New at Google: Local Guides App, Search Impact Report, AdWords Upgrades

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new at google

Recently, we saw a few announcements from Google that will affect small businesses over the next year. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest new features and options coming out, so check out what’s new at Google.

AdWords Now Segments URL Editing Tools

This announcement comes from AdWords and focuses on making editing faster and easier. The new segmented URL editing tools help users manage tracking updates by giving access to the landing page portion of their URL and the tracking information separately. In other words, you no longer have to stop your ad from running while you make edits. You can update tracking information within accounts, campaigns, or ad groups and your statistics won’t be reset. Crawl and load times can also be improved.

With the new upgraded URLs, users can share tracking templates at account, campaign, and group levels while still being able to manage URLs from the ad, keyword, or sitelink. In other words, you have options. Below is a screenshot from a Search Engine Watch article:

new at google

As you can see, the new upgrade also allows for custom parameters so that you can setup different metrics and measurements based on whatever data you want. The Upgraded URLs are immediately available, and according to Google, you should implement the new system by July 1 of this year.

Search Impact Report, Live for Select Webmasters

Another thing that’s new at Google is the testing of a new search queries report in Google Webmaster Tools. Although it hasn’t yet been announced what the new report will entail, we’re getting a sneak peek now that is is available to select Webmasters. Barry Schwartz explained in a Search Engine Land article that it may ultimately be a report used to replace the Search Queries report we use now and just add more features. He said,

“Specifically it gives the ability to better analyze your site’s performance in the Google search results by showing you clicks, impressions, CTR and average position while allowing you to compare these metrics using different dimensions such as dates, queries, pages, countries, devices, and search property (web, images, etc.).”

If you want access to this new report you can simply fill out this form to be an Alpha tester. You will then see the Search Impact report under the Search Traffic section of your Google Webmaster Tools, and if you’re not chosen yet then there will be a second wave of testers chosen in just a few weeks.

Once again, with this new report you can sort by date, date comparison, queries report, pages, countries, device, and web properties. For your reference, below is an example of the Queries Report you might see:

new at google

New Local Guides App for Google Maps

If the importance of mobile and reviews hasn’t been hammered into your head enough this year, Google Maps’ latest app “Local Guides” makes it pretty obvious. The new app is a program that rewards people (known as “guides”) for posting a number of quality reviews. Depending on the number of quality reviews you write, you can earn Google benefits such as access to private Google+ communities, invites to different events in your area, etc.

Local Guides was actually a program announced about one month ago, but only now is the feature available for Google Maps app (which in my opinion will help bring the program to the next level of engagement). If you have over 200 reviews, you’re eligible to become an official “Local Guide” with Google, meaning you can moderate Google+ communities and be featured on their official Google+ Local Guides page. Below is a sample screenshot of the page where you can learn more and become a local guide:

new at google

So what does this mean for you? It means more people are going to start reviewing businesses and wanting these perks. If you can make reviewing your company easy and fun, people may soon be more apt to actually take the extra steps to review your company. Developers may also be able to pull reviews into mobile shopping apps for search purposes.

Google Mobile Photo via Shutterstock

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  1. “The new app is a program that rewards people (known as “guides”) for posting a number of quality reviews. Depending on the number of quality reviews you write”

    How does google know the quality of reviews? I doubt anyone is going to read them and I have a feeling this will actually worsen the quality of reviews as now people have an incentive to use spintax, just writing a review for the sake of writing it, etc… Google is in a mess.