Our latest roundup of all the Google updates you need to know about.
1. Meet Google’s Search Live Coverage Carousel
Breaking news just got faster. Google just announced a pilot of its “Search Live Coverage Carousel,” a new tool that allows publishers to share content in real-time. Updates regarding election coverage, live sports, and breaking news can all be shared instantly. Rather than waiting for a typical website crawl, live content can quickly cut through the Web to be shown far more quickly.
Here’s what content on Google’s Search Live Coverage Carousel would look like:
For now, the pilot is just open to select publishers.
2. AdWords Merchant Center gets an update
Google’s Merchant Center, the portal that retailers use to showcase product information, allowing shoppers to quickly find products on Google, YouTube and other sites, just got a facelift. Google says the functionality will be what retailers are familiar with today, but now they can enjoy a redesigned and streamlined navigation, and access to brand new shopping programs.
User interface update highlights include a newly designed and responsive interface that matches the rest of Google’s product branding, and an updated navigation that puts similar tasks and functions together. In addition to a good UI polish, Google did make some updates to some features, including:
- Customizable feed: Google updated its Feed Rules so you can easily update values of color attributes, create net new values, and populate values.
- Almost real-time diagnostics: Feed uploads and product updates will be updated and displayed in near real-time (versus twice a day).
- Local currency conversions: This features allows you to advertise your products to users, anywhere, with your regular ‘ole landing pages and website. Your product’s data will update currency to match local currency. Check it out.
3. You may experience a new AdWords UI
If you’ve logged into your AdWords recently and thought you were on the wrong site, you’re not alone. If you recall, in March Google said it was updating AdWords’ UI after more than 15 years. The shiny new interface is now steadily hitting all users. While you may be shocked to see the radical changes, remember, the changes are purely in the looks department; the core functionality is still the same.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, sit back and relax. Google said the new AdWords product rollout will go into 2017.
4. Google AdWords continues to restrict use of Keyword Planner
It’s tough times for users of Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool. That is, if you don’t have an active AdWords campaign.
Here’s what some users are reporting: Rather than detailed search volumes, Google is showing a mere range, along with the not-so-subtle prompt, “This page shows ranges for search volumes. For a more detailed view, set up and run a campaign.”
Yikes. This is a big hit to SEOs who rely on the Keyword Planner for detailed research, though, there has been some talk about bringing a keyword tool to the Google Search console.
5. Google AdWords to launch Null Quality Scores in September
Starting September 12, Google AdWords will report null Quality Scores for keywords that have no click or impression data. Right now, AdWords gives results like this a Quality Score of 6, a default score. But come September 12, you’ll see dashes instead.
Take note: if you currently have a filter in place for Quality Score data, null Scores will be automatically excluded going forward. Don’t like? Just click the check box option to include null scores again.