Google This Week: New Analytics, Algo Update, YouTube Shopping & More

by | Oct 16, 2020

Google This Week
16 min read

It’s been an absolutely jam-packed week at Google This Week with the introduction of the new Google Analytics and a potential algorithm update following some serious search volatility. There’s also a lot of updates coming to campaign manager and Display & Video 360. Plus big news out of Bloomberg with YouTube set to become a major shopping destination.

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

Mobile Indexing Issues Resolved, Google Still Working on Canonicalisation

For weeks now we have been reporting on Google’s indexing and canonicalisation issues. Google has just confirmed that they have effectively resolved the mobile indexing issue with about 99% of the URLs restored. However, they are still working on fixing the canonicalisation issues with around 55% of URLs restored.

Google Testing See Results that Mention Filter Box

Google is testing out a new search feature that lets you filter your search results by pages that also mention specific keywords. There appears a box to the right of the search page with words you can tick off. Google will then highlight those results on the page.

Google Testing See Results that Mention Filter Box


New Health & Safety Attributes for GMB

Last month we reported that Google My Business had introduced a bunch of new health and safety attributes. Now they’ve added additional attributes:

  • Safety dividers at checkout
  • Staff required to disinfect surfaces between visits

We assume there are more but we have not seen them yet. More are likely to roll out soon but Google has not confirmed this.

New Health & Safety Attributes for GMB


YouTube Added to Attribution Reports

Google has added YouTube to attribution reports so you can better understand the role video plays in your customer’s path to purchase. This feature is now in beta and eligible advertisers can opt-in within the Measurement > Attribution section of Google Ads.

You’ll be able to see YouTube ads in the Top Paths, Assisted Conversions and Path Metrics reports along with your Search and Shopping ads. Display ads will also be added to attribution reports in the coming months.

Data-driven Attribution Now Available to More Advertisers

Google’s recommended attribution model, data-driven attribution is now available to more advertisers. DDA is a model that uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign each ad interaction along the consumer journey.

This attribution model requires a certain volume of data to be precise but Google is lowering their data requirements for eligibility. Each conversion action in your Google Ads account with at least 3000 ad interactions and 300 conversions within 30 days will be eligible for DDA.

“This is possible due to ongoing improvements to the machine learning algorithms we use to train data-driven attribution models, so we can do more with less data without sacrificing precision.”

Conversion Lift Now Available for YouTube Ads

You already use Brand Lift and Search Lift to measure your YouTube ads and now Google is introducing Conversion Lift. It is now available in beta. Conversion Lift measures the impact of your YouTube ads on driving user actions, including website visits, sign ups, purchases and other types of conversions. You can now run Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift measurement on the same campaign.

YouTube to Become Major Shopping Destination

According to Bloomberg, Google plans to make YouTube a major shopping destination. YouTube recently started asking creators to tag and track products from their clips. The data will then be linked to Google analytics and other shopping tools.

According to “people familiar with the situation” the goal is to convert videos into a shopping catalogue of sorts where viewers can buy direct, without leaving YouTube. A YouTube spokesperson confirmed that these features are currently being tested. Google described this as an experiment and declined to share more details.

Google Podcast Manager Introduced

Google has unveiled a new tool for podcasters, Google Podcast Manager, which shows you impressions and clicks for Google Podcast results that appear in Search. You can also view top discovered episodes and search terms that lead listeners to your podcast. The tool essentially looks like the search performance report in Google Search Console, but for podcasts.

Google Podcast Manager Introduced


Reporting Updates Coming to DV360 in November

Google is updating reports in November for Campaign Manager and Display & Video 360, including updates to app reporting.

“We’re making improvements to how Campaign Manager reports impressions served on mobile app inventory. As a result, you may see a change in mobile app impressions (using the platform dimension) beginning the week of November 30.”

Other reporting updates in DV360 coming in November include the removal of the infrequently used insights tab and Audience Performance and Page Category report templates will be restricted to the last 93 days. Also, some metrics and dimensions will no longer be compatible in DV360 YouTube reports.

Something Brewing in the Googleland?

Something big seems to be brewing at Google. The Search results have been very unstable recently and there is no sign as yet of calming. At this point we do not know if it is a bug or an update. Have you noticed anything strange?

Something Brewing in the Googleland


Google Search Console Disables Request Indexing Feature

Google has disabled the “Request Indexing” feature of the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console. This is only temporary “in order to make some infrastructure changes.” Google said the feature should return in the coming weeks.

Introducing the New Google Analytics

Google has launched the new and improved Google Analytics.

“To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, we’re creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year. It has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data. The new Google Analytics will give you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next.”

Introducing the New Google Analytics


Here’s the breakdown.

  • The new Google Analytics can automatically alert you to trends in your data. It also calculates churn probability so can help you anticipate future actions your customer may take.
  • It has deeper integrations with Google products. For example, deeper integration with Google Ads enables you to create audiences to serve more meaningful ads to users.
  • It can also measure app and web interactions together, including conversions from YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web.
  • You’ll also be able to get a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle with a simplified and re-organised reporting. Now you can find marketing insights based on specific parts of the customer journey.
  • It also has a new approach to data controls so you can better manage how you collect, retain and use data. This includes more granular controls for ads personalisation so you can choose when to optimise your ads using your data and when to limit to measurement only.

“Because the technology landscape continues to evolve, the new Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future, will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete.”


A more complete understanding of how customers interact with your business


The new Google Analytics is now the default for new properties. You’re probably not going to want to make the switch right away so we suggest creating a new Google Analytics 4 property (previously called an App + Web property) so you can start collecting data while keeping your current implementation intact.

There’s also an Analytics 360 version currently in beta that will offer SLAs and advanced integrations with tools like BigQuery. More to share soon.

Google Unveils 2 New Tools for Journalists

Google has announced Journalist Studio, a suite of tools to help reporters. There are currently two new tools for reporters to use.

Pinpoint is a tool that helps news reporters go through hundreds of thousands of documents more easily by automatically identifying and organising the most frequently mentioned people, organisations and locations. Instead of repeatedly hitting “Ctrl+F” reporters to scan through PDFs, images, handwritten notes, email and audio files. It is available now by requesting access.

Google Unveils 2 New Tools for Journalists

The second tool is currently a beta preview of The Common Knowledge Project, a tool that allows journalists to visualise and share data. Reporters can create interactive charts from thousands of data points easily and embed them in their stories and social media. The data comes from Data Commons in the U.S.

Journalist Studio premieres with two new tools for reporters


Changes to Availability Enforcement on Free Standard Listings

Google is going to preemptively disapprove free standard listings for products marked out of stock in the product data in Merchant Center, but in stock on their respective landing pages.

To ensure your products aren’t preemptively disapproved, make sure your product data’s availability values accurately correspond with each product’s landing page. We recommend enabling automatic item updates in your Merchant Center account.

Visual Search Updates

Google announced updates to visual search as part of the Search On event, introducing new ways you can use Google Lens and AR to help you learn and shop.

From the search bar in the Google app you can use Lens to learn. For example, if your child is learning from home, you can use Lens to get help on a homework problem.

Visual Search Updates

You can also shop what you see with Google Lens. You can already search for a product by taking a photo or screenshot but now you can discover new products as you browse online. When you tap and hold an image on the Google app or Chrome on Android, Lens will find the exact or similar items.

Shop what you see with Google LensGoogle is also bringing the showroom to you. For example, if you’re in the market for a new car, you’ll soon be able to search for it and find an AR model.

Bring the showroom to you with AR


Google Using Duplex to Update Your Business Information

In 2018, Google introduced Duplex, its AI technology that uses natural conversation. Today, Google is using Duplex to call businesses to automatically update business listings on Search and Maps, modifying store hours and details like takeout and no-contact delivery.


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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