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About the Google Product Expert Program

Follow me on YouTube and Twitter

I will also be on Google+ (plus.google.com/103172072345300450419) until consumer Google+ shuts down April 2, 2019.

Last updated: January 2019 with new logos
Recent posts

Weekly Update - September 21, 2019: YouTube, AdSense, Search

Autumn is approaching, the end of Q3 draws near, and the week has been lively with updates. There are new features for Google Fi customers, YouTubers, AdSense publishers and much more.
Google Fi announced a new Unlimited plan, including calls, texts and 22GB of high-speed internet for $45-$70/month (depending on the number of people on your plan). It includes free calls from the US to more than 50 countries, free data and texts while travelling internationally, and Google One membership. It’s a great deal for families or folks who use a lot of data. The alternative is the original Flexible plan, which costs $16-$20 for texts and calls, and $10/GB data (you only pay for what you use, and the maximum total cost is $80/month). You can switch between Unlimited and Flexible plans each billing cycle, at no added cost. If you are in the US and want to give Google Fi a try, click here to use my referral code, and we both get a $20 credit after you have used Fi 30 days.The past couple days hav…

YouTube revises changes to verification badges

YouTube has backtracked (at least a bit) on their plans to change the verification badge system in response to considerable concern and confusion from creators.
To our creators & users–I’m sorry for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification. While trying to make improvements, we missed the mark. As I write this, we're working to address your concerns & we’ll have more updates soon. — Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) September 20, 2019 Today, after an apology from CEO Susan Wojcicki YouTube announced a change in plans:
currently verified channels (like mine) will keep their verification badgechannels with 100,000 subscribers can apply for verification via an improved review processreplacement of the checkmark badge won't happen until next yearsome channels that are "well-known outside of YouTube" may be "proactively verified" even if they have fewer than 100,000 subscribersYesterday YouTube announced substantial ch…

YouTube tightens verification eligibility requirements

September 20, 2019: YouTube has revised and reversed some of the changes listed below. See my updated post for details.
---------- YouTube is changing the criteria for verification to focus on "prominent channels that have a clear need for proof of authenticity". YouTube will automatically verify creators, artists, companies and public figures that meet the following criteria: A large audience and community on YouTubeWide recognition outsize of YouTube, with a strong online presenceYour channel has a unique name could be confused with other YouTube channels There isn't any way to request verification. 
Verified channels will no longer have a special checkmark badge. Instead the channel name will have a grey background to highlight the channel name.
YouTube says one reason they are making this change is that many viewers associate the checkmark with an endorsement of content, rather than identity. The new look will display across all platforms and "is more difficult to…

Add timestamps to your YouTube videos for Key Moments to appear in Search

Starting today, Google Search results will start showing "key moments within videos".
When you search for things like how-to videos that have multiple steps, or long videos like speeches or a documentary, Search will provide links to key moments within the video, based on timestamps provided by content creators. You’ll be able to easily scan to see whether a video has what you’re looking for, and find the relevant section of the content. For people who use screen readers, this change also makes video content more accessible. This currently is only available for Google Search in English.  \And I'm currently only seeing it in the Google mobile app, not on desktop.

For your videos to show up in Search with a "key moments" timeline, all you need to do is add timestamps to your YouTube video descriptions.

Timestamps are formatted as minutes:seconds, so if you discuss three topics, starting at 30 seconds, 2 minutes 10 seconds and 5 minutes 30 seconds, you would add …

AdSense changes behavior of responsive ad units - check your ad code!

AdSense has changed the way responsive ad units work to improve performance on desktop. They have also enabled more ad size combinations. These changes may require you to modify the ad code or the HTML of your site.
Responsive ad units automatically adapt the size of the ads to fit your page layout. It can adapt to different browser window sizes, from a large desktop window, to a tiny browser window on a mobile phone. And it can adjust the ad size when a phone's orientation is changed from portrait to landscape.

Now a responsive ad unit can resize the HTML container that it is within. That means you may need to modify either the ad code or your site to make sure AdSense can calculate the ad size correctly.
The ad code should not be in a container with a fixed or limited heightThe ad code should to be a container with a width set (or the ad code must be modified).Third party scripts executed before the responsive ad code may require you to specify the ad sizeRead on for more details…

Weekly Update - September 14, 2019: Blogger, Google Search, Photos

This week there are a heap of updates for bloggers, webmasters, YouTubers, business owners and much more.
If you use Blogger in Draft, you should see a “Try the New Blogger” button on the left menu. If you opt in, you can try out a new mobile-friendly design for the Blogger Comments and Stats pages. You can switch back to Classic Blogger at any time, so there’s no reason not to give it a whirl. I’ve written up an overview of the changes. Will there be more? The message you see after opting in says “Blogger is gradually introducing some fresh pages that work well on mobile. Keep an eye in the coming months as these are rolled out.” Google Photos now shows story-like “Memories” at the top of your gallery, with machine-learning curated photos and videos from previous years. Ane in near future you will see the photos and videos you’ve shared with friends or family - and that they have shared with you - as an ongoing private conversation (yes, another way to message on Google) making it ea…

Google Search will use nofollow, sponsored, and ugc link attributes as "hints"

Google has announced two new link attributes, "sponsored" and "ugc". Those, in addition to "nofollow",  will provide hints about what links Google will consider or exclude from search.

In 2005, Google introduced the rel="nofollow" link attribute as a way for bloggers to "prevent comment spam". Adding that attribute meant that "those links won't get any credit" when Google ranked websites in the Google Search results.

Google has also long recommended that sponsored or advertising links be given the "nofollow" attribute so they not be considered part of a "Link Scheme". And "nofollow" is used by bloggers and webmasters to link to sites they don't necessarily want to endorse.

There are now two new link attributes webmasters can use:

rel="sponsored" can be used to identify advertising or compensated links.

rel="ugc" can be used to identify links in User Generated Content, s…
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