Weekly Search Roundup – 27th March 2020

Google has now removed right sidebar featured snippets

Google has begun to migrate the featured snippet sidebar into the main search results, which is all part of the plan announced in January to crack down on deduplication for featured snippets. If you currently hold the position for a right sidebar featured snippet, the changes mean your URL will only appear once on the main search results. Also, it’s important to monitor the impact of this through Google Analytics and Search Console.

Source: https://searchengineland.com/googles-right-sidebar-featured-snippets-are-no-more-331133

Google My Business has not been working as expected since the COVID-19 pandemic has begun

Over the past few days, we have seen Google starting to reduce some of the features that GMB allows you to do. For example, local reviews have now been disabled, as well as the ability to post review responses. However, due to the number of delays relating to the current COVID-19 crisis (which is limiting the overall functionality of GMB), Google is temporarily allowing some exceptions regarding their guidelines. For example, if you are a restaurant owner and you want to notify customers that you are offering a delivery service, Google is allowing this to be added to your business name as Posts are not currently working. This is very important as many businesses are relying on Google My Business to get updates and messages across to customers. However, changing working hours and other parts of their listings are proving difficult. This is due to Google operating with fewer employees so approving changes and rolling out updates is taking a lot longer than normal.

Source: https://searchengineland.com/google-my-business-not-functioning-as-expected-under-the-strain-of-coronavirus-331269

Social platforms begin to reduce streaming quality as the Coronavirus pandemic continues

Currently, the decision to reduce streaming quality has only been enforced in Europe. However, it looks like the United States will soon have to follow the same steps, which could affect advertisers worldwide. Social giants Facebook and Instagram have announced a temporary reduction in video streaming quality to ease the pressure on the network, but so far Instagram has only rolled out these changes to countries within the EU where this is mandatory. YouTube has also announced it will be putting in similar measures where streaming quality will be cut globally for a total of one month. However, for EU countries, when users want to watch videos on the platform the default resolution will no longer be high-resolution, so if you want to change this it will have to be done manually.

While the Coronavirus crisis is still an issue for many countries around the globe, many businesses rely on high-quality video campaigns that may need to reconsider their current marketing strategy as they will likely see a dip in their ad performance. Many other media companies that provide popular services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Now TV are all reducing the streaming quality in an effort to keep them running with the surge in traffic over the past few weeks. 

Source: https://marketingland.com/social-platforms-cut-streaming-quality-as-social-distancing-wages-on-278226

Bing launches a new portal for URL & content submissions

Bing has released a new portal to be used by SEOs, site owners, and web developers that allows the indexing of APIs and content submission API. The new portal from Bing can be accessed here – https://www.bing.com/webmasters/url-submission-api

One feature of the portal is indexing APIs, which is a solution websites can use to inform Bing whenever content on your site has been updated or created. This means crawling, indexing and discovery of your new or updated content can happen a lot more quickly. Another feature of the portal is content submission API, which allows websites to send content to Bing whenever it has been updated or created without having to wait for it to be crawled. The two APIs – that can be used in the new portal – will aid in displaying content and URLs quicker in search results. Bing is prioritising this new tool as it requires fewer resources than other standard crawling methods used across the industry. 

Source: https://searchengineland.com/bing-launches-new-portal-for-url-and-content-submission-apis-331131

Google Podcasts receives a new redesign and has been rolled out to iOS

Google Podcasts has finally received a new redesign that includes a new Explore tab, featuring suggestions based on user listening habits. Also, as well as a new redesign, Google Podcasts has now been rolled out on iOS, which can be downloaded through the App Store onto any iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Another new feature is subscriptions to its users who use the web version of the app, as this now allows you to switch between listening to your mobile device to your desktop a lot more easily. With the new and improved Google Podcasts, Google hopes to provide a significantly larger amount of resources for users and content creators, and as this platform continues to grow, it will be even more essential to focus on search to enhance their online presence.

Source: https://marketingland.com/google-podcasts-gets-a-redesign-and-ios-rollout-278213

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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