Google beefs up mobile shopping results for the holidays, adds more product info & buying guides

Google is beefing up its mobile shopping experience to prepare for the holidays, now showing buying guides for broad categories like “sewing machine” and “coffee grinder” searches and adding more product-related information for specific product searches.
“When you search for a specific product, now shows you other helpful information, like related items, and allows you to compare reviews, prices and other specs, side by side,” writes Google product management director for Google Shopping, Jennifer Liu on Google’s The Keyword blog.

Google says it has added a “newer model available” label to tech-gadget product listings so searchers know if they’re browsing the most recent version of tech products.
According to the announcement, Google’s recently redesigned mobile shopping experience has helped bring more product information to the forefront with features like a “Quick View” button in Google Shopping ads that lets users preview detailed product information.
Google also noted its recent knowledge panel updates that quickly surface product photos, videos, reviews and

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8 game-changing SEO trends that will dominate 2018

With over 200 factors in Google’s algorithm, SEO is a complex science. But it’s not how much you need to know that makes it really challenging — it’s the ever-changing nature of the rules of the game.
As search engines strive to improve the quality of search results, some ranking factors shift shapes, others fall into oblivion, and completely new ones arise out of nowhere. To help you stay ahead of the game in 2018, here’s a list of the most prominent trends that are gaining momentum, with tips on how you can prepare for each.
1. The rise of SERP features
Are you assuming a #1 organic ranking is the way to get as much traffic as possible? Think again. Increasingly, SERP features (local packs, Knowledge panels, featured snippets and so on) are stealing searchers’ attention and clicks from organic listings.
And it’s only fair if you consider the evolution the Google SERP has been through. It has gone all

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Google searches now correspond to user location instead of domain

Google announced today that it is changing the way it labels country services on the mobile web, Google app for iOS and desktop Search and Maps.
According to Google, one in five searches is now location-related. To make search results more relevant, Google says the country of service will no longer be indicated by the country code top level domain name (ccTLD) such as “” for the UK or “” for Brazil, but instead will default to the country where the user is performing the search.
From the Google Search Blog:
So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.

Google says that typing the relevant ccTLD into a browser will no longer return various country services. Instead, users must go into their settings

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Google AdWords to roll out ‘parallel tracking’ to speed up mobile landing page delivery

Google’s been working to speed up mobile web experiences on several fronts, AMP being the most visible of these efforts. On Wednesday, the company announced a change to the way it will handle tracking parameters appended to AdWords landing page URLs.
Processing tracking codes can bog down page load time by “hundreds of milliseconds” and hurt campaign performance, says Google. Instead of processing the tracking with the landing page, Google is introducing “parallel tracking” to process the tracking URL, the AdWords click tracker and possible redirects in the background while the user goes straight to the landing page.
Currently, the tracking URL, AdWords click tracker and any redirects load before the user sees the landing page. Google says it’s seen the change help improve page load times by several seconds for users on slower networks.
Parallel tracking will start rolling out later this year and become the default tracking method in early 2018. It will initially be optional and only

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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) conquer the competition for shoe retailer

In the highly competitive footwear vertical, no season matters more than late summer, when shoppers spend $27 billion on supplies and clothing for the coming school year.
According to the Deloitte back-to-school survey for 2017, some 55 percent of that spend, about $15 billion, is devoted to clothing and accessories. Late summer may be only the second-biggest shopping season of the year in the United States, but for verticals like footwear, it’s number one.
A top shoe retailer came to Brandify (disclosure: my employer) for a solution to boost local store visibility online. To achieve the retailer’s goal, we worked in collaboration with SEO consultant Steve Wiideman to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for the retailer’s nearly 500 US stores.
The open-source AMP Project, led and heavily promoted by Google in collaboration with Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest and LinkedIn, defines a lightweight standard for publishing web pages that makes them load very quickly on mobile devices. The standard includes special implementations

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Google’s ‘Manhattan project’: Home device with a screen to compete with Echo Show

Google generally doesn’t do as well when it builds “follower” products — think Google Plus or Allo. But there are other examples where Google has excelled with later entries (e.g., AdWords, Maps). Right now, Google Home is a follower product seeking to break out of Amazon Echo’s shadow.
On paper, Google should win in this market. It has a larger developer ecosystem. And it has a better assistant. But Amazon is being very aggressive by innovating quickly and offering a dizzying array of devices at different price points. Amazon also has a more powerful sales channel. Overall, Amazon is out-innovating the rest of the “smart speaker” market at the moment.
Amazon now has two devices with screens: Echo Show and the new Echo Spot. According to TechCrunch, Google is also working on a Home device with a touchscreen:
Two sources confirm to TechCrunch that the Google device has been internally codenamed “Manhattan” and will have a similar screen size to

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Google Search lets readers find e-books at their local libraries

Google just made it easier for readers to find an e-book at their local library.
Per the following tweet from Google, mobile search results for a book now include a “Borrow e-book” option under the “Get Book” section.

Calling all U.S. bookworms! Now you can take a look at what e-books are available to borrow at your local library, right in Search.
— Google (@Google) September 18, 2017

Tapping on the library from where you want to check out the e-book will return the sign-in page for the library, along with the option to download the book or read a sample:

The library location can be edited within the search app by tapping on the “edit location” link next to the “Libraries Near You” option. This new feature appears to only be available on mobile.
The post Google Search lets readers find e-books at their local libraries appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Leading up to the mobile-first index, Google has some advice

Kashin /
We all know the Google mobile first index is coming soon, probably in the next few months or so. To prepare, it seems like Google is encouraging webmasters to go responsive with their web sites.
Google has just published a how-to on moving your m-dot site to responsive. The techniques are pretty basic but it is an excellent reminder that while Google supports many mobile implementations, they do recommend responsive. In fact, Google has recommended that if you are switching to responsive, do it before the mobile first rollout.
Here are the steps Google wrote to move from m-dot to responsive:

Get your responsive site ready
Configure 301 redirects on the old mobile URLs to point to the responsive versions (the new pages). These redirects need to be done on a per-URL basis, individually from each mobile URLs to the responsive URLs.
Remove any mobile-URL specific configuration your site might have, such as conditional redirects or

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Google adds trending searches and instant answers to iOS app

With a new search app update for iOS, Google has added trending searches and instant answers. (TechCrunch noticed it earlier today.) It replicates a previously introduced Android feature which reportedly resulted in an outcry, causing Google to enable an opt-out.
In the “what’s new” discussion in the iOS App Store, Google says:

See searches that are trending around you when you tap on the search box to start a search
Get instant answers to your questions as you type them, before you even complete the search. Try it out by typing for “goog stock” or “how tall is the eiffel tower” and see the answer show up in the suggestions below the search box
Easily give feedback on any suggestions you see while typing — just swipe left and tap on the “info” icon

Here’s what it looks like:

The trending searches appear to be national rather than specific to my location. The data appear to be Knowledge Graph data, but it’s not

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Google rolls out previously announced ‘Landing Pages’ mobile assessment tool

Bad landing pages, especially on mobile devices, can kill conversions. There are high bounce rates if users can’t find desired information or the user experience is too cumbersome or slow.
To help advertisers improve mobile performance, Google announced a new Landing Pages tool at Google Marketing Next earlier this year. It’s designed to help marketers assess the mobile-friendliness of various URLs on their sites (as opposed to their entire sites). It is being rolled out in the next few weeks as a tab in the new AdWords experience.
As the graphic below illustrates, Landing Pages will identify site URLs that drive the most clicks/engagement. The tool also reports the Mobile-Friendly Click Rate (MFCR), which is the percentage of mobile clicks coming from smartphones that land on a mobile-friendly page.

These reports will enable marketers to identify and prioritize which URLs need to be fixed. For example, if a page is driving a lot of clicks on the desktop but is

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