This week Google introduced several efforts to help site owners drive business with updates across organic search, paid search, and e-commerce.
Every week Google employees drop pearls of wisdom, whether it be on Twitter or Google Webmaster Hangouts. We’ll recap the most important pieces of new information stated by Googlers this week.
Lastly, we’ll finish off this week’s article with some Halloween and search-related fun.
More details about each of these stories are included in this week’s SEO and SEM news roundup.
Direct Bookings on Google My Business
Google is in the process of rolling out a feature for Google My Business pages that will allow customers to make direct bookings with the click of a button.
The whole process is said to take under a minute for the customer, with a simple set-up process for the page owner. In fact, you may already have the new “Book Online” button without even realizing it.
If you have an account with any of the following booking providers, then you’re already set up to take bookings through Google My Business:
- Full Slate
- Supersalon software
If you don’t have an account with any of the above booking providers then all you have to do is sign up, and you should see the “Book Online” button within days.
Google AdWords: How Long Should it Take an Ad to Convert?
Google has introduced a new data segment in AdWords called ‘days to conversion,’ which can be applied to any campaign or ad group.
This new data segment estimates how many days it may take a customer to convert after clicking on an ad. ‘Days to conversion’ emphasizes the fact that just because an ad click didn’t lead to an immediate conversion, it may still lead to an eventual conversion.
AdWords advertisers will now have an idea of what is a reasonable length of time to wait before seeing conversions from a specific ad or ad group. With this insight, advertisers can make more informed decisions about how to optimize their campaigns.
Google AdWords Introduces Parallel Tracking
Google AdWords has rolled out support for a new feature called parallel tracking. Don’t worry, it sounds a lot more technical than it actually is.
Often, when clicking on a Google ad, it’s quite obvious you’re being redirected to a tracking URL before eventually reaching the landing page.
When using parallel tracking, anyone who clicks on the ad will go directly to a landing page. The browser will send tracking information to AdWords in the background.
This creates a more seamless experience for the user without sacrificing any valuable data for AdWords advertisers.
Google will default to parallel tracking by early 2018, so if you’re using a third party tracker you should ensure they support it as well.
Pay on Your Android Device With Google Payment
Google now has an online payment solution for Android devices that is similar to Apple Pay on iPhones. Simply called Google Payment, the new service allows users to pay with any card in their Google account including credit and debit cards.
Google Payment allows users to speed past checkouts by instantly providing both payment and shipping information. The service can be used when ordering items within an app or the Chrome browser.
If your app or online store accepts payments through any of the following payment providers, then you’re ready to start using Google Payment:
Google has plans to add more payment providers in the future.
What Did Google Employees Say This Week?
Important information from Google does not always come in the form of an official announcement. Often it comes from Twitter, or Google’s live Webmaster Hangouts on Google+. Here is a recap of the important bits of information stated by Google employees this week.
Avoid Moving Image URLs
When it comes to images, Google’s John Mueller recommends hosting them on URLs you can control. In addition, he also recommends that site owners avoid changing the URLs too often. This is because Google does not crawl images as frequently as other web content, so if you change the URL of an image it could take weeks for Google to notice.
Using images with URLs you can control, as opposed to linking to images on another site, will ensure the image will never move to another URL or get deleted without your discretion. Using your own images is key to showing up in image search as well.
Google Search Console’s ‘Links to Your Site’ Report is Not Real-Time
Google Search Console is one of the best free tools Google offers, but it’s not a perfect solution for everything. For example, if you want a real-time report of links pointing to your site, you should look elsewhere.
Google’s John Mueller stated on Twitter this week that the ‘Links to Your Site’ report in Google Search Console is not a real-time monitor of links. Rather, it’s meant to show a relevant sample of inbound links.
SEOs who are looking for more up-to-date information regarding their inbound links would be better off looking at a paid tool like Ahrefs.
It May Take Several Months to See Ranking Changes After Improving Content Quality
High quality content is a positive ranking signal, but improving the quality of content on your site will not lead to ranking success overnight. Google’s John Mueller emphasized to site owners this week that seeing ranking changes after improving content quality is a long-term process.
Before Google can reassess the overall quality of content on a site, it has to be reprocessed first:
”In general we try to recognize the quality of the content overall and recognizing bigger changes in the quality of your content means we have to reprocess everything first. Which means some pieces of content will be reprocessed fairly quickly and others take quite a bit of time.”
It could take months, or even longer, for content to be re-understood by Google’s crawlers and ranked differently.
”This is something that is a longer period of time – a longer term thing that will probably take several months for everything to be reprocessed and everything to be re-understood. And sometimes that can take even longer.”
So don’t get discouraged if you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into writing better content over the past couple of months. Give it more time for Google to reprocess and reassess your content.
Halloween in Search: Top Costume Searches in Google
Looking for some keywords to capitalize on during the spookiest season of the year? Google has released the top 10 most searched costumes for 2017.
Are you or your child dressing up as any of these this year?
- Wonder Woman
- Harley Quinn
Film characters are said to count for a fifth of costume searches, animals account for 12%, and comic book characters account for 11%.
If you’d like to dive deeper into this information, check out Google’s Frightgeist page. Here you can find out which costumes are trending, why they’re trending, and in which cities they’re most searched for.
Wrapping it Up
- Businesses can take direct bookings through Google My Business
- Google AdWords has a new ‘days to conversion’ metric
- Parallel tracking in AdWords will send visitors directly to your landing page
- Google has a new service to help people make faster online payments with their Android device
- Moving image URLs should be avoided
- Search Console’s ‘links to your site’ report is not real-time
- It could take months to see ranking changes after publishing higher quality content
- Film characters are dominating the Halloween costume searches this year