Google rankings fluctuation, pages are dropping and reappearing in the index; Wednesday’s daily brief

Google rankings fluctuation, pages are dropping and reappearing in the index; Wednesday’s daily brief

Plus, structured data testing tool changes.

Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, over the past week I’ve been monitoring some usual and unusual activity in the organic Google search results.

This past weekend, we had a typical unconfirmed Google search ranking update. It is unclear if this is still part of the link spam update rollout or if this is something new. One thing for sure is that there are multiple signals pointing to an update.  We hope you did well with this one.

More on the unusual side, we’ve seen numerous reports both documented publicly and then some behind the scenes, of Google having new indexing issues. Authoritative sites are noticing both new and old pages dropping in and out of Google’s index over the last few days. It is weird, as the pages drop out, return, drop out again, return again, etc.

Google has not confirmed any of these reports but it is something you may want to be aware of.

Barry Schwartz,
Speculative Google organic search reporter

Attribution models now support YouTube and Google Display ads

Google Ads has upgraded all Google Ads non-last click models, including data-driven attribution, to support YouTube and Display ads. In addition to clicks, the data-driven attribution model also measures engaged views from YouTube. With these upgrades, the data-driven attribution model now learns even more from how users interact with your ads and convert. When used along with automated bidding strategies or updates to your manual bidding, data-driven attribution helps to drive additional conversions at the same CPA compared to last click. 

Why we care. Attribution is a common issue for search marketers and continues to be muddied as more of the web focuses on privacy. The ability to model your attribution journeys through YouTube and Display will help marketers determine which channels to invest in and which channels could use a different strategy. Note the changes that will happen in your Campaigns if you make these changes, though.

Read more here.

Google structured data testing tool landing page is now an informational page

Google has officially replaced its structured data testing tool with a new navigational landing page to direct you to either Google’s rich results test tool or the schema markup validator tool.

Above is a screenshot of the revised page, as you can see, it aims to direct you to the right tool for the right purpose.

Why we care. You can now use to test generic structured data or Google’s rich results tool to test Google supported structured data. Of course, Google Search Console has tons of reporting for your structured data as well.

Read more here.

Google updates article structured data author URL helps docs

Google updated the article structured data help document to add new author properties to the list of recommended properties you can use in Google Search. Google said the company added a new recommended author.url property to the article structured data documentation. The author.url property is a new recommended property you can add to your article structured markup that is essentially a link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the article. This link can be to the author’s social media page, an about me page, or a biography page or some other page that helps identify this author.

Why we care. If your site publishes articles, it might benefit you to add these new property to your article structured data. Who knows if Google will use it more broadly than just in the author knowledge panels, and use it to try to understand the expertise of a specific author across multiple sites. Maybe, just maybe, that can help your site rank better in the long term. That is assuming SEOs spammers do not manipulate it and post fact author markup for their stories.

Read more here.

International ads updates, GMB enforcement and Google Ads editor is live

Google Ads policy updates. Google Ads made a few policy updates including a political content policy update on Ontario, a gambling policy update in India, and a financial services verification requirement in the UK.

Google My Business address enforcement. Google is enforcing for some businesses that they have a real physical address, if they deem the business as a business that should have a physical location. This is to prevent some Google Maps spam.

Google Ads Editor 1.7 live. As you know, we reported on Google released Ads Editor 1.7, but that announcement was premature, it is now officially live – so have at it.

We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

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