Google accidentally removes news publishers from Google News

Google has accidentally removed a number of news publishers from Google News over the past few days. Many news publishers were found complaining in the Google News forums. Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that this was accidental.
We do expect those publishers to be reinstated into Google News by the end of the day.
Maricia Scott, engineering director Google News, told us:
We apologize for the issue that resulted in a number of sites being delisted from Google News. This was an unintentional technical issue and not something we did manually. We are working hard to identify the sites that were incorrectly affected and will get them back in as soon as we possibly can.
You can check if your news site is included in Google News by conducting a site command in Google News or searching for recent story headlines in Google News. You can also check your index status in the Google News Publisher Center.
If you no

Search Engine Land Source

Google again showing third-party reviews in local results

Google is integrating third-party reviews into the Knowledge Graph for hotels. It apparently has been happening since 2016 and is entirely opt-in for the provider.
Google works directly with the third-party review source (e.g., TripAdvisor) to integrate the content. In the example below, TripAdvisor reviews for Southern California hotel Terranea are available under the “view Google reviews” link in the Knowledge Panel.

Google got into trouble roughly seven years ago for “scraping” and incorporating third-party review content from sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp into Google Places without permission. Yelp saw the move as a kind of antitrust “extortion” and mounted a vigorous campaign against it.
One of the provisions of Google’s 2012 antitrust settlement with the FTC was that the company would allow publishers to block Google from including third-party reviews in “vertical search offerings” without their being excluded from the general index. According to the FTC statement announcing the settlement:
Google also has promised to provide all websites the option to

Search Engine Land Source

Google tests ‘more results’ mobile search interface and new search refinement buttons

Google has confirmed it is testing a new mobile search interface and a new search refinement button. The new search interface shows fewer search results on the mobile search results page, with the option to click on a button labeled “more results.” In addition, Google is testing showing buttons to refine your search directly in the search results snippets.
A Google spokesperson told us “We constantly experiment with new search formats and experiences to deliver the best experience for our users.”
Dan Brackett shared screen shots with us on Twitter, but many others are noticing these new tests.
‘More results’ feature on Google mobile search
Here is a screen shot showing the “more results” link, often Google is showing as few as two or three organic search results on this page. To see more organic results, you will have to click on the “more results” link, and Google will then dynamically load more search results below.

You can also see the refinements

Search Engine Land Source

Google: Fundamentals of writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets

Earlier this month, Google confirmed they have extended the search results snippets from 160 characters all the way to a maximum of 320 characters long. Google told Search Engine Land that even though the snippets can be longer, the “fundamentals of writing a description tag” have not changed.
Google may or may not show 320 characters; Google may or may not show your meta description; and Google may or may not show content from your page. A lot of how Google decides what search result snippet to show is based on the searchers’ query and the content on your page. A Google spokesperson told us “there’s no need for publishers to suddenly expand their meta description tags, if they feel their current ones are adequate. … We now display slightly longer snippets, which means we might display more of a meta description tag.”
In short, if you are happy with the way your meta descriptions show to your searchers,

Search Engine Land Source

Google Search Console beta adds 12+ months of data to performance reports

The new beta version of Google Search Console has now added over 12 months of historical data to the performance reports.
Here is a screen shot showing the options of date filters for the report, including last seven days, last 28 days, last three months, last six months, last 12 months and full duration:

Glenn Gabe of G-Squared Interactive also is able to see it in his beta Google Search Console reports:

On the first day of Christmas, Google gave to me… *12 months of data in the new GSC*!!
OMG, here we go folks. I’m seeing 12 months of data in the Search Analytics beta. I asked and I’ve been told I can share this screenshot.
Happy Holidays to all SEOs. :)
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) December 13, 2017

I suspect the “full duration” means Google will be showing even more than 12 months of data in these reports, although that is unconfirmed and unclear at this moment. We will keep you

Search Engine Land Source

Google revamps its SEO Starter Guide

Google announced that it has retired the old PDF version of the SEO Starter Guide originally released in 2008, over nine years ago, with a new web-based version of the guide.
The last time Google updated this guide was several years ago.
The new guide merges the Webmaster Academy and the old SEO Starter Guide PDF into this one resource section. “The updated version builds on top of the previously available document, and has additional sections on the need for search engine optimization, adding structured data markup and building mobile-friendly websites,” Google said.
It is also currently available in nine different languages, including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish.
The new SEO guide can now be accessed online over here.
The post Google revamps its SEO Starter Guide appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Search Engine Land Source

Have a question about Will Ferrell? Google may show you a video response directly from him

Curious if Will Ferrell can actually play the drums? Or if Tracee Ellis Ross can sing? Now, when you ask Google a question about a specific celebrity, you may get a self-recorded video from them answering your question.
“When you search for your favorite personalities, whether they’re rising stars or well-known celebs, their answers will appear in the form of selfie-style videos with a uniquely personal, authentic and delightful touch,” according to Google’s The Keyword blog.
Google has taken the most often asked questions about a select number of celebrities and had the celebrities record their answer so that they can now be served up for mobile searches related to the query.
The new feature is currently only available in the US and only works on mobile. It also applies to a very select list of well-known personalities. Google says it is piloting the feature with self-recorded video answers from the following list of celebrities:

Priyanka Chopra
Will Ferrell
Tracee Ellis Ross
Gina Rodriguez

Search Engine Land Source

Google testing an answers carousel within the search results snippets

Google has started testing and potentially rolling out a new feature in search that shows a carousel with a list of answers directly within the search results snippets. It shows the main search result snippet, and below it, it shows a carousel of answers picked from the content on the page the snippet is linking to.
This comes in handy with forum-related threads where someone asks a question and multiple people give their answers. In addition, Google is labeling which answer is the “best” and shows that answer first in the search results.
Here is a picture from @glenngabe:

I suspect Google is picking the best answer from a label in the thread itself.
Of course, this can be a concern for those who run answer sites. Instead of a searcher clicking from Google’s search results to an answer site webpage, the searcher can quickly see a snippet or the full answer in these answer carousels.
The post Google testing an answers

Search Engine Land Source

Google brings local lead generation to Google Assistant and Google Home

Google is bringing new forms of local search to the Google Assistant and Google Home. The company announced it’s working with local home service providers “like HomeAdvisor and Porch.”
On any platform where Google Assistant is available, users will be able to ask for contractors (e.g., “Ok Google find me a plumber”). That initiates a structured interaction which generates a lead or contact with a local service provider.
In the case of IAC-owned HomeAdvisor, which now also owns Angie’s List, users can ask to be connected by phone at the end of the process to a contractor or receive a list of relevant, pre-screened contractors. The following graphic depicts part of the user experience and the structured Q&A that’s used to refine the lead.
This is a highly structured local search and lead-generation experience that will bypass conventional search results (i.e., business listings). Google said the new functionality would be rolling out in the next week or so.

Google itself offers local lead generation for contractors

Search Engine Land Source

Google book search now includes audiobook results

Google has added an audiobook option to its book search feature.
Now, if you search for a specific book title, the Google book search feature includes an “Audiobook” button under the “Get Book” tab that will display different audiobook platforms offering the title.
The book search update was announced via the following tweet:

Have audiobook, will travel. Book the perfect holiday road trip read with new audiobook options, now in Search.
— Google (@Google) November 29, 2017

To actually listen to the audiobook, users must select their preferred audiobook app.
The post Google book search now includes audiobook results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Search Engine Land Source