Our latest roundup of all the Google updates you need to know about.
1. AMP Carousel Ads have expanded
Nope, we’re not referring to the AMP carousel ads for mobile search results—that’s old news. These new AMP carousel ads are an expansion of stories from a single publisher, ahem, referred to as “single-source carousels” a la SearchEngineLand.
This latest batch made its quiet debut at the end of 2016; not a peep from Google. They show related stories from a publisher, which can appear in conjunction with the news reel.
2. Goodbye, creating Standard Yext Ads (January 31)
It’s been a long time coming, but you still may appreciate a reminder: January 31 marks the last day you can create standard text ads. After January 31, you can still use existing standard ads, but you will no longer have the ability to create and edit.
3. Google chopped more than 1.7 million bad ads last year
We can all celebrate a lot less junk on the web these days. In fact, Google pulls together a ‘bad ads‘ report every year for this purpose. But what’s interesting about 2016 is that “Google says it took down more than double the number of ads in 2016 that it did in 2015 by removing 1.7 billion ads, compared to the 780 million removed in 2015.” Yowza—1.7 billion ads!
This means ads for illegal products (we’re talking about you, gambling!), ads concealing tricky malware and those pesky payday loan ads have all bit the dust.
4. New look for Local Inventory ads is being tested
Google is cranking out monetization strategies for local queries run on mobile devices. A smart move, since local searches are growing 50 percent faster than regular mobile searches!
The latest: a test for local inventory ads (LIA) that “that looks like a shopping ad-ification of the Local Pack. . . the result shows a map with a couple of LIAs below it where local pack results would typically show.”
5. It’s going to be easier to manage photos in Google My Business
Google will be introducing a brand spanking new UI to help business owners cut out the hassle of managing photos for their Google Maps listing. Categories are getting the boot; they’re being replaced with tags. Plus, there will be a new way to post your cover photo and logo.
It’s actively being rolled out slowly, so keep an eye out for your updated interface!