- By Carla Bragagnolo
Marketers, listen up! Here are the need-to-know news items from the Google-sphere.
Penguin 4.0 Has Arrived!
The biggest piece of news out of the Google world is the release of Penguin 4.0, the algorithm developed to penalize sites using sketchy practices to improve their search rankings. Up until now, updates have been rolled out manually, but 4.0 brings the beginning of a new age: changes will happen in real-time. Read our guide to Penguin 4.0 here to learn more.
Google Acquires Urban Engines to Optimize Maps Features
Google has acquired Urban Engines, a location-based analytics provider, to become part of the Google Maps team. Experts believe Urban Engines technology will help Google Maps better understand and optimize traffic flow. Urban Engines will also allow Google to gain more information into how consumers are interacting with Maps to provide sophisticated insight to local marketers.
Micro-moments? Google Releases New Smartphone User Research
Google collected data from 1,000 smartphone users to obtain data on how people are using online and offline resources to meet their needs in a “micro-moment.” Micro-moments are small instances throughout the day when we have an immediate need — say, choosing a restaurant or finding the nearest gas station — and seek information right away. The study served to reinforce what the search industry already knows: smartphone users are turning to their devices more than ever to get things done. For more insights you can read the full study here.
Google Ads Images to Mobile Snippets
Google is now including small image thumbnails for select product queries on mobile search. Initial tests occurred in December 2014 and January 2016, but updates have now rolled out for all users. For now, images only appear for product searches.