Google has added some cool new features this week, updated policies and clarified a few things. There’s also been talk of yet another small algorithm update. Google are testing thumbnail images in search results, they’ve added new features in Google Ads, added extra info to Google Images and you can now create 3D Ads on DV360. ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.
- Google Says Spam Reports Are Not for Manual Actions
- Digital Growth Program for News Publishers
- Google Testing Thumbnail Images in Search Results
- Google to Remove Structured Data Testing Tool
- Manager Accounts Now Supported by Google Ads App
- Small Google Algorithm Update on July 6?
- Deadline to Adopt Parallel Tracking for Video Campaigns Extended
- Google Ads Adds New Features to Overview Page
- Google Adds Knowledge Graph Information to Images
- Google Updates Structured Data Policies for Multiple Items on a Page
- Create 3D Ads on Display & Video 360
Google Says Spam Reports Are Not for Manual Actions
Google has removed all mentions of manual actions in the Google webmaster guidelines. Google’s Gary Ilyes announced that spam reports are only used to improve Google’s spam detection algorithms and the reports will not lead to a Google employee reviewing a site and manually penalising it.
“Spam reports play a significant role: they help us understand where our automated spam detection systems may be missing coverage. Most of the time, it’s much more impactful for us to fix an underlying issue with our automated detection systems than it is to take manual action on a single URL or site.”
Digital Growth Program for News Publishers
In light of the increased demand for local news during the pandemic and increased financial challenges, Google has introduced the Digital Growth Program from the Google News Initiative (GNI). The Digital Growth Program is a free training program for small-to-medium sized news publishers. It is currently available in Europe and will be rolled out to more regions over the coming months.
The program has been “created to help establish and grow the online business of news publishers who have more recently started developing their digital platforms.” The program involves in-depth labs which include intensive training sessions and mentoring delivered over a number of weeks and months.
“As part of these labs, our partners will offer training from industry experts on a range of subjects, including change management, subscriptions and audience growth.”
The training is free but spaces are limited.
Google Testing Thumbnail Images in Search Results
Google is testing thumbnail images in search results. The images are thumbnails of the featured images from the articles. Google is also currently testing images in the Google Suggest dropdown. Google currently uses this format for Google News.
Google to Remove Structured Data Testing Tool
Google has upgraded the Rich Results Test to support all rich results in Google Search. Now that the Rich Results Test has caught up Google is deprecating the old structured data testing tool.
The Rich Results Test shows which Search feature enhancements are valid for your markup, handles dynamically loaded structured data markup more effectively, renders both mobile and desktop versions and is fully aligned with Search Console reports.
“The test returns errors and warnings we detect on your page. Note that errors disqualify your page from showing up as a rich result. While warnings might limit the appearance, your page is still eligible for showing up as a rich result. For example, if there was a warning for a missing image property, that page could still appear as a rich result, just without an image.”
Manager Accounts Now Supported by Google Ads App
The Google Ads app now supports manager accounts. Now when you sign into the app, you’ll see any manager accounts at the top level. Google also just added optimization score to all account Overview pages in the web UI and app on Wednesday. This will make it easier to get top-level performance data across your accounts on your mobile.
Small Google Algorithm Update on July 6?
According to Search Engine Roundtable, there have been some signs of a small Google Search ranking algorithm update around July 6th. There has been some chatter in the SEO community that may be impacting a smaller group of sites or smaller niche.
Most of the tools aren’t showing much but SEMRush is showing some volatility. Last week, we reported on a still unconfirmed but larger update around June 23rd that seemed to have a big impact for governmental sites.
Deadline to Adopt Parallel Tracking for Video Campaigns Extended
The migration deadline to adopt parallel tracking for Video campaigns has been extended to March 31, 2021 to give users extra time to make the transition. Of course, users can still finish the process and opt-in if they’ve already started to adopt parallel tracking.
Google Ads Adds New Features to Overview Page
Google Ads has added 3 new features to the Overview page. You can now view and apply recommendations straight from the Overview page. You can also better prioritise the recommendations with your optimization score.
You can also create new campaigns with the ‘New Campaign’ button and download both the Overview page and individual cards. This will make it easier for you to use your performance data to build reports.
Google Adds Knowledge Graph Information to Images
Google has launched a new feature to find quick facts about what you see on Google Images from the Knowledge Graph. If you search for an image you might see information from the Knowledge Graph that relates to your result. This information could include people, places or things to help you explore the topic.
For example, if you search for a national park to visit and click on a picture of a waterfall, beneath the image you may see related topics including the name of the waterfall, where it’s located, etc. If you click on a specific topic, it will expand to show you a short description of the person, place or thing it references as well as a link to learn more.
This feature will expand to more images, languages and surfaces over time.
Google Updates Structured Data Policies for Multiple Items on a Page
Google has updated its structured data policies page, including the section on having multiple items on a single page with structured data. It clarified whether you nest the items or specify each item individually. The update gives clearer examples and shows screenshots.
It describes the difference between nesting and individual items and gives specific code examples.
Nesting: When there is one main item, and additional items are grouped under the main item. This is particularly helpful when grouping related items (for example, a recipe with a video and reviews).
Individual items: When each item is a separate block on the same page.
“Note: If there are items that are more helpful when they are linked together (for example, a recipe and a video), use @id in both the recipe and the video items to specify that the video is about the recipe on the page. If you didn’t link the items together, Google Search may not know that it can show the video as a Recipe rich result.”
Create 3D Ads on Display & Video 360
Last year Google launched the beta of Swirl, an immersive 3D ad format that allows users to interact with ads in a new way. Now, Swirl is available to all Display & Video 360 customers. Consumers can rotate, zoom and expand the creative in the ad.
You can upload pre-made 3D assets to Google Web Designer and use the new Swirl templates. Brands and agencies can also edit, configure and publish photorealistic models using Google’s 3D platform Poly.
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.