Search news shorts - 11 May 2022

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 11 May, 2022
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Changes to sitemap extensions, report a non-existent business, and a new valid metadata help doc are among the Google updates which caught our attention over the past few days.

Search news shorts.

1. Some image and video sitemap extensions to be removed

Google is deprecating some image and video sitemap extensions.  From 6 Aug 2022 the following will no longer be supported and will have no effect on indexing and search features:

Sitemap extensions.

No immediate action is needed. Google says you can leave these tags and attributes in place “without drawbacks”, but warnings may be shown at a later point, once these updates are included in next schema versions of Image and Video extensions.

For more detail see Google’s Search Central Blog.

2. Google’s Business Redressal Form updated

Google’s Business Redressal Complaint Form is where you can report fake or spam businesses on Google Maps.

The "Malicious Content (Phone number/URL/Address/Title)" section now has the additional category “This business does not exist”, as an option for why you think the listing is fraudulent and so should be removed from Search and Maps.

Business Redressal.

3. Google Ads safety Report 2021

Google has released its annual Ad Safety Report, which shows that in 2021:

  •  over 3.4 billion ads were removed
  •  over 5.7 billion ads were restricted
  •  over 5.6 million advertiser accounts were suspended

For more details, including measures against harmful ads on sensitive subjects such as health or the environment, and new brand safety tools, see Google’s report.

4. Google adds new help doc on valid page metadata

Google has published a new help document called "Use valid page metadata", aimed at helping to ensure it can process the HTML markup of pages. 

Google says errors in the markup can cause problems with a site in Search. “For example, if you use an invalid element in the <head>, Google ignores any elements that appear after the invalid element.“  So, you should only use valid metadata inside the <head>.

Valid metadata includes the following HTML elements:

  • title
  • meta
  • link
  • script
  • style
  • base
  • noscript
  • template

The following elements are invalid when used in the <head>, and so aren't supported by Google Search when placed there:

  • iframe
  • img
  • Any other HTML element

See the new help page on Google Search Central.

5. LinkedIn feed changes

LinkedIn has announced changes to its feed, aimed at keeping content relevant and reducing low-quality content.

The platform is currently testing a feature in the US allowing users to specify in the “Don’t want to see this” section if they don’t want to see political content.  

LinkedIn also said their feedback shows people are seeing too many polls in their feed, so the platform is reducing these to show “only those that are helpful and relevant”.

For full details, see LinkedIn’s blog post.

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