Here are what I consider to be the most important news items in the world of SEO from last week:
Google Local Results Dynamically Change Based on Query
Google’s “local pack,” the search results that show up in the main search results page, will now show different business categories next to a business’ name based on the category the user searched for.
For example, if a business does web design and SEO, if you search for [web design], Google may show the category “website designer” next to the company name. At the same time, if you search for [seo], Google might show “internet marketing service” next to the same company name.
The Takeaway: if your business provides multiple types of services, as most do, check your Google My Business page and ensure all the proper categories have been selected for your business.
Google Updates “Ad Settings” to Allow Users the Ability to Turn Off Targeting Signals
Google has updated its Ad Settings feature to give their users more options for limiting ad personalization.
In the wake of privacy violations and “fake news,” Google (among others) has taken a lot of steps to help users execute more control over their online experience. With these changes, users can turn off some of the interest signals Google uses for targeting ads.
The new Ad Settings feature allows users to opt out of allowing Google to personalize their ads, including information based on a user’s action, information the user has in their accounts, and so on.
“This information helps make ads more relevant and useful to you. However, in the new Ad Settings, if you no longer want us to tailor your ads based on one of these factors you can choose to turn it off,” Google Product Manager Philippe de Lurand Pierre-Paul said.
In addition to giving users more control, Google is also expanding their “Why this ad?” notice. From now on, all Google services that show Google Ads will include this notice. This notice helps users better understand why they see a particular advertisement.