New Google Updates, Tweaks, and Improvements

By Lauren Kade | May 31, 2011
More Articles by Lauren

There have been several new updates in Google Adwords over the past few weeks and months, and I thought I should sum them up in one big post.  So here they are, in case you missed them.

Flight Schedules

This past weekend Google added flight schedules and travel times to the search results.  Now, when I searched for “flights to London,” this showed in my search results:






I was not signed into my Google account so it used my IP address to find that I’m leaving from the Charlottesville airport (a tiny airport so I’m not surprised there are not any direct flights).  Unfortunately, when you click on an airline it doesn’t directly take you to the flight it describes, so you have to re-search for the flight on the airline website.  But it does give you a nice travel time estimate and which airports the non-stop flights leave from, which is helpful for people near small airports like me.  And with Google’s recent acquisition of ITA Software, I’m sure more options will be available soon as they begin to start implementing the ITA technology.

Extended Headlines

Recently, Google has begun adding the destination URL domain to the headline of your ad if it’s listed above the organic search results.  The domain will not show any subdirectories or prefixes such as “www,” and will be separated from the ad headline by a vertical bar:



Google recently published a blog post explaining the new update.  In the post, Lisa Shieh explains that the new format will apply only to select ads.  After some research on my part, it seems that the update is showing on all ads listing above the organic search results unless their headline has already been extended with the first description line.

Although not a recent update, perhaps not everyone is aware of this feature.  If your ad shows above the organic search listings and your first description line is a complete sentence, Google will put it in the headline as well.  The description and headline are always separated by a hyphen:




Google Instant Preview

Another update that is older but has gone relatively unnoticed is the Google instant preview. Available for both paid and organic listings, the searcher can preview what the landing page will look like and even read a snippet of the content.  You can view the preview by clicking the hourglass on each ad:











The preview tool cannot, however, read flash websites.  If the landing page has a large flash video, it will only appear as an ugly black box.

Keyword Tool

If you track or report on monthly search traffic for certain keywords or keyword phrases, you should know that the Google Keyword Tool recently updated all its traffic numbers to be more accurate.  Therefore, if you do report on any search traffic numbers, be sure to update your keywords, as the new numbers are drastically different!

AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor was also updated recently, and my fellow Search Marketing Sage blogger Mark Browner covered all of the changes to Editor in his post: AdWords Editor Version 9.0 – Sitelinks!

So there you have it!  All the most recent updates explained in one place.  But be advised, Google’s always updating things, so make sure you stay current by reading the AdWords Blog.

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