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New technology from Apple & others help me plug in; Wednesday's daily brief

Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, don’t you just love new technology? If you’ve been following me throughout my career, you will know that I love the latest gadgets and technology. I am an early adopter. Heck, I am typing this newsletter while wearing the new Ray-Ban and Facebook smart glasses — not kidding.

Yesterday was a special day for me – Apple announced the new iPhone 13 and various new technology advancements it has been working on over the past year. They have faster chips, faster internet and faster speeds to handle more machine learning and AI. These devices are attached to us, not just sitting in our pockets but strapped onto our wrists (Apple Watch) and our heads (Ray-Ban – Facebook glasses).

Personally, I am excited to play with these new toys. Not only because they are new, but because I love talking to my smart devices in different ways. I close my blinds with my Apple Watch. I take photos and place phone calls with my Facebook smart glasses. I use my phone all day for work, and I talk to Siri and Google Assistant in my car or on the go. The neat part of what Apple is doing is that it is leveraging the processing power on the device to keep some of your queries private and give you some of the answers you are looking for without sending that data to Apple or a third-party company.

I am plugged into the matrix, in a huge way. But that doesn’t mean I am always connected. Tonight is Yom Kippur, and I’ll be offline, completely disconnected like I am every Saturday on Shabbat. Disconnecting is important but, honestly, I can’t wait to plug back in because of the convenience and efficiency these devices give me. It’s just perfect for my work ethic and personality.

Barry Schwartz,
Apple fanboy and early adopter

Unique product identifiers needed for free Google Merchant Center listings

Today you must now include unique product identifiers (UPIs) in your product feeds with Google Merchant Center for your free listings.

“In order to unify the enforcement of UPIs across programs, specifically the enforcement for multiple different products that use the same GTIN, we’re expanding this enforcement and applying it to products listed in free listings,” Google said.

This enforcement begins today: “Beginning September 15, 2021, the following enforcement will apply to products shown in free listings.”

Read more here.

Unconfirmed Google search algorithm update between 9/9 and 9/12

We had this unusual unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update between Sept. 9 and Sept. 12, Thursday through Sunday, over the weekend. Google did not confirm they pushed any type of ranking change but a lot of signals point to some sort of update. I doubt it is related to a typical weekend or even the 9/11 weekend event but you never know.

At the Search Engine Roundtable, I posted examples of the signals I found around why I think there was this prolonged Google update. That includes a lot of the various “chatter” from within the SEO industry and how all of the automated tracking tools showed large volatility over that time period.

Why we care. If you saw ranking changes between these dates, you should know you are not alone. It is unclear what changed, though, since Google won’t confirm or talk about this update. But it does seem that many in the industry noticed changes over that time period.

Read more here.

Former Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone is Yahoo’s next CEO

Remember Ask Jeeves? Now known as Ask.com? Well, the CEO former Ask.com executive for seven years, Jim Lanzone, was appointed the next CEO of Yahoo. I’ve personally known Jim for about two decades now, and it is amazing to see his career path. From going to a startup to a product manager at Ask.com, seeing Ask Jeeves rebrand to Ask.com, being acquired by IAC under Barry Diller, then becoming the CEO of CBS Interactive, then the CEO of Tinder and now the CEO of Yahoo. Wow!

Plus, there’s the irony in seeing the former head of Ask.com, a popular legacy search engine from the early 2000s now take the helm of Yahoo, another very popular legacy search engine from the early 2000s is amazing.

Congrats Jim – much success!

Read more here.

Lead generation forms, content visibility CSS and Google site quality

Lead generation forms on pages. Did you know that it is possible Google may consider your lead generation call to action form on your site can be considered an ad? If the lead generation form is off-topic from the content on that page, Google may, probably rarely, consider that to be an ad.

Content visibility CSS and Google Search. Google’s John Mueller said it is unlikely that the new content-visibility CSS property would have any significant impact on your rankings in Google Search. Maybe a slight speed bump with the CRuX data but that would not be a huge impact, John said.

Google site quality. “When it comes to overall site quality, it’s not the quality of the missing pages from indexing, it’s the whole site,” John Mueller said on Twitter. So don’t just look at the pages not being indexed, it can even be a result of the pages Google did index.

Site themes and SEO. Google’s John Mueller explained that website themes can impact SEO and he explained why this can happen in this new video.

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

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