Daily Search Forum Recap: November 29, 2017

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.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
Google Trends Adds News, Shopping, Images & YouTube As SourcesThe other day, Google announced that they are adding more sources of data to Google Trends. So now instead of just web search data, Google will pull in data from News, Shopping, Images and YouTube…
Google To Review Obscure Search Results Showing More Ads Than Organic ResultsFor years Google has sometimes, for very obscure and restrictive queries…
New Google Finance Has Launched, Dropping The Portfolio FeatureGoogle announced yesterday, and it is finally now rolled out to searchers, that the new Google Finance is live. We knew it was coming because Google warned us that the portfolio feature is going away and it did…
Google Hreflang For Mobile First Index: Mobile to Mobile & Desktop to DesktopJohn Mueller confirmed today on Twitter that Google’s advice around hreflang implementing when it comes to when the mobile first index has been rolled out is to configure it as a “mobile-to-mobile & desktop-to-desktop…
Marie Haynes – The Search Community Honors YouThis is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series – feel free to nominate someone over here. Marie Haynes, born in 1973 who joined the industry in 2008, lives with her husband and two young girls in Ottawa, Canada…
Google Garden Logo For Gertrude Jekyll On Her 174th BirthdayToday on the Google home page is a special Google logo, Doodle, for Gertrude Jekyll, a British horticulturist, garden designer, artist, and writer…
Google Serves Orange Juice In Light BulbsOkay, this is weird… Here is a photo I found on Instagram of orange juice being served out of light bulbs. This is from the Google Italy office in Milan, and one of the cafes there. I wouldn’t fee
Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Google Trends Adds News, Shopping, Images & YouTube As Sources

The other day, Google announced that they are adding more sources of data to Google Trends. So now instead of just web search data, Google will pull in data from News, Shopping, Images and YouTube. Google said they are “opening up more data to show what people in the world are looking for, as they’re looking for it.”
So now with your keyword research, you can use Google Trends to find even more valuable data. Google Trends lets you really slice and dice the information by source, location, type and many other ways. I highly recommend marketers take a look at it.

You can learn more about these new additions over here.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

Google Serves Orange Juice In Light Bulbs

Okay, this is weird… Here is a photo I found on Instagram of orange juice being served out of light bulbs. This is from the Google Italy office in Milan, and one of the cafes there.
I wouldn’t feel comfortable drinking out of a light bulb, would you?
This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.

Daily Search Forum Recap: November 28, 2017

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.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
Google Will Penalize Your Site For Using Event Markup IncorrectlyGoogle has had enough of people using the event markup in a misleading way and is now sending out a strict warning that if you use this markup in any other way then its intended purpose…
Google: Featured Snippets Are Not Losing Their AppealWe recently reported about the changes in the featured snippets being shown in Google. Yesterday…
Google Bug Removes Answers From The Local Q&A FeatureBrodie Clark from optimising.com.au has been tracking the local Q&A feature in depth and noticed the other day that many of his answers have gone missing. He was upset because he spent a lot of time and energy answering questions for Google and those businesses and now they were gone…
Google Tests Research Search CarouselGoogle seems to be testing a new search feature that shows a “research” search carousel box in the search results for content around your query. I cannot replicate this by Geoff Angell posted a screen shot on Twitter showing the feature in action…
Google Often Tests Longer Search Results SnippetsOver the past few days or so, since around Thanksgiving time, I’ve been getting emails, tweets, etc from people telling me they are seeing Google showing longer snippets from the typical two line search results snippet…
Ross Dunn – The Search Community Honors YouThis is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series – feel free to nominate someone over here. Ross Dunn, 41 years old, and has been in the industry since 1997 – well before the SEO industry was named “SEO.” He is married for 10 years and has two children…
Front Seat Of The Google Chicago Subway CarParisa Tabriz, Google’s “security princess” information security manager posted on Twitter a picture of her in the front seat of that subway train car at the Google Chicago office. We’ve seen outside
Other Great Search Forum Threads:
In my post I explain how a rogue subdomain was activated during an https migration, how over 7K duplicate urls were indexed, how we handled… https://t.co/2C1UhiXdcO, Glenn Gabe on Twitter
Some SEOs get caught up in endless discussions about backlink profiles, keyword rankings and Google updates. Don’t be that SEO. See the big… https://t.co/aOy4YwRvUf, Eoghan Henn on Twitter
##NoHacked is back! More tips for hack detection coming this week! Start wit…, Google+ – Google Webmasters
Google Algo Changing?, BlackHatWorld
Google Gmail Adds Anti-Phishing, Malicious Link Detection, WebmasterWorld
Imgur Hack 1.7 Million emails and Passwords Stolen, WebmasterWorld

Google Will Penalize Your Site For Using Event Markup Incorrectly

Google has had enough of people using the event markup in a misleading way and is now sending out a strict warning that if you use this markup in any other way then its intended purpose, Google may go ahead and penalize your site. The penalty will be in the form of a manual action which would result in your site not being able to show any rich snippets in the Google search results.
This is the same thing as the spammy structured markup manual actions and Google has not been shy with them in the past. But here you have Google (1) updating the events schema guidelines and (2) telling people not to use them in the “coupons/vouchers space” or other manners that it is not meant for.
In short, many in the coupons/vouchers space have been using them to markup their coupons in the rich results. Google said “as much as using a discount voucher can be a very special thing, that doesn’t make coupons or vouchers events or ‘saleEvents’.” “Using Event markup to describe something that is not an event creates a bad user experience, by triggering a rich result for something that will happen at a particular time, despite no actual event being present,” Google added.
Here is a spammy rich snippet for event schema in this space:

Google said:

Since this creates a misleading user experience, we may take manual action on such cases. In case your website is affected by such a manual action, you will find a notification in your Search Console account. If a manual action is taken, it can result in structured data markup for the whole site not being used for search results.

I suspect there might be an increase in spammy structured markup manual actions in the near future.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

Front Seat Of The Google Chicago Subway Car

Parisa Tabriz, Google’s “security princess” information security manager posted on Twitter a picture of her in the front seat of that subway train car at the Google Chicago office. We’ve seen outside and inside photos but never a photo of the front drivers seat.
That is until now when the security princess leaked the information. 😛
This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.

Daily Search Forum Recap: November 27, 2017

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Google Engineer Cites Complexities Around AI Algorithms Explaining Themselves

Google has been saying for a year or so that they are moving from a mobile first world to an artificial intelligence first world but we’ve been told, at least in search, machine learning won’t take over the algorithm – at least not yet.
So I saw this interesting tweet from Paul Haahr, a top search ranking engineer at Google for over 15 years. He cited a NY Times article named Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself? and wrote “This article by @cliffkuang on Explainable AI is an excellent introduction to hard, important problems. These issues are coming up at work every day; the article describes them well and gives some reasons for optimism.”

This article by @cliffkuang on Explainable AI is an excellent introduction to hard, important problems. These issues are coming up at work every day; the article describes them well and gives some reasons for optimism. https://t.co/1aRP5WB2qO
— Paul Haahr (@haahr) November 24, 2017
It reminded me of when he spoke at SMX some time ago where he said Google doesn’t fully understand RankBrain. I believe this article references what he means by that, because RankBrain is a machine learning, AI based search feature.
If Google cannot debug or understand how the algorithm itself gets better and makes certain decisions then how can Google debug it fully when it goes bad.
“As machine learning becomes more powerful, the field’s researchers increasingly find themselves unable to account for what their algorithms know — or how they know it.” That is not just a science fiction Terminator movie like fear concept but in reality, it is a topic that engineers need to battle with to understand how to improve their AI.
Anyway, reading the article might shed some light into those challenges and show you maybe how far off we are from robots killing us.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

Jill Whalen – The Search Community Honors You

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series – feel free to nominate someone over here.
Jill Whalen, currently 56 years old, was literally one of the pioneers in the SEO industry, starting in 1995 and championing the “white hat” following for about 20 years. Jill officially retired from her business and the SEO space back in 2013 but has continued to be an inspiration for many existing and new SEOs in the industry. She is married, with 3 grown kids ages 30, 29 and 24 living in Massachusetts in the same house for almost 32 years.
Dianna Huff, who nominated Jill for this series wrote:

Jill is no longer an SEOer but she was instrumental in helping me build my career when I first started doing SEO in 2001. Her book, “The Nitty Gritty Guide to SEO Copywriting” was one the first books I purchased.
I read her newsletter and listened to her at conferences for years.
On a more personal level, I was always a bit shy and hesitant when I attended the big SEO/SEM conferences as I knew the “big” names but they had no clue who I was. I’ll never forget the day that Jill said hi to me at a conference and invited me to sit with her over lunch — which became the start of our friendship.
I’ve always admired Jill’s approach to SEO, websites, and marketing in general and am happy to say that I still follow her advice, which pretty much is, “Keep things simple; make your website the best it can be.”
She left a real void when she retired.

For me, Jill has fought hard over the years for SEOs to take the white hat approach, even in the days when it was easy to spam Google. She was the voice of content over links, that quality content will drive quality links, will drive traffic and long term success. Then Panda hit and she was literally validated, oh and then Penguin hit and it was like a double bonus.
We all owe a lot of what we know about SEO to Jill, even if you did not read her book or her newsletters or heard her speak – those you probably did learn SEO from, likely learned from Jill.
Jill Whalen’s Bio:
Jill Whalen was a pioneer in the SEO industry from 1995-2013. For the past 20 years, she has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world.
Jill is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.
Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety. Her blog, What Did You Do With Jill? is a personal account of what she’s learned throughout her transformational journey. Jill has many “viral” articles on LinkedIn and is a contributing writer to P.S. I Love You. Stay abreast of Jill’s latest musings and offerings by subscribing to her newsletter here.
Favorite thing about the SEO community? The sharing of knowledge among member of the SEO community.
One piece of advice to the SEOs out there? Forget about SEO and think about marketing.
Favorite things in general? My favorite color is red. My favorite foods have changed a lot through the years. Most recently, my super healthy veggie lunches would have to be it. Each day my lunch is prettier and yummier than the day before! Favorite things to do are currently singing karaoke, practicing yoga, Barre classes, tennis, and as always…hanging out online and sharing my knowledge and discoveries with the world via my writing and speaking events.
What you want to be known for in the SEO space? Being the one who spoke out for true SEO that made websites better not worse. And showing everyone that spamming the search engines was optional, not necessary
You can see more about what Jill is up to now at her new site WhatDidYouDoWithJill.com.
Jill Whalen, this is the search community honoring you for all you have done!
This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series – feel free to nominate someone over here.

Google Crazy Hats Day On Friday

Well, it seems Google had a crazy hat day on some Fridays. Here is a picture from Elaine Jones showing her coworker in the Dublin office where some crazy Googlely hat. I posted the video from Instagram below so you can see it in action?

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.