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Search Recap: Google Assistant Ads, GMB Updates, Shopping Product Cards and More

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26th February 2019 in

This month, Google has been busy testing a range of exciting new features business owners and digital marketers need to be aware of. 

Here’s a round-up of the five most important February search marketing updates.

1. Google Tests Ads in Assistant Search Results
Google has started testing the inclusion of paid ads in Google Assistant search results. A screenshot shared by a Twitter user showing an ad for an executive MBA program is one of the first examples. With more than 1 billion assistant devices worldwide, the introduction of ads in its search results is an obvious next step. Learn more about its potential impact here.

2. Google My Business Updates Tools and Tips for Replying to Reviews
It’s now easier for marketing professionals and business owners to respond to reviews on Google My Business. All verified business profiles can now reply to reviews on desktop devices using Google Maps. Previously, replying was only possible by directly going to the Google My Business app or website. As always Google encourages users to respond to all reviews positively, even when negative feedback is left. Promptly responding shows that you genuinely care about your customer’s experience. Read some tips on replying here.

3. Google Launches Shopping Product Cards Buttons On Desktop Search
Product cards have begun showing up in the Google Shopping panel, a feature Google is testing for desktop search results. Clicking on these cards opens up a lightbox with further information about the product, including prices, stores and reviews.

You can trigger these cards by searching for specific phone models and various other products. Keep a close watch on your analytics to see if this feature impacts sales. Learn more here.

4. Google Search Ranking Algorithm Changes Continue
Over the last few weeks, there’s been discussion regarding updates to Google’s search ranking algorithm. A few people have reported major SERP changes, including fluctuations in their rankings and a decrease in page traffic. While no updates have been confirmed by Google, it’s something to keep an eye on. Read more here.

5. Google Introduces “Get in Line” Button for Local Restaurants
Another new feature Google’s testing is a live time waitlist. A “Get in Line” call to action button appears on local restaurant listings, once clicked users are shown the estimated waiting time and the number of parties ahead of them. As the feature is powered by DineTime, it’s currently only available in select countries and restaurants. Find out more here.

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