Google This Week: Algo Update Complete, YouTube Select, Reporting Bugs and More

by | May 22, 2020

Google Search and Tool Updates
8 min read

There’s been some big changes to Google this week with the May 2020 Core Algorithm Update completed, Google announcing YouTube Select and finding Google Search Console reporting bugs for Google Discover traffic. Have you noticed any changes?

ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.

Google to Phase Out Gallery Ads & Focus on Image Extensions

Google is phasing out Gallery ads beta and will instead focus on image extensions. Google introduced Gallery ads last year but has just informed beta testers that the format will sunset in August. The carousel format of Gallery ads worked well for the automotive industry with the auto ad unity, however didn’t work as well for other verticals.

Gallery ads required setting up a whole new ad format. Image extensions, which Google is now focussing on have a much lower barrier to entry. Image extensions are still in beta, so you won’t see them unless you’ve been whitelisted. The images show a simple thumbnail next to the text ad.
Google to Phase Out Gallery Ads & Focus on Image Extensions

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Helps App Developers Optimise Revenue

How App Developers Can Optimize Ads Revenue During COVID-19

Google is helping app developers optimise ads revenue during COVID-19 with a list of best practices and tips.  With more people staying in, apps have seen a huge surge in popularity. For example, searches for “meditation apps” have grown globally by over 90 percent since last year. With many reporting a reduced ad spend, Google is highlighting ways app developers can optimise ads revenue. Get the tips here.

Google on Reported Correlation of Bad Links and 50% Traffic Loss

Google’s John Mueller commented on correlation of bad links and 50% traffic loss. A publisher told Mueller that Google Search Console reported over five hundred backlinks from two domains which correlated with a 50% drop in traffic.

They asked Mueller if they should disavow or whether Google detects the links as unnatural and will ignore them as a ranking signal. Mueller stated “I would just ignore those pages.” He also suggested inspecting the pages with Google’s Mobile Friendly test to see what the pages look like when GoogleBot views them.

Mueller also commented on the supposed correlation between the bad links and the drop in traffic.

“I don’t think this is something that you need to disavow. It probably looks weird in the links report but I really wouldn’t worry about this.

With regards to the drop in traffic that you’re seeing, from my point of view that would probably be unrelated to these links.

There’s no real situation… where I could imagine that essentially empty pages would be causing an issue with regards to links.

So I would just ignore that.

If you decide to put them in the disavow file anyway… just keep in mind that this would not affect how we show the data in search console. So the links report would continue to show those.

I don’t think there’s any reason to use a disavow file in this particular case. So I would just leave them be.”


Source: Search Engine Journal

Google Announces New Content Solution, YouTube Select

Google Announces New Content Solution, YouTube SelectGoogle announces a new global content solution called YouTube Select, “a reimagination and unification of solutions like Google Preferred and prime packs.” YouTube Select offers a diverse mix of content packages called lineups, with each tailored to globally and locally relevant needs.

YouTube is also introducing the new “emerging lineups” in the US, a way to extend your reach to up and coming or niche channels. Google is also adding more capabilities for the TV screen and how you buy. In APAC, certain YouTube Select lineups are available via Google Ads, Display & Video 360 and reservation. You can also be confident your ad buys are brand-safe with more advanced brand suitability controls.

Source: Google

May 2020 Core Algo Update Complete

Google has officially finished rolling out the May 2020 core update. Google posted that the May 2020 Core Update rollout was complete on May 19th, just two weeks after the rollout began on May 4. However, if you noticed any positive or negative impact from the update, you likely noticed a week ago. This was the largest core update for quite some time.

Did you notice a change?

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Google Discover Reporting Bug

If you’re seeing an issue in your Search Console, it’s not your websites. Google posted that there was a data logging issue with Google Discover traffic and Google Search Console from May 12th through May 15th. Google stated,

“You might see a significant drop in Discover reporting.”

While Google is working on a fix, it’s still unclear if they’ll bring back the lost data or whether it’s gone for good. Google wrote on the data anomalies page,

“Due to internal logging issues, you might see a significant drop in Discover reporting. Please note that this does not reflect any user-facing changes for your site, only the data reporting in Search Console. We hope to fix this issue soon.”

Did you notice a drop?

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week? Were you affected by the May 2020 core algo update?

Check back in next week for the latest from Google This Week.

Paul Hewett

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