906 

The results show this feature to be highly stable. In 2016, there were a few moments where the feature fluctuated somewhat substantially. When looking at October 1st relative to November 1st (considered October 1st data), the feature spiked 1.87 percentage points. However, this was offset by a series of months with almost no volatility. What is amazing to note is that Featured Snippets gained nearly 7.5 percentage points in 2016, it just did so very gradually.  

2016 Featured Snippet Fluctuations

2016 Featured Snippet fluctuations comparing data from both the 1st and 15th of each month

2017 was slightly more volatile, but not by much. There were some significant changes with the biggest coming at the end of the year between December 1st and January 1st (2018) where the feature went from showing on 13.5% of all Page One SERPs (desktop) to 11.33%, a 2.17 point drop. What is important to consider is that 2016 was less volatile, despite the feature showing huge gains. Such was not the case in 2017. Meaning, fluctuations in 2016 have the added quality of being normalized (to a degree) as the feature was on an upward trajectory, whereas this was not the case in 2017.  

2017 Featured Snippet Fluctuations

2017’s Featured Snippet fluctuations 

Featured Snippets – What to Take Away 


Despite the general perception that Featured Snippets are in a constant state of flux, the feature overall is quite stable, and has been for some time. This does not mean that Google isn’t swapping URLs for a keyword, or even changing which keywords result in or don’t result in a Featured Snippet. What it does mean is that Google is not shying away from using the SERP feature. As such, giving Featured Snippet scorings an integral role in your SEO strategy, is, in general, sound. The feature, though not showing outstanding gains in 2017, has had a consistent presence on the SERP.   

==> Check out our guide to understanding SERP Feature Volatility

Knowledge Panel Moves Towards Increased Volatility in 2017 


Traditionally speaking, Knowledge Panels are one of the least volatile SERP features out there. That’s not to say the feature has not undergone gains and losses, but less so than other features. Indeed, 2016’s standard deviation confirms this. Though, 2017 has seen a move away from this paradigm. 

Knowledge Panel Standard Deviation: 

Year  2016 2017 
Standard Deviation   0.378 1.33

2016 was a highly stable year for the Knowledge Panel. Of all the data points I analyzed, not a single one showed a gain or loss that was more than a percentage point. The most significant fluctuation I tracked came when analyzing the August 1st data, where the feature saw a .97 point loss. The SERP feature started 2016 showing on roughly 10% of Page One SERPs and ended the year displaying on just over 9% of Page One SERPs. Pretty darn stable.

Knowledge Panel 2016 Fluctuations

The most significant Knowledge Panel fluctuation in 2016 did not even break a full percentage point gain or loss

Not so in 2017. In fact, the year was a breakout year for the feature in some ways. The feature’s standard deviation jumped past a full point, which relative to 2016 is pretty substantial. Unlike 2016, there were six points where the SERP feature saw gains or losses that were greater than a percentage point. 

So what happened? Well, the feature did not post big gains in 2017, so that’s not it. Knowledge Panel’s began 2017 on approximately 9% of SERPs and ended it at around the same levels. In fact, the first half of 2017 was without much volatility. However, and as you can see in the graph below, June saw a whole new data trend for the SERP feature that lasted through the end of the year. It’s these spikes and subsequent losses that saw the Knowledge Panel’s standard deviation for the year rise so dramatically. 

2017 Knowledge Panel Data

The percentage of Page One SERPs with a Knowledge Panel underwent a dramatic data shift that began in June of 2017

The Knowledge Panel fluctuations shown below clearly align to the pattern showcased above. The increase in fluctuations during the second half of the year is quite visible. 

2017 Knowledge Panel Fluctuations


In 2017 the Knowledge Panel became significantly more volatile with the December 1st fluctuation metric showing a 3.47 point increase 

Knowledge Panels – What to Take Away 


Google has long had a fancy for tinkering with the Knowledge Panel. While I don’t have an exact number, it would not be a stretch to say that a significant proportion of all SERP feature tests and upgrades involve the Knowledge Panel. It seems that Google is finally seeing how the panel can actually be leveraged on the SERP. This is exemplified by a late November spike that saw Google running Knowledge Panels for very straightforward entities (i.e., furniture, socks, etc.). 

If your sites relate to an entity, you will certainly want to keep an eye on your site traffic. With Google showing more Knowledge Panels for topical queries (i.e., quantum physics, psychoanalysis, existentialism, etc.) information-based sites focused on subject matter may now have some stiff competition via the Knowledge Panel.

With Google starting to actually play around with the display levels of the Knowledge Panel, keeping tabs on the SERP feature’s trends becomes important depending on the type of sites you’re working on.   

Local Pack Instability  


Local Packs are unique in that the connection between the SERP feature and actual dollars is relatively direct and intrinsic. An appearance in the Local Pack can mean more visibility and subsequently more business for a local establishment or service company. Local Packs, interestingly, were not one of the SERP features that I associated with volatility. Yes, there have been sharp increases and losses here and there, but my general association is not one of volatility. However, the standard deviation numbers tell a different story. 

Local Pack Standard Deviation: 

Year  2016 2017 
Standard Deviation   1.25 2.07

Off the bat, and compared to both Knowledge Panels and certainly Featured Snippets, the general trend for the Local Pack is far more volatile. It is the only SERP feature I studied that had a standard deviation of over a full point for both 2016 and 2017. More so, the standard deviation almost doubled from 2016 to 2017. This is not one of the more stable SERP features, odd as that may sound. 

Though early 2016 was more stable than other periods for the Local Pack, larger fluctuations are consistently at play. That is, as opposed to other SERP features, seeing the Local Pack fluctuate greatly is not uncommon. I would go so far as to call it the norm. That is, 2016’s relatively high standard deviation didn’t come from one or two unusually high data shifts that impacted the overall number. 

2016 Local Pack Fluctuations

2016 Local Pack volatility as measured and compared from both the 1st and 15th of each month


The same is true for 2017, but to a much greater extent as the standard deviation doubled. What’s interesting in 2017 is that Local Packs went from showing on 32% of SERPs (desktop) to just over 45%, which is a nice increase. However, getting into the stability of the feature, the standard deviation did not increase dramatically because the feature is now populated on more pages. Neither does the data show a few sharp increases that skewed the averages sort to speak.  

Local Pack Fluctuations 2017

Local Pack’s 2017 fluctuations resulted in a standard deviation above 2 

Rather, 2017 was dominated by large ups and downs. A whopping 16 of the data points that I analyzed had fluctuations above an entire percentage point. Of those 16, nine were over two points. Meaning, this feature fluctuates heavily and often. It’s just its pattern, and it appears as time goes on this volatility only gets worse.

Local Packs – What to Take Away   


Here’s what’s interesting. You would think that Local Packs would be pretty stable. It doesn’t seem complicated. If the query relates to a local service of some sort, Google should show the Local Pack. Is Google really showing a Local Pack for NYC pizza places one day and not the next? It’s highly unlikely that keywords of this nature would not be consistent in their triggering of a Local Pack (which is not to say the sites within these Local Packs don’t fluctuate, that’s a different dataset altogether).

So let’s think beyond highly stable keywords that we all know pull up Local Packs. The fluctuations are not a result of Google pulling Local Packs for keywords like mechanic LA or accountants in Dallas. That being said, I’ve seen more and more of what I’ll call “service products” pulling Local Packs. For example, in 2016 lawn care equipment, carpet cleaning equipmentge appliances, dishwasher parts, or microwave parts didn’t result in Local Pack appearances. In late 2017, these keywords all drew the SERP feature. 

My point is that Google is expanding what it considers to be Local Pack worthy. At the same time, the feature does undergo decreases, with Google reigning in what it considers to be fit for Local Pack consumption. Anyone tracking local SEO campaigns needs to be diligent about tracking their Local Pack appearances and should not think that just because they’ve been in a Local Pack since the dawn of time or that Google has been showing a Local Pack for the keyword since the Big Bang, that this has to be so. Local Packs are highly volatile as Google has a lot on its plate when it comes to local listing quality (i.e., spam in the Local Pack). As the local algorithm updates of the more recent past indicate, the search engine is not afraid to shake things up considerably. 

Gauging AMP’s SERP Volatility 

How could I not include AMP among all of this desktop data? The issue with “organic AMP” is that we only began tracking it in the middle of 2016, when it hit the organic results. What I did instead of analyzing 2017’s volatility/stability against 2016’s (which I simply can’t do) was to showcase AMP’s behavior within the organic results as compared to within the news carousel. 

At first glance, and by looking at the standard deviation, it would seem that AMP is a bit volatile. 

AMP Standard Deviation 

Type  Organic AMP – 2017 AMP in News Results – 2017 
Standard Deviation   1.75 17.044

Let’s leave the incredible AMP in News Results stat aside for a moment and begin with AMP within the organic results. It would appear that AMP, despite Google’s push for it, suffers from some volatility. There were two sharp data shifts that impacted organic AMP’s overall numbers in 2017. In April there was a sharp decrease in organic AMP, as reflected by the 3.58 percentage points lost on the graph below (as measured from April 1st relative to May 1st). Then there was a sharp uptick in September, as can be seen on the graph below as well. Without those large shifts, the standard deviation here stands at .55, which is pretty stable. Now, if in 2018 we see another set of large shifts, then it could mean that this is the norm for the feature, and indeed organic AMP is a bit more unstable than thought. The jury is still out. 

Organic AMP Fluctuations 2017

AMP in organic results showed some volatility in 2017, but was largely attributed to two large shifts

AMP in the news carousel is an entirely different story. It’s quite volatile, and there’s no way around that conclusion. To be fair, there was a one-time increase in January 2017 that made AMP the dominant force within the mobile News Box (see below). 

AMP News Fluctuations 2017

AMP in the News Box was highly volatile in 2017 with multiple large fluctuations  

However, leaving the data for January aside (both the 1st of the month and mid-month comparisons) and the standard deviation would still be over 13. Looking at the mid-month data and there was a 21.57 point loss in April and a 6.66 percentage point gain in August. On top of that there was a whopping 31.54 loss in September that was followed by a 39.21 point restoration the following month. That’s too many to ignore. It’s more than a pattern, these fluctuations are the norm when it comes to AMP in the News Box. 

AMP – What to Take Away

Publishers need to understand that while AMP is the dominant force within the mobile news carousel, it doesn’t mean that it is an entirely consistent force. That is, while publishers should clearly create AMP pages, they should also track those pages quite closely. Publishers that simply expect their AMP pages to rank well in the News Box consistently, could be in for a shock of sorts as Google does pull back when it comes to AMP in the news carousel (at times). That is, a bit of fluctuation vis a vis their AMP pages could be part of the normal course of doing business within Google’s mobile News Box.  


A Picture of SERP Feature Stability

It’s easy to see SERP features as being stable until that news story breaks showing a sudden increase or a global roll-out, etc. However, as shown in the case of Local Packs, Knowledge Panels, and AMP within news results, that’s not always the case. In between the big news stories are fluctuations that can define the normal behavior of the feature. This makes securing a long lasting SERP feature win harder, depending on the context of course. It also means that the rank or traffic implications of a SERP feature are not just subject to your rankings, but Google’s intrinsic SERP feature behavior. Local Packs, and the impact of losing or gaining one, is the clearest example of where Google’s SERP feature seesawing can have a real impact, and one where you have little to no control. It just underscores how vulnerable things are these days. Though, and to be fair, when it comes to Featured Snippets or organic AMP, there seems to be more institutional stability than may have been expected, particularly as far as Featured Snippets are concerned.     

Do you have a SERP feature that you’d like me to track? Wondering what the volatility trends for Reviews or Structured Snippets are? Let me know, perhaps I can run a second round of data on some other features. 

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!

Source link

When To Use Rel Canonical Or Noindex …Or Both

By | November 18, 2021

In a Google SEO office-hours hangout Google’s John Mueller was asked whether rel canonical or the noindex tag was the best approach for dealing with duplicate and thin content in an ecommerce site. John Mueller discussed both options and then suggested a third way to handle it.

Noindex Directive

The noindex meta tag is a directive, which means that Google must obey the meta tag and drop the web page from appearing in the search results.

All that the noindex tag does is to drop that page from showing up in Google’s search results.

Google’s official documentation states:

“You can prevent a page or other resource from appearing in Google Search by including a noindex meta tag or header in the HTTP response. When Googlebot next crawls that page and sees the tag or header, Googlebot will drop that page entirely from Google Search results, regardless of whether other sites link to it.”

Rel Canonical

A rel=canonical tag is a hint, not a directive. It gives Google a suggestion for which URL you want shown in the search results.


Continue Reading Below

This is useful when there are multiple pages that are similar, especially when a shopping CMS generates multiple pages for the same product with usually the only difference being something trivial like the color of the item.

Google’s official rel canonical documentation explains the problem like this:

“A canonical URL is the URL of the page that Google thinks is most representative from a set of duplicate pages on your site. For example, if you have URLs for the same page (example.com?dress=1234 and example.com/dresses/1234), Google chooses one as canonical.”

The rel canonical is a useful solution because it can consolidate all of the link and relevance signals back to the main page that a publisher wants in the search results.

But because Google treats the rel canonical tag as a hint, there’s no guarantee that Google will obey it and the Google algorithm may decide to show some other page in the search result.


Continue Reading Below

Rel Canonical Versus Noindex

The person asking the question wanted clarification about whether it was best to use noindex or canonicalization.

It’s not an unreasonable thing to be confused about because a case could be made using either solution.

Here’s the question:

“We have a website… an ecommerce store with a lot of product variations that have thin content or duplicate content even sometimes.

So …I made a list of all the URLs we want to keep or we want to have indexed… and then I made a list of all the URLs that we don’t want to have indexed.

The more I worked on it the more I asked this question to myself, canonicalization or noindexing?

I don’t know what the better of those would be.”

Mueller answered:

“…I think the general question of should I use noindex or rel canonical for another page is something where there probably isn’t an absolute answer.

So that’s kind of just offhand. It’s like if you’re struggling with that you’re not the only person who’s like, oh which one should I use?

That also usually means that both of these options can be okay.

So usually what I would look at there is what your really strong preference there is.

And if the strong preference is you really don’t want this content to be shown at all in search, then I would use noindex.

If your preference is, I really want everything combined in one page and if individual ones show up, like whatever, but most of them should be combined, then I would use a rel canonical.

And ultimately the effect is similar in that, well, it’s likely the page that you’re looking at won’t be shown in search.

But with a noindex it’s definitely not shown.

And with a rel canonical it’s more likely not shown.”

A Third Way to Deal with Duplicate and Thin Pages

Mueller next suggested that a publisher can use both noindex and rel canonical in order to benefit from both.

Mueller said:

“…you can also do both of them.

And it’s something… if external links, for example, are pointing at this page then having both of them there kind of helps us to figure out well, you don’t want this page indexed but you also specified another one.

So maybe some of the signals we can just forward along.”

Combining Rel Canonical and Noindex is not a commonly discussed solution. But according to John Mueller it’s a valid way to deal with duplicate and thin content.

But ultimately it’s really up to the publisher to decide based on what their desired outcome is, whether consolidating link and relevance signals is important and whether making sure the page does not appear in search is paramount.


Google’s Official Documentation of Noindex

Block Search indexing with noindex


Continue Reading Below

Google’s Official Documentation of Rel Canonical

Consolidate duplicate URLs

Which is Best: NoIndex or Rel Canonical?

Watch at 16:49 Minute Mark

Source link : Searchenginejournal.com

We’re turning off AMP pages at Search Engine Land

By | November 18, 2021

“Gasp! Think of the traffic!” 

That’s a pretty accurate account of the more than two dozen conversations we’ve had about Search Engine Land’s support of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages in the past few years. At first, it was about the headache in managing the separate codebase AMP requires as well as the havoc AMP wreaks on analytics when a nice chunk of your audience’s time is spent on an external server not connected to your own site. But, Google’s decision to no longer require AMP for inclusion in the Top Stories carousels gave us a new reason to question the wisdom of supporting AMP. 

So, this Friday, we’re turning it off.

How we got here

Even when Google was sending big traffic to AMP articles that ranked in Top Stories, the tradeoff had its kinks. For a small publisher with limited resources, the development work is considerate. And not being able to fully understand how users migrated between AMP and non-AMP pages meant our picture of return and highly engaged visitors was flawed. 

But, this August we saw a significant drop in traffic to AMP pages, suggesting that the inclusion of non-AMP pages from competing sources in Top Stories was taking a toll.

Our own analytics showed that between July and August we saw a 34% drop in AMP traffic, setting a new baseline of traffic that was consistent month-to-month through the fall.

Monthly AMP Page traffic to Search Engine Land from April 2021 to October 2021.

This week we also learned that Twitter stopped referring mobile users to AMP versions, which zeroed out our third-largest referrer to AMP pages behind Google and LinkedIn. We’ve seen LinkedIn referrals fall as well, suggesting that when November ends, we’ll be faced with another, lower baseline of traffic to AMP pages.

Publishers have been reluctant to remove AMP because of the unknown effect it may have on traffic. But what our data seemed to tell us was there was just as much risk on the other side. We could keep AMP pages, which we know have good experience by Google standards, and their visibility would fall anyway due to competition in Top Stories and waning support by social media platforms.

We know what a road to oblivion looks like, and our data suggests AMP visibility is on that path. Rather than ride that to nowhere, we decided to turn off AMP and take back control of our data.

How we are doing it

“If you are ready and you have good performance of your mobile pages, I think you should start testing.” That’s what Conde Nast Global VP of Audience Development Strategy John Shehata told attendees at SMX Next this month when asked about removing AMP.

Shehata suggested a metered strategy that starts with removing AMP on articles after seven days and then moves on to removing AMP on larger topical collections.

“If all goes well, then go for the whole site,” he said “I think it’s gonna be better in the long run.”

That, of course, hinges on the speed and experience of your native mobile pages, he said.

The Washington Post, which is still listed as an AMP success story on the AMP Project site, actually turned off AMP a while back, said Shani George, VP of Communications at the Post.

“Creating a reading experience centered around speed and quality has long been a top priority for us,” she added, pointing us to an extensive write-up its engineer team published this summer around its work on Core Web Vitals.

Because we are a smaller, niche publisher, our plan is to conserve our resources and turn off AMP for the entire site at once. Our core content management system is WordPress, and AMP is currently set for posts only, not pages. But that includes the bulk of our content by far.

Our plan is to use 302 redirects initially. This way we’re telling Google these are temporary, and there won’t be any PageRank issues if we turn them off (or replace them with 301s). We’ll then see how our pages are performing without AMP. If there’s no measurable difference, we’ll then replace those 302 redirects with permanent 301 redirects. The 301s should send any PageRank gained from the AMP URLs to their non-AMP counterparts.

Of course, if the worst-case scenario happens and traffic drops beyond what we can stomach, we’ll turn off the 302 redirects and plan a different course for AMP.

It’s a risk for sure. Though we have done a considerable amount of work to improve our CWV scores, we still struggle to put up high scores by Google’s standards. That work will continue, though. Perhaps the best solace we have at this point is many SEOs we’ve spoken to are having trouble seeing measurable impacts for work on CWV since the Page Experience Update rolled out.

Maybe it’s not about traffic for us

The relationship between publishers and platforms is dysfunctional at best. The newsstands of old are today’s “news feeds” and publishers have been blindsided again and again when platforms change the rules. We probably knew allowing a search platform to host our content on its own servers was doomed to implode, but audience is our lifeblood so can you blame us for buying in?

We also know that tying our fates to third party platforms can be as risky as not participating in them at all. But when it comes to supporting AMP on Search Engine Land, we’re going to pass. We just want our content back.

About The Author

Henry Powderly is vice president of content for Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. With more than a decade in editorial leadership positions, he is responsible for content strategy and event programming for the organization.

Source link : Searchengineland.com

Grab your free pass now for SMX Build: SEO for Developers

By | November 18, 2021

Grab your free pass now for SMX Build: SEO for Developers

Source link : Searchengineland.com

Is Google out of touch? What the SEO community thinks about the November 2021 core update

By | November 18, 2021

Yesterday, Google announced the November 2021 core update. While there’s nothing new about these periodic algorithm changes, many SEOs are wondering why Google decided to release it right before one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.

The holiday shopping season. The weeks encompassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday already add pressure to businesses looking to meet customer demand as well as their own revenue projections. Throwing a core update into the mix could make this even more complicated. This has made some SEOs wonder if Google is out of touch with both the business and search communities.

The SEO community response. Many in the search community are questioning Google’s timing on this update. Some marketers responded to Google Search Liason Danny Sullivan’s explanation, including SEO Rich Missey, who identified possible issues that could arise with business stakeholders.

Sarah Blocksidge of Six City Marketing pointed out that, while a core update took place around the same time last year, its timing was a little more reasonable.

But other professionals, such as Barry Adams of Polemic Digital, took a more cynical view of the update (and Google’s core updates as a whole).

John Mueller of Google decided to jump into these conversations as well, asking SEOs how and when they preferred the company announce these changes.

Why we care. Businesses that made changes to their staff and inventory in preparation for the holiday shopping season may experience issues depending on the update’s impact. It’s important for SEOs to pinpoint when these ranking changes occurred so they can notify stakeholders and prepare to adjust their strategies. The impacts could continue through the end of November, so be ready to respond to decreases or increases in search visibility.

About The Author

Corey Patterson is the Content and SEO Manager for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he analyzes and optimizes Third Door Media content to help marketers find the information they need.

Source link : Searchengineland.com

Guide to Google’s Mobile Local Knowledge Panel

By | November 18, 2021

Guide to Google’s Local Knowledge Panel on Mobile – Transcript 

Hi there, I’m Mordy from Rank Ranger and today we’re going to take a look at some Local Knowledge Panels on mobile. The mobile Knowledge Panel can be really just a bit overwhelming. There are just so many different kinds of panels. Movie Panels, Book Panels, Hotel Panels, Publisher Panels [,etc.]. To make it all the more confusing there are so many features and variations of each panel depending on the entity being displayed within it.

So instead of throwing all of these “souped-up” variations of the Knowledge Panel at you all at once, which I plan on doing at some point… here’s a sort of quick look at the mobile Local Panel. Think of it like a mobile Local Knowledge Panel 101, because just here in the mobile Local Panel it’s a bonanza of different features and panel variations. Seriously, we could spend hours on just this one type of Knowledge Panel, but don’t worry, I won’t. For  comprehensive overviews of this SERP feature, see our guides to the local knowledge panel and the corresponding desktop knowledge panel. 

A lot of what Google offers up in the mobile Local Panel has a lot to do with the type of local business we’re looking at. For our purposes, we’re going to break this down to a local service business (you know, a lawyer, a dentist, a bank, etc.), a local store, and a restaurant. Why? Well, because each of these categories brings up a different set of features, because Google is diverse and smart like that.

OK, let’s get right into this! Up first is a mobile Local Panel for a local dentist, which I literally brought up at random. What you get first is a quick summary showcasing the entity’s name, rating, and description. We then get tabs, tabs of different content. Actually, we sort of lucked out here, this panel has some more tabs than we might usually see for a business like this. Really, it’s a good example of how a local business can leverage the mobile Local Panel. So pay close attention if you are such a business yourself or are doing SEO for such clients. I’m going to get back to those tabs in just a minute, FYI.

In the meantime, let’s keep moving down the Overview tab. You have your “buttons” here that let you call a business, pull up directions, save the panel for a midnight dentist cleaning, and go to the entity’s actual site. Now Google asks us to describe this place, which is really interesting and it makes me wonder if we’re going to get a “Highlights” carousel here. “What’s that?” you may ask. We’ll get there, don’t fret (not that you actually are). But, if we tap over here we get a chance to list some of the “traits” that apply to the business.

Back to the panel! Next up is the address of the business, which kind of makes sense that it would be here… a little map icon that you can utilize as well. Here are the hours of operation, and being that I’m up early today, the good dentist is closed. Notice by the way that since I’m recording on Martin Luther King Day here in the States, that Google is cautioning that the hours that normally apply, might not today, which is great if you hate going to the dentist, so score for you.

Here’s an odd one, Menu. The last place you would expect a nice steak is the dentist, unless your dentist is different than mine. OK, this is a bit of a misnomer, and I’ve seen it a lot. If you pull up a Local Panel for say Macy’s in Herald Square (that’s the big one where they do the parade, I only know because as a kid my dad would schlepp me there at 6 am to freeze my rear-end off every Thanksgiving), you’ll see the same menu option, and of course Macy’s is not a restaurant. What this is, is a failure to communicate. The business offers a variety of services, the way that McDonalds offers a variety of grade Z hamburgers. This itemized variety of dental delights is being picked up by Google as a menu, as if the dentist were really an Arby’s. Notice by the way that tapping the menu icon brought us to the Menu tab.

Here’s another nice one, you can be directed to the site’s booking page right here. Notice that Google has the site in gray, that’s because this is not the Google Booking feature. For certain businesses, or really businesses that utilize certain booking software that has partnered with Google, there is a booking feature that shows in the Local Panel on mobile that is part of a whole Google booking behemoth, but that’s for another time.

Onwards! Obviously you have the phone number, and if you’re wondering why it’s so far down, it’s not, you have the call button I pointed out earlier right at the top of the panel.

OK, this is the Q&A feature, it’s quite cool, it’s super important for a business, and I’m going to skip over it…. For now….Because the good dentist isn’t utilizing it (which is surprising considering they’re employing Google Posts… I’ll get there).

This is pretty unique for a local business, but it’s a set of reviews, and it’s great that this business is utilizing them properly.

Let’s expand the panel now. We leave the normal results page and are in what I’ll call the mobile Knowledge Panel ecosystem.

So let’s push past what we already looked at.
Now you have access to some more images, reviews, and a whole heap of carousels for various subsets of dental services… Cosmetic Dentists, etc.

Here, and this is an addition that came towards the end of 2017, you have organic results in the panel. OK, without opening a Pandora’s Box, which I would gladly do if this were a full-on guide to the mobile Local Panel, there’s a bit of question as to the relavency of these results. Just quickly, look at the last one. It’s for a site to book an appointment with this dentist. Great, but we had such an option earlier, and with the dentist directly. You see where I’m heading with this…

Next tab please! Posts! OK, so Google has this feature where you can post content right to the SERP and fittingly it’s called Google Posts. It’s basically like a Facebook post for the Google results page, or in this case the Knowledge Panel. So, if we scroll down we can see what these posts basically are. I’m a bit surprised that the business is utilizing Google Posts and not the Q&A feature, which as I’ll show you, is possibly far more important.

The Menu tab we saw [already].… Reviews…. Essentially what you saw on the Overview tab, but with the full writeups.

Lastly, the Photos tab, and you get a nice set of images. You can see that Google subcategorizes the images, in this case we have a subset of pictures supplied by the business themselves. This will actually become more relevant when we look at restaurants. I mean, do you really care if a patient or the owner posted the image?

Next panel please. Let’s take a look at a store. I’m going to go with a larger chain, only because such panels tend to have some more features that I want to point out to you. Here is a mobile Local Knowledge Panel for Harrod’s in London.

So, like our NYC dentist, you have some an initial rating, your tabs, your buttons (Call, Directions, Save, Website). Obviously you have the address and the hours. Actually, let’s expand this and you can see the hours on a per day basis, which of course is relevant to a store like this who has different hours on Sundays.

OK, here’s the Q&A feature in action. In fact, this question highlights how important this is to a business. Here someone asked about the parking at Harrods. Instead of getting an answer that it’s horrendous, we learn that they have valet parking, which I have to say is brilliant! So instead of blowing off a trip to the store, this user probably headed down and made use of the valet service…. You see it now right?.… Super important. I would guess by the way that the answer here was supplied by Harrods themselves (users can also answer questions). Since the answer refers us to the company website, I’m guessing this is the case. Either way, a business can ask and answer their own questions here. Meaning, if you’re a business Google is giving you a way to put an FAQ right on the SERP… super important!
I’m actually signed in (which for these sort of videos I tend not to be), but I want to show you what you get when you try to ask a question… so here you go.

Got to move on, because there’s another beauty of a feature I want to show you. OK, so now Google gives you a little summary from Wikipedia, a bit of trivia (not sure I get why this is here, but alrighty then), and we get some of the reviews from across the web that we saw earlier.

Now, this is just fabulous… Popular Times. If you’re like pretty much everyone on earth, you don’t like waiting… waiting in line especially. Here comes Google to the rescue. The Local Panel, in cases such as this (which is why I pulled up a more notable entity), will tell you what the traffic in a store is like on a per hour basis. In fact, if the store were open now, you might even get a live look at how busy the place is. The point being, if the store is super busy right now, you might want to avoid it like the plague if you **** shopping as much as I do. Oh, you can see just how “popular” a place is per day as well.
Notice, just underneath this, Google tells you how long people generally spend at the store, so you can prepare yourself for just how painful this is going to be.

OK, next we have the People Also Search For carousel. So, if you’re in London, these are some attractions you might or might be interested it.

Let’s expand the panel and backtrack a bit. Upon expansion you’ll notice that we get an indoor map, which is just astoundingly awesome. Of course your local pharmacy won’t have this in their mobile panels, and if they did I doubt it would help anyone, which is why they will probably never get such a feature. Another bonus is a carousel of images from inside the store that appropriately follows the indoor map.

Also, the summary gets a bit fuller when we expand the panel and as the panel appears to almost overlay the results page. In this case we see who the CEO of Harrods is, some pretty random looking sales numbers that don’t look correct, etc.

Moving past what we already saw, and you now get links to the company’s social profiles and some organic results that suffer from the same problem I mentioned earlier.

Reviews tab, nothing new here. Same with the Photos tab.

Onto the mobile Local Panel for restaurants. Here’s what we get for the New York eatery Vesleka. You know what, let’s just expand this thing off the bat. Very good. Up in the blue heading, and unlike the panels we saw thus far, we get a quick look at the pricing. And of course some tabs, buttons, and a new sort of summary. So this summary, when tapped, gives you a itemized list of let’s call them “establishment traits,” pretty darn neat.

Here we get an actual menu, as opposed to a form of dental exam. As you can see it’s pretty comprehensive. You actually have a carousel for different elements of the menu. So you can see the breakfast menu, brunch menu, etc.
Back to the Overview tab then and to something pretty darn fantastic…. You can actually place an order from the mobile Local Panel… and if we tap on this option you can see we get a list of delivery sites like doordash.com…. What will they think of next?!
What they thought of next is a carousel of food found on the menu! Then of course your handy dandy Q&A feature.

This is a nifty one, Highlights. Basically, what you have here is a characteristics carousel. For example, this eatery has great dessert, coffee, but small plates and college students…. That’s a toss up!

OK, now there are the Reviews From The Web that we’ve seen before, except here they stand in contrast to formal critic reviews, which makes sense since we’re talking about a restaurant here.

Ah, again we have Popular Times, which only hit restaurants in the mobile Local Panel towards the end of 2017. In this case, you can see an actual live take on the traffic at the restaurant. Actually this is far more important for a restaurant than say a department store, no one likes to wait at a restaurant, especially since most cities are filled with endless options, so why go to a place where Google tells you that you’re going to have to wait? 

Also unique for restaurants, On These Lists. Here, Google shows you what “best of” lists the establishment has appeared on.

Finishing off on this tab, some reviews, social profiles, [and] carousels of other eateries (as an aside, if the restaurant has more than one location, you would probably see a carousel showing such locations here as well).
Oh, right, Web Results. Great.

The Menu tab we saw…. We all know what the Reviews tab is going to give us… reviews.

Remember how I mentioned that the Photos tab, with its subcategorization, was particularly pertinent to restaurants. Here’s why. In the case of an eatery, Google dissects the images and places those of the food in a separate subtab than those of the atmosphere. So if you’re looking to plan a visit to a restaurant and want to check out how cramped the place is, Google gives you an easy way to do so!

And with that, we’ve hit the end of the road for today. I hope you found this survey of the mobile Local Panel insightful, perhaps even a bit… fun. Keep a look out for our full-on guide to the mobile Knowledge Panel and until next time, stay classy.

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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Vaughan Basset Bedroom Home Improvement Furniture Set

By | November 18, 2021

Whether you are looking to add a striking accent piece, redecorate a room or furnish your entire house, shopping at the right furniture store can make the process fun. There are Home Improvement Furniture stores in Sundial Home where you can see beautifully displayed trending name brand collections to get some decorating ideas. Experienced sales representatives will listen to find out your lifestyle, your needs, and your budget.

Jaguar Showroom in Chennai

By | November 18, 2021

If you are looking for the Jaguar showroom in Chennai and there accessories in Chennai, then “SpotYourShop” will help in finding the Jaguar car dealer provider in Chennai, their past customer reviews, Contact numbers and their branches.