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’s search ranking volatility was pretty calm this weekend, which is unusual. Google has terminated its contract with Appen, one of its largest sources of Search Quality Raters. Google says its flexible sampling solution doesn’t make gated content leaky. Google is testing nearby events and deals. Google News lets you filter by publisher. Google is showing phone number buttons in the search result snippets again.
The big news from the weekend is that Google has terminated its contract with Appen, one of the largest sources of its third-party human search quality raters sources. Appen announced this in this PDF, saying it received notice of this on January 20th, and the contract ends on March 19, 2024.
Google’s flexible sampling solution that replaced the first-click-free solution for gated, subscription or paywalled content launched in 2017. Since then, many publishers use the structured data to communicate to Google the full content that is behind the content gate. Some are calling this solution “leaky” in which Google responded saying it is not.
We have had intense Google search ranking volatility over the past few weeks over the weekends. That weekend trend kind of stopped when we had a mid-week Google update around January 9th/10th. And for the past couple of weekends, including this one, the volatility with the Google search results has been relatively calm.
For the past few weeks Google has been testing out a new local search box titled “Nearby events and deals.” This box contains links to local stores and places that have events and/or deals in the area.
Google News now lets you filter news by publisher for a specific news search query. I think it works the same way as a site command, which Google News has supported for at least 17 years now, but now there is a button that shows some relevant publishers for the topic.
For years now, Google has shown phone numbers on some search result snippets when Google thinks you want to call that store. We have screen captures of this from 2016 and 2014. But now Google is testing a new button that is more button-like.
Here is a photo I found from the Google office in Brazil, a roof top view of the local business district there. Looks calming but a bit hazy at the moment.
FWIW, someone needs to look into that Professional program. One of our employees took the test (and passed). They were secluded into their own room with the door closed, but the exam was not accepted because someone used the elevator once in the adjacent , Greg Finn on X
How to know you’re a monopoly #476: Your customers who pay you to use your service have to pay to get support to use your service and then you lay off a bunch of those support people anyway cause lulz what are your customers actually going to do and wh, Kirk Williams on X
The time issue is about how it might take our systems time to recognize content as news, to show in news results. We seem to be doing that with your site. The issues you’re raising seems to be what was in your other post, which I addressed here:, Google SearchLiaison on X
We didn’t take any special action here. I hadn’t even caught up into looking at this more when it apparently resolved itself. Rankings can change quickly; we have lots of automated systems involved., Google SearchLiaison on X
Industry & Business
Links & Content Marketing
Local & Maps
Mobile & Voice
Apple releases a video Guided Tour of Apple Vision Pro, AppleInsider
Apple Vision Pro – what vision problems it can’t correct, AppleInsider
Apple Vision Pro shipment dates slip nearly instantly, AppleInsider
Apple Vision Pro specs – RAM, storage, screens, AppleInsider
Apple Vision Pro storage and AppleCare prices revealed, AppleInsider
Here’s how Bard will work in Google Messages, Android Police
Pre-orders for Apple Vision Pro have begun, AppleInsider
Apple to Developers: Heads I win, tails you lose (part 2), Mobile Dev Memo by Eric Seufert
How to create custom voice commands for iPhone, AppleInsider
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