fbpx

Google Soft 404 Update Blamed for Ranking Issues Google Confirms Update Could Be Causing Problems for Some

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News, SEO

Last week, Google made some updates to how it detects soft 404s, and now, this subtle change has led to ranking issues for some websites, according to Search Engine Roundtable.

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller confirmed that the change had occurred in a recent webmaster hangout when the issue was brought up by participant Olaf Olleck Kopp.

Kopp didn’t get into specifics, but further explained his predicament on Twitter.

Mueller responded, saying: “As far as I could tell from from the information I have so far, is it’s essentially a small change we made in the soft 404 detection and how that’s picking things up in weird ways.”

Mueller also added that “with the other people I was able to pick up the URLs and send them to the team and I think they’re looking into what is happening there.”

Other digital marketing industry folk then took to Twitter to demonstrate the Search Console issues they experienced with the soft 404s, and the subsequent decrease in Google Search desktop rankings.

It’s unclear whether the soft 404 update is only causing reporting issues in Google Search Console, or if it is actually what has been affecting rankings.

Search Engine Roundtable writer Barry Schwartz asked Mueller this directly on Twitter, but has yet to receive a response. Stay tuned.

READ MORE: Bug in How Google Detects Soft 404s May Be Causing Traffic Losses  

READ MORE: Soft 404 Errors Guide

READ MORE: 404 vs. Soft 404 Errors: What’s the Difference & How to Fix Both  

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Big Announcements Made During Google Search On 2021 Event

10/01/2021

The Google Search On 2021 event is in full swing, and in typical Google fashion, some big announcements were made by the search engine.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google Search On is an annual event hosted by the search engine where big announcements related to the future of search take place.

From changes to the Google Search experience to improvements to MUM, here is a breakdown of some of the biggest announcements to come out of this year’s event.

MUM’s the Word

One of the biggest takeaways from Search On so far is that Google has redesigned Google Search and added some cool new features. These features are designed to enable more natural, intuitive ways to search through “advanced AI systems like MUM.” This includes:

  • Things to know
  • New search refinements
  • Visually browsable result pages
  • And more

MUM will also be used to gain a deeper understanding of videos in Google Search.

Google announced a new MUM-based experience that will be used to recognize related topics in a video, even in cases where a topic is not directly mentioned. This will be launched in English Google search results in the next few weeks.

“Things To Know”

Google is launching a new “Things to Know” feature. Here’s how they explained it:

“When you search for a topic, like acrylic painting, you can see all the different dimensions people typically search for, and find the path that’s right for you.”

Google will use this to come up with additional details and determine the appropriate categories for a topic. When a user clicks on these, Google will show a featured snippet for that option and give them the ability to click on and see more results.

Shoppable Google Search Experience

In the U.S., Google is launching a new “shoppable search experience” that makes it simpler to shop on mobile directly within Search results.

Here is an example of what this will look like: When a user searches for “cropped jackets, a visual feed of jackets in different colours and styles along with information like local shops, style guides, and videos will appear in Search results.

Of course, plenty more announcements were made that we can’t even begin to get into here. For all of the big announcements, check out https://searchon.withgoogle.com/

read more

Google Clarifies How It Obtains Automotive Data For Search

09/23/2021

Yesterday, we reported that auto industry folk weren’t too pleased about a new Google Search feature that displayed car specs in search results. Now, Google has clarified where exactly this data comes from and confirmed that it does not source it from the open web.

After our original article was published, the topic came up again on Twitter when Search Engine Round Table reporter Barry Schwartz tagged Google’s Public Search Liason Danny Sullivan in response to someone asking where Google sources its automotive data from.

Here is Sullivan’s response:

“We license the data shown. It’s not coming from schema or pages on the open web.”

As we reported yesterday, several SEOs involved in the automotive industry were not pleased that it appeared as if Google was sourcing data from automotive websites without stating where the data came from. One of the main concerns was that Google may have been “stealing” traffic from these sites without directing users back to the source.

READ MORE: New Car Spec Feature in Google Search Causes Uproar in Automotive Industry

Now, we know that this isn’t the case. Based on Sullivan’s comments, we can conclude that Google actually licenses this data and therefore pays to use it. This means that Google does not need to state where it obtained the data. This is similar to how Google licenses weather data.

So, there you have it. We’re glad that this one was cleared up and all the confusion can be put to bed.

read more