Trending December 2023 # Google Search Console Updates: More Control Over Data & Email Notifications # Suggested January 2024 # Top 19 Popular

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Google has updated Search Console with features that give site owners more control over their account preferences.

Site owners now have the option to chose whether performance data for their Search Console property appears in search results.

Also, Google has expanded Search Console’s email preferences with more choice over which types of emails to receive.

Here’s more about each of these updates.

Search Console in Search Results

Google may display data about your Search Console property in search results when entering a query that your site ranks for.

This data is only shown to you when you’re searching while logged into your Google account.

Search Console data in search results is a feature that began popping up in late 2023.

— Jared Gardner (@digagardner) October 3, 2023

What’s shown in the example above is called a summary card.

Previously, site owners could not choose whether or not they saw summary cards in search results

This feature launched unannounced and was rolled out with no option to turn it off.

Now, if site owners would prefer to search Google without their Search Console data staring back at them, they can do that.

You can show or hide summary cards for an individual Search Console property from the settings page.

If you manage multiple sites and do not want to see summary cards for any of them, you can easily disable this for all properties.

Email Preferences

Site owners now have greater control over which types of emails they receive.

In the enhanced email preferences page you can enable or disable emails of specific types, or disable email notifications altogether.

If you unsubscribe from any or all emails you can still see the message in the message panel for your property.

So there’s no need to worry about missing important emails.

But, if you’re inundated with Search Console emails to the point where you need to take swift action, these enhanced preferences should do the job.

Source: Google Search Console Help

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Google Combining Search Console & Analytics Data Into One Report

Google is working on a way to combine data from Search Console and Analytics together in one report that is accessible from either service.

Site owners have been receiving email notices via Search Console with information about an upcoming trial of the new report.

— Andrew Girdwood (@AndrewGirdwood) June 22, 2023

The email states Google will begin allowing the export of data from Analytics and a linked Search Console property.

It’s a trial experience that only affects one Search Console property, which will be indicated in the email.

Site owners will receive another notification when the new report becomes available. Google estimates the report is a few weeks out from being ready to launch.

If, for any reason, site owners want to opt out of this trial they can unlink their Search Console and Google Analytics properties.

Google’s email has a large button that links directly to the page where site owners can manage their integrations between Search Console and GA.

The only situation I can think of where it might be beneficial to unlink these properties is if multiple people have varying level of access to them.

For example, you may have given someone access to your Google Analytics property but not your Search Console property.

In this instance, the person would be able to view both properties’ data when the integrated report rolls out.

You can prevent that from happening by unlinking the properties before the trial begins.

Related: A Complete Guide to Google Analytics

Benefits of Using an Integrated Report

Why use an integrated report over viewing both sets of data separately?

Other than the shear convenience factor alone, being able to view both sets of data side-by-side makes it easier to identify correlations you otherwise may have missed.

Google Analytics tracks user activity on a website, and Search Console tracks user activity in SERPs, so the potential use cases of combining the data is nearly endless.

As an example, you can quickly determine if adding review schema to product pages had a measurable impact on traffic.

You may also be able to find correlations between pages that saw a spike in traffic one month, and keywords your site was showing up for more frequently during that month.

As Andrew Girdwood states in his tweet at the beginning of this article, an integrated report can make it easier to see which keywords may be driving traffic to which pages.

There are still a lot of unknowns at this point, as Google hasn’t provided any information about this feature beyond what’s contained in the initial email.

As it relates to the trial period, we don’t know if it will be limited to a select audience or if everyone will get an opportunity to participate.

I suspect we’ll learn more in the coming weeks as Google gets closer to launching the integrated report.

In the meantime, if you have email notifications disabled, make sure to check your message center in Search Console to avoid missing any important details.

Related: A Complete Guide to the Google Search Console

Google Search Console Tutorial: Analyzing Traffic Drops

In a YouTube video, Google’s Search Advocate, Daniel Waisberg, offers valuable tips on quickly spotting and analyzing the reasons for a decline in Google Search traffic.

The timing of this informative guide is perfect, as Google just wrapped up its March 2023 core algorithm update. Many people are now evaluating its impact on their websites.

If you’re trying to figure out how the update has affected your site, the Search Console Performance report is an excellent starting point.

Waisberg demonstrates how, when combined with Google Trends, the Search Console Performance report can help you investigate shifts in traffic patterns.

Main Reasons For Organic Traffic Drops

There can be several reasons for a drop in organic traffic. Waisberg highlights these main causes:

Technical issues: Errors that prevent Google from crawling, indexing, or serving your pages to users. These could be site-level or page-level technical issues.

Manual actions: If your website doesn’t follow Google’s guidelines, some pages or the entire site may be less visible in Google Search results.

Algorithm updates: Core updates may change how some pages perform in Google Search over time, leading to a slow decline in traffic.

Search interest disruption: Changes in user behavior or external influences could affect the demand for certain queries.

Seasonality effects: Regular traffic fluctuations due to weather, vacations, or holidays.

Reporting glitches: Sudden major changes followed by a quick return to the norm could indicate a simple glitch.

Analyzing Traffic Drops Using Search Console Performance Report

The Search Console Performance report is an effective tool for understanding traffic fluctuations.

To access the Performance report in Google Search Console, follow these simple steps:

Waisberg suggests several ways to analyze the data:

Expand the date range to 16 months to view the drop in context and identify any patterns or trends.

Periodically export and store data to access more than 16 months of information.

Compare the drop period to a similar period (e.g., the same month last year or the same day last week) to pinpoint the exact changes.

Explore all available tabs to determine if changes occurred only for specific queries, pages, countries, devices, or Search appearances.

Ensure you compare the same number of days and preferably the same days of the week.

Analyze different Search types separately to understand if the drop was limited to Search, Google Images, Video, or News tab.

Using Google Trends For Industry Analysis

Google Trends provides insights into web, image, news, shopping, and YouTube search trends.

Waisberg recommends using it to:

Analyze general trends within your industry or country to identify changes in user behavior or competing products.

Segment data by country and category for more relevant insights into your website audience.

Examine queries driving traffic to your site for seasonal fluctuations or trends.

In Summary

Understanding the reasons behind Google Search traffic drops is crucial. Using the Search Console Performance report and Google Trends, you can identify and analyze the causes of these drops, helping you stay ahead of industry trends and maintain your online presence.

In his next video, Waisberg will explore more ways to analyze search performance, including using a bubble chart.

Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube, March 2023. 

Source: YouTube

Mind Control And Local Search?

Okay, first things first, this post isn’t really about hypnotism or mind control, but if you’re interested to learn something with a similar effect so that you can leverage on local search, I highly suggest that you continue reading. Also, please be reminded that I will keep my case as thorough and open as possible to allow sparks to ignite on your end—ideas, suggestions, and what not.

More importantly, kindly keep tab of Reciprocation and Choice Architecture, the two concepts that will serve as the backbone of this article (both interpretations I proudly borrowed from Science and Influence of Persuasion by Cialdini and Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein respectively).

Just to help you catch up with the readings, here’s my take on the two ideas:

Reciprocation (The Law of Reciprocity), or commonly known as the “law of give and take,” basically explains that positive actions lead to positive responses, negative actions to negative responses, and so on.


Club Scene 1

Person A: “Drink up! Drink up! All drinks are on me!”

Person B: “Great! Thanks dude!”

Club Scene 2

Person A: “Okay, where’s the booze!?”

Person B: “Dude, let me get this one, you had your hands full last time.”

Person A: “Yeah, you finally felt it bro! Just in time! Imma outta cash!”

On the other hand, Choice Architecture (by virtue of Libertarian Paternalism) is engineering a smart set of scenarios (or options/choices) where people can easily be nudged (not forced!) to perform desired actions.


Scene 1

Organization XYZ: “Help Organization XYZ today and be a gift to mankind.”

Just to summarize my take on both concepts, what I’m trying to say here is that we need to constantly make positive interactions and relationships online so that we can effectively nudge people to take an action or two (willingly!) from an engineered set of options where all outcomes are beneficial (Great! It’s a win-win situation then!).

So how do these concepts help us with local search? Do we just submit our local listings to several local directories and that’s it? Why not create positive pockets of exchange and make your visitors do the work for you? Take a look at the following not-so-uncommon strategies and breathe new life into them by leveraging on reciprocation and choice architecture—that’s where the magic is.

Citations as a New Form of Link

Moving forward, you may be offering great products and services locally, but what do you do after each conversion? Are you the type who just celebrates after each sale? What’s your follow through? Have you tried asking your customers about their insights about your product? Have you tried asking for a testimonial?

Citation Idea:

Go and have a look at your site’s user data, can you pinpoint customers who seem to be really happy about your products/services? Seeing frequent buyers and visitors?

Why don’t you ask them for a favor? You know you’ve done them a good deal. It can be as simple as sending them an email asking for a quick testimonial about their favorite product–that you will post on your product page for example (This pretty much went well when Wikipedia went “Wikipedia was there when you needed it, now it needs you” + donate button). Better yet, why not go full on and create an event for this? Engineer a set of options!

Lastly, we’ve also been wondering if’ you’re interested to have your name on our site as proof of our gratitude. Kindly send us a short testimonial and we’d gladly have it up there. Hmm do you own a blog? It would be great if you can talk about us there as well. Oh before we forget we’re also giving you 5  discount coupons you can share with your friends.

Thanks a lot and happy shopping!

The Comfy Underwear Experts Team“

Nice huh!? You can also turn something like this into one of your exit pages–probably after a customers purchase? Or in a form of an article. It really depends! Well, this is just an idea, what’s on your mind right now?

Lure them through Linkbait

We’ve all heard of the phrase free is key and we’ve done a great deal of providing invaluable content to our readers and followers. Jordan Kasteler did a great job on discussing the intricacies behind the science of linkbait and it’s definitely worth the read.

But on top of delivering good quality content and linkbait, let’s further enhance the experience by making our content talk and interact with the readers. You know that you’re sharing invaluable information, people know what which is why they read your content. Given this scenario, you know reciprocity can definitely come into the picture–you’ve made a positive interaction.

Aside from just providing your two cents about your products/services, your expertise, or your experiences, why don’t you find ways to talk to your readers through your content? Provide them with scenarios and ideas you know they’re most likely to do–engineer options! By the way, trust is a valuable factor here so make sure not to break it, it only takes a rookie mistake to do so.

TRIVIA: Did you know that when you slowly turn your head to your right it’s actually the left part of your brain working? Try lifting your right hand up–yeah, you guessed it that’s still your left brain working. Interesting huh? By the way, did you feel the subtle electrical tinges on the left part of your brain while doing what I said? If not, you should try it again and try feeling the sensation this time. It’s just way cool!

Luring Idea:

I’ll throw this one right off you, say you’re a local service provider, perhaps a shrink who offers counselling for live-in partners, and you basically want people in your area who are in need of your services to find you. In order to get the attention of these people suffering from broken hearts in your locality, you need to get our name out there, start writing about your expertise, your experiences, go out and engage yourself in speaking engagements and so on. Say that you’re already doing well and you’ve got consistent traffic on your site, that’s good, but people never really knocked on your door and called for help.

Here’s my idea, I’ll probably do some keyword research for interesting niche terms about–boyfriend takes back all his gifts, girlfriend sells household furniture for kicks, couple splits because of unpaid bills, and so on.

Write a compelling case about specific scenarios like these (just like what every other good blogger would suggest) and apply your expertise, people would appreciate that, but here’s the thing, maximize the opportunity of actually sharing something (reciprocation opp!) and call out to them. A simple statement in your article telling your readers to direct their friends to you might just do the trick (who have been experiencing the problems you’ve zeroed in on). Aside from asking them to share your article to people would find the information really really relevant, create a simple html calling card that they can easily share to their friends.

E.g. Dr. Margaret Hoodshrinker, Expert Love Doctor, +63922 xxx xxxx, 3xxx Mindshare St., Tampa, Florida.

Get Them Involved Using Link Magnets

Link magnetism might be the most direct and concrete of all three strategies–I wouldn’t recommend doing them all the time though as your site or blog might end up with tons of list articles (which can be counterintuitive for your readers by the way).  In any case, to get this started, look at your site’s customer data once again and locate your most positive relationships in order to leverage on reciprocation. Tap these individuals and create scenarios where you can engage them and get high value exchanges.

Link Magnetism Idea:

Prepare several badges for your site (different colors, different alt texts, anchor texts, and so on) and develop them using html, CSS, and/or javascript. Let’s use Little Caviar as an example–an Asian fashion clothing store and magazine for women.

I would contact my top 10 customers and tell them that I’ll be featuring all of them in one awesome article for the store’s blog.

E.g. Little Caviar’s Finest Asian Fashionistas

Not only that this promotes your brand well, but the ego boost will definitely move your supporters (reciprocity!). So where does local search come in the picture? Well it’s simple, it’s all in the badge! Just note that we’re going organic here, so please don’t have ideas of stuffing your badge with unnecessary keywords–you would want to target your local keywords!

Last Thoughts…

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I wanted to keep this post as thorough as possible but in the process of wanting this to be a catalyst for more ideas, I had to leave it simple and open ended. As to how you will use the psychology behind reciprocation and choice architecture to build your search strategies, that really depends in the nature and personality of your business.

Being in the field of technology and innovation that is SEO, be reminded that creativity is always at your fingertips and spamming is bad, very very bad!

Live Search Gets A Clean Up, Looks More Like Google Search

The good thing when you’re into the search engine business and you’re up against only two competitors is that you can do away with copying their site’s format. And it looks like, that’s just what the Live Search team is doing when they redesigned the Live Search site.

The Live Search blog highlighted the changes on their site with the following changes :

Search box near results The new Live Search header and search box is slimmed down from a heavy piece of UI into sleeker, simpler elements. Bringing the search box into alignment with the results and into the body moves it closer to where users are looking and flattens out the visual bumps between it and the results.

Room to breathe on the page Something else you’ll see on a large screen (lucky you!) is our centered, fixed-width page, allowing for a more thoughtful, predictable experience as richer search content and wider screens become the norm.

Crisp, clean type We’ve also made changes to our color and typography. Our decision to use Arial and the new color palette was based not only on our desire to improve readability and consistency, but also on rounds of testing to find the right combination.

Intuitive video search For our new video search experience, the team focused on activities and behaviors that make video search different. We focused on simplicity — cutting irrelevant pixels and text — and power — investing in enhanced preview for video — both of which contribute to the overall simple, yet powerful experience.

Health results integrated from many sources You’ll see in health search that we’ve created a way for users to pull together health information from many different sources, digestible all in one place.

This is how the new Live Search results page looks like with its new color palette and typography:

And this is how Google Search results page looks like:

They look more the same now, dont’ they? Although, I would have to admit, Live Search looks uncluttered and cleaner especially the heading part. But I still love Google search though, for the simple reason that it gives SEJ as the no. 8 result for the keywords “search engine news”. While Live Search displays it somewhere in the second page and it’s not even SEJ’s main URL.

New Google Mortgage Information Search

Google announced they are rolling out a mortgage information search product. The new service will show in mobile searches.

Google Mortgage Information Search for Mobile

Google’s new service is a collaboration with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The CFPB is a United States government organization that regulates the consumer financial products and services.

The new mortgage search tool is available in mobile.

According to the CFPBs About Us page:

with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions.”

Google is partnering with the U.S. government to provide information that is meant to benefit consumers.

Google Mortgage Information Search

The tool has a tabbed interface. It currently only shows in mobile devices. General mortgage related keywords trigger the new mortgage search engine results page.

The new search feature can be seen as a way to funnel users from high level mortgage related search queries to more specific information, but not necessarily to more specific websites.

Screenshot of Tabbed Interface of Google’s Mortgage Information Search Four Ads Above Mortgage Tools

Screenshot of a Google search ad above the mortgage information tools:

The search results are beneath Google’s mortgage search tools.  But you have to scroll past multiple mortgage related Google features before you get to two search results that in my case was from the same domain.

Then that’s followed by FAQs that have no links to the website of origin.

Did Google “Borrow” Content Without Attribution?

One of the FAQs has content that appears to have been sourced from chúng tôi But there is no link to the source of the information or any other attribution.

It’s possible that BankRate is not the original source of that content. But a search for a snippet of that phrase shows BankRate as the likeliest source.

One Section from Google’s Mortgage Search FAQ: Screenshot from a chúng tôi Page:

The page is visible here.

How does Google’s Mortgage Search Work?

Google’s new mortgage information search provides multiple choices for finding more information about mortgages.

The information is designed to funnel consumers from every point of their mortgage research journey.

According to Google:

list of relevant documents and helpful tips from the CFPB. “

What is Google Mortgage Information Search?

The mortgage information search offers the following tools:

Mortgage calculator

Mortgage rate tool

Step by step mortgage tool

Videos with How-to and 101 level information

Mortgage Calculator Keyword

The mortgage calculator keyword phrase drives traffic to Google’s information search tool.

While Google previously had featured their own calculator, this change may represent a greater disruption in the mortgage calculator search engine results pages (SERPs).

The new mortgage information feature pushes organic listings further down the page.

Mortgage Related Videos

The mortgage related videos seem to be focused on how-to and beginner level information.  Those seeking to gain traffic via videos may do well to focus on that kind of video.

Disruption in Mobile Mortgage SERPs

This may cause disruption in the mobile SERPs for mortgage related keywords. This does not currently affect the desktop SERPs.

The disruption appears to be on general high level type keywords.

A search for Mortgage Rates will trigger the tool. A search Mortgage Rates Massachusetts will also trigger the tool.

But more granular searches like Mortgage Rates Northampton Massachusetts or Mortgage Rates Charlotte North Carolina do not trigger Google’s mortgage information search tool.

So it looks like local related and granular keywords will not trigger the tool.

Those seeking to pick up mortgage related traffic may want to consider pivoting to more granular keyword phrases.

What’s Next from Google?

Does this tool signal the future of Google search?

It’s possible that something like this might pop up in other finance and Your Money or Your Life related topics, where a complicated topic needs a more comprehensive approach.


Read Google’s announcement here:

Find Helpful Information on the Mortgage Process in Search

CFPB About Us Page

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