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🔍 Quality Rater Guidelines update | Avoid conflicts in Shopping campaigns

Good morning Refactual, it’s finally time to bid the old GSC farewell.

Google announced Monday that it has officially shut down the old Google Search Console, which it’s been phasing out since the new version came on the scene more than two years ago. There is a new option to get to some of the legacy reports in the new version, but you can no longer access the OG GSC.

Close watchers of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines noticed an update last week. Consultant Marie Haynes, who, you may recall, recently sat down with Barry Schwartz for a chat about E-A-T, was among the first to spot the update. We’ve broken down exactly what’s changed in the latest Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which human raters refer to when evaluating search engine results. This latest version places more emphasis on vetting news sources as well as YMYL content and its creators and expands the basis for which a rater might apply the lowest ratings to content that may potentially spread hate. While the raters don’t actually affect your rankings, understanding what Google is prioritizing or emphasizing in its search quality guidelines can help ensure you’re focusing your SEO efforts in the right places. 

If you’re working in e-commerce, you’re likely already knee-deep in holiday planning. Microsoft Advertising has a new report for Shopping campaigns that you should get familiar with before things start getting nutty. You’ll find the product negative keyword conflicts report in the Product ads section under the Reports tab in the UI. It will show you where you have negative keyword conflicts keeping products from showing. If you’re managing negatives at the campaign and ad group levels and in lists, it’s easy to see how you end up with inadvertent conflicts. You may also discover you’re blocking products that are new to your catalog. 

App store search rankings can make or break an app’s business, and Apple is facing lawsuits  and legislative scrutiny for its practices. The New York Times reported yesterday that Apple changed its search algorithm in the iPhone App Store after investigations by the Times and Wall Street Journal found it was heavily favoring its own apps. Sound familiar? Google has long been accused of favoring its own products in search results — and was fined nearly $3 billion by the EU for doing so in shopping search. U.S. investigations into Apple could end up having implications for Google as well, writes Greg Sterling. 

Read on for a Pro Tip about SEO for Amazon and more. 

Ginny Marvin


Pro Tip

Attract customers on Amazon with better product descriptions

“Optimize product titles and product category descriptions to answer the 78% of non-branded searches occurring on Amazon,” encourages Adam Dorfman of “Make sure you include a brief and concise description of what your product does, how much quantity is available, and depending on your category, crucial details such as color, size and price, all of which will keep you in the consideration set for more detailed generic searches such as ‘men’s shirts size medium.’ Pay close attention to how you manage Amazon backend keywords, which are keywords that you use on the backend of your seller account. And, in the age of visual storytelling, it’s essential to use strong, clear images that allow shoppers to do detailed comparisons.”

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Search Shorts

Charity giveaway, headings & paid links.

How do you know? Just because there isn’t a nofollow on a link, it doesn’t mean Google counts paid links, said John Mueller of Google. 

Headings in rankings. Google’s John Mueller said in a Reddit thread that headings on a page are great for SEO & accessibility, but they’re not going to make or break your site’s rankings.

Contest for charity & cool SEM stuff. Barry Schwartz (that is me) is doing a YouTube Giveaway, giving up to $25,000 to charity, a free SMX pass, and several SEM tools away.  Learn more about how to participate over here.


What we’re reading

We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Contextual Knowledge Panels at Google – Go Fish Digital

Enabling developers and organizations to use differential privacy – Google Developers Blog

Facebook, Google face off against a formidable new foe: State attorneys general – The Washington Post

Google Clarifies Google My Business Guidelines For Practitioners – Search Engine Roundtable

Google’s Core Algorithm Updates and Copied Content: The Domino Effect of Negative Impact – GSQI

How to Thwart Competition in Google’s New Ad Format – Location3 Media

Product negative keyword conflicts report – Microsoft Advertising


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Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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