It was a fast and exciting week at Google. We got new features coming to DV360 and not to mention Data Studio’s adding of new data from app + web. From Search, YouTube, Google Cloud to Google Maps, we have a lot in store for you. Take a seat and enjoy these recap and updates from Google.
ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.
- Visualise App + Web Data in Data Studio
- Control Global Product Availability in Product Feed
- YouTube Admits Dependence on AI Lead to Over-censorship
- Google Ads API Rolls Out to Manage Accounts at Scale
- New Features Coming to DV360
- Google Document Update on How Reviews Impact Local Ranking
- No Special Treatment for Hosting Sites on Google Cloud
- For Shopping Searches, Google Now Includes ‘Shipping Details’ Structured Data
- A New Source Code on Google’s robots.txt Parser Validation Testing Framework
- Google clears Questions on Link Algorithm Updates
- Google tests Toggle Feature: Opening Results In a New Tab
- Google adds a New Message Button on your Local Panel View
- New COVID Data on your Google Maps
Visualise App + Web Data in Data Studio
You can now add data from App + Web into your Google Data Studio reports and dashboards. You can see the fields available in the Google Analytics App+Web reporting API. These APIs are currently in Trusted Tester beta.
Control Global Product Availability in Product Feed
Google announced that by the end of this month, you need to control global product availability in your product feed. This applies to both Shopping ads and free listings. You can apply the shipping attribute to products directly in the feed or specify countries by using the “additional countries” feature. Google has already started pre-selecting countries in your feed to configure as “additional countries” of sale (starting September 14).
YouTube Admits Dependence on AI Lead to Over-censorship
YouTube has gone back to letting humans vet videos after dependence on AI lead to twice as many videos being taken down. Between April and June, YouTube relied on AI to moderate content during forced lockdowns. The AI was programmed to err on the side of caution. As a result, almost 11 million videos were removed. Roughly 160,000 of those videos were reinstated after creators filed an appeal, which was half the number of appeals received. Content was being removed at twice the usual rate due to reliance on AI, and was also then reinstated at twice the usual rate. According to Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, human moderators are now back to vetting the content. Mohan stated that humans are able to “make decisions that tend to be more nuanced, especially in areas like hate speech, or medical misinformation or harassment.” Moving forward, AI will still be used to identify potentially harmful content but human moderators will have final say. If you were affected by YouTube’s reliance on AI between April and June, we suggest submitting an appeal, as your videos may be reinstated.
Google Ads API Rolls Out to Manage Accounts at Scale
This week, Google has rolled out its Google Ads API, generally available for advertisers and developers. The API helps you build tools to support your business at scale with new capabilities and efficiency updates. You’ll see faster rollouts of new features and compatibility updates for tools including recommendations and local campaigns. There are also improvements to existing Google Ads features like Keyword Planner, change history and billing.
New Features Coming to DV360
New features are coming to Display & Video 360 over the next few weeks.
Additional brand signals for Custom Bidding
Custom Bidding scripts will soon offer new brand signals, meaning you can now optimise towards brand KPIs like time on screen, audibility and more.
Comments in event history for insertion orders and advertisers
Soon, you’ll be able to add comments under specific dates in the ‘History’ tab on insertion orders and advertisers in order to annotate changes made.
Clearer labels for Settings tabs
Soon, you’ll also see clearer labels for the ‘Settings’ tab that clarifies what level of your account the setting applies to.
Google Document Update on How Reviews Impact Local Ranking
Google has updated the document on local ranking factors. This is specifically on the section of how reviews impact local rankings. To be exact, it now says that the local rakings “can improve”, while previously stated that “will probably improve”.
Here’s the twitter post by Zach Mettra:
Spotted verbiage changes today on this Google article about relevance, distance, and prominence: https://t.co/004hSendYI
Is there a difference between “will probably improve” and “can improve” local rankings? Probably just semantics, but an interesting observation. pic.twitter.com/77YUrgfJ4x
— Zach Mettra (@zachmettra) September 22, 2020
No Special Treatment for Hosting Sites on Google Cloud
If you are hosting sites outside Google Cloud like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or any other hosts, it will not influence any rankings. John Mueller from Google mentioned that no preferential treatment is being provided to those hosting on Google Cloud, as Google only requires to be able to access your content and website.
We don’t do anything special for hosting on Google Cloud.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 22, 2020
For Shopping Searches, Google Now Includes ‘Shipping Details’ Structured Data
Google is now allowing retailers to add shipping information to the search result with the new type of Schema.org markup. Retailers can use ShippingDetails structured data, marking up important information like shipping policies and even different options on the product. They also have the option in configuring shipping settings through the Google Merchant Center. This has been freely available since June in the US. Just note that you don’t need to use both the markup and Merchant Center.
A New Source Code on Google’s robots.txt Parser Validation Testing Framework
Google issued a new source code for its robots.txt parser validation testing framework. It can be used to ensure parser results adhere to the official robots.txt specification and can validate parsers written with more languages option too.
They also released an official port to the more popular Java language, as Modern Java is the most common and widely used for enterprise applications.
Google Clears Questions on Link Algorithm Updates
John Mueller of Google explained what happens when link algorithms update and how long it takes for links to take effect on Google. In a Webmaster Central hangout Mueller said: “So in general, a core algorithm update, the way that we have it defined is somewhat vague. Because it’s not that we have this one piece of machinery that is the core algorithm and when we change one screw there, then that’s a core algorithm update.”
He described two different things that happen in an update: “But rather, we have so many different algorithms that work in search. And when we make significant changes across a number of them or significant changes in the way that we interpret them, then that’s something that we would call a core algorithm update.So, from that point of view, it’s not that we would say… the way that we handle links never changes or the way that we handle links always changes when we make a core algorithm update.”
Next, Mueller says that a change in a link algorithm can happen at any time, not just during a core algorithm update.He also provides useful insights into the relationship between links and core algorithm updates.For these changes to take effect in rankings, it may take weeks or months. It takes more than just one or even ten links for you to see an effect in your rankings.
Google Tests Toggle Feature: Opening Results In a New Tab
Google just included in Search a toggle switch in which you can choose to open results in a new tab. Interestingly, we saw Bing testing this feature earlier this week. What do you think? This was circulating on Twitter that some search engines are also having the same feature.
Google Adds a New Message Button on your Local Panel View
Google is testing and added this message button to the “updates” section of the Google Local panel view. You can easily update your local Google Posts and it has a message button for customers to ask you about the update.
Darcy Burk was the one who spotted this and shared it on Twitter.
New COVID Data on your Google Maps
With the pandemic, we want to be safe and make sure if we need to go out that we are less exposed and avoid areas with high risks.
This week, Google introduced the COVID layer in Maps and this tool will show areas that are critical about COVID-19 cases. Now you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do.
In Google Maps, click “COVID-10 info” and you’ll see the information of a 7day average of new COVID cases per 100,000 people on the map area. It uses Color coding to easily spot the density of new cases on a specific location. Now you can visit an area with precaution and worry-free.
Thank You for Reading
Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?
Check back next Friday for the latest from Google This Week.