Category Archives: Google

Google Maps to Let Users Send Messages to Businesses

Google Maps has introduced a new feature to allow businesses and users communicate each other. The new business messaging capabilities given by Google Maps, users will now be able to send messages through the Google Maps app as well.

To note, the leading local listing app from Google rolled out Messaging feature last year. The feature helped users initiate text conversations with businesses through their GMB profiles.

CREDIT: SEARCH ENGINE JOURNAL

After the rollout, Messages will appear in the side menu of the Google Maps app and users can initiate messaging by tapping the ‘Message’ button on business profiles. According to Google, the new feature will help users to distinguish personal messages separate from their conversations with businesses.

The feature will be a big boost for the businesses as they can engage more with their customers. The feature, though, is an optional feature and is turned off by default.

Means, businesses who aren’t interested in receiving messages can simply not turn the feature on. To activate messaging feature, you’re required to visit can do so from the Google My Business dashboard.

Businesses will also be able to see different messaging stats over time, such as the number of clicks on the message button, number of conversations, and the number of total messages. Only a person designated as a manager of Google My Business listing can send messages.

Image Credit: Search Engine Journal

Google My Business Insights now Features Branded Searches as Well

Google has added a new ability to its Google My Business Insights that allows segmentation of branded searches from direct or discovery related searches.

Google My Business Insights Branded Searches

See the screenshot below that has been taken from my business in Google My Business. You can see the new yellow slice for branded searches.

You can see the available following categories in the below pie chart of Google My Business Insights:

Direct (green) –

Shows customers who find your listing searching for your business name or address

Discovery

Google Curved Mobile Search Results Interface

Google Voice Access App Launched

To help differently able people with their Android phone experience, Google has launched a new app called Voice Access app.

Google Voice Access App Launched for Disabled

Google Voice Access App Launched

The app will help users suffering from disabilities like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, spinal cord injury, and more to operate their Android devices more efficiently.

Using the Voice Access app, they can now easily navigate through apps, compose and edit text, and talk to the Google Assistant. The app will now let those people with disabilities use voice commands to scroll phone and navigate app screens.

To explain how the app works, Google writes in a blog post:

“When

Google Curved Mobile Search Results Interface

AMP Stories Start Appearing in Google Feeds on Android

After Snapchat and Instagram, Google starts rolling out its AMP based Stories feature to its Google feeds on Android platform. To recall, AMP news feeds are already available in Google Search.

AMP Stories in Google Feeds

AMP Stories Start Appearing in Google Feeds

AMP Stories is a rich and faster way of delivering news and information. The AMP arrangement allows delivery of Portrait images, videos, and infographics in a fit-to-screen format. These stories are accessed and navigated by just tapping to the right of the screen.

The feed appears in the Google feed in form of a portrait story card. The story card is a full-screen tall image labeled as a “Featured visual story.  When tapped, it opens the standard Chrome Custom Tab for an AMP story.

Publishers involved in the

Google

Google Tests Relevant History Feature in Mobile SERP

Search juggernaut appears to be testing a new drop-down section ‘relevant history’ for search results in mobile. The section would be in drop down format and will appear at the very top of the mobile search results.

Google Tests Relevant History Feature

The section will be showing page history directly related to the search that you previously visited.

Google Relevant History Feature

Look at the screenshot attached. You will see all sites that the searcher had visited previously. The interesting thing to note with the feature is that it won’t show any description with those results. All that it will show are the title, URL and any relevance thumbnail if available.

This is another way Google is showcasing personalized results to the searchers. It becomes even more important since it aims at mobile search query where limited screen space available to display the results. The feature is being tested with a select group of people.

We haven’t any clue when it will be available for a global roll out. Google neither confirmed nor declined the news.

Stay tuned for more updates on its availability for  all the users.

Google Converts Doc, PDF and XLS Files into HTML for Quick Indexing

It’s been a discussion since long how Google determines different file types before indexing them into Google search.

Google Converts PDF into HTML for Indexing

Now, Googler John Mueller has come up with an explanation to this question. During a conversation on Twitter, he reveled a bit about PDFs in the Google search results and how Google handles them.

John Mueller said during the conversation that Google has an inbuilt mechanism to automatically convert PDFs and similar document types into HTML format to serve various purposes including indexing and ranking.

For SEO People who have been in the optimization of PDF files, this is something they already know. Google, since long, has converted PDFs into HTML and included a link to the HTML version directly in the search results. The problem is that in case of a large file Google doesn’t convert the entire PDF document into HTML. This results in a part of content within the PDF that is just simply not indexed because of the PDF size.

PDF files rank very well for the types of queries where someone is looking for something like a search for a manual in PDF format.

Along with the PDFs, Google converts .doc documents (such as Word documents), .xls (spreadsheets) and other similar non-HTML content types to HTML for indexing and ranking.

Expandable Featured Search Snippets

Google Introduces Expandable Featured Search Snippets

The search engine giant is reportedly testing a new feature related to its search snippets. As reports emerge, a new form of search snippet is being tested at Google that can be expanded to help searchers dive deeper into and get more info available around the specific query they searched for.

Google Expandable Featured Search Snippets

The feature that was earlier rumored in April this year is now live for the global users.

This is how Google introduced the feature:

“We’re

Google Search Console Beta

Google Search Console Beta Ports New Features from Older Version

Google Search Console, previously Google Webmaster Tools ports a slew of more important Google Search Console Beta features from its older version.

Google Search Console Beta New Features

Users using the new version of the Google Search Console will have new abilities to practice with the tool. These features include the ability to manage users and permissions, add sites and validate ownership and view the mobile usability report.

Google took Twitter to announce that these Google Search Console Beta features would soon be a part of the new beta version of the Google Search Console. They said that following features are the part of the new version of Google Search Console. See the GIF attached about the features.

  • Manage users and

Google

Google Tests Reading Time Filter in Search Results

Google appears to be testing a new filter ‘Reading Time’ in search results. As name gives us a clue, the feature will filter search results by the approximate time it takes to read the article.

Google Reading Time Filter

Google Tests Reading Time Filter

You can access the tool through the tools filter. It’s available there in a drop-down format with four options to choose from. The default option the Google reading time filter comes with is ‘any duration’ which is followed by three more including:

  • Short

Links within a Press Release Don’t Matter Anymore: Google

Googler John Mueller, in a recent video hangout said that Google’s algorithm doesn’t value the link(s) found within a press release. He cited that since most of these links are often from the company, so the algorithm doesn’t consider them natural and ignores them.

He clarifies that neither these links hurt you nor benefit you. To note, in past, Google had recommended webmasters to tag no-follow with the links within press release since the search engine conglomerate consider them unnatural.

They also added fresh link schemes guidelines a while back. Even ex-Googler Matt Cutts once said these links won’t help you.

Thus if you have many press releases to shoot, note that links within them won’t help or hurt you unless they are spam.

Google Tests Reading Time Filter

Google Includes College Search Knowledge Panel in SERP

Google, the search engine juggernaut is gearing up for helping students. The giant now adds a brand new college search knowledge panel to help students find the information about the colleges.

Google College Search Knowledge Panel

When a student search for college related information, Google college search knowledge panel would present more educational options to find a college that meets his needs.

  • The panel gives users a complete

19Shares