Author: barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz)

Google Turns On Assistant Calls For Local Businesses After Opting Out

The other week we reported that Google by default has opted in all Google My Business listings to receive calls via the Google Assistant with their Duplex technology. But get this, a local SEO said they went in, removed the opt in (manually opted out) of Google Assistant calls for 200 or so locations and then this week it was all opted in again by itself.

Fake Google Maps Edits Cause Major Business Disruptions

Anyone can edit a business listings details on Google Maps and local. So if you have a competitor and you want to close them down, or shut their business hours, or change their web site address or worse, you can do that. The business owner may notice an email about the change, only after the change was implemented. Then they need to go in and update their listing and wait days for Google to update it in the search results.

Google Algorithms Detect & Adjust Rankings For YMYL Queries

The Google white paper I just covered mentions explicitly that Google's algorithms can detect if a query is related to YMYL, your month your life, related content and then adjust the weights of the ranking algorithm for those specific queries. There has been some debate in the SEO industry if Google is indeed doing this so now this should clear that up.

New Way To Submit Questions For Google Webmaster Office Hours Hangouts

As you know, Google's John Mueller and friends need to move off of Google+ for managing the questions and notifications of upcoming Google webmaster office hour hangouts. So John said they are now trying the YouTube communities where you can post questions and thumbs up those questions directly within the scheduled YouTube Live video.