Written by 5ivecanons Staff
Google releases updates every day. If you find this hard to believe, it’s because most updates are small and unnoticeable to the average user. Like when you get an oil change in your car, you drive away and it seems like everything is the same. Or you trim a few centimeters off your hair and no one notices. The changes are hard to see, and visible or not, they’re there to benefit the user. This is certainly true for Google’s updates as well.
Frequent updates occur to keep up with the demand of web users’ expectation of finding what they need faster. Otherwise, users will start browsing on different platforms. With their updates, Google has successfully decreased the number of irrelevant results by 40% just within the last five years. Thanks Google!
Every so often Google releases an update that shakes us all – users, retailers, big brands, start ups, and even us. The changes could impact the way we interact with search, the calendar, chat, cloud, meet, Gmail, contacts, Docs editors – the full suite. And when this happens, our elite team of digital strategists are prepared to learn and share the knowledge with you and your business.
As of June 2022, you can no longer create expanded text ads. You don’t have to get rid of current ETAs, but you can no longer create new ones.
With responsive ads, you’re allowing Google’s machine learning to take control of your ads and identify the most efficient headline/description combination to display the best advertisement to the ideal user. Google will select the best of up to 15 ad headlines and four descriptions you provide to display based on variables like search and user. Be sure to take advantage of Google’s Ad Strength indicator to ensure your ads are following best practices.
The Google team released a notice to website owners stating that sponsored links, guest articles, and commercial site links must now qualify their outbound links to Google. This means you need to explain in code your relationship to what’s beyond the link.
Google also implemented new spam fighting technology to help Google perform more efficiently and improve page experience. Sketchy sites disguising themselves as reputable and sites that trick visitors into giving their personal information will now be far less common to land on.
The Google Map interface on desktop and mobile got a facelift. Before the update, local search results presented the map directly above your search results on your screen. Now, the map takes up more space, and is featured to the right of your search results.
Formerly known as Google My Business, GBP has changed more than just its name. Previously, local businesses could only update their business listing info through GMB. However, Google has made this process more streamlined with more options to easily edit your business profile directly on Google. Now, when you type your business name into google search, you’ll see a new panel with the new search features that came with this update. These include viewing latest reviews and ratings, promoting special offers, viewing insights and analytics, ability to create ads faster and easier, respond quicker to reviews, and updating your business profile information.
GNS is a fairly new platform from Google that allows users to better access local, national, and international news. You guessed it, Google uses their machine learning algorithm to identify and organize covered stories around the world and populate the most relevant news to each user. The Google News desktop experience was redesigned this year to be more customizable to users with easier interaction, and allowing news publishers to grow their businesses and increase revenue with site traffic.
Third-party cookies allow you to learn about a user’s overall online behaviors. They are often used for advertising tactics like retargeting and have been phased out on some browsers including Firefox and Safari for almost a decade. Google Chrome is next to take this step with goals to enhance privacy for users and better control over how data is used. This also means that advertisers are losing a quick and easy way to collect user data. If this impacts you, don’t worry – our team of professionals can help you address new advertising tactics to help you stay on top.
This year’s update to GMC included the introduction of a pause attribute allowing merchants to pause and restart product visibility in Shopping ads rather than having to set a product to “out of stock,” which would completely halt an ad. Updates have also been made to provide more accurate shipping estimates, availability to show backordered products, ability to pre-order products, and automatic item updates to ensure product data is correct on a consistent basis.
The goal for Google product reviews has always been to prioritize the most informative and beneficial reviews to provide more insight than what is given from the manufacturer or seller alone. This year’s improvements focused on de-emphasizing low-quality reviews and highlighting reviews that contained research based information rather than just summarizing the product. This is all in effort to reduce the amount of spam reviews that appear on a product page.
Go to Google on your phone right now and type: “What do dogs dream about?” That first block of text that you see at the top of the page, that’s a featured snippet card and one of the more obvious changes from this update. Featured snippets are page quotes from an article linked directly below that are relevant to your search and appear as the first thing you see at the top of Google when searching. You’ve probably seen this recently on your desktop, and even more recently on your phone.
Remember the page experience update and making sure those core web vitals are top notch? It’s all coming full circle. When your content provides a great page experience and answers a user’s query, it’s more likely to appear in a featured snippet, above your competitors, and even above paid ads.
A Quick look back to review last year’s updates. In July 2021, Google completed their page experience algorithm update giving every business, big or small, a fair shot to rank. This was the biggy for the year. And below are notable smaller releases that are worth our breath.
That was a lot to unpack, but, the main takeaway here is that Google has always, and will always be making updates to their platform. So, how can your business adapt to these constant updates? Remember that knowledge is power. Stay up to date with these changes and always make sure that your website is meeting Google’s core web vital standards. If you’re overwhelmed, don’t worry. Having an experienced team of professionals (who love this stuff) can do all the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on what you do best – which probably doesn’t involve monitoring Google updates.