It’s been an absolutely massive week at Google This Week with the introduction of Google Ads Editor v1.4, BigQuery Omni and a lot more. I don’t think we’ve ever had so many headlines. Google is also working on a lot of updates to Google My Business profiles, plus Buy on Google is now commission-free.
ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.
- Google to Show When Business Hours Were Last Updated
- Google Pruning Back Rich Results?
- Google Local Algorithm to Stop Weighing Business Names Too Highly
- Google Updates Ads Policy Related to COVID-19
- New Google Skills Partnership for Singaporeans
- Introducing BigQuery Omni, Analyse Data Across Google Cloud, AWS and Azure
- Google Rolling Out 2 Phone Numbers in Local Panel Listings?
- Filter by News Traffic in GSC Performance Report
- Google Gives Twitter the Green Light
- Google Ads Editor v1.4: New Recommendations, Local Campaigns and More
- Google Guaranteed Badge for $50/month on GMB Profiles
- Google Delays Mobile-first Indexing Deadline to March 2021
- Google Testing Sticky Search Bar and Related Queries on Scroll Up
- Buy on Google Commission-free and Open to PayPal and Shopify
Google to Show When Business Hours Were Last Updated
A new Google My Business feature is showing when business hours were last updated in the local panel. This is particularly helpful for customers to see as business hours are changing often due to COVID-19. Google has not announced the change but some business owners are seeing the update.
Google Pruning Back Rich Results?
There has been some chatter in the SEO community that Google has been pruning back on the rich results and FAQ/How To schema results. RankRangers SERP features seem to back up the chatter.
Rich results at this time last month (20th June) accounted for 25% of search results and now just 14.6%. How to and FAQ results accounted for 19% last month and have gone down to 13%. Google has pruned back their rich results in the past back in 2015 and 2013 as Google has said they don’t like to clutter the results with too many rich results.
Perhaps Google is pruning back these results again?
Google Local Algorithm to Stop Weighing Business Names Too Highly
It has been brought up numerous times that Google’s local algorithm gives too much weight to the name of the business. After another complaint on Twitter, Danny Sullivan responded saying
“I know the team really is working to better deal with this type of stuff. I also know that as that’s been heard before. But I do expect improvements should be noticeable in the near future.”
Here is another example of what I was trying to show yesterday about the local search algorithm weighting business names too strongly. I actually tried these searches (Uxbridge, ON) when my stove broke and ended up going to Facebook to find a company instead. cc: @dannysullivan pic.twitter.com/x04IH2nHn2
— Joy Hawkins (@JoyanneHawkins) July 17, 2020
Google Updates Ads Policy Related to COVID-19
Google announced a new Google Ads policy around COVID-19 related to dangerous or derogatory content. Google has banned ads that promote conspiracy theories in relation to the virus. Google announced it has updated the policy to
“prohibit content that relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative, scientific consensus.”
Accounts that violate the new policy will be issued with a warning at least 7 days prior to suspension. Google warned advertisers to “review this policy update to determine whether or not any of your ads fall in scope of the policy, and if so, remove those ads before August 18, 2020.”
New Google Skills Partnership for Singaporeans
Google has announced Skills Ignition SG. The program has 2 elements. 1 is a 6-month vocational course for mid-career job seekers to teach them skills in digital marketing and cloud technology with the chance to earn professional certificates recognised around the world. The 2nd element is a ‘place and train’ program, where participants will undergo 3 months of online training before 6 months of work experience with employers.
Introducing BigQuery Omni, Analyse Data Across Google Cloud, AWS and Azure
Last week Google introduced BigQuery Omni, a flexible, multi-cloud analytics solution where you can access and analyse data across Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure (coming soon) without leaving BigQuery. With BigQuery Omni you can break down silos and get better insights into your data and get a consistent data experience across clouds. BigQuery Omni is currently in private alpha.
Google Rolling Out 2 Phone Numbers in Local Panel Listings?
A local panel has been spotted in Google Search that lists 2 different phone numbers. We haven’t seen this feature before but there is some chatter amongst local SEOs that it is a feature rolling out.
Filter by News Traffic in GSC Performance Report
Google updated the performance report in Google Search Console to let you filter by “News” traffic in the search type filter. Google announced the feature on Twitter, saying
“Now you can analyze traffic coming from the News tab on Google Search.”
You can now filter by News in addition to Web, Image and Video.
Google Gives Twitter the Green Light
Twitter is now back in Google. Last week we reported that due to the infamous Twitter hack, Google removed Twitter results including the carousel from Google Search. Just four days later, Twitter is back. Google confirmed the removal of the carousel was indeed because of the hack, telling Search Engine Land,
“We can confirm we have temporarily removed the Twitter carousel from Search following Twitter’s security issues. Before restoring the feature we will carry out a careful review.”
Google Ads Editor v1.4: New Recommendations, Local Campaigns and More
Google has released Google Ads Editor version 1.4 just a few months after version 1.3.
- Combined audiences – You can now edit combined audiences, a form of audience targeting. You can assign or remove audiences from campaigns and ad groups.
- Location groups – You can now assign location groups to your campaigns.
- Video Sequence campaigns – You can now edit video ad sequence campaigns. You can modify campaign settings, existing ad groups and ads.
- Recommendations – You can apply account Recommendations in bulk.
- Local campaigns – Local campaigns now available.
- Improved Errors – There are now improved messages and links to help articles for some of the most common errors.
Google Guaranteed Badge for $50/month on GMB Profiles
Google is now offering Google Guaranteed certification on Google My Business profiles for $50 per month, outside of Local Services Ads. It’s positioned as an ‘upgraded profile’ that includes a Google Guaranteed badge on your GMB profile, just below your business name and which may also appear in the Local Pack.
Google Guaranteed was first introduced in connection with Local Services Ads to give greater consumer confidence. A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land,
“We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers, merchants and users. This experiment will show the Google Guaranteed badge on the business profile. We don’t have anything additional to announce right now.”
Google Delays Mobile-first Indexing Deadline to March 2021
Google announced that they will be giving webmasters, SEOs and developers more time to prepare for the mobile-first indexing switchover. The previous deadline was September 2020. Due to the pandemic, Google stated,
“We realize that in these uncertain times, it’s not always easy to focus on work as otherwise, so we’ve decided to extend the timeframe to the end of March 2021.”
Google Testing Sticky Search Bar and Related Queries on Scroll Up
Google is testing a new feature on mobile. When you search, scroll down and then scroll back up Google will show you the search bar and related queries.
Brodie Clark posted a video of it in action on Twitter.
This is pretty cool. A tidy looking sticky search bar test on mobile. Has related queries at the top & a switch from the magnifying glass to the G logo 👀 pic.twitter.com/z1ElgvGVzy
— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) July 23, 2020
Buy on Google Commission-Free and Open to PayPal and Shopify
Recently, Google made it free to list products on Google Shopping in the US and added free listings to Search. Starting soon, sellers who participate in Buy on Google will no longer have to pay a commission fee. Google is starting with a pilot program that will expand to all eligible sellers in the US over the coming months.
They’ve also opened up the platform to third-party providers, starting with PayPal and Shopify. These new features will roll out first in the US and then internationally later this year and next.
Thank You for Reading
Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?
Check back in next Friday for the latest from Google This Week.