September 2023 Microbites: SEO News & Updates

Take 2 minutes to sip on Momentic’s September 2023 Microbites blend, featuring Google's ‘sneaky’ updates, TikTok's shopping spree, and Amazon's new search features.

Thursday, September 14, 2023
Updated:
Monday, September 18, 2023
September 2023 SEO News and Updates

Ah, September! The month where pumpkin spice lattes make their grand return and SEO nerds like us huddle around screens for the latest digital marketing updates. If you're itching to know what Google's been up to or how TikTok is trying to revolutionize ecommerce, you've landed on the right page. Let's look at the top SEO-related stories of September 2023, shall we?

Google's SGE Includes Source Links

September 1, 2023

Google discreetly announced that its Search Generated Experiences (SGE) will now include links to sources. Click the arrow icon next to AI-powered overviews to see relevant web pages. This feature is initially available in the U.S. and will soon expand to Japan and India.

Source: Google Blog

Limited Ads Serving Policy

September 1, 2023

Google introduced a new policy called "Limited Ads Serving." Aimed at reducing scams and misleading ads, this policy serves as a probation period for new advertisers.

Source: Google Ads Policy, Limited Ads Serving

Google Visitor Experience

September 7, 2023

Google is launching a real-world "Google Visitor Experience" on October 12 in Mountain View, CA.

Source: Google Visitor Experience

Seller Ratings on Mobile SERPs

September 11, 2023

Google rolled out "Seller Ratings" on mobile SERPs in the U.S. These ratings are aggregated from various sources, including Google Customer Reviews and third-party sources.

Source: Twitter, Google Merchant Support

Google Search Console Update

September 12, 2023

Two new reports are gradually rolling out in Google Search Console:

  1. Shopping tab alerts
  2. Growth opportunities for product ranking/clicks

These reports are accessible when GSC is linked to a Merchant Center account.

Source: Google Developers Blog

GA4 Migration Deadline

Google Ads customers who missed the UA to GA4 migration deadline can avail a free GA4 migration appointment.

Source: Google Ads Support

TikTok Shop in the USA

September 11, 2023

TikTok Shop is now available in the USA, offering a variety of tools for brands to sell products directly within the TikTok ecosystem.

Source: TikTok Official, SEJ Article

End of 'How To' Rich Results

September 14, 2023

Google has ceased showing "how to" rich results on both mobile and desktop SERPs.

Source: Google Developers Blog

GA4 and Consent Mode

September 14, 2023

GA4 issued a new recommendation for websites using consent mode, encouraging the unblocking of cookieless pings.

Source: Google Analytics Support, Tag Manager Support

Amazon's New Search Features

September 14, 2023

Amazon is rolling out new search features, including multimodal search and augmented reality features.

Source: Amazon News

September's Helpful Content Update

September 14, 2023

Google is rolling out the third update to their helpful content system. They also updated their helpful content documentation.

Source: Google Search Status Dashboard

Helpful Content Documentation

September 15th, 2023

Some insight into why Google just updated the helpful content documentation to include info about third-party content on websites (from Gary Illyes via Linkedin):We've heard (and also noticed) that some sites "rent out" their subdomains or sometimes even subdirectories to third-parties, typically without any oversight over the content that's hosted on those new, generally low quality micro-sites that have nothing to do with the parent site. In fact the micro-sites are rarely ever linked from the parent sites, which don't actually want to endorse these often questionable sites. The only reason the owners of these shady (?) micro-sites rent the sub-spaces is to manipulate search results.Those of you who let us know about this, sent us plenty examples, and even blogged about it: thank you, it helped us tons!Those of you who rent out sub-spaces of your sites to third-parties with no oversight of the content, please have a read:

"If you host third-party content on your main site or in your subdomains, understand that such content may be included in site-wide signals we generate, such as the helpfulness of content. For this reason, if that content is largely independent of the main site's purpose or produced without close supervision or the involvement of the primary site, we recommend that it should be blocked from being indexed by Google."

"Perspectives" in Mobile SERPs

September 18th, 2023

Brodie Clark shared 2 examples of Google mobile results testing a new format for "Perspectives" - it's a Perspectives carousel appearing right below the featured snippet. If you click one of the perspectives results it takes you to the Perspectives filter page:Example oneExample twoSame source, he also spotted prompts for users to "switch on" AI-generated search results, again appearing right below the featured snippet - here are examples of the different language being tested in the pro-AI prompts:

References

  1. Google Blog. (2023, September 1). Google Search Generative AI in India and Japan. Retrieved from Google Blog
  2. Google Ads Policy. (2023, September 1). Limited Ads Serving. Retrieved from Google Ads Policy
  3. Google Ads Policy. (2023, September 1). Limited Ads Serving - Additional Information. Retrieved from Google Ads Policy
  4. Google Visitor Experience. (2023, September 7). Official Site. Retrieved from Google Visitor Experience
  5. Brodie, S. [@brodieseo]. (2023, September 11). Google Seller Ratings on Mobile SERPs. Retrieved from Twitter
  6. Google Merchant Support. (n.d.). Seller Ratings Information. Retrieved from Google Merchant Support
  7. Google Developers Blog. (2023, September 12). Search Console and Merchant Center Association. Retrieved from Google Developers Blog
  8. Google Ads Support. (2023, September 12). GA4 Migration Appointment. Retrieved from Google Ads Support
  9. TikTok Official Documentation. (2023, September 13). TikTok Shop in the USA. Retrieved from TikTok Official
  10. Search Engine Journal. (2023, September 13). TikTok Shop Officially Launches in the U.S. Retrieved from Search Engine Journal
  11. Google Developers Blog. (2023, September 14). Changes to 'How To' and FAQ Rich Results. Retrieved from Google Developers Blog
  12. Google Analytics Support. (2023, September 14). Consent Mode. Retrieved from Google Analytics Support
  13. Google Tag Manager Support. (2023, September 14). Unblock Cookieless Pings. Retrieved from Google Tag Manager Support
  14. Amazon News. (2023, September 14). New Search Features. Retrieved from Amazon News
  15. Google Search Status Dashboard. (2023, September 14). All incidents reported for Ranking. Retrieved from Google Search Status Dashboard.

Notes 

  • Originally published on September 14, 2023, and will be updated throughout September 2023.
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