In 2018, Google announced that it had enabled mobile-first indexing for more websites. This process involved Google prioritizing mobile versions of websites in its search results, as more users began accessing the internet on their mobile devices. A limited number of sites had already been migrated to this process, but the new announcement meant that more websites would be prioritized based on their mobile versions. Advertisers could use Google Ads Report Editor to run reports for up to 200 accounts in a Manager account. A new study looked at how contextual relevance of ads to content influences consumers. Engagement with the EU Android search choice screen had been slowed by stifled smartphone supply and decreased demand, leading to a delay in its impact due to COVID-19. Small agencies expected client budget and project changes to have a negative effect on their businesses, but remote work was not slowing them down. Google advised businesses to limit rather than disable their sites during temporary closures to avoid losing search console data and making it harder to ramp back up. Pinterest rolled out new commerce features for retailers as search volume climbed, including the new Verified Merchant Program, new conversion reporting opportunities, and updates to Catalogs and dynamic retargeting. The data was not conclusive on any specific tactic or type of site impacted by Google’s March 2019 core update, though SEOs showed mixed results. Google announced that it was retiring the info command and replacing it with the new URL inspection tool. Google Ads Keyword Planner received new features, allowing users to seed keyword ideas with more terms, add keywords to existing campaigns, and more. Google added vacation rentals to its Hotel Search, potentially increasing visibility for rental providers and boosting Google Hotel Ads revenue. More of a bargaining position than a serious threat, Europeans raised the specter of breaking up Google. Bing began removing sidebar text ads on desktop in the US, and Bing’s intelligent search capabilities continued to expand. In 2015, Google was testing removing the divider between ads and free listings in its search results, and Google News ranking did not yet factor in the mobile-friendliness of publishers. Google expanded product rating stars for specific products in Google Shopping Ads to the UK, France, and Germany, and a WSJ report suggested intervention in the FTC’s Google investigation by the White House. Marin estimated that 25% of paid-search clicks would come from mobile by December 2012, and Apple considered adding Baidu to iPhone search options. Roughly one third of iPhone 4S owners used Siri “almost daily,” and UBL and Yext joined forces to offer more complete local data syndication. Google fought pogostick searchers with new “Get More” options, Facebook hired Google’s David Fischer and Google hired Oracle’s Amit Singh, and Google cut 200 sales and marketing staffers. Ask.com showed display ads on its homepage, and longtime Yahoo search scientist Jan Pedersen joined Microsoft. Yahoo tested 141 different versions of its homepage and made a move onto television with the Yahoo Widget Engine.
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