Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.
Google says there is no perfect formula to ranking a web page in Google Search. Google Sitemaps pinging no longer works – it was deprecated. Google how-to rich results aren’t showing up anymore. Bing Search tests chat button that reads chat with GPT-4, My Bing and a colorful Copilot logo in the search bar. Microsoft may extend the Bing Chat memory limit beyond 90 days. Google Search shows climate-friendly train alternatives below the flight results.
For the past several unconfirmed Google Search ranking algorithm updates that we covered, those were almost all reported over the weekend. Now I am seeing search ranking volatility in the middle of a work week. I am seeing signs of an unconfirmed update starting off Tuesday, January 9th and today, Wednesday, January 10th.
Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said that there is no such thing as a perfect formula for ranking a web page. Sullivan said this on X, saying, “There’s no perfect formula to follow that must be used to rank highly in Google Search.”
Google Search is now showing climate-friendly train alternatives under the flight search results box. So if you are looking for flights where you can take a train instead, Google will show you the train alternatives.
When Microsoft first launched its Bing Chat Personalized Answers, Microsoft said the history/memory would be based on 90 days of chat history. However, some chat users noticed it was going beyond the 90 days. In fact, Mikhail Parakhin, the CEO of Advertising and Web Services at Microsoft, said they plan to extend it beyond the 90 days.
A couple of days ago, we reported that the FAQ rich results dropped out of the search results again, and now we are seeing the how-to rich results drop out of the search results again. This happened around the same time as the FAQ rich results dropping.
Bing Search has placed the “Chat” button in its top search menu since Bing Chat launched. But now Bing is testing expanding it to read “Chat w/GPT-4” and “Copilot.” We know Microsoft is ultimately rebranding Bing Chat to Copilot, so that is expected but w/GPT-4 is not.
Google has officially deprecated the Sitemaps ping endpoints. Now, when you try to access it, Google responds, “Sitemaps ping is deprecated,” with a link to the post about it going away.
Google King’s Cross campus which we saw back in 2022 under construction is still being worked on but it is getting closer. Here is an updated photo from Daniel Waisberg, he posted this on X.
Interesting how Bing is starting to take a very similar approach to SGE in search results with the footnotes and ‘learn more’ links section. Hard to make an argument that it’s better than a standard Google featured snippet, SERP Alert on X
Just a reminder that syndicating content can sometimes lead to new developments, like Yahoo *also* syndicating the exact same article content on http://aol.com, which they own, and which also appears in Google Discover., Lily Ray on X
404s are fine, no need to do anything about them., John Mueller on X
So Google Drive has this weird emergent behavior: When an employee leaves a company, their manager typically inherits their files. As time goes on, all documents migrate upward. So after 16 years as CEO, here’s my Google account…, Jeff Lawson on X
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