Google: Web Search

YouTube sets stricter rules on videos that can carry ads

Google has announced several significant changes to how it will be monetizing content on YouTube. The changes come after a series of updates the company has implemented in response to repeated advertiser backlash over the past year. In a blog post Wednesday, Paul Muret, VP of display, video and analytics acknowledged “2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners”. The problems — namely brand advertisements appearing on...

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SEO trends and Google changes to expect in 2018

We’re already over a week into 2018, and the start of a new year is a great time to check in and see where we stand as an industry — and how things might change this year. Prepare for fake news algorithm updates Back in 2010, Google was getting beaten up in the media for the increasing amount of “content farm” clutter in the search results. That negative press was so overwhelming...

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Google says Assistant now on more than 400 million devices

Google said in a blog post this morning, “The [Google] Assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices.” When Google says “devices” it’s including Android smartphones, tablets, TVs, headphones . . . and Google Home smart speakers. What we don’t get from the post is how many Google Home, Mini and Max speakers were sold in 2017. Four hundred million is a massive number but it’s going to be...

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Google again showing third-party reviews in local results

Google is integrating third-party reviews into the Knowledge Graph for hotels. It apparently has been happening since 2016 and is entirely opt-in for the provider. Google works directly with the third-party review source (e.g., TripAdvisor) to integrate the content. In the example below, TripAdvisor reviews for Southern California hotel Terranea are available under the “view Google reviews” link in the Knowledge Panel. Google got into trouble roughly seven years ago for “scraping” and...

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Hurricane Irma was the No.1 top trending Google search in the U.S. & globally for 2017

Google has released its “Year in Search” for 2017, offering up more than 40 top ten lists for searches in the U.S. and globally. The search terms are ranked based on the top trending searches that saw the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2017 compared to 2016. In the U.S., the No. 1 top trending search term was “Hurricane Irma” — it also ranked No. 1 on...

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Google Lens an impressive start for ‘visual search’

Google Lens has gone live or is about to on Pixel phones in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, India and Singapore (in English). Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using it extensively and have had mostly positive results — though not always. Currently, Lens can read text (e.g., business cards), identify buildings and landmarks (sometimes), provide information on artwork, books and movies (from a poster) and scan barcodes....

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Google brings local lead generation to Google Assistant and Google Home

Google is bringing new forms of local search to the Google Assistant and Google Home. The company announced it’s working with local home service providers “like HomeAdvisor and Porch.” On any platform where Google Assistant is available, users will be able to ask for contractors (e.g., “Ok Google find me a plumber”). That initiates a structured interaction which generates a lead or contact with a local service provider. In the case of IAC-owned HomeAdvisor, which...

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Google officially increases length of snippets in search results

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that it has made a change to the way it displays snippets in search results. A snippet is the description of a page shown below the URL in an organic search result that helps show how it relates to the search query. A Google spokesperson told us: We recently made a change to provide more descriptive and useful snippets, to help people better understand how...

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Google adds a donate button directly into search for US-based nonprofits

As we near the holidays, Google is making it easier to support your favorite nonprofit organization by adding a donate button directly in search. The new feature was announced yesterday. Google says a number of US-based nonprofits now have the “Donate” option available so that when you search for organizations like Direct Relief, you’ll be able to make a donation straight from the search results page. In the example above, the screen...

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Google home page search box now shows you recent searches by default

Google has changed the default behavior of the search box on the Google.com home page. Now, when you go to Google’s home page, the search box will automatically expand to show you your most recent searches. Seeing these recent searches automatically expand below the search box, before you even click into the search box to enter your search query, feels awkward. It almost feels like this is a bug. Matt Cutts, former...

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