• Search Engine News: What Caught Our Attention This Month Jun 5, 2019
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    Our search engine news roundup delivers the most essential updates and news straight to your inbox.

    In this search engine news roundup, we cover a comparison report between GMB and commercial websites, Google updating its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and an ongoing indexing issue causing a disturbance.

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
    1. Consumers trust details from commercial websites more than GMB or online directories.
    2. Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines – what is it and why did Google update them?
    3. Google suffering an ongoing indexing issue with an unknown cause.
    Let’s dig in.

    Google My Business vs Commercial Websites
    A comparison report by BrightLocal, shows consumers trust 3rd party website reviews more than Google My Business (GMB). The study examines how consumers use GMB listings, local business websites and business directories to find information.

    When asked which source is expected to have the most accurate and up-to-date contact information, consumers responded:
    • 56% expect local businesses’ website to be the most accurate;
    • 32% believe GMB has the most accurate info; and
    • 12% trust directories.
    Moreover, when asked which features of GMB consumers have used, the top answers were:
    • Checking opening hours;
    • Finding directions;
    • Reading reviews;
    • Visiting the business’s website;
    • Looking at photos of the business;
    • Using the ‘Call’ button to contact a business; and
    • Leaving a review.
    The data in the comparison report is based on the responses from an independent panel of 500 US-based consumers.

    Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines Updated
    For the first time since July 2018, Google updated its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. The refreshed guidelines add more detailed directions regarding interstitial pages and content creator expertise, and buckets “E-A-T” (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) within “Page Quality” in certain sections.

    Why should you care? The guidelines are what human quality raters use to evaluate websites and SERPs. They do not directly affect ranking, however, their judgments are used in order to improve Google’s search algorithm.

    The revisions don’t exceedingly alter the majority of guidelines that dictate how quality raters evaluate websites. Though since Google updated the document they must be meaningful enough. Hence, content creators, marketers and advertisers should be aware of them as well.

    Google’s Ongoing Indexing Issue
    Last week, Google Webmasters tweeted that Google is suffering an indexing issue which was stated to be completely separate from the previous indexing problem.

    We're looking into a new indexing issue that started escalating 6 hours ago. The issue is unrelated to yesterday's outage and we're working hard to resolve it. We'll update this thread when we can provide more information.

    Once again, Google did not provide details of what’s going on. People have been speculating as to what caused the outages starting from infrastructure update which rolled out incorrectly and leading to credible rumours that the initial series of outages were due to human error.

    However, according to Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable, Google told him the indexing issues were unrelated to algorithmic or infrastructure updates. Well then, what were they related to? Why the secrecy?

    The issue was fixed two days later, according to Google Webmasters. But still, it would’ve been great to know the reasons behind the outage.

    Final Thoughts
    If you have any suggestions or ideas what search engine news topics you would like us to look out for in the future, write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 28 May by EmailOut and can be found here.

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