Year in review 2022

Last updated: Jun 26, 2023

The video is a year in review episode of the "Search Off the Record" podcast, where the hosts discuss their favorite episodes and potential ideas for future episodes, including having more guest speakers and exploring diverse perspectives in the SEO world.

This video by Google Search Central was published on Dec 22, 2022.
Video length: 24:52.

The video is a year in review episode of the "Search Off the Record" podcast, featuring John, Lizzy, and Gary from the Google search team.

They discuss their favorite episodes and ideas for future episodes, including more guest posts and diverse perspectives.

They also reflect on the value of interviewing guests and learning from their expertise.

  • The hosts enjoyed interview-style episodes and discussed the possibility of doing more episodes with bots or interacting with bots.
  • They expressed interest in having more guest speakers on the podcast to bring in diverse perspectives and provide insights and technical knowledge.
  • Having guests adds a personal touch, diversity, and allows the hosts to learn technical information and gain new insights.
  • The hosts plan to reach out to more people outside the team for future episodes, selecting guests based on their expertise or relevance to the topic.
  • They want to bring on guest speakers to the podcast, including those they have personal connections with, and consider changing the focus of episodes.
  • The hosts agree that the podcast can go in any direction and encourage someone to take the lead and come up with a plan.
  • They discuss the surprising reaction to the 15 megabyte change on developers.google.com search and speculate on the reasons behind it.
  • They started looking into documenting more obscure things in the SEO world, as people are interested in minor things that affect very few pages.
  • Documenting what is not supported is trickier but beneficial when people keep asking or when debunking certain things.
  • They discuss surprises of the year, including the move to Mastodon social media platform and the potential for creating a Google Reader-like platform.

Year in review 2022 - YouTube

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Favorite Episodes

  • The hosts enjoyed the interview-style episodes and found them fun to record and listen to.
  • They discussed the possibility of doing more episodes with bots or interacting with bots.
  • They mentioned the idea of outsourcing the podcast work to bots.
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More Guest Speakers

  • The hosts expressed interest in having more guest speakers on the podcast.
  • They want to bring in diverse perspectives from outside the team.
  • Guest speakers can provide insights and technical knowledge.
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Benefits of Having Guests

  • Having guests highlights the people behind the rules and adds a personal touch.
  • Guests bring diversity to the podcast and provide different perspectives.
  • Interviewing guests allows the hosts to learn technical information and gain new insights.
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Year in review 2022 - YouTube

Reaching Out to Guests

  • The hosts plan to reach out to more people outside the team for future episodes.
  • They may select guests based on their expertise or relevance to the topic.
  • Guests can include SEOs and other professionals in the industry.
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Bringing on guest speakers

  • The hosts want to bring on guest speakers to the podcast.
  • They have personal connections with some people they would like to invite.
  • They discuss the possibility of changing the focus of the podcast episodes.
  • They consider highlighting newcomers or discussing specific topics instead of career paths.
  • They leave the planning and decision-making to the responsible person.
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Expanding the podcast's direction

  • The hosts agree that the podcast can go in any direction.
  • They encourage someone to take the lead and come up with a plan.
  • They discuss the idea of starting a podcast about search engines other than Google.
  • They move on to talk about the most surprising thing that happened in the past year.
  • They mention the success of the podcast, reaching 1 million downloads.
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The 15 megabyte change

  • The hosts discuss the surprising reaction to the 15 megabyte change on developers.google.com search.
  • They clarify that it was a change on the development side, not in how Googlebot works.
  • They find it hard to explain why the change caused such a reaction.
  • They speculate that people may have been thrown off by the technical nature of the change.
  • They mention the importance of clarifying that it was a documentation change and not a new feature.
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Documenting Obscure Things

  • Started looking into documenting more obscure things in the SEO world.
  • People were interested in minor things that affect very few pages.
  • Documenting these things can be beneficial, especially if they don't change often.
  • People have a fascination with numbers and like when maximum or minimum values are published.
  • Also, people seem to like when things that are not supported are documented.
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Documenting What We Don't Support

  • Documenting what is not supported is trickier than documenting what is supported.
  • There are millions of file extensions and content types that are not supported by search engines.
  • HTML element attributes like Rel, class, and name cannot all be documented.
  • Documenting what is not supported is beneficial when people keep asking or when debunking certain things.
  • Keywords are an example of something that is not supported and can be debunked.
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Surprises of the Year

  • Surprising move to Mastodon social media platform.
  • More active on Mastodon due to changes around Twitter.
  • Putting oneself in a different mindset with different social media platforms.
  • Recognizing the things taken for granted with the old setup.
  • Mastodon is built on Open Standards, allowing anyone to build around it.
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Mastodon and Web 3

  • Mastodon is not necessarily a web 3 platform.
  • It is built on Open Standards, allowing for more flexibility compared to Twitter.
  • It resembles the time of RSS feeds and more open platforms.
  • There is potential for creating a Google Reader-like platform.
Year in review 2022 019

JavaScript and Events

  • JavaScript is still alive and well, despite hopes of it being phased out.
  • In-person events have made a comeback, allowing for face-to-face discussions and idea generation.
  • Attending conferences and events stimulates the brain and leads to more development ideas.
  • Meeting people in person and having one-on-one conversations provides different and valuable feedback.
  • There is a greater level of comfort and openness when sharing feedback in person compared to online communication.
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Docs and Webmasters

  • A project was completed in October that removed the term "webmasters" from Google's documentation.
  • The term "webmasters" had been in use for 20 years and was finally eliminated.
  • The core of the webmaster guidelines document remained the same, but other best practices were published separately.
  • The old webmaster guidelines document had become cluttered with unnecessary information.
  • Google has grown beyond the webmaster guidelines and wanted to focus on more relevant and specific topics.
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Key Best Practices for Website Improvement

  • Having a website on HTTPS is not an absolute must, but it is recommended.
  • Not spreading spam is an absolute must for website improvement.
  • Ensuring that your site is reachable by Googlebot is an absolute must.
  • Ranking the different points for evaluation helped identify what is important for website improvement.
  • Identifying the main things that need to be done for website improvement is crucial.
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Changes in Webmaster Guidelines

  • The term "guidelines" was problematic as it implied requirements and policies.
  • The webmaster guidelines document had grown over time and needed changes.
  • The document is now more modular and dynamic, allowing for updates and changes.
  • The separation of spam policies and webmaster guidelines made the document more approachable.
  • Ranking the different aspects of website improvement helped identify the absolute musts.

Watch the video on YouTube:
Year in review 2022 - YouTube

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