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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.

Google: Sponsored Label & Favicons Get A New Look

10/17/2022

Google Ads latest change is to the sponsored label has finally become official!

Google has been testing this change for months now, many notices it in Google Search presented in bolded black text. This is the most recent change Google is making in their efforts to provide users with clear information that they feel confident clicking on. The fresh take on the presentation of sponsored ads label is officially a go.

What’s New

Well for starters, this label change sports a look that features black text in bold. This makes sponsored results on Google Search appear clearer and allows users to identify the result more effectively as an ad.

Read More: ‘Related Search For Content Ads’ Launched By Google

In a statement released by Google, Manager Mona Vajolahi and Director Senthill Hariramasamy explain the reasons for the label change. Here’s what they had to say about the new changes.

“Part of helping you make sense of the information you see is ensuring that ads are clearly labeled, which is why our label will now be featured on its own line in the top-left corner of Search ads. We also want the label to be prominent and clear across different types of paid content,” said Vajolahi and Hariramasamy in a recent post.

Based on this, it seems like Google is aiming to make both the presentation and information about paid information clearer for users.

Besides changing the look of sponsored labels, Google also made some tweaks to the visual representation that goes alongside the label. Google says they’re “also updating the size and shape of the favicon (a website’s logo or icon) that appears in Search, to make it easier to see on the page”.

Take a look below for a peek at the brand new ad presentation!

Chatter on Twitter & What’s To Come

Since this change has been in the works for some time now, many users have been taking about it online. Ad expert Vincent Beima noticed the change alongside many others, read below for his tweet on the change.

Users can expect to see more changes from Google in the coming months, after all when do they ever stop.

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Did You Know Google’s Testing New Icons?

10/11/2022

When you’re Googling, do you ever wish that you knew which sites you’d visited? Well, Google might be adding something that helps with that.

As Google puts it “Sitelinks are links from the same domain that are clustered together under a web result.” In other words, Google can link together site structures to provide users with shortcuts. This style of linking saves both time and makes for a more streamlined search.

Read More: Google Search Scroll To Text For Sitelinks

These sitelinks are already helpful for users but why not make it better? Well Google has done just that.

Google Sitelinks

Google appears to be testing a new icon feature for sitelinks. Its pretty similar to the icon that you’ll see when you go to type in search. The dropdown on search shows a clock, listing all the previously searched terms.

Google is trying out similar icons for sitelinks. Basically, it’s supposed to make searching easier and lets you know which pages on a site that you’ve already visited.

Chatter on Twitter

Some SEO experts have noticed this trial icon in Google Search and have taken the discussion to Twitter.

SEO experts Greg Bernhardt and Mordy Oberstein discussed the icon test over a thread on Twitter. Though Mordy Oberstein noticed the test first, Greg Bernhardt raised an interesting point about the sitelinks.

It’s interesting that the visited link changes color, yet is being tested with the icon. Here’s The discussion between Oberstein and Berhardt online.

Previous Testing with Sitelinks

This isn’t the first time that Google’s played around with sitelink icons. From testing with images to other icons, Google is always trying to add something new here.

In 2017 many noticed the auto-generated sitelink icons. Here’s what digital marketing specialist Josh Leibner has to say.

Considering, Google is only testing these icons for the time being and we have yet to hear an official statement about these icons being fully added to Google Search.

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