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Sneaky Search Engines: Google’s Other Changes

Online MarketingSearch Engine OptimizationSEM

For the past few weeks, you’ve heard everything you need to about Google’s choice to withhold keyword data from advertisers, and the switch over to a new algorithm, Hummingbird, which refines both search results and Google’s Knowledge Graph by emulating semantic search as opposed to keyword search. But these two overhauls have not been the only changes Google has been making to its ever-increasing set of tools. Here are two other changes that will affect digital marketing, and why businesses should pay attention:

Product Listing Ads: Local Availability features – Proving just how important local search is becoming to Google, the company’s Product Listing Ads has added increased local functionality to its listings, including local availability and local storefront features. These updates increase the amount of information available online for local searches, and allow users to see local storefronts along with product information. These new features are essential to small and local businesses to increase their online visibility and convert users to physical visitors. Want to take advantage of Product Listing Ads? Make sure you do the following:
• Optimize your Google+ Local Business Page
• Include images for the Google Carousel
• Send consistent, up-to-date information to Google and other search engines, and social profiles, including Foursquare, Yelp, and Zagat.

Product Listing Ads: Google+ User Information – Google has slowly but consistently blending its media properties together; this new update to Product Listing Ads is just the latest example of this trend. Google is now including information user information pulled from Google+ to accompany products, including reviews and advertisements. This move is similar to Facebook’s policy of including user information in advertising. This update proves that both social media and online reviews are crucial to businesses online. How can you capitalize on this change?
• Optimize your Google+ Business Page
• Maintain and engage across all of your social channels, especially on Google+
• Encourage (but don’t solicit/pay for) reviews online

Google changes its multiple algorithms roughly 500 times a year; these are only two of the most recent changes. We’ll be on the lookout for the next change – if you want to keep up with us, check out our Google+ page for the latest information!