SEO Weekly Digest on 01-05 of January 2024

Google Blends Search, Social, Local, Shopping, AI, and Ads

Google is making significant strides in integrating its services by combining Search and Discover with social features, discussions, videos, shopping, local elements, AI, and advertising. This integration reflects Google’s effort to keep users engaged within its ecosystem while providing increased opportunities for advertising. The emphasis on social signals for rankings is evident as likes, saves, shares, and notes are becoming crucial for content visibility in the Discover feed.

Google’s Approach to Third-Party Cookie Restrictions

Google Chrome has started restricting third-party cookie access and plans to phase it out entirely by 2024. However, Google is offering a deprecation trial for certain third-party services that prove functional issues due to this restriction. This trial will allow temporary access to third-party cookies until the end of 2024, but the eligibility criteria are stringent, focusing on services that aren’t advertising-related.

Author Bylines and Google Search Rankings

Google has clarified that author bylines are not a factor in search rankings. This statement addresses a common misconception in the SEO community that bylines could enhance a page’s visibility in search results. Google emphasizes that quality content can rank well regardless of the presence of author bylines, which are primarily for the benefit of the readers, not the search engine.

Google’s Algorithm and Search Snippets

Google has updated its search snippets guidance, clarifying that the content of a webpage is the primary source for generating snippets in search results. This update indicates a significant shift in how meta descriptions and content are optimized, as the structured data and the meta description are not the primary sources for these snippets.

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