Google Launches Structured Snippets
Google added ‘structured snippets’ to search results this week. They’re an extension of Knowledge Graph information, but displayed within individual search results. The announcement on the Google Research Blog illustrates the feature with the above example, picking out specs and features for a Nikon D7100 camera. Other examples already found include company profiles, comic book characters, events, places and people. Google cautions that “Fact quality will vary across results based on page content, and we are continually enhancing the relevance and accuracy of the facts we identify and display.”
AdWords Expands Local Inventory Ads to UK
AdWords has expanded its local inventory ad features outside the US, with the functionality now available in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan. The ads are served to users searching for specific products, who are then told which local stores have the products in stock, including pricing and address and contact details for the shops. Google claims that 83% of shoppers report to be more likely to visit a shop if they can check stock availability beforehand, so this could be a great way to give local and high street retailers an extra edge.
Google Targets Private Blog Networks
There have been reports this week that Google has cracked down on private blog networks, handing out manual ranking penalties to sites confirmed to be part of the practice. Private blog networks are groups of sites, usually controlled by one publisher, that exist primarily for the purpose of building up links within the network for SEO ranking purposes. Google seem to have penalised the networks on the grounds of “thin content,” with numerous webmasters reporting that they’ve received penalties. This is unlikely to totally kill the private blog networks, but Google clearly doesn’t like the practice, so expect the search giant to keep hitting them hard.