SEO Updates 21st Mar 2020
1. Google’s Right-Sidebar Featured Snippet Moved to Main Results
The deduplication of search results that started in January this year saw yet another step in the direction.
Traditionally, a featured snippet appeared on the SERP in the right-sidebar and the same link also appeared in the search results.
This featured snippet has now been moved to the main results column further reducing deduplication of results.
Here is an example of a search result when the right-sidebar existed.
Now the sidebar appears in the main results. Here,
Why You should be Concerned?
If you have had a sidebar featuring your pages till now, there is a reason you should be concerned. Watch out for any drop in traffic due to the movement of the sidebar.
For all other results, it is possible that your pages will be moved further down on the SERP. How this impacts your traffic and conversion is something you need to look out for, in the next few days.
2. Google Reviews Disabled Temporarily
At a time when not just consumer vulnerability but also that of businesses is high, Google has suspended all business reviews to prevent unscrupulous elements from exploiting the same by posting negative reviews.
Though no explanation has been received from the Search Engine, but this is likely to be a step in the direction that Yelp has shown. Yelp has announced that it will not allow any reviews where user claims to have contracted Coronavirus from any business or its employees.
The move will surely prevent misinformation and keep people from being misled about businesses.
3. Google Disallows Ads for Government Documents & Official Services
From May, this year, Google Ads will not allow ads to be targeted for Government documents and Official services.
The policy, which will come into effect from 26th May, disallows all such ads where the documents can be directly obtained from a Govt. authority.
It also prohibits promotions for assistance with applying or paying for official or public services that are directly available via a government or delegated provider.
Some of these services include assistance with applying for government appointments or benefits; assistance with requesting an official change of address, an official name change, unclaimed money, or a mail hold; and assistance with paying transportation fees, such as bridge tolls or congestion charges.