This week, Google continued to make changes to both its paid and organic listings. The search giant also rolled out a useful new addition to Google Analytics, and YouTube is catching up to Facebook and Twitter in a big way. Full details about each of these headlines are included in this week’s SEO and inbound marketing news roundup.
Dr. Google Gets Even Smarter
Paging Dr. Google: what does it mean when I have a headache only on one side of my head? Soon Google’s instant answers will be able to provide you with a list of related conditions when you type very specific symptoms into the search box. Google will also return a general description of the symptom you searched for, along with information on how you can treat it yourself, and whether or not a doctor’s visit is recommended.
Google worked alongside a team of medical doctors to review and verify the information about individual symptoms, including experts at the Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic. Google cautions that all medical information found via the search engine is meant for informational purposes only; it is not a substitute for actual medical advice from a real doctor. This new feature will first be available in US English mobile search results only.
Google Introduces New “DEAL” Tag in Local 3-Pack
Next time you search for hotels using Google it may tell you where you can find the best deal. There is now a new “DEAL” tag that shows up for hotel searches which will indicate where you can get the best value. The new DEAL tag appears in both the local 3-pack and in the Local Finder map results.
There are two types of deals:
- Hotels priced below their normal rate or below the rates of similar hotels nearby. You can see the price difference compared to the usual rate.
- Hotels where a partner is offering a discount compared to the current market price for that hotel. The savings amount is shown.
Google Introduces Paid Listings to the Local 3-Pack
Google’s local 3-pack is going to see yet another change in the near future, as it was announced at SMX Advanced this past week that paid listings may begin to show for certain searches, bringing the number of organic listings down to just 2.
What this means is that any business can become featured in the local pack just by paying for an ad. While that’s good news for advertisers, it could end up being bad news for local businesses who have worked hard to earn a spot in the 3-pack. When the ad unit is officially available it will become another AdWords extension available to local businesses who have their Google My Business listing linked up with their AdWords account.
Google Analytics to Alert You About Site Hacks
Google is expanding its security alerts in Google Analytics, now alerting site owners if their site has been hacked for spam. If your site has been hacked by a third party, Google Analytics will flag your domain immediately and point you toward the resources you need to help you resolve the issue.
Google indicated there has been a 180% rise in sites getting hacked for spam. The likelihood of hacked sites getting fixed if the site owner is contacted directly is over 75%, according to Google’s research. In addition to relying on Google Analytics notifications, the company recommends that you verify your site in Search Console, which has even more security features.
Live Stream From YouTube’s Mobile App
YouTube, once the undisputed leader in video on the web, is being outpaced by companies like Facebook and Twitter when it comes to live video. Well that’s about to change, as this past week at VidCon YouTube announced it will introduce live streaming to the company’s mobile app. YouTube currently offers a limited form of live streaming, which is only available to verified channels via the Creator Studio. Live streaming on YouTube’s mobile app makes the feature accessible to more people, and could lead to a wider variety of interesting content.
When the feature is fully rolled out, YouTube’s greatest challenge will be to convince Facebook and Periscope live streamers to migrate to YouTube. One competitive advantage YouTube has is that it already has established a loyal base of both creators and viewers. At first, the feature will be reserved for select YouTubers, but a wider release is expected to be coming in the future.
Wrapping it Up
Local search is undergoing a number of changes, Google is getting smarter when it comes to symptom searches, Google Analytics will now alert you if your site has been hacked, and YouTube is finally makes some strides in the live video space. If you have questions about any of this past week’s developments, please leave a comment and we will be sure to respond.