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A slower week for news this past week, with all of the interesting stuff being Google-related. This isn’t surprising really, just a bit annoying, as I had to scroll through hundreds of articles of garbage just to foist these nuggets upon you. May you read them with all the glee they deserve.

Google News

  • Google Raters To Now Flag Content They Deem “Upsetting-Offensive” – While Google isn’t outright going after fake news, according to senior Google Engineer Paul Haahr, “Demonstrably inaccurate information, however, we want to target.” This helps explain a new section of their raters quality guidelines in which they determine how their rating staff can determine content that needs to go under a new flag, “Upsetting-Offensive.” Examples show two articles that cover a touchy subject like the Holocaust. One article tries to explain why it didn’t happen, which will get the flag, while another is purely factual, and won’t get the flag. There aren’t apparently any penalties to go along with these flags yet, but you know that’s coming. At least I hope it is.
  • Illyes: Quality Comments Can Signal A Healthy Website – That’s basically the entirety of a Tweet from Google’s Gary Illyes, saying, “DYK quality comments can be a signal of a healthy website?” Why yes, Gary, I did know that. To me, comments are worth more than freaking platinum, but I digress. One wonders why the random Tweet about comments, but it’s a good thing to show your clients and what not when they get annoyed with having to have engaging content on their site.

  • Low Quality Page Search Console Report Not Happening – This is less “news” and more “aaawwwww,” but according to Google’s John Mueller, when asked outright in a Hangout (or is it a Meet? Or a Chat? WHICH IS IT GOOGLE?), he said basically there are “no plans” at all for any kind of report in which Google might give us info on which pages on our site are of low quality. That’s a shame, as such a report would undoubtedly be dang useful. Dang. Useful.
  • Report: “Fred” Targets Sites Laden With Ads – Over at Search Engine Roundtable, data gathered about the still-unconfirmed-and-officially-unnamed algorithm update, better known as “Fred,” seems to be targeting sites built specifically to serve a lot of AdSense ads, but with little quality copy to support the ads. Not sure how accurate this is, but like a lot of SEO, it’s fun to theorize about.

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