Good morning, Marketers, well, that was interesting.

Did your site experience the wonkiness of Monday’s Google indexing glitch? What at first sight looked like a big algorithm update turned out to be a bug in Google’s indexing system Caffeine. SEOs started noticing volatility around 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday. Google confirmed it fixed the problem around 12:40 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Some background: Google launched Caffeine in 2010 — read more about Caffeine here. As Garry Illyes of Google explained in a tweet yesterday, it’s responsible for multiple tasks, from ingesting fetchlogs to extracting links, meta and structured data to scheduling new crawls and building the index. “Throw a grain of sand in the machinery and we have an outage like yesterday,” he said, noting complexity of search.

Not so Genius. Remember the brouhaha last year over lyrics Google displayed in search results? Genius sued Google and LyricFind for lifting and misappropriating lyrics from its website.The case caught lots of attention, in part because, as Greg Sterling writes, “it played into the larger narratives of Google’s market power and publisher frustrations with zero-click results.”

A court has now cleared Google and Lyricfind of wrongdoing — music publishers, not Genius, own the lyrics, the court said. The larger implication here is that if your site licenses content, you likely have no recourse if search engines or others scrape and feature it on their own sites.

Claim your name. Authorship and Google+ died, but Google has launched “people cards” in Search. They can show up like Knowledge Panels in the results when users claim their card. The cards are tied to your Google account and are currently live on mobile in India.

Ginny Marvin

Social Short

YouTube quits subscriber email

As of August 13, YouTube is going to stop sending email notifications about your new Channel content to subscribers. Turns out email hasn’t been a great awareness mechanism — YouTube says just 0.1% of those emails are ever opened.

What does work? Mobile app notifications and Chrome browser notifications on desktop will still be in service for users that have opted in to know about new videos, live streams and premieres on your Channel. YouTube says a test showed that turning off email notifications did not impact watch time and actually increased engagement with mobile push notifications and Subscription feeds. Though it didn’t provide any stats on what those increases looked like.

Why we care. Based on the initial tests, YouTube indicates you shouldn’t see any negative impact from the new reliance on in-app and desktop notifications. That said, make a note of the August13 switch date and monitor your analytics for any fluctuations, including the percentage of subscribers receiving notifications.


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Search Shorts

SEO, e-commerce and unconferences

Sold out. A couple hours after Google announced the Google virtual webmaster unconference it was completely sold out. Martin Splitt from Google was a bit surprised but happy.

Titles and meta descriptions. Patrick Stox from Ahrefs has an excellent stream of tweets around uncommon SEO knowledge with titles, descriptions and snippets.

Gigantic e-commerce. Google’s John Mueller said, “Crawling a gigantic ecommerce site efficiently is really hard, regardless of how many servers you throw at it on either end. Making crawling harder is often easy, making crawling easier can be quite a lot of work, especially when there are “many cooks” involved in making a site.”


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What We're Reading

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

A new global COVID-19 map for journalists – Google Blog

Adjusting Paid Campaigns During a Recession – Moz

Google Admits Some Smart Speakers Mistakenly Recorded People Without Wake Word Activation – Voicebot

Google AdSense No Longer Offering Western Union Payment Option – Search Engine Roundtable

How We Utilize Data To Improve Our Marketing Campaigns During COVID – Go Fish Digital

I tracked my Discover feed for 12 days. Here’s what I learned. – Kevin Indig

I’m using Google Maps to plan summer family fun – Google Blog

New ways to get around with Google Maps on iOS – Google Blog

Page Speed & SEO | How Load Time Affects Bots & Humans – Botify

Rich Results & Search Console Webmaster Conference Lightning Talk – Official Google Webmaster Central Blog

The (Almost) Complete List of Google Review Attribute Categories – GatherUp