This week, enhancements were made to search across all platforms. Google Maps search for iOS and Android received unique updates, and mobile search on Android is running a new test.
In paid search news — Google made some notable changes to YouTube advertising, and syncing AdWords with Bing Ads has become easier than ever. Lastly, two former Google executives are moving on to work for one of the fastest rising startups of all time.
Details about each of these top stories are included in this week’s SEO and SEM news roundup.
Google Maps Update for iOS: See How Busy a Location is Right Now
Now you can see how busy a place is before you go. Google Maps has updated its iOS app with data on how how much foot traffic a location is receiving in real-time. This is an integration with Google Maps’ Popular Times feature. Web search has offered the “Live” Popular Times feature since November, this is the first time it will be available on iOS.
Google Maps Update for Android: How Difficult Will it Be to Find Parking?
With the latest update to Google Maps on Android, you can find out how difficult it will be to find parking at a particular location before you head out. After getting directions to a location, parking difficulty will be indicated by an icon ranging from limited to medium to easy. Currently, this new feature is only available in select metro areas across the US, including: San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Portland and Sacramento.
Run Android Apps in Google Search Without Downloading Them
Google is starting to roll out a real-world test of Android “Instant Apps” in mobile search results. This technology was first introduced almost one year ago at the Google I/O developer conference, and it’s finally seeing the light of day. Instant Apps are partial versions of the full mobile app that can run directly from search results — almost like a way to preview the app before deciding to download it. The test is extremely limited at the moment, with only BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki being available to use as Instant Apps. Though it’s safe to assume we can expect to see more throughout the year, provided the test goes well.
YouTube Advertising Changes
With over 50% of YouTube views now occurring on mobile devices, Google is going to shift its focus away from “legacy” desktop targeting technologies, and adopt more mobile-first strategies. In addition, YouTube ads on mobile and desktop will now be targeted based on information associated with a viewer’s Google account. This includes things like demographic information and search history. Within the next few weeks, Google will introduce a brand new option to control the ads you see across both Google and YouTube. If you mute a particular advertiser in Search, that same advertiser will also be muted when you watch videos on YouTube.
Automatically Sync Your AdWords Campaigns With Bing Ads
You can now schedule Google AdWords campaigns to be imported to Bing Ads on a recurring basis. Advertisers have been able to import their Google AdWords campaigns to Bing Ads for some time now, this update gives you the ability to put the imports on auto-pilot. Scheduling automated imports is done through the Google AdWords interface. Simply follow the same process you normally would when importing a campaign to Bing Ads. Now, at the end of the process, you’ll be presented with a few new options. You can choose to either import now, import at later date, or import on a recurring basis. Campaigns can be scheduled to be automatically imported daily, weekly, or monthly. There’s never been a better time to start marketing your business with Bing Ads.
Google Bad Ads Report: Billions of Ads Taken Down Last Year
Speaking of Google Ads, for all the ads that get approved there are billions of others that get removed for violating Google’s advertising policies. According to Google’s 2016 bad ads report, 1.7 billion total ads were taken down last year, which is over twice the amount of ads removed in 2015. Bad ads include things like advertisements for payday loans, ads for illegal products, misleading ads, self-clicking mobile ads, and ads that even try to deceive Google’s bad ad detection systems. It’s safe to say nothing gets past Google, so if you’re advertising with Google AdWords make sure to play by the rules!
Former Google Search Chief, Amit Singhal, Now Working for Uber
Last week we covered Google’s former head of the webspam team, Matt Cutts, leaving the company to work for the USDS. This week, news broke that two former Google executives are now working for Uber. Uber’s latest hires include Amit Singhal, who spent 15 years as Google’s Chief of Search, and former VP of engineering, Kevin Thompson. The two had already resigned from Google late last year — Singhal explains his decision to join Uber was based on it being the “most fun computer science and engineering challenges in the world today.” Singhal is now Uber’s SVP of engineering, while Thompson’s new role will be VP of marketplace engineering.
Google Maps on both Android and iOS is getting smarter, Android searchers have a new feature to test out, YouTube will be delivering more targeted ads, billions of Google ads were taken down last year, two former Google executives joined Uber, and it’s never been easier to sync your Google AdWords campaigns with Bing Ads.
If you need help getting started with Bing Ads, please contact us and we’ll get you syncing your campaigns across the world’s largest search engines in no time!
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