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It’s been another big week at Google This Week with a lot of updates to share, including the new Google Ads Editor v1.5. The December 2020 Core Update is now fully rolled out and there are updates to Google Analytics 4, including to events and BigQuery exports.

ICYMI, here’s what you missed at Google This Week.

Modify and Create Web Events in Google Analytics 4

Events that come into a Google Analytics 4 property can now be edited without any tagging changes. Edits will occur immediately and impact any events received from that point forward. This will help you clean up event data that may not follow common standards and helps with conversion measurement for specific events and parameters.

BigQuery Export in GA4 Without Linked Firebase Project

Data exports in Google Analytics 4 no longer require a linked Firebase project. Google Analytics admins can audit and configure data exports to BigQuery from the Google Analytics Admin page. You can also specify the Google Cloud Platform region when configuring new exports so you have more control of your data.

Google Retiring AdSense Link Units

Google will be retiring link unit ad types. Link ads display a list of topics relevant to the content of a page. They will be retired on March 10, 2021. Google said “We’ve decided to retire link ads. This is to modernize our available ad formats, based on the feedback from users, publishers and advertisers. Going forward, we’ll be focussing on improving and developing other ad formats to help you grow.”

Google Retiring AdSense Link Units

Google Testing Images in Snippets on Mouse Hover

Some users are seeing images in snippets on mouse hover. This was first spotted by Vlad Rappoport and posted to Twitter. He showed how when you place your cursor over a snippet’s title, images can dynamically load beneath the snippet.

It looks like many users are seeing this now, with some seeing icons in the snippet to show that there are images available in the snippet. For now, we’re not sure if this is a test or something Google is rolling out.

 

Surfaces Across Google and Shopping Actions Renamed

Google is changing the names of surfaces across Google and Shopping Actions. Where you previously saw “surfaces across Google” you’ll soon see “free product listings” or “free listings” instead.

In the US, Shopping Actions will now be called Buy on Google for both retailers and consumers. Destination attributes that use the name “Shopping Actions” will now go by “Buy on Google listings”. This is just a name change and won’t affect your account, ads or listings. For those in France, the names will stay the same.

Google Migrating Structured Data Testing Tool

Back in July Google announced the Rich Results Testing tool was out of beta and that the Structured Data Testing Tool would be deprecated. After a lot of feedback, Google is instead migrating the tool to a new domain serving the schema.org community by April 2021.

The main purpose of the tool is to check syntax and compliance of markup with schema.org standards. It will no longer check for Google Search rich result types, instead, you can use the Rich Results Test for that.

Google Testing Expandable Snippets in Search

Google appears to be testing expandable text descriptions in Search snippets. Clicking on a page icon at the beginning of the snippet makes the snippet double in size with additional content.

Google Testing Expandable Snippets in Search

 

Web Search Results Now in Google Maps Local Listings

Web search results are now appearing in Google Maps local listings. Brian Barwig first spotted Google displaying web search results in the Google Maps local listings. You can find the web results if you go to a business listing in Google Maps and scroll down past the business information.

Web Search Results Now in Google Maps Local Listings

 

Campaign Goals Highlighted Next to Optimization Score in Google Ads

Google is making it easier “to understand how optimization score prioritizes recommendations” by highlighting your campaign goal next to your optimization score in Google Ads.

Campaign Goals Highlighted Next to Optimization Score in Google Ads

“For example, if your bidding strategy is set to Maximize conversions, optimization score will help you optimize for conversions. As a result, your recommendations will be tailored to help you meet that goal.”

In addition, Google is also highlighting the top recommendation for your campaign so you can prioritise recommendations.

highlighting the top recommendation for your campaign

 

Answered and Missed Calls Shown in GMB History Report

In October we reported that Google was testing out a new feature called Preview Call History in Google My Business that shows recent calls made to your business through Google Search and Maps. Now the report is live and shows answered and missed calls.

Google My Business Call History Report Shows Answered & Missed Calls

Google Temporarily Disables Issue Validation in Search Console

Google has temporarily disabled another feature in Google Search Console, the issue validation function. The feature lets you tell Google that you fixed an issue that was preventing Google from properly accessing your site. Google said:

“If you see a ‘validation temporarily disabled’ message in your report, this is because we’re updating some of the criteria for some issues in this report. This change does not affect validation requests that are currently in process, but new validation requests can’t be submitted until after we finish updating our issue criteria. Thank you for your patience.”

Google Temporarily Disables Issue Validation in Search Console

December 2020 Core Update Fully Rolled Out

Google has confirmed that the December 2020 broad core update is now fully rolled out. The update began rolling out on December 3 and is now live. As we reported last week, this was a big update. Make sure to review your analytics and take the necessary steps if your site was negatively affected.

Need some help? Get a free consultation.

 

Google Expands Explanations to Target CPA Campaigns on Search

So you can get a better understanding of performance in more campaigns Google is expanding explanations to Search campaigns that use Target CPA. You can now view the reason for significant changes in cost and conversions for these types of campaigns. For example, it can tell you if your campaign or ad group performance was impacted by changes to target CPA, bid limits, budget, etc.

Google Expands Explanations to Target CPA Campaigns on Search

 

New Google Ads Editor v1.5

Google is launching Google Ads Editor v1.5. The release includes new tools to help improve your ad strength, support for additional recommendations and image extensions. Now you can check your ad strength in Google Ads Editor and in a new column in line with your ads. This will make it easier to optimise your responsive search ads at scale.

New Google Ads Editor v1.5

 

Google is also adding support for additional recommendations, with six additional recommendation types, including ways to help improve responsive search ads, adopt Target ROAS bidding and more. The new editor also supports image extensions making it easier to expand your ads with additional information like call buttons, location information, website links, and more.

Free Video Maker in Google My Business

Google launched a free and easy to use video maker in Google My Business. This may be useful for some small businesses. You can find the tool at marketingkit.withgoogle.com/videomaker.

First, you need to search for your business name and then it asks you several more questions. Then it takes your answers, plus some of your reviews and local data and builds a video. We tried to create one to show you but it seems it can only accept businesses in the USA so far.  So you can see here RustyBrick’s version instead.

Free Video Maker in Google My Business

Try on Beauty Products at Home with Google

Now you can try on beauty products at home with Google. Launching this week in the US you can now visualise makeup looks and try on products. Virtually try on makeup products from the Google app to find the right shade and style.

Try on Beauty Products at Home with GoogleAnd when you browse Google Shopping on your phone or scroll through the Discover feed in the Google app, you’ll get recommendations from beauty, apparel and home and garden enthusiasts and experts about their favourite products.

 

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

Paul Hewett

Commercial Director & Consultant at In Marketing We Trust. Spends his day applying creativity and technology to provide growth for ambitious brands. First job was in the circus!

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