Search is a fast moving industry. Unless you follow Google’s actions on a routine basis, you’re likely to miss something. Even for those of us who follow what the company is doing from day to day, it’s difficult to absorb everything.
It helps to take a moment and look back at the search giant’s recent actions to keep your Google knowledge as up-to-date as possible. To assist you, we have compiled a collection of significant changes Google has made to organic search over the past few months.
Here’s a look back at recent changes to Google organic search.
Changes to Google Image Search Results
Google has been implementing more changes to image search than anything else as of late. Some of the new features are designed to help people find the exact images they need, while other changes only affect searches in niche categories. Here’s a recap of the recent changes to Google image search.
- Image Search Filters: Conducting an image search on a mobile web browser will now return a set of filters to help you narrow your search down even further.
- Similar Items Suggestions: Now when you search for images of clothing and accessories, clicking on a search result will show you similar looking items to the one you selected.
- Style Ideas: Suggestions for style ideas have also been added to fashion search results. After searching for clothing or accessories, clicking on a search result will give you some style ideas for how the item can be worn.
Changes to Google Local Search Results
It’s worth noting that Google has made a minor change to its local search results. When conducting a search in a foreign country, Google will now automatically translate reviews to the language you have set on your device. This should be helpful for all the travelers out there who rely on Google for recommendations.
Changes to Search Results for Events
Google has become even more efficient at helping you find things to do. Now you can type in a command like “events near me” to see a carousel of events happening in your area. You can get even more specific with searches such as “conferences near me,” or whichever type of event you may be looking for. When Google returns the search results you’ll be able to filter them by time frame, so you can find something to do today, tomorrow, next week, etc.
Changes to Search Results for Blogs
Google now has a feature in organic search specifically designed for blogs. Two new features in fact, both of which were rolled out at the same time. Entering a query like “marketing blogs” will now return either a carousel or a rich list at the top of the search results pages. This is helpful for those looking to discover new blogs in a particular category, and a potential traffic driver for the blogs that end up ranking in either the carousels or rich lists.
Changes to Google Shopping Search Results
E-commerce stores have long had the ability to stand out in search results via Google’s old ‘Trusted Stores’ program. Google retired the program over a month ago, and introduced a new program to replace it called ‘Google Customer Reviews’. Google Customer Reviews are different from Google’s local reviews because they can only be left after making a verified purchase.
After enabling Google Customer Reviews, which you can learn more about here, customers who opt-in will be sent surveys about their buying experience. Customers will be able to leave a star rating out of 5, which will be used to build the Google Customer Reviews score.
A store’s Google Customer Reviews score will show up in Google Shopping search results. Store owners will also have the option to add a badge to their website to show off their review score, which can be customized in a variety of ways.
Google Continues to Fight Fake News
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the battle Google has had with fighting fake news over the past few months. Without getting too specific, Google has been receiving much criticism as of late for returning offensive and inaccurate search results. The battle is still ongoing, but Google has recently made some significant efforts toward improving the quality of its search results. Here’s a look back at what the search giant has done about the fake news problem.
Fact Check Label in Search Results
Google made headlines in the beginning of April when the company announced it will be bringing the ‘Fact Check’ label to organic search results. Not only that, but it rolled out the Fact Check label worldwide. Previously, the Fact Check label was only used in Google News search results in the US.
In addition to noting the piece of content has been fact checked, Google’s new snippet displays the specific fact that was verified and who made the claim. ‘Fact Check’ denotes that the content has met a strict set of criteria. First of all, Fact Check snippets will only be displayed for content from sources which Google has algorithmically determined is a credible source. Secondly, the content has to be marked up with the Schema.org ClaimReview markup, which you can learn more about here.
While this is a good measure for helping people find more accurate news stories, it doesn’t necessarily do anything to keep fake news out of search results. That’s where Google’s next action comes in.
Google Changes Ranking Signals to Demote Fake News
Several weeks later, at the end of April, Google announced it would be making adjustments to its ranking signals in an effort to demote fake news. It’s too early to tell how successful that effort will be, but at least it shows Google is committed to keeping fake news out of search results.
Now you’re caught up with the most recent changes to Google. To help keep yourself consistently updated with all that’s going on in the world of search, please stay tuned for our weekly roundup articles.