Search Engine Roundtable: Google “Simple Search” – New Search Refinement Option?. “Google may be testing a new ‘Simple Search’ feature that may dumb-down the search results when you want something more simple. Google shows the ‘Simple Search’ +Topics refinement button at the top of the mobile and desktop results, when tapped on, it readjusts the results to give you a different set of results.”
Search Engine Journal: Google Investigating Reports Of Declining Traffic After Updates, Discover Bug. “Google’s core updates have often resulted in a traffic increase or decline for some websites. However, after the latest updates and possible bugs in Discover, publishers have noticed an unprecedented drop in website traffic and visibility in Google Search.”
Search Engine Journal: Google Adds New Documentation For Mystery Crawler. “Google updated the list of their official crawlers by adding the name and information for a relatively unknown crawler that publishers have been seeing now and then but no documentation for it previously existed. Although Google added official documentation for this crawler the information provided seems to encourage more clarification.”
Search Engine Land: Google says major changes coming to search rankings. “Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has reportedly said that major changes are coming to Google’s search rankings in the future. This comes from a talk Sullivan gave at an event last Friday, where he was quoted as saying that these ‘major changes’ are coming and that some may need to ‘buckle up.'”
The Verge: The people who ruined the internet. “As the public begins to believe Google isn’t as useful anymore, what happens to the cottage industry of search engine optimization experts who struck content oil and smeared it all over the web? Well, they find a new way to get rich and keep the party going.” This makes me inexpressibly sad.
The Verge: Here’s a rare look at Google’s most lucrative search queries. “This week, during the US v. Google antitrust trial, we got a rare glimpse at a closely guarded secret: which search terms make the most money. The list is only for the week of September 22nd, 2018, and it is the list of top queries ordered by revenue and nothing else. Still, we’ve never seen anything quite like this before, and the list was only made public after long deliberations from Judge Amit Mehta, who has, over the course of the trial, begun to push both sides to be more public with information and data like this.”
The Verge: The restaurant nearest Google. “Thai Food Near Me, Dentist Near Me, Notary Near Me, Plumber Near Me — businesses across the country picked names meant to outsmart Google Search. Does it actually work?”
Washington Post: Mysterious bylines appeared on a USA Today site. Did these writers exist?. “Staffers at Reviewed, a USA Today-owned website devoted to shopping recommendations, were about to end their workday Friday when one of them noticed something strange: Articles were publishing on the site by writers none of them had ever heard of — and using suspiciously similar language.”
Search Engine Land: Study: Blogs appear most often in top Google positions. “Blog posts are the most prevalent content type in the top 10 positions of Google Search, excluding home pages, according to a study by enterprise SEO platform BrightEdge.”
The Conversation: Why Google, Bing and other search engines’ embrace of generative AI threatens $68 billion SEO industry. “Google, Microsoft and others boast that generative artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT will make searching the internet better than ever for users. For example, rather than having to wade through a sea of URLs, users will be able to just get an answer combed from the entire internet.”
Search Engine Journal: Google’s October 2023 Core Update Now Complete. “First announced on October 5, the October 2023 Core Update is expected to significantly shift search rankings, as previous core updates have done. Core updates target the primary ranking systems in Google’s search engine algorithms. They aim to promote authoritative, trustworthy, and helpful content while downgrading low-quality sites.”
Search Engine Journal: Google Launches October 2023 Core Algorithm Update. “Google has confirmed the rollout of its latest core algorithm update, dubbed the ‘October 2023 Core Update.’ This marks the third core update to Google’s search ranking systems this year, following the March and August core updates.”
WIRED: The Truth About the Taylor Swift, Jets Game, Google Search Conspiracy Theory. “No one will ever know if Swift went to a Jets game specifically to shift the SEO for ‘Taylor Swift jets,’ but what is true is that interest in that search is currently the highest it’s ever been on Google Trends. Comparatively, the interest in the search term in summer 2022, when the news was going around about her PJs, has been bumped down to single digits. So if it was a gambit, it worked. Not only are the search results upended, but now TikTok videos about the ‘genius’ move are getting half a million views.” All you need to do to bypass this “genius move” is use Back that Ask Up and take one month off your search date. Presto, you’re back to reading about Taylor Swift and her carbon-burning globe hopping.
WIRED: How Google Alters Search Queries to Get at Your Wallet. “There have long been suspicions that the search giant manipulates ad prices, and now it’s clear that Google treats consumers with the same disdain. The ’10 blue links,’ or organic results, which Google has always claimed to be sacrosanct, are just another vector for Google greediness, camouflaged in the company’s kindergarten colors.”
Search Engine Journal: Google Launches “SEO Made Easy” YouTube Series. “Google has released the first video in a new YouTube series called ‘SEO Made Easy’ to teach people how to improve their website’s performance in search results. In the inaugural episode, Martin Splitt from Google’s Search Relations team explains how sites can customize the way their brand name appears in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).”