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Google is changing the way that minors experience the internet, including changes to ads, content & more. Here's what you need to know!

Google is making changes to create a safer space for kids and teens on the internet, with a list of new features and tools.

Over the past year, parents and kids alike were moving toward virtual workspaces, creating a heavier reliance on the internet in their everyday lives. As a result, parents, educators, policymakers and privacy experts have expressed concern about creating a safe environment for adolescents.

Advertising Changes

Google will be expanding safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens. Ads will be blocked based on the age, gender, and interests of people under 18. These changes will begin to roll out globally over the coming months with the goal of ensuring that they are delivering age-appropriate experiences for ads.

Giving Minors Control Over their Digital Footprint

Google offers removal options for folks using Google Search but recognizes that children are at particular risk when it comes to controlling their imagery on the internet.

Google is planning to introduce a new policy that allows anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google image results. Removing it from the SERP will not remove it from the web but will decrease exposure.

Improving the Web Experience for Kids & Teens

YouTube Upload Settings

The upload setting for teens on YouTube will default to the most private option. Google will also provide additional safeguards and education about commercial content.

As part of this change, YouTube will begin to remove overly commercial content – content that encourages kids to spend money, from YouTube Kids. YouTube gives the example of content that focuses on product packaging.

YouTube is also updating the disclosures that appear on supervised accounts and “made for kids” content to be very clear when a video contains paid promotions.

YouTube is also taking a break from bedtime reminders and autoplay for users under 18. An autoplay option will be added to YouTube Kids – though it will be turned off by default – to give parents the ability to decide what is right for their families.

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Location History Updates

Location history is off by default and children with supervised accounts don’t have the option to turn it on. This will soon be extended to all users under the age of 18 globally, meaning that location history will remain off for all adolescents.

Google Play Updates

Google is launching a new safety section, which will let parents know which apps follow the family policies. Apps will be required to disclose how they use the data they collect, making it easier for parents to decide if an app is right for their child before they download or use it.

Google Workspace for Education Changes

With children using the internet for schoolwork, there have been concerns about safeguarding that experience. Google has been working to improve administrators’ ability to tailor experiences for their users, such as restricting student activity on YouTube and enabling SafeSearch technology by default for all users.

Safe Search

Google has settings in place to help prevent folks from seeing mature content that they haven’t searched for. SafeSearch filters out explicit results when enabled and is already on by default for signed-in users under 13 who have accounts managed by Family Link. In the coming months, Google plans to extend this technology for users under 18.

Google Assistant Updates

Google is planning to introduce new default protections to prevent mature content from surfacing for a child.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Amy Bishop - Uploaded by the Association Member: Daniel K. Henry]
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Categorized in Search Engine

Don't try to optimize for BERT, try to optimize your content for humans.

Google introduced the BERT update to its Search ranking system last week. The addition of this new algorithm, designed to better understand what’s important in natural language queries, is a significant change. Google said it impacts 1 in 10 queries. Yet, many SEOs and many of the tracking tools did not notice massive changes in the Google search results while this algorithm rolled out in Search over the last week.

The question is, Why?

The short answer. This BERT update really was around understanding “longer, more conversational queries,” Google wrote in its blog post. The tracking tools, such as Mozcast and others, primarily track shorter queries. That means BERT’s impact is less likely to be visible to these tools.

And for site owners, when you look at your rankings, you likely not tracking a lot of long-tail queries. You track queries that send higher volumes of traffic to your web site, and those tend to be short-tail queries.

Moz on BERT. Pete Meyers of Moz said the MozCast tool tracks shorter head terms and not the types of phrases that are likely to require the natural language processing (NLP) of BERT.

dr.pete

RankRanger on BERT. The folks at RankRanger, another toolset provider told me something similar. “Overall, we have not seen a real ‘impact’ — just a few days of slightly increased rank fluctuations,” the company said. Again, this is likely due to the dataset these companies track — short-tail keywords over long -tail keywords.

Overall tracking tools on BERT. If you look at the tracking tools, virtually all of them showed a smaller level of fluctuation on the days BERT was rolling out compared to what they have shown for past Google algorithm updates such as core search algorithm updates, or the Panda and Penguin updates.

Here are screenshots of the tools over the past week. Again, you would see significant spikes in changes, but these tools do not show that:

mozcast 800x348

serpmetrics 800x308

algoroo 800x269

advancedwebranking 800x186

accuranker 800x245

rankranger 800x265

semrush 800x358

SEO community on BERT. When it comes to individuals picking up on changes to their rankings in Google search, that also was not as large as a Google core update. We did notice chatter throughout the week, but that chatter within the SEO community was not as loud as is typical with other Google updates.

Why we care. We are seeing a lot of folks asking about how they can improve their sites now that BERT is out in the wild. That’s not the way to think about BERT. Google has already stated there is no real way to optimize for it. Its function is to help Google better understand searchers’ intent when they search in natural language. The upside for SEOs and content creators is they can be less concerned about “writing for the machines.” Focus on writing great content — for real people.

Danny Sullivan from Google said again, you cannot really optimize for BERT:

johan

Continue with your strategy to write the best content for your users. Don’t do anything special for BERT, but rather, be special for your users. If you are writing for people, you are already “optimizing” for Google’s BERT algorithm.

[Source: This article was published in searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by the Association Member: Joshua Simon]

Categorized in Search Engine

Google’s flagship mobile application is getting a big makeover today, with a focus on making it easier to separate the things you need to know about – like upcoming appointments or flights -from the things you’re interested in, like news, sports, and entertainment. The app still maintains its previous card-style design, but it now offers two different sections to better organize its content: your feed, and the “upcoming” section.

In the upcoming section, which is accessed by tapping on the bottom-right icon, Google will present you with information about your day, like your schedule, travel time for your commute, package delivery details, flight info, boarding passes, and more. This is the same sort of information that the intelligent assistant Google Now has been pulling into the app for years by leveraging data pulled from other Google services you use, like your Gmail, Calendar, or Google Maps, for example.

Interestingly, Google has decided to make the news feed the default feed instead of the ‘upcoming’ feed with your personal agenda. With the revamped app, this personal feed now becomes the app’s main section, and will be filled with info on your favorite sports teams, people of interest, music and other news stories. This means that more mission-critical information is now no longer buried in the same feed where you’re keeping up with the other things you care about, but it’s also not visible by default either. You have to tap into the ‘upcoming’ feed now and it doesn’t look like there’s a way to change this.

You can continue to customize this feed as before, by heading into the app’s settings. Here, you can tell the app which stocks to track, which sports teams you like, and so on. In addition, Google says that this feed will become more personalized and relevant over time, the more you use Google and the app.

The idea here is clearly to make the feed feel more organized and ensure that vital information doesn’t get lost in what could at times be a messy list of disparate items. It’s easy enough to toggle between the two section, but the choice of defaulting to the news feed seems odd.

finaltake_2

While Google’s app has excelled at being a stepping off point to the larger web, and a useful utility when it comes to things like planning your commute or checking your schedule, it hasn’t been as successful as a personal assistant that knows what you care about.

Unless you’ve explicitly programmed in things in the settings (e.g. your stocks, your teams, etc.), the app seems to rely too much on your prior Google Search history when presenting news articles to read.

With the redesign, Google’s aim, apparently, is to put the “interests” section front-and-center, which could increase users’ interactions with its content. This, in turn, could better personalize the feed and increase its relevancy, when before it seemed to be more of an echo of past searches.

In addition, Google is releasing another new feature that will help to program the feed better.

Starting in the U.S. it will show a card right within the feed that lets you select from topics of interest that you want to see more stories or information about. This helps to solve the “cold start” problem for those who haven’t spent as much time using the app or placing relevant searches on Google.

The update is rolling out, starting today with the Google app on Android and iOS.

Source : https://techcrunch.com

Auhtor : Sarah Perez

Categorized in Internet Technology

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