Daily Search Forum Recap: November 30, 2015

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Google “Lithuanian Flag” & Get The Wrong Flag

    If you go to Google and ask it to show you the Flag of Lithuanian by searching for [Lithuanian Flag], Google will show you the wrong flag.

    What Google shows you is three horizontal lines of green, followed by white…

  • Google Says For AMP Mobile Development, Use Canonicals

    So Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages is expected to be pushed by Google big time in 2016, so much so, Google will power their own mobile results off of it in early 2016…

  • Amit Singhal, Google’s Head Of Ranking, Celebrates 15 Years At Google

    We have talked about Amit Singhal a lot here, but often, people here do not understand that virtually everything you see in the search results with the exception of the ads, is under Amit Singhal’s supervision…

  • Google Tests Replacing “Web” Search Filter With “All”

    Zeshan Ahmer shared a screen shot on Twitter of Google testing showing “All” instead of the “Web” navigation filter link.

    Typically when you do a search at Google you see the default option set to “Web” at the top, under the search box…

  • Google Logo For Writer Lucy Maud Montgomery On 141st Birthday

    Today on the Google home page is a logo, Google Doodle, for the 141st birthday of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Lucy Maud Montgomery was a well known Canadian fiction writer who wrote many children oriented books including Anne of Green Gables…

  • A Stolen Google Bike
    Louis Gray from Google shared a photo of a bike he rescued from the streets of Santa Clara. Supposedly, every now and then a Google bike goes missing or gets stolen. Louis Gray said he saw one few b

Other Great Search Forum Threads:


Source: SEroundTable

Google "Lithuanian Flag" & Get The Wrong Flag

If you go to Google and ask it to show you the Flag of Lithuanian by searching for [Lithuanian Flag], Google will show you the wrong flag.

What Google shows you is three horizontal lines of green, followed by white, followed by red. What Google should show are three horizontal lines of yellow, followed by green, followed by red.

Here is what Google shows:

Google Shows Wrong Flag For Search On Lithuanian Flag

Here is what Google should show:

Google Shows Wrong Flag For Search On Lithuanian Flag

These things can get fixed fast by Google, but the question is, will it?

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Says For AMP Mobile Development, Use Canonicals

So Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages is expected to be pushed by Google big time in 2016, so much so, Google will power their own mobile results off of it in early 2016.

So SEOs and webmasters are trying to test it out and they ask, when you build using AMP, how do you avoid duplicate content issues? This question was asked by @Kevin_Ellen_ and John Mueller said on Twitter it is no different than using a canonical reference like you would when using separate mobile URLs.

Here is the set of tweets:

I wonder how many of you are actually starting to experiment with AMP?

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Source: SEroundTable

Amit Singhal, Google's Head Of Ranking, Celebrates 15 Years At Google

We have talked about Amit Singhal a lot here, but often, people here do not understand that virtually everything you see in the search results with the exception of the ads, is under Amit Singhal’s supervision. He is the head of ranking, core search, knowledge graph, voice search, mobile, pretty much every answer and search result you see in Google, goes through his approval first.

Of course, he is not manually serving up the results like a butler, but rather, he is in charge of the algorithms that automate the responses given to your queries.

Amit Singhal announced on Twitter and Google+ that Saturday was his fifteenth year anniversary at the company. Back in November 28, 2000, Google was just a “small start up” he said, now it serves over one billion users.

Here is what Amit said (just in case Google+ one day goes offline):

Fifteen years ago, on this day, I joined a small startup called Google; and here I am, fifteen years later, enjoying every moment of this beautiful journey that I started with Google on Nov 28, 2000.

A lot has changed in the last fifteen years, Google has grown up a lot, and I have experienced tremendous personal growth. But one thing that has not changed, is the Google mission: to organize the worldâs information and make it universally accessible and useful. This mission is one of the things that keeps me so engaged at Google. I feel proud to come in everyday knowing that what I will do will improve the lives of over a Billion people, and that is exactly what my employer wants me to do.

The second reason that has kept me at Google, in fact has made the last fifteen years the best professional ride anyone could every experience is my wonderful colleagues at Google. The people at Google are just amazing, and they are not just amazing in their respective areas, they are some of the most amazing human beings you will ever meet. I have made friends at Google that will last a lifetime, and that is the true wealth I’ve accumulated in my life.

On a personal note, when I joined Google, my two kids were four years old and six months old. Even though I had a few jobs before coming to Google, my kids only remember their Dad as a Googler.

Today… I am feeling Thankful.

Matt Cutts, who shared an office with Amit for years and worked under him as the head of spam, added on Google+:

Congrats to Amit Singhal on 15 years at Google!

Amit Singhal, one of the unsung heroes of Google, just celebrated 15 years at the company. If you’ve ever gotten a magical answer from Google, you probably have Amit to thank for it.

I can’t think of another person who has taken on so many different roles–individual contributor, manager, and head of search, not to mention dealing with press–and done such a superb job in each role. When a regular person hits a wall and gets discouraged, that’s when Amit is just getting started. 🙂 It’s always fun to see how he cuts to the root of a problem and solves it. I’m proud to call him my friend.

What is Amit up to next? Well, besides for the continuation of search, we mentioned it on Friday, the universal assistant.

It is hard to imagine the impact of one person, if only there was an algorithm that could show us how important each individual is on a PageRank scale. 🙂

Forum discussion at Twitter and Google+.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Tests Replacing "Web" Search Filter With "All"

Zeshan Ahmer shared a screen shot on Twitter of Google testing showing “All” instead of the “Web” navigation filter link.

Typically when you do a search at Google you see the default option set to “Web” at the top, under the search box. You can often toggle to filter for News, Images, Videos, Shopping, etc. But Google is trying out showing “All” instead of “Web” at least in India.

Here is a picture from Zeshan Ahmer:

I am not able to replicate this myself on Google.com or Google.co.in, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Google was testing this.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Logo For Writer Lucy Maud Montgomery On 141st Birthday

Google Logo Lucy Maud Montgomery

Today on the Google home page is a logo, Google Doodle, for the 141st birthday of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Lucy Maud Montgomery was a well known Canadian fiction writer who wrote many children oriented books including Anne of Green Gables, Rilla of Ingleside and Emily of New Moon.

She was known as L. M. Montgomery and published 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays. She lived until the age of 67 and died in Toronto on April 24, 1942.

She was an incredibly well read individual who has touched many of American and Canadian children in their earlier reading days.

Rumors have it she died from depression and may have taken her own life. You can read more about her life on Wikipedia.

Forum discussion at Google+.


Source: SEroundTable

Daily Search Forum Recap: November 26, 2015

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:


Source: SEroundTable

Video Recap of Weekly Search Buzz :: November 27, 2015

Happy Black Friday everyone, this week in search, we covered some important topics. First, Google had a nice story in TIME about their StarTrek communicator device, but I found one of the top engineers working on that and shared what he had to say about it – including the universal assistant and ambient computing. Google said the next Penguin update will be huge. Gary Illyes explained he doesnât work specifically in the Penguin code. Only a small group has access to Googleâs search algorithm. Google will target deceptive mobile redirects through mobile affiliate traffic networks. Googleâs site command will now show featured snippets, which is nice. John Mueller of Google said you donât need to write expert product descriptions. Google had a code error that knocked TripAdvisor and Yelp out of the race in t he mobile results. Google removed reviews and a lot more from the new Google+ business pages. Google Place Actions is a new undocumented rich snippet coming soon. Also check out the Star Wars Google search user interface, it is so cool. That was this past week in search at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

For the original iTunes version, click here.

Search Topics of Discussion:

Please do subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!


Source: SEroundTable

Google's Universal Assistant & Ambient Computing To Change Search As We Know It

Google Universal Assistant Prototype on Amit Singhal

TIME has this great piece on Google Now and a prototype of the communicator that Captain Picard and company use to interact with the Enterprise on Google’s search czar Amit Singhal. It is basically something you tap, ask a question, get an answer.

What I found more interesting was a post on Google+ by Google’s Yonatan Zunger, the Chief Architect for Social at Google, but who now is working full time on what he is calling and I assume what Google is calling “the universal assistant.” He said “for the past several months, I’ve been focusing on this full-time, and this is what I expect to be spending the next several years on: making “ambient computing.” He defined ambient computing as “computing that is seamlessly present wherever you are, so easily accessible that you barely even realize that you’re interacting with a computer — a worldwide reality.”

So we’ve seen baby steps towards this with Google’s Knowledge graph, featured snippets, answers, etc. More so with Google mobile searches, voice search especially and the creepy way Google Now shows you answers before you want it. But it is going to get big in the upcoming years.

Yonatan said, “simply searching for web pages isn’t what people want, nowadays: they want to be able to talk into their computer (or into their phone, or simply speak into the void) and have it understand what they mean, what they want, and make it happen.” Adding “we have to go far beyond simple things like search: we have to have systems that make it easy for people to interact with and extend the assistant to do everything conceivable.” “That’s where I’m spending my time, and I’m looking forward to being able to tell people more in the future,” Yonatan Zunger said.

You know, we all know this is coming but it seems like right now, it is at our footsteps. It is an amazing thing to be able to solve and it will never be 100% but it is getting so close and so much more powerful that it is scary. Scary not just in terms of the technology and how far it has come but it has to be a concern for those ten blue links and how (a) SEOs can monetize them and (b) how Google will monetize them (i.e. AdWords).

Either way, there are lots of smart people out there both on the SEO front and in the AdWords team and I am sure they will figure out ways. The team working on this at Google has no care on how anyone will monetize it, which is pretty cool.

Forum discussion at Google+.

Photo credit to TIME magazine.


Source: SEroundTable

Google: Only A Very Small Group Has Access To The Google Search Algorithms

Google has about 60,000 employees, well 59,976 according to Google search. And of those people, very few have access to see and touch the Google search algorithm.

I always wondered who had access. Meaning, does John Mueller have access. We know Gary Illyes has access but doesn’t work with Penguin but can he see and make changes to the Penguin code based on his level of access? Meaning, yes, I assumed most of Google doesn’t have access to the Google search algorithms, but even those who do, is their access limited by different levels?

Douglas Mayle, who worked at Google as a Senior Software Engineer for almost five years before moving to Facebook, wrote on Quora that he did not have access to the search algorithms. He said he did have more access to code at Google than most, but he was “not in the very small group who had access to Google search algorithms.”

So only a small group did have access. I assume folks like Matt Cutts had full access, but how many people at Google have access to all of it? I wonder.

We know AdWords folks have zero access but there are HR people all the way to executives who deal with investors. These folks likely have no access at all. It is the engineers who work with search that have access, the question is, how many of those have access and is there different levels of access?

Forum discussion at Quora.


Source: SEroundTable