Google This Week: Google Ads Credit Starts Rolling Out, New Content and More

by | May 29, 2020

Google Search and Tool Updates
13 min read

It’s been a huge week at Google with loads of announcements and new features, including the roll out of Google Ads credits to eligible small to medium businesses. Google is also putting out a lot of new content with a new podcast, video series and 3 day event. ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.

Free Google Translate for Eligible Websites

The Google Translate widget is now free again for certain websites. Google had withdrawn support for the plugin which gave users a way to translate web pages into 100+ languages for free. Google has decided to support the widget again for certain sites. It is limited to government, non-profit and/or non-commercial websites primarily focussed on the COVID-19 response.

“In this time of a global pandemic, webmasters across the world—from government officials to health organizations—are frequently updating their websites with the latest information meant to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and provide access to resources.

However, they often lack the time or funding to translate this content into multiple languages, which can prevent valuable information from reaching a diverse set of readers.”

Free Google Translate for Eligible WebsitesSource: Search Engine Journal

New Podcast from Google Search Relations team

Search Off The Record is a new podcast from the Google Search Relations team, including John Mueller, Gary Illyes and Martin Splitt. This is in addition to the YouTube channel. It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun but I don’t expect to hear too many Google secrets. Google said it will cover trending topics in SEO, Search Console features, fun stories and more.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable


The Update on Think with Google

The Update is a new video series on Think with Google. Google will be sharing insights and the latest perspectives from industry experts as well as innovations from Google’s product leaders, including Jerry Dischler, VP, Ads Platforms and Google Properties, Vidhya Srinivasan, VP, Measurement & Analytics, Jason Spero, VP, Global Performance & Programmatic and more. Google will also be talking to leading influencers and marketers to hear their stories on how they have helped their businesses adapt.


Predefined Search Queries in App + Web Properties

Get instant insights in Google Analytics. Click on the new predefined search queries to get instant insights about your Google Analytics data. Google Analytics Search lets you ask questions about your Analytics data in natural language, and get quick answers.

Predefined Search Queries in App plus Web PropertiesSource: Google


Geo-based Ads Personalisation Controls in App + Web Properties

Google Analytics App + Web now features a geo-based property-level control giving users the option to disable ads personalisation based on global regions and/or US states. Google is giving customers more control with these advanced advertising personalisation settings to comply with regional and/or state specific laws and regulations, including CCPA and GDPR.

Source: Google


Seasonality Adjustments in Auction Time Bidding in Search Ads 360

You can now create a seasonality adjustment to improve bid optimisation during events in Search Ads 360. If you expect your conversion rates to change significantly during a short sale or promotional period, use seasonality adjustments to instruct your ROI bid strategies to make specific adjustments to bids during the promotion. Seasonality adjustments only impact bid strategies with conversion and revenue goals, not strategies with a position or clicks goal.

Source: Google


Google Announce Digital Conference

Google is planning a live digital event for developers over 3 days, starting June 30, where they can hear about the latest, most helpful updates to the platform. Google’s Live conference appears free to attend.

“These are unprecedented times, with people worldwide looking to stay connected and informed. The Web plays a special role here, and we’re proud to see how the community has stepped up.

Join Google’s Web Platform team, from the comfort of your homes, to celebrate our community’s actions, learn modern web techniques and connect with each other.”

Each day of the event will be held in a different timezone. Each day event only lasts 3 hours and there are dozens of 10-20 minute sessions including Q&A.

Source: Search Engine Journal


New Google Ads Retail Category Reporting

You can now better understand and optimise ad performance across campaign types. The new Google Ads retail category reporting allows users to view product category performance across their Search and Shopping campaigns. See performance based on predefined product categories on labels Google “uses to categorize the words that people search for on Google.”

New Google Ads Retail Category Reporting

To start, create a new custom table report in the Reports tab in Google Ads. The quickest way to analyse your retail performance is to simply enter “retail” in the search bar in the report builder.

Source: Search Engine Land


New Zealand First to Get Google Ads Credits

The highly anticipated Google Ads credits for SMBs have begun rolling out, starting in New Zealand. Google is beginning the first phase of it’s rollout to provide $340 million in Google Ads credits for eligible small and medium-sized businesses.

Starting in New Zealand, advertisers that qualify will be notified and see credit appear in their Google Ads accounts for future use. The amount of credits will vary by advertiser, based on historical spend, up to a maximum of $1,000 US dollars (or the equivalent in the account’s currency). Eligible advertisers will receive one credit to be used before December 31.

The credits are intended to support existing advertisers affected by COVID-19. To be eligible you must have run Google Ads campaigns in 10 months in 2019 and in either January or February this year. Why is Google starting the rollout in New Zealand? We don’t know but we suspect Google may be starting with countries opening back up.

Source: Search Engine Land


Google Continues to Have Indexing Issues

This week Google was experiencing problems indexing new content. Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Roundtable received reports on Thursday that Google was not indexing properly. After doing several site commands restricted by hour on sites like the Wall Street Journal and CNN, Schwartz found that indeed Google was not showing fresh content.

This is a recurring issue with Google. We also saw this same problem last month with no comment from Google. It was also spotted several times last year.


Swipe Up for More Traffic

Last year Google Image Search added a swipe up feature to load the web page where the image is hosted. On Wednesday, Google’s Malte Ubl said the feature has proven to be great for site owners, leading to better click through rates from Google Image Search and more traffic to your site.

Have you seen your image search traffic increase since this feature was introduced? If you’re interested in using this feature to see your traffic increase, get in touch for advice on how to use it.

Swipe Up for More TrafficSource: Search Engine Roundtable


Google to No Longer Require AMP for Top Stories

Google will no longer require AMP for the Top Stories section. This week Google announced a new Page Experience Update which means AMP will no longer be required for the Top Stories section in Google search.

The update won’t happen until sometime in 2021 however, but it’s important to note that page experience is still a crucial factor going forward. In 2016, Google announced that only AMP pages could show up in the Google mobile version of Top Stories. Google wrote,

“when we roll out the page experience ranking update, we will also update the eligibility criteria for the Top Stories experience. AMP will no longer be necessary for stories to be featured in Top Stories on mobile; it will be open to any page.”

They also stated that “alongside this change, page experience will become a ranking factor in Top Stories, in addition to the many factors assessed. As before, pages must meet the Google News content policies to be eligible. Site owners who currently publish pages as AMP, or with an AMP version, will see no change in behavior – the AMP version will be what’s linked from Top Stories.”

Source: Search Engine Land


Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?

Check back in next week for the latest from Google This Week.


Paul Hewett

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