Daily Archives: November 27, 2021

Multiple Algorithm Updates, AMP Enters Organic Results

By | November 27, 2021


The September SERP was action-packed to say the least. Just when all seemed quiet, Google rolled-out several algorithm updates added a SERP feature, and took another one out of the mix. Last month’s SERP was anything but typical, both quantitatively as well as qualitatively. I personally can’t remember a month on the SERP that was as non-stop and as “big time” as last month was. 

Early SERP Fluctuations – Local and Undisclosed Algorithm Updates 

Like many months, our Rank Risk Index recorded a series of rank fluctuations in September. One of the unique things about last month though was just how impactful these fluctuations were. These fluctuations were dynamic, multi-layered events that shook up the SERP in a variety of ways. Let’s begin with the fluctuation event that took place just as we flipped our calendars to the new month. 

Early Month Fluctuations and an Undisclosed Update

September rolled in with a SERP fluctuation fury. While quiet on the first of the month, the Rank Risk Index spiked to unprecedented heights on the 2nd and continued to be “***” on the 3rd as well. There was a significant amount of SEO industry chatter that indicated that the SERP fluctuations indeed represented deep ranking shifts. Though Google neither confirmed nor denied that an update had taken place, industry experts, as well as the SEO community as a whole, generally concurred that the fluctuations represented a significant change in Google’s core search algorithm. 

September SERP Fluctuations

Fig 1. The Rank Risk Index shows an early month fluctuation spike along with a prolonged mid-month increase in SERP fluctuations 

Possum- Local Ranking Update 

As chatter around the early month SERP fluctuations continued, an interesting trend emerged. A significant amount of the algorithm update chatter related to local rankings. Even though Google again neither confirmed nor denied a local ranking update, the industry concluded that indeed a local algorithm update did occur and named the unofficial roll-out, Possum. According to the industry, Possum is aimed at updating (at least partially) how businesses rank within Local Packs and Google Maps. 

The data from our SERP Feature Tool corroborates that there was an update made to the Local Pack feature. In conjunction with Possum’s roll-out, and as shown on an Insight Graph, we saw the Local Pack fall just over 2.5 percentage points and take on a new data trend. Interestingly, the SERP feature picked up its lost ground by the end of the month.

Local Pack Algorithm Shift

Fig 2. Local Pack on desktop (US) shows an early September drop off in conjunction with Google’s local algorithm rollout

Mid-Month SERP Fluctuations – The Image Box Algorithm Update

The month’s other major SERP fluctuation event took place between September 8th through the 14th (see Figure 1). Though not reaching the fluctuation levels recorded earlier in the month, the Rank Risk Index showed elevated fluctuation levels for five out of seven days within the aforementioned time period. The industry was again filled with chatter related to changes in rank and an algorithm update. In response to the industry discussions, Google downplayed the event saying that “fluctuations in search are normal…

Image Box Falls Off the Page One SERP 

Quite the coincidence, between September 7th and 8th the SERP Features tool showed the Image Box take an over 5.5% loss. Then, only a few days later (between September 13th and 14th) the SERP feature fell from showing on 23.2% of Page One SERPs to just 11.9% – a drop of more than 50%. Seeing the feature drop over 50% days after the previous dip, indicated that the SERP fluctuations shown on the 14th and those from the 8th – 11th (Figure 1) were related. 

Image Box Page One Dip

Fig 3. Image Box on desktop (US) shows an over 50% drop off between September 13th and 14th 

After some extensive research, we found that a large majority of Image Boxes that had previously appeared on Page One were moved to Page Two. 

Page Two Image Box

Fig 4. An Image Box that previously appeared on Page One, now displays on the second page of results 

The Image Box Algorithm Update

As the Image Box “fell off a cliff,” we found an amazing correlation… as the Image Box dipped, the average number of Page One organic results rose. You might think that this makes a great deal of sense. After all, if the Image Boxes, at least a large chunk of them, were taken off of Page One, something had to replace them on the SERP. It would seem then that Google just took the top two results from Page Two and shifted them to Page One in place of the images. 



Fig 5. The average number of organic results on Page One displays an inverse pattern to that of Page One Image Boxes

This would be sound thinking had there not been a prolonged series of elevated SERP fluctuations which indicated that rank itself was also impacted. Following up on these rank fluctuations, our team uncovered that in fact Google rolled out a mid-month algorithm update that had a major impact on Page One rankings. When all was said and done, 36% of current Page One results were new – they had not been there prior to the update (for those keywords that previously triggered a Page One Image Box). 

AMP is now within the Organic Results

I previously reported that Google had announced that AMP pages would appear within the organic results. On September 20th, the Mobile SERP Features Tracker did indeed start picking up AMP within the organic results. Though the initial AMP data we tracked only showed that about 2.7% of Page One results included at least one AMP result, by month’s end that number grew dramatically to 6.4%, nearly tripling itself. 

September 2016 Organic AMP Data

Fig 6. The percentage of SERPs showing organic AMP results trends upwards while the average number of organic AMP results per page remains mostly consistent 

The insertion of AMP within the organic results seems to coincide with Google removing the Mobile-friendly label. I would speculate that Google removed the label to pave the way for AMP. I don’t see any conceivable way Google could have left the Mobile-friendly label and inserted the AMP icon at the same time. If they did, the mobile SERP’s organic results would have looked cluttered and overstuffed. 


A Variety of SERP Features Changes in September 

Though the big news had to do with rank fluctuations, algorithm updates, and the highly-discussed AMP pages, there were a series of smaller SERP feature changes that occurred in September. While these changes were not as grandiose as massive rank fluctuations or organic AMP results, they are both interesting and significant in their own way. 

Third Party Reviews in Local Knowledge Panels

  

Back in August, Google added critic reviews and best-of lists to some of its Local Knowledge Panels. Notably absent were reviews from third party sites. While perusing through the comments on the various articles that reported on Google’s additions, the lack of third party reviews was a constant theme. Google was obviously aware of the need for such reviews because on September 7th they announced that third party reviews would be featured in Local Knowledge Panels

Third Party Review Local Knowledge Panel
Fig 7. A mobile Local Knowledge Panel for a neighborhood school includes third party reviews from Facebook 

Google Asks If Reviews Were Helpful

On September 12th it was reported that in an effort to see just how helpful reviews are, Google has been inserting a gray colored “thumbs up” icon together with the word “Helpful?” under various reviews. The obvious goal is to give people the option to give feedback on the reviews being posted. I’ve actually seen this feature come up quite often over the course of the month. 

Helpful Review Test

Fig 8. Two out of the three Google reviews (anchored to a Local Knowledge Panel) displayed with the “Helpful?” button

 

Image Thumbnails Spike on Mobile 

Last but not least, Google has gone Image Thumbnail crazy on mobile. While that might be an exaggeration, on September 15th Google said that it wanted the mobile SERP to be more “visual.” It did so by increasing the number of results that displayed together with an Image Thumbnail. The shift was in fact striking as on September 13th the feature showed on just .29% of Page One SERPs. A day later Image Thumbnails were showing on 10.7% of Page One results. 

Image Thumbnail Spike

Fig 9. Mobile Image thumbnails undergo a mid-September spike that has the feature appearing on more than 10% of Page One result pages 

A Look Back at the September SERP 

Looking back on September it would appear that it was not just the autumn leaves that were making a colorful change (at least starting to). Google has made a wide range of changes to the SERP that have impacted it from a host of vantage points. Seeing the rollout of three algorithm updates that deeply impacted rank is an unusual sight to behold. Obviously, AMP entering the organic results is a big deal as well. But that’s not to downplay the smaller changes. Adding third party reviews to the Local Knowledge Panel mix is a very big deal for sites that collect reviews such as TripAdvisor.com. While of course I’m not equating an update that shakes up the 3 Pack to Google asking if a review was helpful or not, I’m not dismissing the latter either. Reviews are a big deal especially for local businesses who don’t have the same brand notoriety as some of the “big players.” If I could sum it all up in one sentence, September was big deal for the SERP in a lot of ways and for a lot of people. 

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 Complete Guide to Google’s Health Panel

By | November 27, 2021


A few weeks back I decided to produce a series of articles about Google’s SERP features starting with The Complete Guide to Google’s Knowledge Panel. A major factor behind doing so was the introduction of Google’s Olympic Games Feature which highlighted a new era in Knowledge Panel functionality and depth. To be honest, I had a bit of writer’s remorse after walking away from that post. There’s really a lot more to discuss considering all of the variations and extensions of the SERP feature. Out of the diverse types of Knowledge Panels none stands out to me more than Google’s Health Panel, also known as Health Cards, also known as Dr. Google. 

What Google’s Health Panel Does 

For the uninitiated, Google, via its health feature, offers you insight into countless medical conditions. The Health Panel starts off with an outline of a specific condition that includes a general description of the health condition and is often accompanied by a graphic that represents it in some way.

Now, not every Health Panel is the same and mobile can be slightly different than desktop, but for the most part the panel:

  • Indicates how common the ailment is 
  • Lists if it can be treated, if it requires diagnosis, testing, etc. 
  • Presents which age groups are affected and what the prevalence is
  • Offers a downloadable PDF of the information 





Google’s Health Panel offers a comprehensive look at medical conditions 

But wait, that’s not all! Google’s Health Panel also often indicates related conditions. Did I mention this is just what you see before clicking on anything? There is another header that you can click on to see the symptoms that come along with the medical condition. The panel also enables you to see treatments that often includes a list of medications in addition to home treatment options. In other words, this a hypochondriacs best friend and their doctor’s worst nightmare. In all seriousness, Google’s health feature packs a powerful information punch that is both inclusive and easy to navigate.

Health Panel Functionality 

The Knowledge Panel in general presents some pretty interesting functionality, particularly on mobile. However, part of what makes Google’s health feature so unique is that it offers a combination of unique functionality. 

Mobile-like Functionally on Desktop

 
In my previous post, in what I will now dub my “Google Knowledge Panel series,” I showed you how Google’s Olympics Games Panel brought mobile functionality to desktop. Like the Olympic Panel, the mobile-like functionality of the Health Panel presents a deep dive into an endless amount of information. 

For starters, the feature simply looks and feels like a mobile Knowledge Panel. Much of this is due to the use of the same type of header that appears on a mobile Knowledge Panel. Typically speaking, Google divides its medical information into three categories, About, Symptoms, and Treatments. Unlike a “standard” desktop Knowledge Panel, clicking on any of the headers brings you to a new page of sorts within the SERP feature. This stands in juxtaposition to how a typical Knowledge Panel would present additional information. Generally, if a Knowledge Panel can’t fit all of the information into its main section, the box itself will expand to reveal additional content. With alternate Knowledge Panel pages, no expansion is needed when it comes to the health feature on desktop.

Mobile-like Headers on Desktop Health Panel



The headers used to move to another “page” on the panel borrow their format from the mobile Knowledge Panel 

Carousels and Cards   

 

One the neatest things that Google’s health feature presents is the dynamic use of various types of functionality. The Health Panel incorporates two forms of functionality that are used as standalone SERP features, Rich Cards and expandable boxes. 

Rich Card Carousel: Google’s health feature, whether it be on mobile or desktop, often displays with a carousel of Rich Cards at the bottom of the main panel. Interestingly enough, Rich Cards are a feature designated for mobile. These cards fall under a heading called Related conditions (see screenshot below). Within them, Google presents those conditions that are closely associated with the one presented in the panel. Each card lists the name of the condition along with how common it is. Clicking on a card will bring up not only a new Health Panel related to the selected condition, but a new SERP related to it as well. The carousel of Rich Cards containing these associated conditions follows the user as a new heading (i.e. Symptoms or Treatments) is selected. Meaning, that if you move past the panel’s main “page” (under the About heading) and bring up the page under say the Symptoms heading, the Related conditions carousel will still display at the bottom of the panel.  

Related Conditions Health Panel Carousel

A carousel of Rich Cards present conditions related to that which is featured within the Heath Panel

Expandable Cards: Within the Treatments section of the feature, Google may list various treatment options within expandable cards. You may be familiar with expandable cards as Google also uses them within its Related Questions feature, etc. Each one of the cards serves as a heading of sorts and upon expansion additional information is exposed. Expanded cards often present links to additional medical information or can even expose another carousel of Rich Cards. 

Expandable Health Panel Cards

Expandable cards within the panel’s Treatment section present detailed treatment information and at times, Rich Card carousels 

Take a Tour of Google’s Health Panel

Perhaps the best way to highlight both the unique content and functionality of this SERP feature is to take a tour of sorts. 

Let’s start off with a common cold which brings up the following Health Panel: 

Common Medical Condition on Health Panel

A Health Panel displays information related to the common cold 

Note that Pink eye is listed as a related condition in the carousel and is marked as “Very common” (and let me tell you, as a former school teacher, it is very common… too common). After clicking on Pink eye, Google brings up the Health Panel on the condition (see below).

Pink Eye Health Panel



The top portion of a Health Panel related to the eye condition, Pink eye 

Clicking on the Symptoms tab brings up helpful information about how to diagnose Pink eye:

Condition Symptoms Page on Medical Panel

A typical Diagnosis page on Google’s Health Panel

With our diagnosis confirmed, perhaps we should see what treatments are available: 

Condition Treatment Options

The Treatment page of a Health Panel related to “Pink eye”

Let’s perhaps see what medications are commonly used to get rid of this irritating condition:

Treatments and Common *****

The Medications card expanded and presenting a secondary card which has also been expanded, revealing a carousel of antibiotics 

I wonder what Ofloxacin is? (Say that ten times fast!):

Google Medication Panel



Google’s “Medicine” Panel for the **** Ofloxacin with icons linking to a page discussing the ****’s precautions when taken orally 

Hello! What do we have here? Why it’s a Health Panel showing medication information where clicking on either Side Effects, Interactions, or Warnings will bring you to a page on the U.S. National Library of Medicine site

Don’t plan on taking the medication orally, no worries, see precautions for ear application…

Medicine Precautions on Health Feature

Precautions for Ofloxacin when taken via the ear

and into the eye as well:

Alternate Precaution for Medication



Additional side effects for Ofloxacin on the “Medicine” Panel for when the **** is taken via eye drops

Just to highlight how prolific this feature is, Google’s Health Panel says that Ofloxacin is used to treat Leprosy. And so with the wealth of knowledge found within Google’s health feature, we’ve gone from having a common cold to a rare biblical disease in under 60 seconds! 

Google’s Health Panel – An Enormous Resource of Medical Information 

One thing is for certain, Google’s Health Panel is an exhaustive source of medical knowledge. Via its unique functionality, the feature offers the full spectrum of medical information. I would think, if used correctly, the information contained in the panel could very well help patients be well-informed, empowering them to be greater advocates for their own medical care. Though, the feature does bring up the question as to whether or not the average person is really suited to self-diagnose.  Also, like some of Google’s other deep diving panels (such as its Olympic SERP feature) the Health Panel may pose significant competition to health information sites. Personally, WebMd.com was one of my go-to medical sites, but with Google’s feature I have not used the site much at all. Either way, Google’s Health Panel is a well-designed, interactive medical information library for the online age. 

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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Google’s Health Knowledge Panel: Benefits & Possible Damage

By | November 27, 2021


Recently, I wrote a post giving readers a virtual tour of Google’s Health Panel. As a part of a series I’m writing on Google’s Knowledge Panel, the main focus was on how the SERP feature functioned and what information it offered. In this post I will raise some practical and moral questions like “is the Health Panel good to have on the SERP, and if not, what justification is there for it appearing on Page One when searching for medical conditions?”. These are legitimate questions considering that Google, no matter how you slice it, is at the end of the day offering Page One medical content that people will use to evaluate serious medical conditions. 

Robot Doctor

Is Google’s Health Feature Good or Bad?

I’ve often used Google’s Health Panel myself. One of my sons has asthma, and although my wife is a nurse (besides being a wonderful person), I am a stubborn man who must see what the symptoms and treatment options are available for myself. Our doctor prescribed a series of inhalers, one of which was not Albuterol, which I clearly remember taking when I had asthma in my youth. I asked my wife why the doctor didn’t prescribe the ****, and she said that my son didn’t need it. Puzzled, I went to Google, and lo and behold I saw that one of the first ***** listed was none other than Albuterol. Seeing victory in sight I confidently told my wife she was wrong, that Google lists it as one of the first *****! I’m not sure what happened next, everything got a little blurry from there. Thus, I arrived at the very scientific question… is Google’s Health Panel worth the trouble or will it result in the bodily harm of husbands worldwide?

Child with Asthma

All joking aside, self-diagnosis is a big issue in the health industry, and it raises a lot of serious questions that need to be addressed when looking at the pros and cons of a tool like Google’s Health Panel. In fact, Cyberchondria, the obsession to obtain more and more online information related to a suspected medical illness that ultimately leads to increased anxiety and incorrect self-diagnosis, is a real medical condition. In light of this, we should at least look into the upsides and downsides of an online feature dedicated to disseminating medical information that receives prominent Page One placement on the SERP. 

The Case for Google’s Health Panel – Overuse

One of the major issues facing the medical industry is overuse. Overuse leads to higher expenses, less supply, and longer wait times and as such is the topic of a lot “medical chatter.” An often quoted 2011 study by Dr. Paul London of Paul A. London and Associates, indicated that doctors estimate 10% of all visits to their office were unnecessary, and could have been self-treated. Many in the health industry argue that cutting back on doctor visits will free up medical time and resources. In fact, so great is overuse that in 2012 one investigative report found that there was a trend moving towards higher medical deductibles in order to discourage unnecessary trips to a physician.

From such a perspective, Google’s Health Panel gives potential patients the tools to see if a doctor visit is truly warranted. Just personally, I’ve gone to the doctor dozens of times with a sore throat that ended up being nothing, I’m sure we all have. If I had looked to Google, its Health Panel would have told me when to actually see the doctor – “***** with sore throat lasting a week or more.” Simply, affording people, such as myself the knowledge to know what is a real health issue that should be addressed by a doctor and what is not, can be a potent way to reduce overuse and free up medical capital.


The Case for Google’s Health Panel – Accurate Information

 

Long before Google’s official health feature, people were Googling their symptoms and health concerns regularly. In fact, Google, in its official statement on the health feature said, that one in twenty searches relates to medical content. A 2016 Baltimore Sun op-ed notes the importance of being an informed medical consumer and highlights the recent trend within the medical community to publish less abstruse content. The problem is that finding accurate medical information online is not as easy as you might think.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics noted that 70% of adults said that the medical information they found online had real world implications. The study also noted that in 2012, 59% of Americans used the internet to find medical information. To quote Shakespeare, “ay, there’s the rub.” While a significant proportion of the American population turns to the internet for medical information, a majority of the information is not accurate. The same study was interested in determining the accuracy of website content related to pediatric medical conditions. It found that only 43.5% of websites within Google’s top 100 results contained accurate medical information.

Too Much Information

Google’s partnership with the world famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, offers an easy way to find broad and accurate medical information right on Page One of the SERP. No one can deny the prolific nature of Google’s medical feature, and no one can deny the veracity of the content supplied by the Mayo Clinic. If you can’t trust the content coming out of the Mayo Clinic, then who can you rely on? In considering this, Google’s health feature offers a way of removing the dangers of online medical misinformation.

The Case Against Google’s Health Panel – The Dangers of Self Diagnosis

Self-diagnosis is not without its controversies. At the end of the day, it’s the user who has to decide if based on Google’s information, a trip to the doctor as opposed to the bathroom medicine cabinet is necessary. Google’s health feature inherently relies on self-diagnosis, even if that diagnosis is “I’d better get myself over to a doctor.” In a 2010 article for Psychology Today, Dr. Srini Pillay outlines some of the dangers that come with self-diagnosis.

In an argument that makes a great deal of sense considering that doctors need to go through a tremendous amount of schooling, Pillay professes that the average user may miss the subtleties and nuances that go into a legitimate diagnosis. He notes that people with mood swings often diagnosis themselves with bipolar disorder.

To be perfectly honest I was a bit taken aback when I saw that Google does indeed offer a Health Panel on Bipolar disorder considering that people who think they may have the condition may not be in the most stable state of mind (more on this later).  

Mental Illness Health Panel
A mobile Health Panel on Bipolar disorder 

There’s actually a pragmatic problem with a self-diagnosis tool like Google’s Health Panel. According to a Slate.com article, one of the main reasons for ER overcrowding is over-anxious folks who are worried that their headache is really a tumor (and in your head, in your best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, you’re saying… It’s not a tumor!). Similar to Dr. Pillay’s aforementioned argument, people have a hard time interpreting information when it relates to their own health. There are simply too many emotions involved. As the Slate article puts it, “The truth is, many people don’t have a good way to judge whether a headache or fever is a true medical emergency.” This raises the question, that while Google’s feature might be informative, is it ultimately helpful and healthy in the broad sense?

What Do Doctors Think About Google’s Health Feature?

While people in the SEO community may find Google’s health feature to be either a fascinating tool or an organic encroachment, the question of “information responsibility” still looms. Meaning, is Google acting responsibly when it proliferates medical information, particularly that is not related to common everyday ailments. More pragmatically, what do the content experts on medical conditions think about Google’s prominent Page One content? For this, we would need to ask medical experts to weigh-in on the issue, and so they have.

Doctor Thumbs Up or Down

The Good 

A 2015 Time article asked six leading medical experts to offer their opinion on Google’s health feature. While the levels of enthusiasm varied, all six physicians seemed to support the initiative, each with their own caveat of sorts. The general consensus was that more information is generally a better thing, for both patients and doctors alike. Dr. William Bornstein, the chief medical officer at Emory Healthcare, perhaps summarized things most pointedly by saying, “Conflicts of interest will also need to be assiduously avoided. If Google does this right, it should provide a nice alternative to random Web searches about health-related topics.” This ties back into an earlier point, the web is filled with random and often inaccurate medical information, Google’s feature, due to its partnership with the Mayo Clinic, without a doubt circumvents this issue.

The Bad

 

Not all medical professionals were enthralled by the idea of providing information for self-diagnosis. In 2015 a study found that 41% of Canadian doctors did not look favorably on their patients obtaining medical information online. The main concerns centered around false information and patients taking matters into their own hands.

False Medical Info

While Google may take misinformation out of the equation, I am not sure it deals with one of main thrusts of the arguments against it as it has no control over what people actually do with the information. 

And the Ugly

Clint Eastwood Western

While there are clinicians who **** Google’s health feature, and others who are not too fond of it, there are still others who downright hate it. Within the medical community there has long been a sort of tension between what I’ll call “traditional” medicine and natural medicine. Indeed, the natural health community, at least some within it, are not too thrilled by Google’s medical information offering. Some outright accuse Google of using the Health Panel as a means of censoring more natural remedies. My intention here of course is not to side with one position or the other, but to simply show how big the divide within the medical community is. 

Another issue, and one that is perhaps more mainstream, is how online medical information impacts users predisposed to abusing it. WebMD, in discussing Cyberchondria says,Even the most reputable health web sites with the most accurate information can cause trouble for the hypochondriac.” Leaving aside the irony that WebMD is a site geared to providing accurate online medical information, the point rings true. For all intents and purposes, someone suffering from a mental illness could be deeply impacted, for the negative, by Google’s health feature.  

Google’s Health Panel and Mental Illness 

On the topic of using the internet to self-evaluate a mental illness, even with a tool as sharp and sound as the one Google offers, I thought it prudent to discuss the complexities of doing so. In other words, are there extra precautions to take when discussing conditions related to mental illness? If so, does Google take these precautions? If not, is Google fulfilling its moral duty to its users and is it providing sound Page One content? I’m not trying to be critical, I just think the issue of dealing with mental illness requires extra caution.

Mental Health

Obviously, diagnosing, and particularly self-evaluating a mental illness is much more nuanced and complex than determining if an irritated eye is conjunctivitis. For starters, the user, if suffering from a mental illness, may not be in the right state of mind to evaluate their symptoms, whether they know it or not (and therein lies the problem). Secondly, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health (MIMH), not every mental illness is experienced by all in the same way. This of course muddies the self-diagnosis waters. Even for a healthcare professional, diagnosing a mental illness is not always a straightforward process, let alone for a layperson. The National Institute of Mental Health makes it clear that adults seeking to diagnose a mental medical condition as common as ADHD should do so via a licensed mental health professional or doctor…

Truth be told, the information listed by the NIMH for ADHD is a good place to start. The information provided does not shy away from content such as symptoms and causality. However, where the NIMH discusses diagnosis, a two line disclosure about doing so via a medical professional is presented (as partially quoted above). Google, on its Health Panel, does have a one line disclosure that reads “Consult a doctor for medical advice.” However, this disclosure is listed on most panels, whether it be for the common cold or for Bipolar disorder.

Standard Health Panel Disclosure
Mobile Health Panel’s for the Common cold and Schizophrenia display with the same medical disclaimer  

Compare this with the NIMH on the disorder “Talking with a doctor or other licensed mental health professional is the first step for anyone who thinks he or she may have bipolar disorder.” When Google does emphasize that a condition requires medical diagnosis, it only does so on the feature’s Symptoms “page,” which is not the Health Panel’s main display page. 

Medical Diagnosis Disclaimer on Symptoms Page
Diagnosis disclaimer for Bipolar disorder found on one of the panel’s secondary pages 

Indeed, it’s only for the most serious mental illnesses that Google makes any sort of change to the main display, adding the word “Critical” to its “disclosure.”

Health Panel Critical Warning Disclosure
A mobile health panel for Psychosis does present a more compelling disclaimer about seeking out a medical professional 

I want to be 100% clear, I’m not criticizing Google in any way. I don’t think they are being negligent, they are of course not being malicious, they simply want to provide comprehensive medical information on Page One of the SERP. Speaking solely from the heart, I feel troubled by the lack of disclosure on the Health Panel to contact a medical professional before making any mental health determinations since the rampant and unnecessary suffering of those afflicted by mental illness is such a serious issue for our society. Mental illness is a serious and complex problem that affects millions of people and any publicly available material on it, whether it be via Google or anyone else, should be lit up like a billboard in Times Square advising users to seek out a medical professional. I’m not saying Google is doing a bad job here, I’m saying that mental illness is so enigmatic that it demands a more emphasized recommendation to seek out a professional evaluation.  

Summing up Google’s Health Feature

Medical Verdict

Having gone through the research and opinions from across the medical community, you can make the case either for or against Google placing a panel full of medical information on Page One of the SERP. There are certainly reasons why the feature should be front and center and reasons why it should not be. To me, the question is to what extent is Google obligated to, and to what extent can they, prevent users from being “hurt” by their Health Panel? I’ve made my personal thoughts clear on those panels related to mental illness, I think Google can, and is obligated to do more to ensure that users reading the information clearly, and without doubt, know that they need to discuss the condition with a medical professional. However, for most users the panel is a great source of information and for the most part, responsibility to use it correctly would rest upon the shoulders of the user, not Google. 

Perhaps Dr. Rajnish Mago, the director of the Mood Disorders program at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital put it best when he was quoted saying, The internet is a tool, you can use the tool appropriately or you can misuse it.Or as Spider-Man’s uncle Ben said, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

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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Mobile Repairing Course in Delhi

By | November 27, 2021

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Google Eliminates Notable Online SERP Feature

By | November 27, 2021


This morning started out like any other typical day, considering that the Chicago Cubs had just won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. That was all until I followed my daily routine of checking our Google SERP features tool. Making my way down the list of those features that are embedded within Google’s organic results, I was shocked to see that Notable Online had made an abrupt and complete exit from the SERP.

Notable Online No Longer Showing on the Google SERP 

Let me say this in the clearest terms possible, Google has removed Notable Online from its array of SERP features. Try as you may to find the feature (which I did), it’s not there. I’m sorry I can’t help myself… Notable Online is now offline! 

Notable Online Removed from SERP

Rank Ranger’s SERP Features Tool showing Notable Online as completely removed from the Google SERP 

The truth is, I was bit anxious to check Notable Online this morning. Yesterday I had noticed that the feature dropped from showing on 88% of Page One SERPs to just 75% (meaning that only 75% of Page One SERPs had at least one Notable Online result). That in and of itself was extremely peculiar because Notable Online is one of those SERP features that are not exactly volatile.

Just to qualify that a bit, since January 2016, the lowest we have tracked Notable Online was at 90% of Page One results. Otherwise, the feature fluctuated somewhere between 91% – 93%. So as I said, seeing a drop to 88% and then 75% was telling, but I never expected to see the feature completely removed from the SERP when I went to monitor it this morning (though I guess stranger things have happened, like the Cubs winning the World Series). 

Notable Online Historical Data



Prior to the recent drop-off and subsequent removal, Notable Online had not dipped below appearing on 90% of Page One results 

Manual Search for Notable Online Confirms It’s Gone

 

Just to make sure I had not completely lost my mind (hey, I did just watch the Cubs win the World Series), I ran a series of manual searches for the Notable Online feature. All I did was to simply run search queries that had previously brought the feature up – nothing fancy.

Major Universities

Searches for major universities used to be a go-to way to bring up a top-ranked result that included the Notable Online feature. For example, back in August of this year I ran a search for “Harvard,” with the university’s site showing as the top result and with the Notable Online feature attached to it:

Harvard as Notable Online



A query for “Harvard” displays with the Notable Online feature in August 2016 

I ran the same search today. Harvard’s site was of course still the top result, but it was absent of the feature:

Harvard - No Notable Online



A query for “Harvard” after the removal of the Notable Online feature 

Just to rule out the far-fetched possibility that Harvard has lost its “notable” status, I ran a search on Johns Hopkins, which also no longer shows the Notable Online feature: 

Johns Hopkins - No Notable Online



A query for “Johns Hopkins” appearing without the Notable Online feature 

Going for the trifecta, neither does Yale University: 

Yale - No Notable Online



A query for “Yale University” appearing without the Notable Online feature 

Additional Examples of Results that Previously Showed as Notable Online 

  

Just to accentuate the point a bit, back in June I ran a search on “Hubble telescope” which produced a plethora of results that included the Notable Online feature: 

Hubble Telescop Query - With Notable Online



A query for “Hubble telescope” shows four sites with the Notable Online feature – June 2016

Running the same query today there was no sign of the feature, not even attached to NASA:





The same websites that showed Notable Online in June 2016 no longer have the feature attached to them in the results


Just two weeks ago I took a screenshot of the search results for “Kipp Washington Heights Elementary School” and the school’s result included the Notable Online feature:

 School Site Notable Online



A query for a charter school in New York City displays with the Notable Online feature attached to the school’s search result

If you run the query today, no such feature is found:

School Site - Notable Online Removed



The same query for the same charter school that previously had a Notable Online attached it, no longer displays the feature 

Last but not least, Wikipedia was considered by Google to be “notable,” as seen here in this search for “house of cards” – so was IMDb and Netflix:

Wikipedia as Notable Online

A query for “house of cards” shows a Wikipedia result that has the Notable Online feature attached to it (among other sites as well)

However, today, the Notable Online feature is gone:

Wikipedia No Longer Notable

A Wikipedia result no longer showing as Notable Online (with two other results that also were previously Notable Online not showing the feature as well)

What Google Removing Notable Online Means

At the risk of stating the obvious, Notable Online was a feature that made it easy for a user to know which sites packed an authoritative punch for a particular search term. Does its removal thereby signal that Google has determined that users were not benefited by the feature? Were people not using it? Did Google conclude that we all know who is who when it came to authority? If not, did Google determine that indicating authority just didn’t matter to users? Or perhaps is Google paving the way for some other change on the SERP?

Only time will tell.

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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حسين الجسمي – ضيوف دولتنا

By | November 27, 2021

حصرياً حسين الجسمي يطرح ضيوف دولتنا اضغط الان على الرابط الذي امامك او على عنوان المقال وسيتم تحويلك الى الصفحة الاصلية الخاصة بالمقال حتى يتسنى لك الاطلاع عليه بأكمله.

Is Thinkific Really Free?

By | November 27, 2021


Is Thinkific really free? The answer is yes.

The lowest tier of Thinkific’s pricing is a free plan that gives you Thinkific’s core features and the ability to host three online courses:

With Thinkific’s free plan, there are no charges per transaction (i.e. per course sale) and you also get to use Thinkific’s built-in quiz tool. This lets you test your students knowledge of each lesson, before they progress to the next lesson.

However, there are some features you don’t get on Thinkific’s free plan:

  • Live Chat
  • Custom domain (instead of yoursite.thinkific.com, you can have www.yoursite.com or courses.yoursite.com instead).
  • Coupons and promotions
  • Drip-released content (to keep students coming back)
  • One-to-one student email

By contrast, Teachable’s free plan gives you the core features plus unlimited courses. However, on the free plan, Teachable charges $1 + 10% per transaction (i.e. per course sale).



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JavaScript Frameworks

By | November 27, 2021

Javascript is a unique programming language which is broadly utilized for creating web applications. It is exceptionally lightweight and is upheld by the majority of the cutting edge programs.

SERP News: Dramatic Decline in AdWords & Rising AMP in Europe

By | November 27, 2021


It’s hard to believe another month has passed, but here we are with October behind us and a lot of SERP “doings” to discuss. Though not as climactic as September’s SERP, October had a “SERP characteristic” all of its own. While the month was not predominated with algorithm updates embedded within SERP feature alterations (i.e. September’s Image Box drop-off), there were a few big ticket items nonetheless that made October another significant month on the Google SERP. 

October 2016 Google SERP Fluctuation Summary

 

Let’s start by orienting ourselves to what kind of month October was on the SERP. Was it one of those months that resembled stormy waves crashing against the coast and uprooting rankings along the way or was it more a subtle sort of SERP month? In all honesty, it looked like October was going to pick up right where September left off and present us with another wild ride for rankings. Like September, the beginning of October rolled in with rank volatility with the Rank Risk Index recording a five day fluctuation spike that began on October 3rd.

October Rank Risk Index

Figure 1 – The Rank Risk Index shows a 5 day series of elevated SERP fluctuations starting on October 3rd


What is interesting, or perhaps ironic, is that Googler John Mueller indicated that Google releases many of its algorithm updates towards the end of a quarter. It’s thus interesting to see that the end of the quarter, i.e. September, was relatively quiet, while the start of the new quarter showed a prolonged series of SERP fluctuations. When all was said and done though, October did not seem to present the same sort of fluctuation depth that September had. After the initial spike at the month’s onset, the rest of the month was relatively quiet, with the initial fluctuations remaining a bit of a mystery and as such unqualified. 

Organic AMP Results Spread Across Europe 

 

Now, just because October was not a momentous month for SERP fluctuations doesn’t mean it wasn’t special. SERPs are like children, they are all special (which sounds like something you would hear in a typical election, with this year’s Presidential election not being typical). As is well known, AMP entered mobile organic results in September. What you may not have know was that only a very limited number of countries were seeing such results, that is until October rolled in. 

Organic AMP Results - Europe



Figure 2 – Organic AMP results begin to roll-out in multiple European countries 

Starting on October 7th, our Mobile SERP Feature Tracker recorded organic AMP results beginning to show in earnest throughout many European countries. In a sense, this is reminiscent of when Google rolled-out Featured Snippets throughout the European market. In fact, as with the expansion of Featured Snippets into Europe, most countries are showing a minimal percentage of Page Ones showing at least one AMP result. For example, at month’s end, the Netherlands was only showing organic AMP results within just over 2% of its Page One SERPs, with Denmark showing just over .5%. However, as Figure 2 clearly indicates, AMP in organic results has been rolled out in these countries in a manner that constitutes a formal release of the SERP element/feature. 

It should be noted that certain European countries are showing a greater percentage of Page One SERPs showing at least on organic AMP result. France shows organic AMP within 12% of Page One SERPs on mobile, while in Spain AMP results displayed on 7.5% of Page One SERPs. 

By the way, for those interested in following the advance of AMP, Rank Ranger has released a new tool to track AMP on the Google SERP. It allows industry professionals and website owners to stay informed and make decisions accordingly.

Changes to Page One Ads 

 

One of the big areas where we saw a lot of “SERP activity” last month was ads. October actually presented some rather odd news related to ads on the SERP, some of which still needs to be qualified and explored further. 

Payday Loan Ads 

Payday Candy Bar

Way back in May Google announced it was banning payday loans. Well, as of last month they were still appearing on the SERP. On October 6th, Ginny Marvin from Marketing Land published an article that for all intents and purposes said, “Hey! Why is Google still running payday ads in October?“. Coincidence or not, but the very next day, voila…. the SERP saw a hefty drop in the number of payday loan ads showing up

Global Drop in Page One AdWords Ads on Desktop 

One of the most interesting things, at least in my mind, to come off of last month’s Google SERP was this sort of enigmatic drop in the number of Page One ads on desktop. Between October 2nd – 4th, desktop ads took a sizable dip on Page One of the SERP. Throughout the course of the month, desktop ads, though climbing at certain moments, continued their descent. What’s undeniably interesting is that this trend was seen on the global level, with countries like Australia, UK, France, Japan, and many more seeing their Page One ads on desktop greatly disappear.





Figure 3 – Page One ads on desktop display an approximately 50% drop-off by the end of October 

What’s really curious is that the smaller shifts in the presence of ads that took place throughout the month displayed a global uniformity. By way of example, Figure 3 shows a Rank Ranger Insight Graph with all of the displaying countries taking a small spike in ads between October 11th – 14th. This pattern of concurrent shifts globally runs throughout the month. What’s more is that numbers are a bit staggering, the US went from showing ads on 30% of Page One SERPs to just over 12% by month’s end. Australia, the UK, France, and Japan all saw a 50% reduction in Page One ads as well. 

You can’t simply walk away from numbers like these. Currently, we are exploring various explanations for the drop-off with other industry experts and expect to have an in-depth post on the topic forthcoming. 

October SERP Odd and Ends  

Like any month, October saw changes to the SERP and SERP features that were on the more conspicuous side and those that were more subtle and nuanced. However, just because a change to the SERP and/or its features didn’t move the needle on the Richter scale, doesn’t mean it lacked significance. 

Local Test to Ensure Non-Spammy Local Results 

 

Back in September, if you remember, Google rolled-out an algorithm update dubbed Possum in an effort to filter out spammy and duplicate results from the Local Pack and Google Maps. After the update was pushed out, it was apparent that there were still some quality issues within Google’s Local Finder. In an effort to combat spammy local results, Google ran a test requiring locksmiths and plumbers (two searches that traditionally bring up spammy local results within Google Maps and Local Pack) to go through an “advanced verification” process. 

Though the test seemed to be isolated to a specific location (San Diego), I think it speaks volumes in that it indicates that Google is aware of the problem and is working towards a solution. Also, the nature of the solution, in my estimation, seems to go right to the heart of the problem. That is, instead of trying to tweak the algorithm or make some other sort of “technical” adjustment, Google went to the source, illegitimate vendors trying to pass themselves as the real thing. 

Local Knowledge Panel Gets Pictures from the Menu

Last but not least in our October SERP overview are “From the menu” pictures that are now part of Local Knowledge Panels related to restaurants. Like it sounds, Google is offering the ability to see what actual dishes at a restaurant look like. The reason this is significant is because it highlights not only how prolific Google’s Knowledge Panels have become, but also the central role they play in providing Page One content to users. 

Pictures from Menu - Local Knowledge Panel

Figure 4 – Pictures from the menu at “Peter Luger Steak House” restaurant appear within a Local Knowledge Panel 

October SERP Sign-off 

If October’s SERP has one lesson for us, it’s that SERP changes are not always relegated to gaudy algorithm updates with their flashy rank fluctuations. No, no, no, SERP updates can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Whether it be a little AMP lightening icon within European organic mobile results, a magical AdWords disappearing act, or even a picture of a mouthwatering steak within a Local Knowledge Panel. It just goes to show you that the SERP has become a living and ever-changing entity of sorts.

The question of course is as always, how will this entity known as “the SERP” continue to evolve? Will AMP successfully claim world domination (a question that I think is on the mind of many)? And of course, what’s driving the sinking ship formerly known as Page One ads on desktop? 

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 Benefits of Java

By | November 27, 2021

First and foremost, this language is basic for even original designers. Java rushes to get the hang of, settling on this a profoundly intelligent decision.