Google

Google’s John Mueller was asked on Twitter if there is a way in the new Google Search Console to remove old Sitemaps files. He said you can 404 them to remove them. Maybe Google will add a button to delete old Sitemap files there but for now, 404ing them will eventually get them to be removed.

Here is the Q&A on that topic:

Here is what the section looks like:

John Mueller

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Google News Digest: New SERP Features and Pay for Conversions in Display Campaigns

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Google News Digest: New SERP Features and Pay for Conversions in Display Campaigns

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Google News Digest: New SERP Features and Pay for Conversions in Display Campaigns

Some important updates from Google were rolled out (and most of them are live now). If you feel you may have missed some updates and are not sure what those might be, below is everything you need to know is here.

Most of the updates are related to Google Search News — new SERPs features, algorithm update, mobile-first transition, etc. — but we also noticed many Google Ads and Google Tool updates and features being rolled out in the past two weeks. So, as always, let’s start with the Marketing Scoop podcast where Ian Anderson Gray, the Founder at Ian Anderson Gray, and Lilach Bullock, the online marketing genius and Founder at Lilach Bullock Ltd, will discuss all these important updates in detail.


GOOGLE SEARCH NEWS

New Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update?

As reported by Search Engine Roundtable, there is a chatter both within the SEO community and ranking tools that Google has possibly rolled out its first substantial update around Saturday, the 6th January. Some webmasters observed a significant increase in rankings and traffic; others were disappointed to see a sudden drop in their organic rankings. More about this on WebmasterWorld.

Source: Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update Around January 6th

New Mobile SERP Design for Songs/Lyrics

Google is testing a new SERP design for songs/lyrics searches. For some searches, you may see multiple tabs for overview, lyrics, listen, similar songs, and other recordings instead of just “lyrics”. For lyrics sites, this may provide better opportunities to add more value and engage their users.

Here is a screenshot Glenn Gabe, a Digital Marketing Consultant at G-Squared Interactive, has shared on Twitter.

new serp for songs lyrics

Source: Twitter: Glenn Gabe

Most Frequent Mistakes in Mobile-First Transition

A few weeks ago Google announced on their Webmaster Central Blog that over half of the pages shown in search results globally are now using mobile-first indexing. Generally, Google moves a site to mobile-first indexing after running a test that assures that the site is ready to be run on mobile. The owner of the site is then notified through a message in the Search Console. Webmasters can also use Google’s URL Inspection Tool to check how their site was last crawled or indexed to know their site’s mobile-first indexing status.

Sites that lack responsive web design usually face two kinds of issues, as Google explains. First, if structured data used on the desktop version has not been used on the mobile version the same way, Googlebot is going to miss that data. Second, mobile versions with no alt-texts for images will be out of crawlers’ reach, making it a lot harder for Google Images to understand the context of the images used on a site. To see if your page is providing appropriate alt-attributes for images, you can check “img” tags in the source code of the mobile version of your site.

Source: Mobile-First indexing, structured data, images, and your site

A New SERP Feature for Long-Running Search Queries

Google has introduced new activity cards to help searchers keep track of their activities related to past searches on Google. If you are living in the U.S., you can now pick up your searches where you left off last time. The activity card shows up at the top of the search results page, providing easy ways to continue your exploration and find the links to pages you visited in the past.

activity-card-frame.gif

You can also mark a page to read or reference later or access your collections through the bottom bar of the Google app (on mobile) or by tapping the menu on the top left of the Search page. The activity card comes with adequate control, allowing users to delete an item or turn off the cards whenever they feel like doing so.

save-with-card.gif

Source: Pick up where you left off on Search

New Feedback Format in Featured Snippets

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable reported that Google is testing a new blue bar under some of the featured snippets to allow users to provide their feedback about those specific featured snippets. As per Barry, the new feature was first noticed by two SEO guys from India who shared the screenshots with him via their Twitter page.

Source: Google Featured Snippets Tests Blue Feedback Bar

Pronounce Feature in Google Search

Google appears to be testing a new feature in search results that helps Google searchers pronounce words. Shared by a Reddit user Lesharcerer first, the feature seems to be in the testing phase and is focused on users in non-English speaking countries such as India. Through this feature, Google plays you the pronunciation of words you ask for and also provides visual hints. Users in the U.S., per our knowledge, couldn’t replicate the same just yet and it seems that Google has limited its testing to a few select regions.

Source: Google Search Pronounce Feature

Testing Match Scores for Local Pack

In May 2018, Google announced a new feature in the local listings called “Your Match”. Although it never got launched officially, the feature would attempt to know how likely a user is to enjoy a place, and then assign a “your match” score based on Google’s machine learning. Recently, Sergey Alakov spotted the search engine testing the same feature again. But, this time around, it seems that Google is testing it for restaurants and bars only. Here is a screenshot Sergey shared on his Twitter page:

screen-shot-2019-01-15-at-130140.png

Sources: Google Local Listings Tests Your Match ScoresGoogle Tests Your Match Score in Local Search Results

GOOGLE ADS NEWS

Targeting Updates in Display Ad Campaigns

Google has recently shared three new ways for advertisers to deliver more conversions from their Display campaigns. They include the following:

Reach more shoppers with the same budget: Marketers can now use Google’s audience expansion tool, designed to help them expand their campaign’s reach to drive more conversions while keeping the average cost-per-acquisition intact. To make the tool even more effective, Google has introduced some new improvements that now allow advertisers to increase or decrease their audience reach with more granularity, as well as see weekly impression estimates based on their selection. As per Google, “Advertisers using this tool to improve their Display campaign performance have seen up to 50% more conversions for the same investment.”

Get the right products in front of new customers: Advertisers can now take advantage of Google’s dynamic prospecting tool to help them display the right product in front of the right customers at scale. Using product feed, this tool analyzes shoppers’ past interactions across Google and other publisher sites to show consumers the products that suit their taste and requirements. Google Ads employs machine learning to evaluate the performance of products in users’ feeds in order to determine which offerings are the most relevant and more likely to result in conversions. According to Google, “Advertisers who’ve connected a feed to their Display campaign have seen an average ROI increase of 20%.”

Reach more of your ideal customers: Using custom intent audience, advertisers with an extensive product inventory or a wide variety of customers can save time while still reaching specific audiences in their Display campaigns by segmenting ad groups according to targeted keywords or landing pages. Advertisers can opt to use custom intent audiences with auto-created audience segments based on their account, or define their own by entering keywords, URLs, and apps that are related to their products or services, whereby Google provides recommended segments to add to their campaigns.

Source: Deliver more New Year conversions with the latest Display ads features

Pay for Conversions in Display Campaigns

As of December 13th, advertisers can choose to pay only for conversions on their websites or apps, provided they use Target CPA with Google Display campaigns. As Google explains, “Let’s say your target CPA is $10, and you drove 30 conversions over the weekend. You’ll pay exactly $300, with an actual CPA of $10. You won’t be charged for clicks or impressions.” However, the option to pay for conversions is currently limited to Display campaigns, and we are not sure if Google may expand this feature to other types of campaigns in the near future.

pay for conversion in display ads

Source: Introducing pay for conversions in Display campaigns

Call-to-Action Extension for Video Ads

Google has announced it is removing the existing YouTube call-to-action overlay this month and is introducing a new call-to-action extension to simplify its interactive features across video ad formats. Depending on their primary objectives, advertisers can opt for TrueView for action (if they want to drive conversions and clicks) or the new call-to-action (if they want to drive awareness or consideration) that can be applied to TrueView in-stream ads, Bumper ads, and TrueView video discovery ads.

call-to-action-extenmsion-video-ads.png

Source: New call-to-action extension available for video ads

GOOGLE TOOLS NEWS

Share Your Google Doc with Non-Google Accounts

Google is preparing to enable users without Google accounts to view, comment, directly edit or suggest edits to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files. As per Google’s observation, organizations often work on documents with stakeholders (external vendors, partners, customers, etc.) who don’t have Google accounts, making the collaboration process difficult for both parties.

As a result, the search engine is introducing a beta involving a pincode identity verification process where G Suite users will invite non-G Suite users to collaborate on documents as guests (using the PIN codes). The owners of the files are still in full control, and they can view all the activities as well as who they come from. Admins can also revoke access at any time and manage all external sharing and audit usage of their files.

share-google-docs-with-non-google.gif

Source: Share files more easily with non-Google accounts in Drive Beta

Code Editing in Rich Results Test Tool

Google recently announced on Twitter that a new feature had been added to their Rich Results Test tool. As a result, webmasters from can now edit their code in the rich results test to see the impact of those edits in real time. The added feature is a helpful way to allow webmasters and SEOs to make changes to their code and see how those changes may or may not impact their rich snippets.

Sources: Twitter: Google WebmasterRich Results Test

Ad Blocking in Chrome Worldwide

Starting July 2019, Google Chrome will expand its user protections and stop showing ads on sites that repeatedly violate ‘Better Ads Standards’ as determined by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving the web advertising experience. This decision followed the recent announcement made by the Coalition for Better Ads to expand their initial Better Ads Standards beyond North America and Europe to cover all countries, worldwide. Google has instructed webmasters to consider reviewing their sites’ status in the Ad Experience Report tool and be sure that no violating ad experiences exist on their sites.

Source: Building a Better World Wide Web

Embedding Google Drawing Within Google Docs

In a recent update on Google Docs, the search engine giant informed users that they can now embed Google Drawings files saved in Drive into Google Docs instead of manually working on these drawings. To update the content of the linked drawings, they can go back to the source file, edit it there, and then look for an “Update” button in the upper right corner of the embedded drawings to update the content in Google Docs. Google Docs users can also unlink drawings at any time.

screen-shot-2019-01-15-at-131127.png

Source: Embed Google Drawings in Google Docs

Manufacturer Center Revamp

Google Manufacturer Center now provides some new features in the form of a new section on Shopping product detail pages and new and improved analytics. The Shopping product details pages would allow sellers to provide accurate, relevant, and high-quality information that matters to the shoppers.

google-manufacturer-center.gif

The analytics, on the other hand, has been added to provide manufacturers/sellers important insights into factors such as their top performing products, changes in performance or price of their products, top search terms leading to product searches, and information about competing brands that appear alongside theirs, etc. Google has also announced expanding the Manufacturer Center to 17 more countries.

google-manufacturer-center-analytics-1546953044.png

Source: Google Manufacturer Center With New Content, Analytics & Availability

via: https://www.semrush.com/blog/google-news-digest-new-serp-features-pay-for-conversions-in-display-campaigns/

by: David Bain  Head of Digital Marketing Courses at AVADO, Founder and Host of Digital Marketing Radio and Host of SEMrush’s very own Marketing Scoop podcast.

AssistantOver the past year we  have seen the expansion of Google’s Reserve with Google call to action in all of their local products.

It was never very clear to me which categories were eligible for Reserve with Google  or which might get it in the future. Joel Headley of PatientPop recently shared a link to Google’s API documentation that clearly indicates which verticals are eligible for the feature and provides insights into both those that might get it and those that probably won’t.

At the highest level, it requires a merchant to have a physical address and a booking service compatible with Google’s API. Thus no service area businesses allowed.

Supported Services

Google lists off the types of services that are eligible although the docs is outdated as we know that restaurants, which are not on the list, are supported:

  • Appointments
  • Reservations
  • Classes
  • Activities
  • Basic ticketing
  • General admission day tours
  • Consults and evaluations
  • Signups and trials

And which health, fitness, spa and beauty categories are currently embraced

  • Acupuncture
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Sports medicine
  • Sleep clinic
  • Drug testing
  • Retreat center
  • Speech pathologist
  • Meditation
  • Reiki
  • Massage
  • Lymph drainage
  • Spa
  • Skin care
  • Hair removal
  • Hair replacement

Non Supported Services

However, the most enlightening section details the types of categories and services that are explicitly not allowed.  Essentially any service that utilizes insurance payments, doesn’t have a confirmable, discreet bookable time slot or any on-demand service that is provided at the searchers home or place of business are proscribed.

The following is a list of some specific examples of services that aren’t supported:

  • Medical services:
    • Doctors, dentists, or surgery
    • Medical spas that aren’t covered by insurance
  • On-demand or home services:
    • A stylist that comes to your workplace
    • In-home trainers
    • A pet grooming truck
    • Field services, plumbers, or contractors
    • Mobile mechanics
  • Location-agnostic multi-day tours

If I were to speculate on the whys of this, the prohibition of on-demand service involves liability risks with the possibility of in home visits from unvetted businesses. I think Google’s approach to these types of businesses can be seen with the extra vetting required in the Local Service Ad program.

I assume, but do not know, that liability issues may still be present in the desire to avoid doctors, dentist and spa bookings as well.

It is also understandable that Google wants to avoid booking for things that are messy and include too much back and forth to nail down the schedule or might provide too much private information about the searcher.

The Future

We have seen the expansion of the program to restaurants,  museums and events. We also know that TripAdvisor and Yelp have signed as partners to this program.

In fact last week I saw my first screen shot of Yelp’s participation via the Duplex project reported in the VentureBeat last week*.

Google

Given that this program is available via an API and we know that beyond Yelp, TripAdvisor, Thryve and TicketMaster are all “coming soon” we can expect to see this transactional capability expanding across more categories and services.

Categories beyond those noted are speculative but obviously could include legal appointments and others.

Monetization

Clearly transactional capabilities in Maps, the Knowledge Panel and Google Assistant are coming and coming at a furious pace. While we have seen monetization of certain bookable events in the Local Service Ads arena, these Reserve with Google have not been monetized directly.

I would ask two questions:

What other categories might they include by the above. criteria?

Will Google further monetizate Reserve with Google beyond the the current API billing?

*It will be interesting to see if Yelp is “happy” with their positioning and this new program. 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.

Google My Business is testing a new, direct in the GMB App messaging capability. This was noted by Casey Bryan(from down under) on Twitter and confirmed by Steven Johns in the UK:

I have yet to see a test in a US based company although I presume that there must be someone that has received beta access. The Help page notes that it is “currently available to select merchants in select countries”. And that it is not to be confused with the GMB’s SMS capabilities.

Casey Bryan

How it works (from the Help page):

Once you turn on messaging, customers will see a “Message” button on your Google My Business listing. Customers will then be able to message you at any time.

  • Messages will appear in the Google My Business app, and you’ll receive notifications for incoming messages.
  • You can customize the automated welcome message that customers will see when they message you.
  • If multiple people own or manage your Google My Business listing, each one can message with customers.
  • Customers may see your name and profile photo from your About me page

But this is a new and as yet unannounced capability that takes the GMB onto an independent path for b-c communications. This feature, like review responses and the new(ish) ability to communicate with followers, is a clear indication of the GMB is gaining capabilities for better b-c communications.

When viewed in tandem with their recent decision to allow GMB Website creators to use WhatsApp as the communication app of choice it also seems to indicate that the Google My Business team is marching to its own drummer vis a vis Google’s over arching messaging strategy (if you can call it that).

Google

Google’s messaging strategy has long confusing and not made less so by recent announcements to cut their messaging apps from 7 to 5 over the next few years as they focus on their new telco driven RCS messaging standard and their Hangouts Chat.

While I think that GMB efforts to create better communication between the consumer and the business is a good thing, this new beta for direct GMB messaging and support for WhatsApp both seem to further muddy Google’s larger messaging strategy.

In case the Tweet is ever removed, here is the screenshot of the capability being announced in the GMB App:

twitter

 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.

Who knew? Near Me searches peak on the weekends.

In October, I noted that Near Me searches, while generally going up, had a distinct seasonal peaks in July and December. Actually more careful analysis shows those peaks to fall around the 4th of July and the week right after Christmas.  Both correspond with high travel periods.

The fact that, when viewed over a shorter time  fame, it is obvious that they peak on weekends seems to confirm their most common use is likely associated with travel.

4th of July
Each peak covers a two day week end.

These queries viewed over the last 90 days reflect both travel and seasonal interests:Christmas

However, I found this two year look back telling. It appears that folks were very interested in finding nearby early voting opportunities. Barring that they needed some psycho-active stimulation or escape.

high travel periodsMakes sense to me.

 

 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.

Google has the unique ability to look like they are doing something about systemic problems in Local when in reality it is just misdirection.

Spam reporting is but one flagrant example of this. I recently reported some obvious spam. Any effing idiot could see that it is spam and yet my edit was denied. #ShameOnGoogle

Cincinnati

Curious, I called the number and it was clear that it was lead gen spam. After a set of qualifying questions from the auto attendant, it directed me to the corporate offices of Liberty Mutual in Orlando.

Obviously these are showing in the search results. So naturally I set aside all of 15 minutes and explored whether this was just a regional or nationwide “marketing effort”.

Denver

Clearly these are national in scope. #ShameOnGoogle

I called bogus listings in Cincinnati, Buffalo, Denver and Los Angeles (when I stopped looking) and was asked the exact same set of qualifying questions by the exact same automated attendant but each call led me to different actual AllState or State Farm etc agents around the country. Usually in the same state but often hundreds of miles away from the pin. Often the listings were not even verified.

Google

Orlando

State Farm

Another flagrant example of Google’s misdirection is when I meet with Google about spam, I am often told “Show us the pattern” or “we can’t do anything if we don’t know the pattern” or “we are a search company and have a lot on our plate” or “blah, blah, blah”.

WTF? This pattern isn’t complicated, it isn’t hidden, it isn’t all that difficult to figure out… #ShameOnGoogle.

Google if you are reading this, here is the pattern: reported as spam, suspiciously spammy name, with exactly the same listings effing EVERYWHERE and they all ring into the same automated attendant.

Shame on you.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.

advertising toolsFake reviews are a long term AND growing problem at Google. The unfortunate reality is that Google helped create this illegal market place and benefits from it economically.

Google has, over the years, created both new opportunities in existing markets AND created new market opportunities. 

And Google often touts the economic benefits that it brings to society.  In fact Google claims that “last year, Google’s search and advertising tools helped provide $283 billion of economic activity for more than 1.5 million businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits nationwide”.

Unfortunately Google doesn’t much care whether the activity created is legal. And they only proactively go after illegal activity once it has become a visible public relations problem.

The drug rehab space comes to mind (although there are many other previous and current examples). Google did very little until the Verge expose by Cat Ferguson brought national attention to the abuses of needy people by unscrupulous Rehab Centers in the fall of 2017.

This pattern of market creation and profiting from illegal activity on Google’s part is no where more true than with fake reviews. 

– Google created search results that favor businesses with more reviews. 

– Google has rarely created significant barriers to fake reviews, often allowing them at massive scale. 

– New businesses sprang up to help local businesses get more, often illegal, reviews. It would appear from the scale and increasing frequency that this has become a criminal enterprise that includes threats and retaliation to those that report them.

– Google supports a vibrant market place for businesses to sell fake reviews using Google’s organic, email, video and ad platforms. 

– Google profits from this illegal marketplace by selling AdWords into the space

– Google has done little to dampen or eliminate the fake review market despite the fact that it is both against their terms of service and a violation of state and national laws. And Google externalizes the costs associated with identifying the spam review to volunteers. 

– While there has been some limited public relations blow back on the review front, Google has not yet put in place adequate filters for fake reviews, does not filter these illegal results from their search engine and apparently has not enforced rules in Adwords that prohibit advertising their acquisition. 

– Ultimately, after years of neglecting growing problems, when the spam  gets so bad that it makes the product worthless, Google tends to throw up their hands and create a pay to play product like Local Service Ads or Google Shopping.

It really doesn’t matter where you look on Google, the activity to sell fake reviews is obvious and easy to find. 

Last week, a Gmail user solicited me to buy illegal reviews. I had a long and interesting back and forth with him (I assume it is a him) about the quality and reliability of his product. He notes that he only uses long standing Google accounts and can thus guarantee that he can get me  reviews every month .

All the accounts that we use to post the reviews are 6-10 years old that we have been maintaining as a real person would do, that is why we are able to maintain more than 95% success rate with the reviews we post and that is what makes the reviews look organic and real.

Google

After some negotiation, he guaranteed that he could provide me with 10 Google reviews every month on his subscription plan for only $50. And the first month was free!

Search Google for buy fake reviews and while the first few results are why you shouldn’t buy them, I am sure that the organic result in the number 4 position gets most of the click throughs. 

public relations

A quick search on YouTube finds fake review offers at the top of the results. 

search engine

Never one to leave a new market place untapped, Adwords continues to provide opportunities for businesses to sell into the space.  And for Google to profit from this activity. 

visible public relations problem

Google lives in a very strange world, with near categorical protection from use of their platform by bad actors, only reacting when a problem becomes so big that they have to respond or face the wrath of the public and the government.

Fake reviews certainly warrant a response from Google. Legitimate businesses are hurt every day and more importantly consumers world wide are deceived. And yet they continue to act as if it isn’t a critical issue.

Google’s failure to act decisively in the review space, now that they are THE local monopoly and dominate the review space, will ultimately decay consumer trust in reviews and lead to the failure of reviews as an alternative to traditional word of mouth.

What will it take to make them respond? It remains to be seen.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.

The number of online shops is growing exponentially, and the competition level facing entrepreneurs is growing with it. Having the best product is far from enough! You can lose customers over the smallest details, so the transactional journey you provide should meet the highest standards.

To help out the business community we have conducted research powered by SEMrush Site Audit to find out which issues e-commerce websites are struggling with most. We have scanned 1,300 online shops for 80 technical and SEO issues, varying widely from mild nuisances to severe business-damaging errors.

We have gone over all the common on-page and technical SEO issues, including problems with HTTPS implementation, hreflangs, crawlability, site architecture, and more.

Guess what? Even the biggest retail websites have errors! Our research will help to give you an educated overview of your website’s health and find new ways to improve your business.

Paul Lovell, international SEO & PPC consultant and Founder at Always Evolving SEO, shared his expertise and concluded the research. We’ve also asked industry experts from all around the world to share their advice.

 

SEMrush Study: The 80 most common e-commerce website mistakes

Paul Lovell SEO & PPC Consultant

Via: https://www.semrush.com/blog/most-common-ecommerce-website-mistakes/?utm_source=sej&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%D0%95%D1%81ommerceq4

GoogleLast week, off and on, we started seeing the use of the image carousel in the mobile Local Finder.  This is a format that has long been present in the restaurant search results. The carousels have been seen off and on since then, showing up and then disappearing, only to show once again. When they did show they were not in all categories.

For example we saw them in most product driven categories like jewelry, cars and sporting goods but not in professional categories like lawyers and doctors.  We saw them in some services like plumbers and HVAC, Dog Grooming and Insect Control (Really? Yes really.) but not in Locksmith or Electricians or Salons. Clearly a test at a grand scale.

Will they become the new normal? As I have said before “Who the f knows?” but it seems likely to me that their use will expand. I am seeing them today on some devices but not all.

HVAC

When “More Places” is selected the searcher is taken to the Mobile Finder

image management

Mobile Local Finder with Carousel

Of course this made me curious about the aspect ratios and whether a vertical or horizontal image might be better for optimizing the outcome. Google has never made image management easy and this new display is no exception.

machine learning
The black border indicates the crop of a horizontal image

In this case it doesn’t seem to matter whether you are using a vertical or horizontal image as long as the shot is in close AND the main content of the image is center weighted.

The carousel crops to a roughly 480 pixel wide by 240 pixel high view, a 2 to 1 aspect ratio. It will cut that from either vertical or horizontal images.

restaurant search results
It cuts the same 2 wide to 1 high horizontal section out of the vertical image. The black border represents the area displayed in the carousel.

Both of these images worked reasonably well but the difficulties start coming in when you also want to optimize the image for the 3 pack on mobile, the Branded Mobile Knowledge Panel and all the many variations imposed by the desktop and Maps results.

The mobile pack results seems to be one area where you should focus. If the image looks good there AND in the carousel, it is reasonable to take your chances elsewhere.

In this image I have overlain  the original image with the crop for both the carousel (solid black line) AND the mobile 3 pack (dotted) so you can get a sense of what I mean by “center weighted”.

Google
The solid black line represents the crop from the carousel, while the dotted line is the 3 pack crop.

It becomes an almost impossible task for an image to look perfect in every image environment that Google presents. You will see a totally different crop that shows for the Brand Knowledge panel in a mobile browser.

Adding text to the image makes the problem more obvious and a solution more difficult. That being said in many contexts, the text is a differntiator.

HVAC
The crop is still centered weighted but wider in the mobile Knowledge Panel.

And on the desktop you can see a totally different crop the shows in the  local finder.

image management
Once again a different crop but like all, centered weighted.

Last but not least is the fact that Google seems to be experimenting with images and swapping out the cover photo and occasionally showing a different image. It seems to me that this image is perhaps more contextually relevant to the query but it could just as well be a usability test or a machine learning training exercise.  machine learning

I would be curious to hear of your examples of the types of images Google is showing when swapping out and whether they seem to be query related.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.

This is my second post in the “who the f knows” series.

And it relates to Google now showing the book or schedule button in the 3 pack. Or not showing as the case may be.

When your boss comes and sees you and asks why are your booking buttons not showing you can either say “who the f’ knows” or the current, more accurate variant “Only Google f’ing knows”.

On a tangental a note, these book buttons were first spotted in the SERPS by Sergey Alekov in February when Google released Reserve with Google in Canada. I don’t think they showed in the SERPS reliably at that point.

In fact they still don’t show in the SERPS reliably.

Over the past day or two I have spotted the following desktop and mobile variations involving or not involving the booking button as the case may be.

Mobile variants:

Alphabet Inc.CanadaGoogleDesktop Variants

Sergey Alekov World Wide Web

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.