Weekly Search Roundup – 17th April 2020

Facebook introduces hours and services update for COVID-19 

Facebook has introduced changes that allow users to publish updates regarding hours and services on Facebook Pages, as well as marking themselves as “temporarily closed” similar to Google My Business. Businesses with Facebook Pages will also be able to pin posts to the top of their timelines to make sure important messages get across to customers. If you wish to make these changes to your Page, all you have to do is to simply go to Page Settings, click Page Info, and you should be able to see Temporary Service Changes. 

These updates and changes will appear on the following:

  • The business Page itself
  • Page previews
  • Search results
  • Curated lists of local resources on Facebook

In these times of crisis, social media can be a powerful communications tool, allowing businesses to update customers with changes that the business may be experiencing.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has experienced a significant increase in traffic – however, this isn’t reflected in ad revenue.

Source: https://marketingland.com/facebook-rolls-out-hours-and-services-update-for-covid-19-communications-278498

Bing has added new snippet controls to help sites control their search previews

Bing has recently announced that it will now support new snippet controls to help site owners and SEOs to manage how they appear in search results. These new controls work via robots meta tags in either HTML or X-Robots-Tag tags.

Below are the new controls that Bing has introduced:

  1. “max-snippet:[number]” — Allows you to specify the maximum text-length, in characters, of the snippet in the search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-snippet:400” />” For example, if you set the value = 0, Bing will not show a text snippet. But if you set the value = -1, then it does not specify a limit.
  2. “max-image-preview:[value]” — Allows you to specify the maximum size of an image preview in the search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-image-preview:large” />”  For example:

– If value = none, Bing will not show an image preview.

– If value = standard, Bing may show a standard size image.

– If value = large, Bing may show a standard or a large size image.

– If value is not none and not standard and not large, it does not specify a limit.

  1. “max-video-preview:[number]” — Allows you to specify the maximum number of seconds (integer) of a video preview in the search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-video-preview:-1” />” For example:

– If value = 0, Bing may show a static image of the video.

– If value = -1, it does not specify a limit.

These new snippet controls from Bing will be released in the next few weeks. However, the options that these controls can be used for will likely become available for web pages and news initially, then images and videos and so on. If you wish to read further into this, Bing has published more detailed information here.

Source: https://searchengineland.com/bing-adds-snippet-controls-to-help-sites-control-their-search-result-previews-332442

Google decides to postpone the Google Partners Program changes 

Google had previously announced that it would be making changes to how it deals with qualifying businesses and agencies to become a part of the Google Partners Program. Initially, these changes were meant to take place in June, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this has now been postponed until 2021. 

Google released the following statement regarding the Google Partners Program postponement:

 “We hope this change helps give you and your customers the time you need to adjust to the ongoing developments”

Also regarding new badges, agencies that don’t currently have one or a specialization in Search, Video, Display, or Shopping will still have time to earn one based on the criteria that still stands today until these changes are rolled out in 2021. Google introducing this pushback of the changes for the Google Partners Program has allowed businesses and agencies more time as they face many pressing challenges in the current financial climate. 

Source: https://searchengineland.com/google-postpones-google-partners-program-changes-slated-for-june-332468

Pinterest enhances the “Shop” ability for in-stock fashion and home decor items

Pinterest has been introducing new updates recently to make discovering products on the platform easier for users. One way Pinterest has done this is through adding new ways to find in-stock products. For example, a new “Shop” tab has been introduced to the app that allows users to find products more easily, as well as including new price and brand filters to make the overall shopping experience for users more seamless. The visual search side of Pinterest has now been integrated directly to the shoppable pins that allows users to find similar products from retailers quicker. Pinterest has recently been prioritising the commerce side of the platform, which has led to an increase of 2.5x of shoppable products pins in the last year leading to a 2.3x rise in traffic for retailers using Pinterest as one of their social channels.

Source: https://searchengineland.com/pinterest-boosts-ability-to-shop-for-in-stock-home-decor-and-fashion-products-332408

Google introduces COVID-19 and Telehealth links on GMB for healthcare providers

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Google has been actively rolling out new changes and updates to help businesses prepare for the uncertainty. In a recent update, Google has focused on the healthcare industry, introducing two new links to the Google My Business platform. One of these new profile links is a new COVID-19 information link that takes users directly to the information relevant to this virus, allowing users to access updates and changes caused by the Coronavirus. Another one of the links is a new telemedicine custom category that can be added to your Google My Business listing – however, whether this will be a permanent category option after the pandemic has passed is still unclear.

Source: https://searchengineland.com/google-introduces-new-covid-19-and-telehealth-gmb-links-for-healthcare-providers-332401

Jamie Beatty

Jamie Beatty

Jamie has over 3 years’ experience working in the digital marketing industry. After completing his A Levels in 2016, he headed straight into an apprenticeship focusing on marketing for an e-commerce business. After this he decided to move into an agency environment working on a variety of SEO clients.

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