SEO News Recap – May 2019

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Hi guys! In our May’s SEO News Recap we cover the latest Local Finder’s updates, new ways to order food through local search results, the redesign of search results on mobile, and the recently added Discover report on the Search Console. There was also a lot of noise around two big Google events – Google I/О 2019 and Google Marketing Live. We will unpack some of the most important announcements made during the events, for example the new Google Ads units. Mailchimp also decided to transform its services by providing new solutions to small business owners and marketers.

GOOGLE LOCAL EXPERIMENTS

THE FACELIFT OF THE LOCAL FINDER

A new feature was spotted being tested within the Local Finder. The “People also search for” section is placed much higher and now shows up in the middle of the Local Finder.

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NEW PRICING INFORMATION FOR HOTEL RESULTS

Google is now displaying a hotel pricing chart in the results pages for a number of hotel queries.

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Customers are now able to check prices for the hotel from today going through the next month, with the average price listed on the left.

FINE DINING WITH GOOGLE

A new feature within restaurants’ GMB listings is highlighting the most popular choices among foodies. The dishes are ordered based on reviews mentioning dish names and user-generated photos of the restaurants’ menu.

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The menu pictures are included in the new “Popular dishes” section to the Menu tab on the restaurants’ listings on Google Maps.

A NEW VERSION OF GOOGLE MY BUSINESS DASHBOARD

The new Google My Business dashboard comes with the following updates:

    • You are now able to add/edit the cover photo and the business information right from the Home page.
    • A new feature within the Home tab lets you quickly navigate through your listing’s Overview, Info, Insights, Photos, Posts, and Reviews. It’s placed just above the features and it prompts you to create a Google Post, add photos or create an ad for your listing.
    • There is also a new tab within the left-side navigation menu promoting G Suite.

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Google is promoting it by offering you a free 14-day trial access to custom Gmail at your business domain name, video conferences, online storage, and other business tools.

ORDER FOOD WITH GOOGLE

Google rolled out a new food-ordering process within Search, Maps and Assistant. If you are currently located in the US, you will see the “Order Online” button on restaurants’ listings on Search and Maps. It’s available to restaurants partnering with the following companies, which are providing delivery services DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, ChowNow, and Zuppler.

After clicking on the “Order Online” button, you have two options either the food to be delivered to your doorstep or to pick it up by yourself from the restaurant. If you choose the delivery option, then you have to select a delivery service provider and items from the menu list. The payment is made online by charging your credit card saved to Google Pay.

You can also use Google Assistant to order food. Just say “Hey Google, order food from …. (restaurant’s name).” The checkout is also done online. A reordering food is also available by saying “Hey Google, reorder food from [restaurant].”

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The command pulls a list of your past orders and then you can select a dish of your preference.

UPDATED ADVANCED VERIFICATION POLICIES  

Companies providing moving services are no longer required to go through the advanced verification process in order to be eligible to run Google local services ads. However, this process is still required for advertisers promoting garage door and locksmith services.

THE RENAMING OF GOOGLE POSTS

Google was spotted testing a new name for Google Posts within local knowledge panels.

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A tab entitled “Updates” appears instead of “Posts”.

NEW DESIGN OF THE LOCAL 3-PACK

Google is testing a new way of listing results in the local 3-pack. A-D labeling is used to order businesses in the pack.

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Additionally, a new green pin appears on the map to indicate ads that pop up in the local 3-pack.

GOOGLE GLOBAL EXPERIMENTS

MOBILE-FIRST INDEXING BY DEFAULT

If you are planning to launch a brand new website for your business it’s worth noting that starting July 1, it will be indexed by default by a Googlebot smartphone useragent. If you are owning an older website, you will be notified by Google when your site is ready for mobile-first indexing. Once your site is seen to be ready, you will get a notification through the Search Console.

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You can use the URL Inspection Tool within the Search Console to check if your website has been crawled by the Googlebot smartphone.

Using same URLs for both desktop and mobile content helps to avoid confusion for both search engines and customers.

REDESIGN OF MOBILE SEARCH RESULTS

Google is launching a brand new look for paid and organic results on mobile.

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The paid results now have a black “Ad” label, while organic results feature icons associated with a particular website (favicons). Moreover, the favicons, the “ad” label and the source link now have a prominent place. Previously the links were displayed underneath the title of the result snippet and now they appear above the headlines.

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Joy Hawkins also reported that the black “Ad” label to appear in the local 3-pack.

NEW ADS COMING TO GOOGLE’S HOME PAGE

A new type of ads called “Discovery ads” will soon be part of the arsenal of advertisers. These ads will help you catch customers’ attention just in the moment when they open the Google Search app on their mobile phones.The format of the ads will be a photo carousel with canvas demonstrating your brand or products.

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The new ad unit will also appear on YouTube’s Home feed as well as in Gmail’s Promotions and Social tabs. Additionally, you will be able to run ads across the three channels at once by creating a single ad campaign.  

NEW REPORT IN SEARCH CONSOLE

Google started reporting for your website’s Discover performance. The new report shows data related to your site’s traffic and impressions from the Discover feature, the former Google Feed. The report will also give you insights about how your content performs in the Discover feature in comparison to the traditional search results. The report is currently available to websites that get a lot of traffic from Google Discover and the data is available back to March 2019.

INNOVATIONS

MAILCHIP IS EXPANDING ITS SERVICES

Mailchimp announced that they are turning from an email marketing tool to a full marketing platform for small business owners. The new services that will be provided to SMBs within the platform will be:

  • A technology to record and track customer leads;
  • The ability to purchase domains and develop websites;
  • Creating remarketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram;
  • Social media management;
  • AI for business intelligence aiming to help business owners and marketers on how and when to market to the desired target audience.

The pricing tiers will also be updated. The new available packages will be free, $9.99/month, $14.99/month or $299/month. Existing customers using the paid services can maintain their current plans with the option to upgrade their plans at any time.

SOCIAL MEDIA

FACEBOOK’S NEW PRIVACY TOOL

If you’re advertising on Facebook, you should be aware of the new Clear History tool. It will enable users to delete information that Facebook gathers about them from third-party applications and websites. This update will affect the way you are targeting your ads based on users’ activity.  Facebook already began testing the tool.