Although the Christmas countdown has begun and the year is beginning to wind down, the world of search certainly has not! From AR features paving the way in search to unconfirmed search updates, discover what’s new and exciting in search in November 2022.
Site Name and Favicon SERP Change Makes Its Way to Desktop
If you’ve read October’s Search Update (we hope you have), then you’ll already be well aware of the new site name and favicon design rolled out in the Google mobile search results last month. If you aren’t familiar with this update, however, here’s the gist:
- Website names now show at the top of a search result snippet above the URL
- Favicons now sit to the left of the website name and URL
- Mobile paid search ads now feature a small (and we SEOs say – sneaky) ‘Sponsored’ label in the top left-hand corner
Here’s how it looks on mobile to refresh your memory:
Now, this update looks like it’s set to arrive on the desktop search results, too. Google is currently testing this, so it’s not here permanently just yet, but watch this space. To prepare for the change and ensure your search snippets are displaying correctly, discover how to change your site name and favicon in SERPs ahead of time.
New Shopping, Search, and Maps Features Land in Google
Google has launched some exciting new search, shopping, and map features that you need to be aware of…
AR Shopping for Beauty Products and Shoes
Trying to replicate the experience of in-person shopping is something that online shopping cannot offer yet, but Google is taking steps to change that.
On the 17th of November, Google announced new AR features for beauty products and shoes, beginning its rollout in the U.S. (…for now).
According to Google, foundation is the most-searched category within makeup. And if you’ve ever tried to buy foundation online, then you’ll know exactly the struggle that comes along with it. The new AR shopping feature Google has released, however, has been designed to make it easier for users to select such a personal product.
You can see how it works here:
This isn’t where it stops, either. Google is continually developing 3D and AR technology capabilities through the likes of Google Lens, for example, paving the way for the metaverse and futureproofing consumers’ expectations.
And while the AR home goods feature has been available since March this year, Google’s latest release means that you can now also shop for your trainers using augmented reality. This feature not only allows you to rotate, and change the colour, laces or soles, but it also allows you to see your desired pair of shoes in your own space. No more trips to the post office!
Even if you aren’t into fashion or beauty, it’s undeniable how significant these new AR features are and will become. According to Google, “shoppers engage with 3D imagery 50% more than static ones”. So, if you’re looking to keep your product results engaging, then it might be time to get on board…
Discover Food Through Google Multisearch
Multisearch was announced back in April 2022 (if you can remember that far back!) aiming to improve the search needs of users by allowing both text and images to be utilised together in search.
Up until now, if you’ve seen the perfect pair of shoes, but they aren’t available in the niche colour you want, multisearch lets you search that image + colour to find exactly the shoes you want.
On the 17th of November, Google announced ways you can make multisearch work even harder, and this one is of particular interest to the foodies out there.
Like the look of a dish that you’ve seen on Instagram? All you have to do is use Google Lens, take a photo or screenshot and +’near me’ – you can now find a place that sells it near your location.
Although this has only begun rolling out in the U.S. and currently only applies to food, no doubt this incredibly useful feature (for both the user and the search marketer) will slowly roll out across industries and countries.
Explore Map Features in Live Time
Yet another feature announced on the 17th of November – you can now explore what’s around you using Google Maps through your camera, discovering locations in real-time. Through AI, Google has provided a live-time view of what’s around you, so if you’re no good at maps but want to find your nearest coffee shop, this one’s for you!
This feature has begun rolling out in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
For marketers, this serves as an important reminder to ensure your Google Business profile is verified and up to date!
Shopping Tab Listings Arrive at Google Search Console
Another update for those with ecommerce sites – a new Shopping tab listings feature has landed on Google Search Console. Alongside the recent launch of the Merchant Listings report on Search Console, this new tab will allow users to now set up a merchant centre account directly from Google Search Console. This was announced on the 16th of November with the aim to help merchants get their products quickly on the Shopping tab on Google
For ecommerce sites looking to show their products under the Shopping tab on Google, this is big news. Google stated that: “eligible online store owners that have implemented product markup will see a new section called Shopping tab listings” and that this will be rolled out gradually “over the next few weeks”.
So even though you might not notice it just yet, make sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Google Documents Search Ranking Updates
Remember Panda? Penguin? Well, if you didn’t already know that these have been superseded, Google are keen to remind you. On the 21st of November, Google released a handy guide on which systems it uses to rank search results and which systems have been retired.
Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search, released a statement alongside this to distinguish between systems and updates alongside this guide:
“Going forward, we’ll be more precise with our wording when differentiating systems from updates. Yes, we’ll still have things like a “helpful content update” or a “product reviews update”, but when possible we will explain those as updates to the respective systems, such as the “helpful content system” and the “product reviews system.” We’ll also be refreshing our help pages to reflect this terminology change, over time.”
Here’s all you need to know:
Live Google Ranking Systems
- Crisis information systems
- Deduplication systems
- Exact match domain system
- Freshness systems
- Helpful content system
- Link analysis systems and PageRank
- Local news systems
- Neural matching
- Original content systems
- Removal-based demotion systems
- Page experience system
- Passage ranking system
- Product reviews system
- Reliable information Systems
- Site diversity system
- Spam detection systems
Retired Google Ranking Systems
- Mobile-friendly ranking system
- Page speed system
- Panda system
- Penguin system
- Secure sites system
And whilst this might not impact your day-to-day as a search marketer, this guide provides an incredibly useful, one-stop guide to the systems currently impacting search.
Unconfirmed Algorithm Update – Thanksgiving
Lastly, we felt it important to mention an unconfirmed update that occurred just after Thanksgiving (that’s the end of November if you’re in the UK).
While we don’t usually report on unconfirmed algorithm updates, we noticed a shift in keyword rankings on the 26th November, so we feel it’s worthy of a mention. Other reports have also cited changes to rankings around the Friday of Thanksgiving.
Our advice? If you’re negatively impacted by an algorithmic update, as always, don’t immediately start making changes to your site. We recommend that you monitor, and wait to see if any change in movement occurs. If you see no improvement moving forward, it may be time to revisit Google’s best practice guidelines.
We will be continuing to monitor movement of keywords since this, so make sure to watch this space for an update.
Get the Most Out of Search with MRS Digital
Want to get the very most out of Google but not sure where to begin? Look no further. Our SEO and PPC experts have a wealth of experience and know how to adapt when it comes to Google’s ever-changing landscape. Discover how we can help you today.