Fasten your seatbelts and jump into our latest Google News Digest. There has been a lot of redesign in various Google products and services lately. It seems that over the past few weeks, the search giant has put a lot of emphasis on looks and functionality. What is really interesting is that Google released a new tool for running high-performing video ads. We have been talking a lot about video content and how it is gaining more popularity and results.
Just the day our Search Marketing Scoop podcast was about to come out, our Sensor started showing a significant flux on Google's SERP. Let's see what this week’s Search Marketing Scoop podcast experts - Barry Schwartz and Richard Fergie have to say about this and other news that impacts our digital presence.
Between our podcast and all the information below in the latest digital news, you will be caught up on any Google headlines you might have missed.
GOOGLE SEARCH NEWS
Search Appearance Filter in the New Google Search Console
Google added a new “Search Appearance” filter to its Performance report within the new version of Search Console. From now on, the GSC users will be able to group their performance results by:
Rich results (a rich card or rich snippet feature)
AMP article rich results
AMP non-rich results
All these filters were available in the previous version of GSC, and are now transferred to the new one. Currently, both versions of the Search Console are available to all users.
🔥 Search Appearance filter now available in the New Search Console 🙌 along with a few more visual updates:
⬇️Export option now available on validation details page
🏷️Exported compare columns now have labels pic.twitter.com/lYuQSVeftp
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) April 11, 2018
Interesting Finds on Google
Google is testing a new SERP Feature called “Interesting Finds” that is now available on mobile search. The feature is predominantly supporting AMP pages. For instance, if you enter a “when is mothers day” query to the search box, you will see four search results in a two by two grid. You also have the option to click on “10+ more stories” button and expand the results.The feature, it seems, is so far available on mobile search only. And it is unclear at what scale and in which countries the experiment is taking place.
Local Knowledge Panels Get a New Tab
Google added a new “About” tab to Local Knowledge Panels which is mostly available for restaurants, cafes and other businesses. The tab provides detailed information on the place, services, delivery, payment options, accessibility and more. The test has started in the previous month, and the tab is now rolled out to all users.
Is Local Pack Getting a Redesign?
Google is experimenting with a minimized Local Pack map. Instead of the traditional Map with three search results, we can now see a map with a total number of results that can be accessed upon expanding the total results. We don’t know yet about the scale and the geography of the test.
— Andrew Hagemann (@AndrewHagemann) April 6, 2018
Google My Business Now Lists Your Services
Google My Business now allows entrepreneurs to specify the services their business provides. The “Services” option is located in users’ Google My Business account. The feature is rolled out not only to the US-based companies but to other countries, too, although not every type of business can benefit from the option. We haven’t yet heard any official statements from Google in regards to the new feature.
“More Results” in Mobile SERP
Google is officially experimenting with adding a“More results” button to the mobile search. Thus, there is no more need to go to #2 page to get more search results as they are now loaded on the first page.
New Mobile Search Features for Cinema-Lovers
Google rolled out some new features for those planning a movie night from a mobile device. Mobile search results related to movie/cinema queries are now showcasing reviews and support ticket purchase. Users from the US and India are among the first to benefit from the novelties. Whenever they enter “showtimes” to the search box, Google shows a list of movies that are showcased at the nearest cinemas and showtimes. To buy the ticket, just click on the time that suits you best. On top of that, Google added reviews from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes right within the snippet.
AMP Pages Are Now Prepared for GDPR
There is no one in the digital space who has not heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will come into force in the EU on May 25, 2018. The new European regulation is intended to strengthen and unify data protection rules in regards to all European citizens. And this new legislation has created quite the buzz in the digital/tech companies. So, Google, naturally, also started preparing for the changes. The search giant has now started working on a new AMP Project component that has an inherent setting to ask users for permission for processing their personal data. Users will be asked by default whether they choose to give their permission or not, and AMP elements will change in relation to their answer.
Google Prank, or How to Pull Your Users’ Leg
Leading up to April 1 (or April Fool’s Day), Google had officially tweeted from its Google Webmasters Twitter account that it’s rolling out a new “Recrawl” button in Search Console. As it turned out later, it was only a holiday prank, although the button actually appeared within the GSC’s interface. Upon clicking the button, users were redirected to the official music video of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” track.
GOOGLE ADS NEWS
Two PLA Ads on Mobile SERP
Google is testing showing two PLA ad types per query. The experiment only takes place on mobile devices. The standard shopping ads are located at the very top of the SERP, while the carousel with Showcase Shopping Ads is right below. The latter part labeled “Shop by Store” brings up a Google-hosted selection of related products from the retailer. The tests are currently at a limited scale. Let me remind you that the Showcase Shopping ads are only available in Australia, the UK, Germany, India, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the US, France, and South Africa.
Reach Planner, a New AdWords Tool for Video Ads
Google AdWords introduced a new tool called “Reach Planner”. The tool is aimed at advertisers who are placing their bet on video content. With the help of Reach Planner, advertisers will now be able to forecast the reach and frequency for YouTube and other Google’s video partners from more than 50 countries across the globe. By indicating the ad campaign goals, budget range, and ad preferences, advertisers will get some information on what formats are more suitable in their particular case and how to efficiently divide up the budget for better results. The new tool is now in beta. To get access, you have to get in touch with Google AdWords representative.
GOOGLE TOOLS NEWS
New Gmail Look for Desktop
Google is planning to give Chrome browser a fresh look. The change will only affect the browser’s desktop version. Apart from a change of interface, Google will add a few features:
An ability to access Google Calendar right from Gmail’s interface.
The option to snooze emails, and make sure they reappear in your inbox hours/days later.
Automatically-generated answers, or “Smart Replies” that are now only available for Gmail users on iOS and Android. But the feature will soon be accessible from Gmail.com.
A new way of email storage that will soon be accessible offline.
There is a story behind the update: apparently, a Google employee was once caught up in a public transport and created the new design right there. Officially, Google has not yet presented a preliminary sneak peek of Gmail’s new look. However, we can only rely on some descriptions from the letter the company sent to its users. The update should come into force in the forthcoming weeks.
Chrome Suggestions Based on Search History
Google is testing a new Chrome feature. The browser showcases cards with the users’ previous searches directly on the start screen. According to a Google representative, the suggestions should help users seamlessly continue their search and completing some unfinished tasks. We don’t know how many users and from which countries can make use of the new feature. But it is highly probable that these suggestions will soon appear on Google.com’s main page.