It’s been a relatively quiet week at Google This Week compared to the last few, but we do still have some interesting updates for you, including Semrush’s data showing Google has been 85% more volatile this year. Google is making calls to businesses easier and also teaming up with BigCommerce.
ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.
- Podcast Knowledge Panels Now in Google Search
- Updated Requirements for Review Structured Data
- Google Alerts is Not Working
- Google is Making Calls to Businesses Easier
- Google Teams Up with BigCommerce
- Google Analytics for Firebase Gets a New Look
- Semrush Shows Google Has Been 85% More Volatile This Year
- YouTube’s Automatically Generated Chapters Now a Source of Metadata in Search
Podcast Knowledge Panels Now in Google Search
Google appears to be rolling out podcast knowledge panels in Google Search. Now, when you search for your favourite podcast, you may see a new knowledge panel show up in the results. Google has not yet announced this as a new search feature.
Updated Requirements for Review Structured Data
Google has updated the requirements for review structured data. The author.name field is now limited to 100 characters. Any review structured data with more than 100 characters in the author.name field will now not be eligible for rich results in the SERPs. If you have review structured data set up you may want to review your settings now to ensure you’re still eligible for rich results.
Google Alerts is Not Working
The Google SearchLiaison Twitter account issued a statement about Google Alerts being down. “We’ve identified an issue that’s prevented Google Alerts from operating properly. Our apologies. We’re working to resolve the issue quickly.”
Update: Google Alerts in now working again.
This is an alert about Google Alerts. We’ve identified an issue that’s prevented Google Alerts from operating properly. Our apologies. We’re working to resolve the issue quickly.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 19, 2021
Google is Making Calls to Businesses Easier
Starting now on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices in the US, Google is making it easier for customers to call. Before you place a call to a toll-free business number, you’ll see the current and projected Wait Times for the rest of the week. Once the call is placed, Direct My Call will help you get to the right place. Google Assistant will transcribe the automated message and menu options in real time, displaying them on screen.
Last Year, Google launched Hold For Me in the US, it is now expanding to Pixel users in Australia, Canada and Japan in the coming months. Call Screen is also being expanded to the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Italy and Spain.
Google Teams Up with BigCommerce
Google is teaming up with BigCommerce to make it easier for merchants to show up across Google. With the new integration, BigCommerce merchants will be able to easily list their products for free on Google, create ad campaigns and review performance metrics directly in their BigCommerce store. BigCommerce merchants can also now integrate with Google’s shopping features across Search, Shopping, Image Search and YouTube.
Google Analytics for Firebase Gets a New Look
Google Analytics for Firebase has a new look. Changes introduced with Google Analytics 4 are now available in the Analytics section of Firebase. The update will look familiar if you’ve used the new GA4, with a similar experience between the interfaces.
Semrush Shows Google Has Been 85% More Volatile This Year
New data from Semrush shows that the Google search results have been more volatile this year, compared to last. The data shows that Google’s search results have been over 68% more volatile on desktop and 85% more volatile on mobile from January 2021 through October 2021. The data also shows that over 50% of the days in 2021 thus far show high or very high levels of rank volatility on desktop and over 57% on mobile.
If you’re following @rustybrick‘s algo update coverage he’s pretty tired of reporting on these all the time!
It got me thinking: Are things more volatile than they were?
Pulled some @semrush data & it seems… YES!
We see a huge increase in the % of volatile days in ’21! pic.twitter.com/vmTP5vtaJh
— Mordy Oberstein (@MordyOberstein) October 19, 2021
YouTube’s Automatically Generated Chapters Now a Source of Metadata in Search
YouTube is now using automatically generated chapters as a source of metadata in search. Previously, only manually defined chapters were used when ranking search results. This update is rolling out to the mobile version of YouTube. When a channel hasn’t set their own chapters in a video, YouTube will look at what it identifies as significant moments in the video.
Thank You for Reading
Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?
Check back next Friday for the latest from Google This Week.