Google News Digest: New Algo Update Rumors, GSC Removal Tool, And More

These are the top stories to keep your eye on today.

The January 2020 core upgrade, the introduction of the favicon and black ad label on desktop, and the highlighted snippet update have all kept marketers on their toes this year. We don’t have any verifiable algorithm news this week, but Sensor has detected some major fluctuation in the SERPs this week. Google has yet to issue a statement confirming any new features or improvements.


At this moment, it’s difficult to forecast anything, but keep a watch on Sensor to observe variations and acquire knowledge. 

Below are some Google Search, Google Tools, and NEWS FROM GOOGLE ADS changes that you should be aware of. So keep reading and be sure to let us know if you notice any changes.


Several Indicators That You Need to Improve Your Content

Remember when Google’s Gary Illyes stated this?

There have been several complaints of users experiencing troubles with fresh material not being indexed before and after that tweet, even when manually submitting it using GSC:

If your site’s typical material is submitted manually to indexes, it has to be greatly improved. Your site will not be fixed by Search Console; you must do it yourself.

—? —? —? —? —? 3 February 2020 (@JohnMu)

When questioned about content, John Mu proposed “substantially improving your site.” Then, three days later, Gary Illyes gave the keynote speech at Pubcon Austin, where he discussed how to improve content:

For the sake of clarity, I’ll say it again. BERT is impossible to optimize for. However, you should improve your writing abilities and learn to flow and transition in your writing, as well as write for a non-technical audience. @methode

February 6, 2020 — Nicole DeLeon (@nicoleldeleon)

Side Personal note: I chatted with Gary about content during Pubcon. The importance of flow and transition was underlined. I’ve been in this field for a long, and I can tell you that if Google representatives keep emphasizing the same point again and over, you should pay attention.

I understand that writing content to rank for random keywords in the hopes of being discovered and then perhaps converting has been a popular technique in the past, but those days are gone. People must quit writing meaningless material in the hopes of ranking for a certain keyword. Instead, generate material with the purpose of educating, solving an issue, or offering answers, and always keeping entities in mind.

Last but not least, ensure that whomever is writing for you and planning content campaigns has a fundamental grasp of BERT. John Mu recently noted, “BERT is a cutting-edge method for computers to comprehend natural language. Both are used to figure out what the user was searching for and to have a better grasp of the pages in our index.” It’s always wise to pay attention to what Google isn’t saying when they’re dropping clues. 

A new SERP test or a bug?

The SEMrush team discovered what looks to be a new search results page design that is more open in style.

 We weren’t the only ones who had noticed it…

Google is always testing, so this might be simply another test or a major issue that they have resolved. 

Avoid Hreflang characteristics in Anchor Tags, according to Google’s John Mueller.

Through a recent Reddit post this week, John Mueller clarified some SEO ambiguity. Mueller answered to a user’s inquiry on how to utilize hreflang attributes correctly and incorrectly.

Hreflang attributes should not be used in anchor tags, according to Mueller (as the user had done previously) 


More information about Hreflang Implementation may be found here. 

5 Hours of SEO in a Mega Webinar

7 back-to-back sessions

ADS illustration

Google My Business Posts Are Rejected


Google’s Public Service Announcement (PSA) has been updated. The update for new posts went live today, according to Google, so any new posts you write should operate as intended. In the coming days, Google will also publish old content that were previously rejected.

February 10, 2020 — Mike Blumenthal (@mblumenthal)

Many people complained last week that their Google postings were being denied. A large number of company owners have expressed their dissatisfaction with it, particularly on Google My Business forums:


Mike Blumenthal offered a potential solution: 


Others discovered that changing the names of picture files helped them: 


This might be a glitch or a result of updated picture standards. If you’re having trouble, go to the Google My Business forums for assistance. 

Twitter is the source of this information.


Google Shopping Ads are available in Gmail, Discover, and YouTube.

On February 6th, Google announced that “starting the week of March 4th, Shopping ads in your standard Shopping campaigns (which includes both Product Shopping ads and Showcase Shopping ads) that target the Google Display Network will be eligible to appear on Gmail in addition to YouTube and Google Discover” will be “eligible to appear on Gmail in addition to YouTube and Google Discover.” This is in addition to the YouTube and Discover feeds, where Google began extending display retail advertising last year, and it is something Google has been gently but steadily expanding.

Visit Google’s article Gmail on standard Shopping campaigns for further information on Google Ads AP and AdWords API setups, as well as how to enable your advertisers to opt-in or opt-out of Gmail, YouTube, and Google Discover for standard Shopping campaigns.

In Google Search Console, a new removals tool has been launched.

The following are some of the features of a new removals tool: 

  • Google temporarily bans URLs.

  • Requests to remove obsolete material may be found here.

  • See which URLs on your site have been flagged as having adult material.

A snapshot of Google’s temporary deletions is shown below:


Visit Google’s Removals Tool in the Search Console help section for extensive instructions on how to use and how not to use this tool. 

Visit to use the tool.

New Reports for Review Snippets Have Arrived in Google Search Console.

In Google Search Console, Google has added support for review snippets. If you’ve integrated structured data for ratings or reviews, you’ll now be able to get alerts about markup problems on your site. 

Take a look at how this appears on the performance report:


And here’s a video of Google’s Daniel Waisberg talking you how to use Search Console to track Rich Results.


New reports for review snippets in Search Console are now available.

Data Studio now has all new enterprise IT controls.

Google has reacted to IT managers’ calls for additional control over Data Studio by launching three free business capabilities that enable them to do exactly that. 

1. Cloud Identity Integration for Organizational Management

Cloud Identity administrators have greater control over how Data Studio is used and who uses it thanks to Google Cloud Identity. 

2. Audit Logging in the Enterprise

Audit logging, similar to that offered for applications like Drive and Calendar, gives IT managers organization-wide insight into Data Studio activity. Administrators can now see who is authoring Data Studio reports and with whom they are sharing them. 


3. Organizational Policies on Information Sharing

New Data Studio sharing rules have also been implemented, which limit the danger of data exfiltration and provide IT administrators more options when it comes to sharing rights that are compliant with your company’s standards. More information on configuring permissions may be found here. 


New Enterprise IT Controls for Data Studio (source)

Google Maps Celebrates 15 Years with a New Look and New Features

Did you know that Google Maps has been assisting individuals with navigational difficulties get to their destinations for over 15 years (over 1 billion to be exact)? 

Google Maps has a new logo and symbol, as well as a slew of new features, to commemorate the occasion.


Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates are the five easy-to-access tabs of the redesigned app.


When using public transportation, the new transit capabilities in the Google Maps app will give useful information.


Google is also striving to enhance Live View and provide more help when users are looking for a place; updates should be available in the coming months. 

Google Maps is celebrating its 15th birthday! Enjoy a new design and features to commemorate the occasion.

Google Issues Coronavirus SOS Alerts

The coronavirus is a public health emergency that we should all be aware of. The SOS notice for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has been activated, according to Google. 

We established an SOS Alert for Google searches connected to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus today. We do this on a regular basis for crisis situations across the globe when public safety may be jeopardized. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll discover….

January 30, 2020 — Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison)

That implies that when you search for coronavirus or a similar query, a white card will emerge, displaying the SOS notice, which may then be shared, as illustrated in the following Tweet. Help and information are also provided through the SOS alert.

Twitter is the source of this information.

In Google Chrome, you may get better protection against insecure downloads.

Google has honored its commitment from last year to offer improved security for consumers when it comes to unsafe material. Google Chrome will only enable secure file downloads from https sites starting in April 2020.

Any attempts at non-https downloads in Chrome 82 will result in a warning before enabling the user to proceed with the download of certain insecure file types like as photos, audios, videos, and text formats. However, this is just a temporary solution: they will be entirely prohibited in future Chrome editions.

Here’s an example of a possible warning that you could encounter:


Ad Blocks in Videos are now available in Google Chrome.

Beginning August 5, 2020, the browser will block all advertising on websites throughout the globe that display any of the categories of ads specified below. 

  • Pre-roll commercials

  • Ads that appear in the middle of a video

  • Ads with images or text

This decision is based on the Coalition for Better Advertising’ criteria for ads that appear during video content. The Better Ads Standards were established to limit the amount of annoying advertisements that cause people to block ads entirely online.

This ad blocker will work on YouTube videos as well. According to Google, 

We’ll revise our product plans across our ad platforms, including YouTube, as a consequence of this standard, and use the research to help drive product development in the future, similar to the previous Better Ads Standards.

Videos with less obtrusive advertisements as a source

You Can Now Ask “Hey Siri, Search Google” on iOS shortcuts.

Users may now ask Siri to run a Google search thanks to the most recent update to the Google app for iOS. To utilize it, you must first create a Siri shortcut, which takes just a few minutes.

To create shortcuts, make sure you have the most recent Google app version loaded and launch the shortcuts app on your phone. Then, just choose the Google app and personalize the voice command by tapping +add action.

On iOS, there are several useful shortcuts for Google applications.

Learn From These Articles

We’ve been sharing some terrific industry pieces recently. Check out some really useful material (and a presentation) that we have this week. 

This concludes this week’s digest!

Do you have any questions or comments on the topics we discussed in the digest? Please leave your questions or remarks in the comments section below. We appreciate hearing from our SEMrush community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most recent Google algorithm update?

A: The most recent Google algorithm update was released on September 25th, 2018.

What is a Google update?

A: A Google update is when the search engine changes its algorithm to better reflect users interests and needs. It can be a good thing for users, as it will provide more relevant results than ever before. However, it can also change the way that people use their internet browsers.

How often does Google search engine update?

A: Google has two updates per day.

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