Blog Searches on Google Get Rich Results

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Google has a new look for blog searches. Searches for blogs now return carousels and rich lists of popular blogs.

The new feature which appears in mobile and desktop searches show rich results for queries about blog topics, like “cooking blogs” or “tech blogs.”

This is the carousel look for a cooking blogs search:

Here is the rich list style for a fashion blog search:

The rich results seem like a helpful feature for users wanting to find new content. For blogs, the feature may not be quite as useful. Clicking on the blog logos does not take the user directly to the blog but opens a search query for the blog name. With the extra step, this feature may not be a huge new traffic driver for blogs. It will at least increase visibility for blogs that make it in the rich results.

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April 19th 2017 Search, Social Media

Google Image Search Takes On Pinterest

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Google recently launched “Similar Items,” a rich product feature for Google Image Search. The new feature enables users to browse and shop inspirational fashion photography and find product information about items they’re interested in.

Similar Items is an obvious competitor to Pinterest and users will find the feature familiar. Using machine vision technology, the Similar Items feature identifies products in lifestyle images and displays matching products to the user.

Similar Items currently supports handbags, sunglasses and shoes and will expand to other apparel and home & garden categories in the coming months. Google says that, “Finding price and availability information was one of the top Image Search feature requests from our users.”

The feature is currently available on mobile web and the Android search app globally and expansion to more platforms is planned this year.

Want to get your products listed? To make your products eligible for Similar items, make sure to add and maintain schema.org product metadata on your pages. The schema.org/Product markup helps Google find product offerings on the web and give users an at-a-glance summary of product info.

To ensure that your products are eligible to appear in Similar items:

– Ensure that the product offerings on your pages have schema.org product markup, including an image reference. Products with name, image, price & currency, and availability meta-data on their host page are eligible for Similar items
– Test your pages with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to verify that the product markup is formatted correctly
– See your images on image search by issuing the query “site:yourdomain.com.” For results with valid product markup, you may see product information appear once you tap on the images from your site. It can take up to a week for Googlebot to recrawl your website.

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April 14th 2017 Search, Social Media

Google Rolls Out Fact Checking in Search Results

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Starting today Google will show richer information from fact checking sites. In an effort to combat fake news, highlighted results from sites like Snopes and Politifact will appear in search results. the results will show the fact checker’s determination on the truthfulness of the claim. A search for a widely distributed fake news hoax reporting HIV infected blood in bananas shows these results:

The new system won’t stop the use of Google’s platform to spread false stories but does make the fact checking sites stand out which could help users find accurate information more quickly.

Google says the information won’t be available for every search result and “there may be search result pages where different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions. Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree.”

The change will not improve the search rank for the fact checking sites or present the information in a “featured snippets” box at the top of the page.

The update will allow any organization to offer fact checking results although. Google says, “Only publishers that are algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information will qualify for inclusion.”

For publishers to be included in this feature, they must be using the
Schema.org ClaimReview markup on the specific pages where they fact check public statements or they can use the Share the Facts widget developed by the Duke University Reporters Lab and Jigsaw.

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April 8th 2017 News, Search

Google SERPS to Include Rich Results for Podcasts

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An announcement on the Google Developers Blog details how to enable podcasts to appear in search results. The feature is currently available only for newer versions of the Google Search app on android devices or on Google Home.

The rich results will show the podcast as well as individual episode descriptions with an embedded player for each. The format takes up a large amount of SERP real estate which should be attractive to anyone promoting a podcast.

Here’s how to list a podcast:

– Expose a valid RSS feed describing the podcast
– The feed must contain at least one episode
– The podcast must have a dedicated homepage
– The homepage, the RSS feed, and any non-blocked audio files must be exposed to Googlebot; and
must not be protected by robots.txt or tags.

Additional instructions for setting up feeds can be found on the Google Developers Blog.

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April 5th 2017 Search, Social Media

Throwing your dog a bone: Google now works purr-fectly for your furry friends

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At Google, we aim to make our products available for everyone, everywhere. Today, we’re extending that goal to our finest, most faithful (and four-legged) friends. On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I’m Feeling Woof or I’m Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about—whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk! With I’m Feeling Woof and I’m Feeling Meow on the Google app, canines and felines alike can surf pet-friendly info with just a press of their paw.

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Now when pups tap on I’m Feeling Woof, no search query is too far-fetched. Man’s best friend can peruse squirrels, rawhide bones and frisbees to their hearts’ content. Let the tail-wagging commence.

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On the other paw, kitties are able to search the Google app with I’m Feeling Meow—or should we say wow?! Suddenly a world of fishbowls, birds and scratching posts are just a whisker away. Fur real.

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Now that the Google app for iOS is raining cats and dogs, we can turn our attention to the rest of the animal kingdom (and those who use Android)! Introducing “Google Play for Pets,” a new category of Android apps and games to keep your pet stimulated. See how Google Play for Pets benefits all types of creatures in our announcement video below. After all, who wouldn’t want apps, games, and training tools designed specially for your dog, cat or… turtle?

Introducing Google Play for Pets

We hope today’s announcements will help unlock the Internet for your favorite four-legged creatures. Now the best of Google is available for all, no matter your location—or in this case—species.

April 1st 2017 Search

Crunch Report | SpaceX Successfully Re-launches a Rocket

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Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey leaves Facebook, SpaceX successfully re-launches a rocket, Cloudera files for IPO and Snapchat now allows you to search Stories. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

April 1st 2017 Facebook, News, Search, Technology

The High Five: all eyes on April

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When your week feels like it will never end, just imagine how it feels to be a pregnant giraffe. Here’s a look at five of the top trending Google searches from the week of March 27.

The Raiders’ big bet

It’s official—the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas. This week, the Oakland franchise announced that they’ll be taking their talents to Sin City. Though the move won’t take place until 2020, people are already searching for season tickets. Still, questions remain—like what are the odds the team will get to keep their name?

We hardly knew EU

Raider fans aren’t the only nation facing change. British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 this week, officially kicking off the process for the U.K. to exit the European Union in 2019. People turned to search to ask “What does Brexit mean for Britain?” and “How does Brexit affect the EU?” They’re also curious about how it will affect financial markets: “Brexit stocks” is the top trending related search to “stocks” worldwide in the past week.

A twist ending?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers will continue to work for the Oscars next year, putting an end to queries like “Did the Oscars fire Pwc?” and “Will the Oscars retain PwC?” But after this year’s Best Picture envelope mix-up, which was blamed on a employee distracted by his phone, PwC’s accountants will have to stash their devices next time. Apparently when it comes to the movies, simply silencing your cell phones is no longer sufficient.

April the Giraffe

People across the internet are craning their necks to find out more about April the Giraffe, who’s awaiting the birth of her new baby calf at the Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York. The zoo launched a live stream for people to tune in to the birth way back in February. But yesterday, they announced that the “calf countdown” had begun. The timing—and the mama-to-be’s name—has some people skeptical: Top queries include “Is April the Giraffe an April Fool’s joke?” and “Is April the Giraffe a hoax?”

april the giraffe

But seriously…

Only time will tell if April the Giraffe is having the longest labor in documented giraffe history or pulling your leg. But if the spike in searches are any indication, you should prepare to be pranked by someone out there this April Fools’ Day. Not by us, though. We’d never do that.

April 1st 2017 Search

No more time to noodle: meet the winner of the Doodle 4 Google competition!

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Doodles were drawn. Votes were tallied. And now, the time has finally come to announce the winner of this year’s Doodle 4 Google contest. With a theme as limitless as “What I see for the future…”, we knew the artwork would be out of this world—and with all the Doodles set in space, we were not disappointed! This year’s talented artists dreamed of almost everything— from a future with modernized homes and no endangered animals, to one filled with compassion, community and inventions we hadn’t even imagined yet.. Today, millions of people can enjoy the winning masterpiece, which now hangs on the Google homepage.

The winner of the 2017 Doodle 4 Google contest is Sarah Harrison from Connecticut, who sees “a peaceful future” in the years ahead. In this splendid, visionary piece, she drew a group of people from different backgrounds coming together to create one harmonious community. Here’s how she explains her art: “My future is a world where we can all learn to love each other despite our religion, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality. I dream of a future where everyone is safe and accepted wherever they go, whoever they are.”

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An all-star group of judges—including our very own Google Doodlers— helped us select Sarah as our winner. In addition to her art being showcased on the Google homepage, Sarah will receive $30,000 toward a college scholarship, and the opportunity to meet with the Doodle team at the Googleplex in Mountain View. As an added bonus: Bunnell High School (Sarah’s home school) will receive $50,000 to spend ontechnology to help foster the next generation of STEM professionals (and who knows, maybe future Googlers, too!).

We also want to celebrate the  four age-group finalists, who also submitted stellar artwork that both awed and inspired us. This group focused on diverse communities, ancient animals, new energy sources, and solutions to help minimize electronic waste. All of our age-group finalists will receive a $5,000 college scholarship to help them continue their education, a trip to the Googleplex in Mountain View to meet a few of our Doodlers, and a Chromebook to help fuel their burgeoning creativity.

From all of us at Google, thank you for Doodling with us, for sharing your dreams, and for helping us take a step into the future.

April 1st 2017 Search

Book fitness classes anywhere in the U.S. on Google

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Shake off those winter blues and spring into shape. Starting today you can book and pay for fitness classes throughout the U.S. on Google Maps, Google Search and the Reserve with Google website. Here’s how it works:

Visit Reserve with Google on desktop or mobile. There you can search for fitness studios near you, use filters to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for, get recommendations for new classes, or book a spot in the session you already know and love. At checkout, you’ll even be able to take advantage of intro offers when available and buy class packages or memberships. 

You can also book classes from Google Maps and Search. On Google Maps (desktop) and Google Search (mobile and desktop), just search for the studio you want and click “Reserve with Google” to see the class schedule, book, and pay.  

We work with top scheduling providers, including MINDBODY, MyTime, Genbook, Full Slate, Front Desk, Appointy, and more to bring you real-time class inventory across the U.S. So whether you keep going back to a specific class at your favorite studio nearby, or want to find a great new spot while you’re traveling, Reserve with Google can help you book a workout in just a few taps.

March 31st 2017 Search

Google’s Fred Update Confirmed

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An update to the Google algorithm reported to have begun on March 7th has been confirmed by a Google’s Gary Illyes.

Google has had little to say about the recent update which reportedly has had a large impact on content sites. An analysis of content sites by Barry Schwartz found a “50 percent to 90 percent traffic declines from Google organic search. This was a massive organic ranking drop for these sites.”

“After reviewing well over 70 sites that were hit by this update, 95% of them share two things in common. The sites all seem content driven, either blog formats or other content like sites and they all are pretty heavy on their ad placement. In fact, if I dare say, it looks like many (not all but many) of them were created with the sole purpose of generating AdSense or other ad income without necessarily benefiting the user.”

Why is it called Fred?

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March 29th 2017 Search, Technology