This week Google made it even easier to find jobs on its search engine. Google released a powerful new tool for small businesses. A new look for Google Analytics was rolled out to more users. A new and addictive Easter egg has been found in Google Search.
Web pages with Google ads will now load faster thanks to a significant change made by the company. Google is actively seeking searchers’ help to make local results more accurate. Bing has made itself a destination for yoga enthusiasts. Lastly – SEO the movie? Yes, it’s a thing, and we’ll give you a brief review.
More details about each of these top stories are included in this week’s SEO & SEM news roundup.
Share Messages Directly to Search Results With Google Posts
Google Posts, which started off as an experimental feature for select businesses, is now available to everyone. Well, everyone with a verified Google My Business listing that is. This new feature allows businesses to publish messages to their GMB listing, which will also show up in Google Search and Google Maps when the business name is searched for.
Messages published through the new Posts feature will appear as short snippets, which can be tapped on to be read in full. Posts can be used for anything you may want to highlight about your business – such as daily specials, events, products, and so on.
Posts can include text, photos, and custom calls-to-action. Custom CTAs can be used to direct people to visit your website, sign up to a newsletter, buy a product, or take advantage of a special offer. Anyone with a verified listing can start publishing posts today on both desktop and mobile.
Google’s New Job Search Initiative
Google For Jobs, a new job search initiative, is now live in organic search results. Rather than competing with other job search companies, Google is partnering with them in an effort to be the preeminent destination for job hunters. This initiative is designed to help employers as well, as Google’s machine learning capabilities will be utilized to better match employers with the right candidates.
To learn more about this feature, see our new guide to Google For Jobs.
New Google Analytics Home Screen
Google has confirmed that a new home screen for Google Analytics has now be rolled out to 50% of all users. The new home screen was first spotted being tested earlier this year, and apparently it has been well received if Google has decided to expand the rollout more widely.
In addition to a cleaner look and feel, the new home screen gives users more immediate access to important data. This includes:
- Traffic over a selected time period
- Active users right now
- Top active pages
- Revenue over a period of time
- Conversion rate over a period of time
- Sessions over a period of time
According to the screenshot being shared, there is also a section that answers the question: “how do you acquire users?” Data in this section includes Traffic Channel, Source/Medium, and Referrals.
Take a look at the new design in the screenshot below:
Those receiving the new home screen are being selected completely at random, so if you don’t see it yet hopefully you will be selected soon!
Google is Compressing Ads to Help Pages Load Faster
Web pages displaying Google ads will now load a bit faster thanks to a new compression algorithm rolled out this week. As a result of compressing its display ads, Google is not only helping pages load faster, but the company says it will also improve your device’s battery life efficiency.
Google’s compression algorithm, called Brotli, offers a data savings of at least 15% compared to gzip compression. In some cases it could result in a data savings of up to 40%. According to Google, the amount of data sent to end users will ultimately be reduced by tens of thousands of gigabytes per day. Brotli is being used in the Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browsers. Apple’s Safari on iOS and macOS have yet to adopt Google’s compression algorithm.
Google is Asking Users for Location Information in Search Results
Google has been spotted testing a new way to get more accurate location information for Google Maps. When conducting a search query, Google will randomly display a map with a pin and ask if you know what is located there. The location being asked about will be relevant to where the query is coming from, but these prompts will apparently pop up whether or not the query is location-related.
It appears that Google is just trying to get help with identifying new locations and adding them to Google Maps. So, in the future, you may find Google asking about places that are close to you. You can see a screenshot of what this looks like in Jennifer Slegg’s coverage over at The SEM Post.
Fidget Spinners in Google Search
Google is getting in on the fidget spinner craze with a new Easter egg added to search results. Just search for the word “spinner” and you’ll be greeted with a digital fidgeting device. It works particularly well on mobile devices because you can swipe the screen to make it spin. Overall it’s pretty fun, and kind of addictive, so consider yourself warned before you go searching for it.
Namaste! Bing Releases an Update for Yoga Enthusiasts
This past week included International Yoga Day, and to celebrate the occasion Bing released a new update for Yoga enthusiasts. The update is designed for both new and experienced practitioners, with features for all skill levels. If you’re interested in Yoga but don’t know where to start, you can search for “yoga exercises” and Bing will display a carousel at the top of the screen with instructional videos on how to perform various poses.
If you have some yoga experience, or at least have some idea of what you’re looking for, you can search for “yoga workouts.” Conducting a search for yoga workouts will display a carousel at the top of the screen with various routines. You can filter the results by focus and difficulty level to find exactly what you’re looking for.
SEO… The Movie?
Yes, a courageous individual took on the task of creating a movie about SEO and posted it on YouTube this week. Is it any good? Well, clocking in at around 40-minutes, it is hardly a feature length film. It’s more of a love letter to the industry from one young man’s perspective. Those within the industry may enjoy what it has to offer, but it does little to educate newcomers about search engine optimization.
SEO The Movie speaks to the early days of SEO, but barely touches on how it has evolved to where it is today. To its credit, the video does feature sit down interviews with some of the biggest names in SEO. It’s always intriguing any time you can see personalities like Danny Sullivan, Rae Hoffman, and Rand Fishkin discussing their craft. If you have 40 minutes to spare, it’s a decent watch. At the very least, you can get a feel for what it was like to work in SEO in the early days – from an insider’s perspective.
Google never stops innovating. This week we saw the search giant roll out improvements to its Analytics platform, and introduce two new tools in Google For Jobs and Posts. Through compressing its own ads, Google is continuing its crusade to make web pages load faster. The company is actively seeking searchers’ help to add new information to Google Maps, and is entertaining searchers with fidget spinners.
Bing wants to become the destination for learning about yoga and discovering new yoga routines. Lastly, an intriguing video about the early days of SEO has been released for free on YouTube – the industry certainly has come a long way from what it once was.
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