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.
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