This past week we learned a new Google penalty is on the way, the search giant has become more health-conscious, and it has launched a new Street View app which can help you show off your business.
Full details about each of these top stories in this week’s SEO news roundup.
Latest SEO News – Week Ending 9/4/2015
Google vs. App Install Ads
Google has announced that, as of November 1st, it will start to penalize websites that display app download interstitials. Those are the annoying little prompts you get from some websites that want you to download their mobile app.
The company feels that those ads aren’t good for the user experience because they can either hide a significant amount of site content, or in other cases prevent you from visiting the site on your phone altogether.
As of November 1st, sites with these ads will no longer be considered mobile-friendly by Google, and as a result will no longer show up in mobile searches.
This is the equivalent of being penalized since it will drastically reduce the amount of organic traffic the site gets from mobile searches.
Unless app downloads are more important to you than organic traffic, it’s a good idea to remove these ads from your site (if you use them) before November 1st.
Google Gets Health Conscious
Google is now able to provide instant information on over 900 health conditions.
These instant answer boxes show up when you search for a health condition, like “Legionnaires’ disease”. Searching for health conditions in Google will sometimes return an information snippet with all the need-to-know details.
This feature has been around for some time now, but Google recently doubled the amount of health conditions its able to provide instant information for.
In order to curate the most accurate information, Google worked with a team of medical doctors to create these instant answer boxes. In addition, the information has been reviewed by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy.
Health conditions in Google’s Knowledge Graph are still only available to english-speaking searchers in the US, but the company says it plans to expand the feature to more languages and regions in the future.
Promote Your Business With the New Street View App
For the first time ever, Google has launched an app dedicated to Street View. With the new app you can view 360-degree panoramas of an outdoor space or tour the inside of a hotel or restaurant.
This sounds fun to play around with, but it also has incredibly useful business applications. I’ll tell you about one you can use today which may also help you save money.
For some time Street View has been allowing searchers to view the interior of businesses. In order to get the interior of their business photographed for Street View, business owners have had to hire out this service to local contractors who specialize in Street View photography.
Not anymore! You can get a 360-degree photo of your business on Street View today using just the app. The app allows you to shoot and upload your own photos to a Google Maps listing — this includes regular photos as well as Panoramas.
Simply download the app, look up your business, and you’ll find an option to add photos. The Street View app is available to download today on both iPhone and Android devices.
Wrapping it Up
Google is about to bring the hammer down on sites with app install ads, the company is providing greater access to health information, and the new Street View app can help you promote your business for free.
I wonder how Street View photographers feel about the new app now that anyone with a smartphone can do their job. Oh well — their loss is your gain, so take advantage!