Google has made some exciting and helpful changes this week. Including, allowing certified online pharmacies to promote their services, visible online care links in Google Business profiles, a new Call Ads feature, a clipboard option in GSC, and more.
There have also been some changes that could be a bit challenging for some, like the new identity verification required for all advertisers, but Google plans to make these changes as easy as possible. You can learn about this change and all the recent Google updates in the four categories below:
Also, SEMrush Sensor shows a slight increase in SERP volatility, but it is still within the normal range. Keep an eye out and let us know if you are seeing anything interesting this week.
New Feature for Better Matches in Google Search
Google has rolled out in the U.S. a new feature in Search, a message appearing when it is unable to find a pertinent match for a user’s query. The feature signals that Google hasn’t found something that is particularly relevant to the user’s search. Google said, "the feature will also provide some alternative searches as well as tips on how you could reformulate your query to better find the information you seek."
Below is a snapshot of what the message will look like:
Telehealth Links Showing in Business Profiles
Mke Blumenthal tweeted about business profiles now offering online care — we discussed this in a past Google News post.
Telehealth links are now showing in the Business Profile on Safari & Chrome on my iPhone pic.twitter.com/V8sVTyJp8u— Mike Blumenthal (@mblumenthal) April 23, 2020
I tested this on my own and found that many healthcare providers in my state have not taken advantage of the option, but I found others that had.
For help on setting this up, visit Get started with Google My Business for healthcare providers.
Extending Identity Verification for All Advertisers
To provide more transparency and to help users understand who is advertising to them, Google has announced it is extending its existing identity verification policy to all advertisers on our platforms. This policy initially applied to political advertisers when it was introduced in 2018.
"As part of this initiative, advertisers will be required to complete a verification program in order to buy ads on our network."
Users will start seeing ad disclosures this summer that provide further details about the advertiser. A preview is shown below of what this will look like in Search:
To purchase ads via Google, all advertisers will need to complete a verification program and submit information such as personal identification and business incorporation documents to prove who they are and the country in which they operate.
Google stated it will start verifying advertisers ‘in phases’ in the US, before expanding the verification program worldwide. They expect this process to take a few years to complete.
“This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising controls. It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves.”
Advertisers can learn more about the identity verification program here.
New Call Ads Feature For Businesses With an Optional Website Link
Google Ads has made it possible for companies to include an optional ‘Visit website’ link with call-only ads, which have been renamed as "call ads" in this update. This is in part to help with potentially high call volumes and limited staffing due to COVID-19.
Here is how this optional link appears with a call ad:
The link also increases your visibility on search engine results. When a user clicks on your link in the call ad, they will be taken straight to your site, but taken to a call if they tap on the headline itself.
Google explained, “If your business relies on phone calls for new sales, you will get fewer accidental calls and more qualified leads. In addition, you can now engage consumers who may only be interested in visiting your site, and may not have previously interacted with your brand.’
You can add a ‘visit website link’ by putting in a final URL when creating a new call ad, or by adding one to an existing ad.
Some Certified Online Pharmacies Can Use Ads in the US and Canada
Google Ads has updated the advertising policies for healthcare and medicines in the US and Canada to allow certified telemedicine providers to promote their services. The guidelines state that LegitScript certified telemedicine providers may apply for healthcare-related advertising effective immediately.
In this updated policy, Google states online pharmacies in the US and Canada can promote their services ‘with limitations’ if they are accredited by one of the following:
For recovery-oriented drug and alcohol addiction services (in the US only) you can advertise ‘with limitations’ if you meet the requirements below:
Copy to Clipboard Button Now Available In Search Console
In response to requests by Search Console users, the Google Webmasters Twitter account revealed it will be providing a ‘copy to clipboard button’.
Little tweak to Search Console, something many people have requested! ? We're adding a "copy to clipboard" button ?️ Now you may see 3 icons when hovering over a URL: copy to clipboard, open in new tab, and inspect URL. We hope this small change boosts your productivity ? pic.twitter.com/0aTfWNV5qj— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) April 27, 2020
The response to this news was well received on Twitter:
Helpful Offerings from Google
As we all know, Google has been trying to help businesses during the pandemic with a ton of options to help customers find what they need, and to help businesses survive. They have provided some other items recently you might find useful.
Free Window Stickers, Posters, Social Posts, and More
Google is offering businesses a way to create custom print-ready posters, ready‑to‑share social posts, window stickers, and more. Businesses can highlight reviews and share information like updated hours or delivery information — you determine what you need to share, and then use the free services to highlight whatever you need to.
To get these marketing materials for free, just sign up here.
A Guide to Help Businesses Adapt Marketing Strategies Due to COVID-19
Google released a guide to help business owners struggling with challenges COVID-19 has created. They stated, "The intention of this guide is to help you prioritize what to do next and take action. That includes ways to utilize the latest consumer and industry insights, how to evaluate the situation facing your business, and next steps to shift your digital marketing strategies to meet customer needs."
The guide has some great insights and recommendations. You can download this guide here.
Think With Google Consumer Insights Articles
Below I have included some articles from Think With Google. This site provides articles with insights that businesses can use. The site always offers timely and valuable insights.
- Inside Google Marketing: Do’s and don’ts for marketing measurement during a pandemic
- How restaurants can better assist customers during times of uncertainty
- Will social distancing accelerate a trend toward home as headquarters?
- How to stay on top of market trends in a dynamic environment
- Google search data reveals how brands can help during the coronavirus pandemic
That is it for the Google News Update. If you have any insights or comments about the news above, we would love to hear your thoughts. If you know of any important news we missed, please add that info in the comments below.
Some Recent Articles You Can't Miss: