Google Changes, Updates & New Products in 2018
With Google making changes to its algorithm daily and releasing a steady stream of updates and enhancements to its dozens of products and services, it’s virtually impossible to keep up with everything the search giant is doing. Here’s a snapshot of some of the most important updates from Google so far this year.
- Google stops showing review extensions in AdWords ads.
- Google begins letting business owners upload videos to Google My Business profiles for customers to view.
- Google makes the new version of Google Search Console, which includes 16 months of traffic data and other updates, available to everyone.
- Google begins blocking annoying or intrusive ads on its Chrome browser.
- Google launches new mobile Speed Scorecard and Impact Calculator to enable websites to measure and improve the mobile user experience.
- Google removes View Image button and Search by Image feature as a result of complaints by Getty Images.
- Google launches "multifaceted featured snippets” for less straightforward queries that might require expanded answers.
- Google launches AMP Stories mobile content format.
- Google begins rolling out mobile-first indexing.
- Google adds business descriptions to local business listings in Google My Business.
- Google launches Subscribe with Google to allow Google News users to sign up for access to premium content.
- Google launches Shopping Actions, a unified online shopping solution that works on Google Assistant, Google Express, and Google Search and includes a universal shopping cart, shopping list, and checkout.
- Google now lets businesses designate themselves as a “women-led” business with an icon in Google Maps and local search listings.
- Google rolls out new image search design for mobile, including captions on images and the URL of the image.
- Google begins removing expired job listings from its job postings.
- Google rolls out More Results search button on mobile.
- Google launches new Google My Business features including a new API, a new agency dashboard, and a new Partners program.
- After increasing the meta descriptions to 300+ characters in late 2017, Google changed its mind and shortened it to around 160 characters, though a Google exec claimed there is “no fixed length.”
- Google announces new verification policies for election and political ads.
- Google launches updated Google News app.
- Google begins sending email notifications to customers when businesses respond to their reviews.
- Google announces new initiatives to combat scammers who call small businesses claiming they are from Google.
- Google adds the ability to upload videos to Google Posts.
- Google begins testing responsive search ads that can show up to three headlines and up to two 90-character description fields. Users can provide up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for a single ad.
- Google removes anonymous reviews from Google My Business.
- Google eliminates AdWords and DoubleClick brands and replaces them with Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager.
- Google adds URL inspection tool to Search Console.
- Google launches Smart Campaigns advertising solution for small businesses.
- Google adds two new Google Posts categories—offers and products. Previously there were only two types of posts available—what’s new and events.
- Google Chrome begins showing a “not secure” warning for websites that do not use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
- Google begins using website speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches.
- Google adds Call Now button to Google Posts.
- Google introduces new Cross Device features in Google Analytics
- Google announces it will roll out a new refer URL for Google Images—https://images.google.com—that will enable better tracking of image search.
- Google releases Medic update, says the “fix” is to “have great content.”
- Google makes changes to user management and rights in Google Search Console to enable a fuller picture of users who visit websites using multiple devices.
- Google Chrome turns 10 years old, and Google releases a major upgrade.
- Google broadens "close variants" for exact match keyword searches to include keywords with the same meaning.
- Google launches two new ad formats for online retailers: Showcase Shopping ads with video and Shoppable Image ads.
- Google rolls out new image search design for desktop, including captions on images, the URL of the image, and an "image credits" link that includes rights-related metadata for Google Images.
- Google adds Commute tab to Google Maps to give commuters access to real-time traffic and transit information, as well as alternative routes to avoid accidents and traffic jams.
- Google announces it will shut down Google+ for consumers by the end of August 2019 due to low usage and engagement.
- Google lets users follow businesses from within Google Maps.
- Google launches new version of Google My Business app, which lets business owners exchange messages with customers, view and respond to reviews, and see who is following their business in the new "Customers" tab.
- Google adds the ability to exchange direct messages with businesses from within the Google Maps app.
- Google launches a new set of ready-to-share social post visuals on its Small Thanks with Google website, which offers free marketing materials for small businesses. The new styles let businesses showcase customer reviews and information about their businesses.
Updated 11/20/2018. Bookmark this page for ongoing updates!