Daily Search Forum Recap: January 8, 2024

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.

Another weekend and another unconfirmed Google search ranking update to report on – whoa. Google also may have had a local search ranking algorithm update on January 4th. Google clarified that its search snippets primarily are generated based on content from your page. Google said it does not use GA data for ranking, even if it is in Search Console. Google reiterated it has spam algorithm updates to target the new spam you all see in the search results. Google also seems to have dropped the FAQ rich results again.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Google Search Algorithmic Volatility Friday On January 5th & 6th

As I hinted in my last video recap, I was seeing some early signs of an update on Friday, January 5th and 6th. Well, now there are more signals in where I am more confident to write about those Google Search ranking algorithm volatility.

Google Local Ranking Algorithm Update On January 4th (Unconfirmed)

There may have been a local ranking algorithm update that Google quietly pushed out on Thursday, January 4th. The BrightLocal Local RankFlux tool showed a significant spike in volatility on Thursday, and some local SEOs have confirmed seeing ranking changes for their clients around then.

Google Reiterates: We Have Changes Coming To Deal With Search Spam

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, posted this morning that the search company has changes coming to better deal with the recent flux of search spam we’ve all been seeing in the search results. He said it just sometimes takes time to fully put these changes into place but they are on their way.

Google Search FAQ Rich Results Drop Out Again

It looks like Google has stopped showing FAQ-rich results again. Yes, again. Google told us that FAQ-rich results in the Google search results will be shown for only authoritative sites. Then, around September 13th, they dropped out of the search results only to return again around two months later. Guess what, they are now gone again.

Google Says Search Result Snippets Generated Primarily From Page Content

Google has made a number of updates to its how-to control your snippets in search results to clarify that the snippets are primarily generated using the page content. Google removed the section about rich results and structured data on that page.

Google: We Don’t Use Google Analytics Data For Ranking Even When In Search Console

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said that Google Search does not use Google Analytics data for ranking purposes, even when that GA data is connected to Google Search Console.

Future Dublin Google Office

I found a photo on Instagram that is of the outside of a rainbow-colored building in Dublin. It was named the future Dublin 4 Google headquarters. I am not sure if this is the existing building or a new one being built. Either way, the photo is cool.

Other Great Search Threads:

FWIW robots meta tags can also be search engine specific, eg meta name=googlebot content=noarchive, John Mueller on X

I’ll pass this along. It took me some time to even find that snippet text on your page. I think you have an embedded web story? Anyway, nosnippet is your friend here. We do consider meta description tags, but it’s never been the case that we always use th, Google SearchLiaison on X

It’s up to you. You decide what you want indexed on your site :-). I generally prefer when sites don’t blindly copy setups, and instead work out what makes sense for them, John Mueller on X

There have been no changes. If you’re using the new interface design, you’ll find the search terms report under Insights and reports. Additionally, Search term insights are available on the Insights page, AdsLiaison on X

“Focus on Local? Yelp covers a controversial topic -> How to get Yelp reviews without asking “Yelp’s automated recommendation software evaluates reviews based on hundreds of signals of quality, reliability, and user activity on Yelp, Glenn Gabe on X

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:


Industry & Business

Adobe: Online Holiday Sales Reached Record $221 Billion, Pymnts

EU’s Vestager to meet Big Tech CEOs in the US next week, Reuters

Google Just Lost Another Exec Working on Augmented Reality, Business Insider

Microsoft poised to overtake Apple as most valuable company, AppleInsider

Microsoft, OpenAI sued over copyright infringement by authors, CNBC

Microsoft’s Dee Templeton Joins OpenAI Board as Nonvoting Observer, Bloomberg

Isomorphic inks deals with Eli Lilly and Novartis for drug discovery, TechCrunch

Amazon, Microsoft Boosting Saudi Offices Amid State Pressure, Bloomberg

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice



Search Features

Other Search


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