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Weekly News: Google Search outage causing major issues with search quality and indexing

Google Search outage causing major issues with search quality and indexing

Last night at about 9:30 pm ET Google had a widespread outage with Google Search, the issue lingered through the night but restoration efforts seemed to mitigate some of the connectivity issues many have experienced. But this seemed to result in a cascade of other issues with Google Search around search quality in general.

The Google Search issues. It seems that the outage, although the most noticeable issue, is not the only issue. I’ve seen issues with the overall search results impacting search quality. These issues include:

  • Outages and inaccessibility of Google Search
  • Old pages dropping out of Google Search
  • New pages not being indexed by Google Search
  • Google Search results look stale and outdated
  • Huge ranking fluctuations
  • I posted some screenshots of the issues on the Search Engine Roundtable.

What happened? It seems a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa caught on fire and the result of the fire injured some workers and causes these issues in Google Search. The incident occurred at 11:59 a.m. local time on Monday, the Council Bluffs Police Department told SFGATE. A Google spokesperson told them:

“We are aware of an electrical incident that took place today at Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, injuring three people on site who are now being treated. The health and safety of all workers is our absolute top priority, and we are working closely with partners and local authorities to investigate the situation and provide assistance as needed thoroughly.”

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“Google is aware. Google is aware of the issue, as you can see from the statement above. But Google is also aware of the general Google Search issues related to this fire. John Mueller from Google commented on Twitter that things should return to normal as restoration efforts are underway. Here is what he posted:

john mu

Source: Google Search outage causing major issues with search quality and indexing

Microsoft Bing adds 3 new shopping annotations

Microsoft Bing has recently added three notations to its search results pages that show price history, available coupons, and ethical choice ratings.

Price history. Bing shows a graph showing whether a product price has increased, decreased, or is stable. It highlights the high, medium, and low prices. Here’s what it looks like:

price history annotation
Microsoft Bing’s Price history annotation

This annotation is available in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and India.

Available coupons. Bing shows searchers directly in the search results when coupons are available for a website. The coupon will automatically be copied and applied to the purchase for shoppers without needing to do a separate search for a code. Here’s what it looks like:

coupons available annotation
Microsoft Bing’s Coupons available annotation

This annotation is now available in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and France.

Ethical choice. This annotation indicates whether a brand sells eco-friendly, upcycled, or fair trade fashion. Microsoft Bing recently expanded its Ethical Shopping Hub, which assigns a rating (powered by Good on You) based on a brand’s impact on people, the planet, and animals. 

Official announcement. You can read more on Microsoft Bing’s announcement: Shopping Searches are Now Smarter on Microsoft Bing.

Source: Microsoft Bing adds 3 new shopping annotations

Google’s rule for business profiles states duplicate content is spam

spam

According to an updated document by Google, duplicate content posts published by Google Business Profile are now considered spam.

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In its updated content policy on Business Profiles on Google, the search engine giant has cautioned its users to avoid spam.

Among the list of things that users should avoid, Google has added “duplicate posts, photos, videos, and logos.”

A social media user first discovered the newly added rule in the document. They posted about it on their Twitter handle.

“Google just updated their help center article about Google posts to indicate a few more things they consider spam. “Duplicate photos, posts, videos, and logos”, posts Colan Nielsen on their Twitter handle.

It is important to be aware of the new rules. This is because they could potentially affect businesses’ content strategies in the long run.

With the newly added rule about spam and phishing, Google wants to send the message that business profiles should post unique content. If they duplicate content, Google will consider it to be spam.

Posting the same content, posts, photos, videos, texts, or even logos is not allowed from now on.

Even when not trying to spam, if profiles are not careful, they will be considered spam.

Source: Google’s rule for business profiles states duplicate content is spam

Google Search Tests Showing All Of The Menu Bar Options

google search

Google is testing and displaying all of the menu bar options under the Google Search bar. This is instead of showing the “more” button, to see more search options. So you see the options for videos, images, finance, news, etc, all listed out without needing to click “more” to see all the options.

Here is a screenshot of this from Punit on Twitter:

new google search

Here is what I see, the normal version:

normal google search

I mean, why not list it all out if there is room to show it all?

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Source: Google Search Tests Showing All Of The Menu Bar Options

Google no longer recommends using dynamic rendering for Google Search

Google has updated the dynamic rendering help documentation to now say Google no longer recommends using dynamic rendering, that this is a workaround and not a long-term solution to your Google Search crawling and indexing problems with JavaScript.

Truth is, Google always said this was a workaround but now with advancements in web and crawling technology, Google is pushing harder for developers, webmasters, and SEOs to avoid using dynamic rendering.

What is dynamic rendering? Google said that dynamic rendering means “switching between client-side rendered and pre-rendered content for specific user agents.” You would be able to serve Google an HTML version of the page while serving the user the JavaScript version if you wanted to. Google said that currently “it’s difficult to process JavaScript and not all search engine crawlers are able to process it successfully or immediately.” The company said it hopes the problem eventually can be fixed, “but in the meantime, we recommend dynamic rendering as a workaround solution to this problem,” so this solution may go away as the AJAX crawling schema went away after no longer being needed.

What changed? Google has updated the dynamic rendering help documentation to add a red warning bar that reads “Dynamic rendering is a workaround and not a long-term solution for problems with JavaScript-generated content in search engines. Instead, we recommend that you use server-side rendering, static rendering, or hydration as a solution.”

Source: Google no longer recommends using dynamic rendering for Google Search

More news:

DuckDuckGo Now Says It Will Block Microsoft Trackers

Google addresses Impression Share and Auction Insights reporting issue

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