Google This Week: Gmail Ads Absorbed, Aussie News Blocked & More

by | Jan 22, 2021

Google This Week
6 min read

While there hasn’t been a lot of news at Google this week, there has been some big news with Google blocking Australian news from Search. Gmail Ads are also being rolled into Discovery Campaigns and there are now more crawls included in the Google Crawl Stats report.

ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.

Google Blocks Australian News from Search

Google has reportedly admitted to blocking Australian news sites from search results following the proposed Australian law to make digital platforms pay for news.

The Sydney Morning Herald, one of the affected news sites says Google has admitted to removing content as part of an “experiment”. A Google spokesperson said:

“We’re currently running a few experiments that will each reach about 1 percent of Google Search users in Australia to measure the impacts of news businesses and Google Search on each other.”

The experiment is expected to run until early next month.

Issue Validation Tool in Google Search Console Fixed

A few weeks ago we reported that the issue validation in Google Search Console was temporarily disabled due to upcoming changes in the report. This tool is now fixed since the new coverage report took effect.

Issue Validation Tool in Google Search Console Fixed

Google Tests Expandable Accordion Carousels in Search

Google appears to be testing a way to expand a specific news section in the web results to show a carousel of related news stories.  Nicholas McDonough first spotted the feature and shared on Twitter. You can click on the diagonal arrows to trigger the action.

Google Tests Expandable Accordion Carousels in Search


Gmail Ads Rolled Into Discovery Campaigns

Standalone Gmail ads will disappear on July 1st. This targeting type will be absorbed into Discovery campaigns, with no option to target them separately. Google issued an email to advertisers using standalone Gmail campaigns.

“To help simplify the Google Ads experience, standalone Gmail campaigns will become “read only” starting July 1, 2021. You will not be able to create new or edit existing standalone Gmail campaigns or Gmail ads after this date.”

You will be able to recreate your current setups in the Discovery campaign type, however.

Gmail Ads Rolled Into Discovery Campaigns

More Crawls in Google Crawl Stats Report

Google posted an update on its new crawl stats report saying “the crawl stats report has increased its reporting coverage for additional types of crawls.” Meaning you may see an increase in the number of crawls reported for your site. However, this is just a reporting change and there is no change in Google Search. Google said:

“You may see a jump in the number of crawls reported for your site. This does not reflect additional crawling of your site, only improved reporting.”

More Crawls in Google Crawl Stats Report

Warnings in Google Merchant Center for Missing Energy Efficiency Class

It is required by law to display energy efficiency class information with applicable products in the European Union and Switzerland. To comply, Google will begin showing “Missing potentially required value” warnings when the energy_efficiency_class attribute is missing.

If the attribute is omitted, your products may be legally non-compliant. To resolve the issue, you’ll need to provide the missing attribute or verify that your product is compliant without.

Google Local Review Summaries Grouped by Place Topics

Google appears to be testing grouping local review summaries by Place Topics. Place Topics are an experimental feature launched in 2019 to help potential customers “find the main themes of your business through Place Topics. These main themes are based on the reviews of your business.”

Google Local Review Summaries Grouped by Place TopicsMike Blumenthal first spotted this and also noticed that Google is now including 3rd party review summary cards above the Google Review Summaries.


Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?

Check back next Friday for the latest from Google This Week.

Paul Hewett

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