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

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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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Analyst: Google’s default search deal worth $3 billion to frenemy Apple

As Apple and Google became direct competitors following the rise of Android, industry observers wondered if (and anticipated that) someday, Apple would cease to offer Google as the iPhone’s default search engine. And while Cupertino has diversified away from Google, via Spolight Search, Siri and Bing, Google is still the dominant search tool on the iPhone.
Now, a Wall Street analyst, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein, speculates that Apple may collect as much as $3 billion in “services” revenue this fiscal year from Google. Extrapolating from an initial 2014 court disclosure that Apple received $1 billion from Google as traffic acquisition costs (TAC) for default search placement, the Bernstein analyst estimated a growth curve from there.
The belief is that the structure of the relationship between Google and Apple is a revenue share based on paid clicks generated by iOS devices — perhaps on top of a fee. Sacconaghi was quoted by CNBC saying, “Given that Google payments are nearly all profit

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AdWords app-install campaigns to sunset as Universal App Campaigns take over

Google launched Universal App Campaigns (UAC) roughly two years ago to help developers drive app downloads. UAC has co-existed with AdWords app-install campaigns since that time.
Now the company is moving all app-install ads under the umbrella of UAC. Google said that as of October 16, all app-install campaigns will run as UAC ads. All current app-install campaigns will stop running on November 15; so developers and publishers need to convert their campaigns accordingly. (Google’s blog post has instructions on how to do this.)
The two types of mobile-app campaigns offered different features and capabilities, with some distribution overlap. AdWords app-install ads offered more direct control over placements (single channel, multichannel) and bidding (CPC, CPI and so on) but were also more complex to create and manage.
UAC ads are automatically distributed across multiple Google channels (search, GDN, YouTube, AdMob and Google Play) and use a CPA model. UAC radically simplifies ad creation and optimization with automation and machine learning.

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Designing content for the mobile-first index

Face it: You’re not a literary author, and people aren’t hanging on to every word you write. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have comprehensive information on a web page, but users also don’t want to scroll forever — especially on mobile.
Content on mobile needs to make it easier for users to get to the main points without cutting out the content, as users might want to dig into the details more at times. More than ever, the structure of your content is important, and your content needs to be navigable, skimmable and digestible.
Table of contents
A table of contents is a great way to show how you have organized your content, and combined with HTML bookmarks, it allows users to quickly jump to sections of a page that may interest them. For instance, my table of contents for this article would be:
Table of contents
HTML headings
Expandable content
Summary, highlights, TL;DR
Bullet points or lists
Bold or italic text
Highlight important points

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Google intros new call bid adjustments in AdWords

Google is adding a bid adjustment in AdWords specifically for calls.
The bid adjustment for calls informs how often call information appears in mobile search ads.
From the announcement:
For example, if you’re a travel advertiser, you may see higher order values from calls because it can be easier to cross-sell rental cars, group tours and other vacation add-ons during a live conversation. Raise your call bid adjustments to show call extensions more frequently and drive more of these high-value call conversions.
The bid adjustment range is -90 percent to +900 percent.
Note, that this option is only available in campaigns created in accessed from the new AdWords interface. (Update: After we asked about the original language on the help page, Google updated it to clarify that this is available for any campaign in the new interface).  Calls are also listed under “Interactions” in the UI, so it looks like we will see more of these in the future, such as an interaction bid adjustment for location information.

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Google officially changes Sitelinks design to carousel format

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Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that they are now rolling out a new design for Sitelinks. Sitelinks are additional links within the snippets of the search results where searchers can quickly jump to important and relevant pages on that site, as opposed to the main listing in the search result snippet.
Google has been testing a carousel format for these Sitelinks for over a year and today has confirmed they are now rolling out the new carousel-based design for mobile search results.
Here is a screen shot of the new format:

You can easily swipe left-to-right and back again across these sitelinks to reveal more important and relevant links from the site on the topic you searched.
The old design showed plain text links below listings.
The post Google officially changes Sitelinks design to carousel format appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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What I learned from the Danny Sullivan/Gary Illyes keynote at SMX Advanced

On June 13, 2017, in Seattle, Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan sat down with Google’s Gary Illyes to talk about all things Google. You can read live blog coverage from the session here. In this post, I’ve organized the content of this session into topical groups and added my own analysis.
Note: The questions and answers appearing herein are not direct quotes. I am paraphrasing Sullivan’s questions and Illyes’ answers, as well as providing my interpretation of what was said (and including additional context where appropriate). I’ve also omitted some content from the session.
The featured snippet discussion
Danny Sullivan asked: Are we going to keep getting more featured snippets?
Illyes has no idea about that, but he notes that featured snippets are very important to Google. They want the quality to be really high, and one consideration people don’t normally think about is that, in some cases (e.g., voice search results), the answers may be read out loud.
This example is one of my

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