Google has gone the extra mile by continuing to expand its COVID-19 resources to help users during this pandemic; it has been truly amazing to see how quickly they have made improvements while providing options to help businesses and consumers alike.
Below we have included comprehensive resources Google has provided for the healthcare and restaurant industries, information on the postponement of the Google Ads Partners Program, Google findings on recent search behavior changes, info on the Google Ads Editor v.1.3, and more.
SEMrush Sensor shows that SERP volatility has been stable since last week. A quick scan of some of the top sites in the Winners and Losers tab provides some insights into some of the interests people have had this week while social distancing.
Google Making It Easier to Connect to Virtual Healthcare
Google wants to help individuals needing services, and health care providers connect. They will be rolling out new features in both Google Search and Maps to help connect people to virtual healthcare options so they can get the services they need.
Healthcare providers can now display a virtual care offering in their business profile.
Those searching for services can see a link for virtual appointments in Google Search and Maps when searching for a local provider.
Google automatically surfaces a link to the healthcare provider’s COVID-19 information page on Maps and Search so that people can easily access information updates.
Widely available virtual care platforms are showing directly on Search, as well as the cost of a visit without insurance — this begins as a pilot in the U.S.
For help on setting these things up, visit Connecting people to virtual care options.
Related Resources for Healthcare
- See all the ways Google is helping the healthcare industry.
- Check out the Google Cloud technology infrastructure and solutions that will help with care delivery and operations.
- Review the HIPAA Compliance with G Suite and Cloud Identity information administrators need.
- See Google's health and government best practices with suggestions on updating websites.
- Learn how to create COVID-19-related posts on GMB pages for health providers.
Changes In Search Behaviour Related to COVID-19
Google has published changes in consumer behavior during COVID-19 and advice on what marketers can do to help customers during this time. Google highlights five behaviors they are seeing reflected in how people are searching online.
They have some recommendations on how brands can help consumers, and they broke down some interesting findings that could help brands find new avenues for marketing to their target audience.
1. Discovering New Connections
- On YouTube, there is an increase in the number of ‘with me’ videos, involving people completing normal everyday tasks such as shopping or cleaning. Search interest for ‘virtual happy hour’ is also increasing, most notably in the U.S.
- Video views including the phrase ‘study with me’, have seen a 54% increase in the U.S. compared to the same period in 2019.
- Search interest for multiplayer video games has risen worldwide in the last few months, particularly in Italy and Canada.
2. Adjusting to Changes in Their Routines
- Searches for ‘do it yourself’ are peaking at midday on the weekends in the U.S. and Canada.
- There is also a growing interest in workout equipment worldwide.
3. Assembling Critical Information
- Search users are looking for specific information about where, how, and when they can get items they need.
- Interest related to retail has spiked globally:
- Google has also seen an increase in terms such as ‘can you freeze’ in the UK and ‘home delivery’ in France.
4. Praising Everyday Heroes
Google states, " he notion of “thank essential workers” has taken a sudden upturn in search interest worldwide" One positive thing this pandemic has done is make people appreciate many workers they didn't realize were "essential" for stability and survival before.
5. Taking Care of Themselves and Others
- Australia and Canada are searching for 'puzzles’ to perhaps find something fun to do as a family.
- Americans are looking for ‘relaxation’ between the hours of 11 PM. and 3 AM (looks like insomnia could be an issue).
- Spain is interested in ‘virtual tours’ and the UK is interested in ‘live zoo’. America and Australia are looking for outdoor projects to work on.
For each of these five behaviors in search trends, Google provides ways businesses can be useful to consumers. You can see them at Google search data reveals how brands can help during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sign Up for the Video Builder Beta
It has become abundantly clear that video ads are a great way to reach people, but during the pandemic, creating a video ad in isolation can be difficult. Google announced that the YouTube Video Builder is "fast, easy and free."
The free beta tool allows you to choose from a variety of layouts, animate static assets (like images, text, and logos) and include music from their library. Users can customize fonts and colors and quickly create a YouTube video that is 6 seconds or 15 seconds long
If you are interested in sharing updated services and options with your customers, check out this option. You can sign up for access here.
Google Postpones Partners Program Until 2021 Due to COVID-19
In the past week, Google revealed it is postponing the new Google Partners program until 2021. Originally, the launch of the program was in June 2020.
As the circumstances around COVID-19 continue to evolve, we understand this is a difficult time for you, your families, and your business. In light of this, we’ve decided to postpone the launch of the new Google Partners program until 2021. Learn more: https://t.co/SlcIwaWTx7 pic.twitter.com/r80TzBnR8R— Google Ads (@GoogleAds) April 8, 2020
Google explained in an updated FAQs section of the Google Partners program why the launch date is being moved:
“As we continue to adapt to COVID-19 across the globe, we understand that this state of uncertainty can be difficult for you, your families, your business, and your customers. To help you focus on what matters most, we’ve decided to postpone the June 2020 launch of the new Google Partners program and new badge requirements until 2021.”
For those with existing Partner badges, Premier Partner badges and specializations and how these are affected by the postponement, Google says:
“If you have a Partner badge, Premier Partner badge, or a specialization (Search, Display, Shopping, or Video), you will keep your badge and/or specializations until the 2021 launch. If your Partner badge, Premier Partner badge, or specializations are currently at risk, you will keep your badge status and/or specializations until the new program launches in 2021.”
Google Ads Editor v.1.3 Is Now Live
Google unveiled the new Google Ads Editor v1.3, which provides support for shared budgets, optimization score, and an improved edit pane.
Optimization score: This score will make it easier for you to prioritize where to make changes.
Shared budgets: With this option, you can now create and edit shared budgets from your Shared library within the Editor.
Improved edit pane: The edit pane has improvements made to reduce scrolling time. The edit pane now hides sections if they aren’t relevant to your selection. It is also possible to resize and position the edit pane, as shown below:
Updates on Google My Business for Food Companies Impacted by COVID-19
Google My Business announced that those in "food businesses" that have been affected by COVID-19 can make updates to their GMB profile and provide the most up-to-date information to their customers. These updates will appear on the GMB profile in Google Maps and Search.
They also said, "We may review your changes for quality before we publish them, so the changes may delay the updates on Google Search and Maps."
These updates include:
Updating hours of operation.
Adding takeout, delivery, or curbside pickup attributes.
Google also provided answers and resources to help with the following:
- Changing Business Hours
- Updating Dining Options
- Marking Your Business as Temporarily Closed
- How to edit attributes at scale if you use the Google My Business API, and How To Edit Attributes.
- How to Update Your Menu URL or Menu Data
- How to Create a Post
- How to Create the New COVID-19 Post Type
- How to Turn On Messaging in the Google My Business App
- How to Sign Up with The Ordering.App
For similar resources for the retail industry, visit Retail businesses affected by COVID-19.
Each week we share the most recent news about Google. The search engine has worked hard to provide new options to both users and businesses due to the coronavirus over the last few weeks, and we don't want you to miss any options available to you.
So let me give you a quick recap of the things we covered in the last three news posts:
- April 8th - We discussed improvements made in the search results for users, structured data for COVID-19, and takeout and delivery labels in search and Google Maps.
- April 1st - We broke down new options for business, including information on pausing your business online and adding COVID-19 posts in GMB.
- March 25th - We explained new schema options for canceled events, the temporarily closed button on GMB, and guidance for local health services.
Our goal is to provide you with all the information we can find. Please always let us know if we have missed any important updates in the comments below.
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