Last week was already busy enough; then Google announced that Questions and Answers is now available in Google My Business listings.
The new feature could leave some businesses scrambling to make sure they respond to consumer questions quickly. But they may also need to react promptly should there be any pernicious messages that escaped the search engine’s attention.
Google’s local Questions and Answers feature, which shows in Google Map’s business listings, is being rolled out to all mobile devices, worldwide.
Now, consumers can ask businesses questions directly within Google Maps, and can give a thumbs up to questions and answers.
Google is to moderate (largely by automation) questions and answers, with business owners able to flag incorrect answers from users, and malign or spammy questions.
Businesses also need to have Google Maps on their mobile if they want to get push notifications when questions are asked or answered.
In our view, timing and execution make the likelihood of Failure (with a capital ‘F’) the likely outcome for Questions and Answers and we’d be surprised if it lasts the distance in current form.
True, Questions and Answers might prove a good thing for both consumers and Google. But the pressure is on businesses to make sure that they are prepared and responsive.
Our advice? Add an FAQ to your Google My Business listing to make sure that common questions (opening hours, parking availability and so on) have already been answered. And make sure you are getting notifications so that you know when questions are asked.
Is your website still http not https? And do you have forms on your site?
If you answered “yes” to both questions, then you should have received a warning in Google Search Console last week.
Starting in October, people visiting your site using the Chrome browser will be warned your site is not secure. It’s part of Google’s ongoing mission to convert all sites to HTTPS, and follows an earlier warning in April.
The US Supreme Court may get to decide if Google is a trademark term.
Last year the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favour of Google keeping its trademark, but now the Supreme Court has been petitioned to consider the case. We may not know for a few months yet, however, whether or not the Court will review the case.
Will our constant googling mean that Google (like “hoover”, “aspirin” and “thermos”, before it) no longer has trademark protection? And what would that mean for Google (sorry, “google”)?
In Google’s Android app and in Chrome for Android, you’ll now get video previews in Google search results.
This is a good thing, we think — you can get a quick idea if the video is one you want to watch in its entirety. Just so long as Google doesn’t follow Facebook’s lead in making videos autoplay, that is.
But it’s worth it, given the money Google makes back from mobile advertising.
AndroidCentral’s Tom Westrick makes the argument for why it makes sense for Google to pay Apple $3b USD or so each year to be the default search engine for Safari on iOS. Apple gets to have it both ways, of course: Microsoft pays Apple, too, for Bing to be on iOS as the search engine used by Siri.
And Google also pays Samsung $3.5b for the same privilege…
Apple’s Safari web browser will soon automatically strip out Google AMP URLs when a web page is shared or copy/pasted in iOS 11. Sharing original links is arguably better for publishers by driving people toward the platforms (and ads) they directly control.
What we’ve been reading this week
- Kiwi Start Up Accepted into Top Silicon Valley Accelerator
- Forget fake reviews: now you can buy fake customers
- You’re probably doing mobile ads all wrong, warns top Facebook exec
- What does a tech startup do after raising $232 million selling digital coins to investors?
- Is Google developing Smart Headphones?
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