Google This Week: YouTube Shopping, Algorithm Update & More

by | Feb 19, 2021

Google This Week
9 min read

Some interesting news out of Google This Week as Google responds to the Facebook news ban in Australia, stating publishers choose to appear in Search. There also appears to be another algorithm update and lots of news out of YouTube with YouTube Shopping on the way. There’s also news from Google Ads with Responsive Search Ads now set as default and Display Ads added to Attribution Reports.

ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This

Google My Business Messaging Now on Desktop

Google My Business has added messaging to desktop. Businesses can now message customers on desktop with Google My Business, not just the mobile app. This feature is not fully live yet but it has already begun to roll out so you may see it already.

Businesses can now message customers on desktop with GMB

Deadline for Parallel Tracking for Video Campaigns

Google is encouraging users to adopt parallel tracking for Video campaigns before the deadline on April 30, 2021. Parallel tracking improves site speed by bringing users to your landing page while measurement happens in the background.

Another Algorithm Update Already?

There are some early signs of another Google Search ranking algorithm update. There’s chatter in the SEO community and some of the tracking tools are showing significant fluctuations, including SEMRush showing “very high” fluctuations.

Another Algorithm Update Already?

The last unconfirmed update we reported on was just last week around February 8 and then Google confirmed rolling out the passage ranking update in the US on the 10th. This update appears to be new and unrelated.

Browse Restaurants by Filters

Google Local is showing a browse by filter for restaurants so you can browse by type. It’s similar to Google’s browse by photos filter however this enables you to browse by takeout, delivery, pizza, Italian and other categories. We can replicate this but to be fair we’re not sure how new this feature is.

Browse Restaurants by Filters

See Other Channels Your Audience Watches on YouTube

YouTube Analytics is now allowing creators to see what other channels their audience watches. You can find out what other channels your watchers watch in the analytics section of YouTube Studio on desktop. You’ll see a new card that shows other channels watched by your audience consistently over the past 28 days.

See Other Channels Your Audience Watches on YouTube

Google Says Aussie Publishers Choose to Appear in Search

Yesterday, Facebook banned Australians from sharing and viewing news on the platform. In the ongoing story around the news media bargaining code, Facebook stated why Google may decide to take a different tact.

“The answer is because our platforms have fundamentally different relationships with news. Google Search is inextricably intertwined with news and publishers do not voluntarily provide their content.”

Danny Sullivan, the Public Search Liaison at Google wrote on Twitter to clear up the point “Publishers do not voluntarily provide their content. Publishers *do* choose to appear or not in Google Search & Google News.” And went on to link to how publishers can block Google from accessing their site.


YouTube Shopping on the Way

Last year we reported on a Bloomberg article that YouTube was planning on building out a suite of monetisation opportunities through an integrated shopping experience. Now it’s official. YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan said that YouTube is currently beta testing a feature that will allow users to make purchases without leaving the site.

“We also want to build on this full suite of monetization opportunities through commerce. As consumer shopping habits increasingly shift to digital, we have an opportunity to meet the growing demand for e-commerce. We’re beta testing a new integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators to make informed purchases directly on YouTube.”


YouTube Shopping on the Way

YouTube Shorts Rolling Out in the US

YouTube has confirmed that its short-form video format, Shorts, is launching in the USA in March. Shorts launched in India last September where it currently remains in beta. YouTube has shared engagement data for the first time around Shorts, stating that Shorts receive more than 3.5 billion daily views. A forthcoming update will also see a carousel added to the YouTube homepage for Shorts.


Updated Metric Boundaries for Core Web Vitals in Search Console

You may see more green scores when checking your core web vitals report in Google Search Console over the next few days. Google has made a small change to the metric boundaries used for defining red, yellow and green scores in the report.

Google said “The metrics defining the boundaries for LCP, FID, CLS, which used to be < (less than), are now defined as <= (less than or equal to).”

Updated Metric Boundaries for Core Web Vitals in Search Console

Responsive Search Ads Now Default Ad Type for Search Campaigns

Responsive search ads are now the default ad type for Search campaigns in Google Ads. According to Google advertisers that add responsive search ads in their ad groups achieve up to 10% more clicks and conversions. While responsive search ads are now the default, expanded text ads can still be created as needed.

Display Ads Added to Attribution Reports

Google has added Display ads to attribution reports, alongside Search (including Shopping) and YouTube ads in Google Ads. YouTube and Display ads in attribution reports are now in beta.

Eligible advertisers can opt-in within the Measurement > Attribution section of Google Ads. Once you’ve opted in, you can view YouTube and Display ads in all attribution reports alongside Search and Shopping ads.

Display Ads Added to Attribution Reports



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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