SEO Market Updates: April 2020

Join Fusion’s SEO team as they round up last month’s major industry updates.

Google Revert Chrome 80 Cookie Updates

In light of COVID-19, Google have temporarily rolled back the use of SameSite cookie labeling. SameSite cookie labeling was introduced as part of the Chrome 80 release, which took place at the start of February, for more information on this, please see our SEO market updates for January 2020 blog post.

Google will provide further updates on the implementation on SameSite cookie labeling via a dedicated Chromium updates page.

Google Warns Users When Search Results Are Poor

Google have released an update for Google Search and will now display a warning for users when they believe that the results are not to their standards.

Although Google consistently look to improve search results, with the improved language understanding of its BERT algorithm, or the daily updates on improving search rankings, Google have recognized that there are still occasions they don’t have the available information for some searches.

Previously, Google would either display low quality search results, with no warning, or display no search results.

For searches that would previously display low quality search results, Google will now display a warning to users that it has not been able to find any great matches for the user’s search query.

The warning will also direct users to Google’s search tips page, which provides information on how to fully utilize the search functionality of Google.

Google Now Track Fewer Pages Within Google Search Console

Google have announced that they are currently tracking fewer pages within Google Search Console in order to improve the performance of the reporting. This will have an effect on the following reports:

  • AMP
  • Mobile Usability
  • Page Speed
  • Rich Results

Due to the changes made, Google have informed that users should expect to see a decrease in the number of items and pages tracked in these reports. 

AMP’s New Protocol

AMP have released a new secure protocol in order to resolve the issues of users having to wait for server-side paywall process, mainly for users logging in or paying to view content.

The new protocol will move this process away from server-side to client-side. Moving premium content to this protocol will significantly reduce loading time associated with waiting to be verified, whilst providing the same amount of encryption.

Check out our latest blog posts for the latest news, and if you’re interested in finding out more about what we can do for your brand, get in touch with us today.

Google PPC Updates: April 2020


For the first time since 2012, Google Shopping will allow you to list for free. This was rolled in the US on April 27th and will continue to roll out globally over the coming months.

As of last week in the US, the Google Shopping tab results consists primarily of free listings. However, Google still plans to charge companies for top placement as promoted listings. These will look similar to the Shopping listings on the main Google SERP; where the listings will remain paid for.   

Google hopes that this will give a little relief to smaller businesses and the retail sector in general as many brick and mortar retailers are looking to move their sales online.

According to a report on The Verge, Google has been working on these changes for some time, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has accelerated these plans.

Existing users of Merchant Center and Shopping ads will already be eligible to show products in the unpaid listings. To opt in, select “Growth” and then “Manage programs” in the left navigation menu and select the “surfaces across Google” program card.

New users of Merchant Center will be able to opt into surfaces across Google during the Merchant Center sign up process and start creating a product feed.

Call Ads now include a ‘Visit Website’ option

Call Ads, previously known as Call-Only Ads, will now include an option to add a ‘Visit Website’ link in a bid to give customers more ways to connect with your business.

Customers will have the option to either visit your website directly via the link or call by clicking on the headline

Google hopes that this will help businesses that rely on calls for new sales by preventing accidental calls and assisting more qualified leads.

To add this option to new or existing call ads, simply add a Final URL.

Requesting Verification

Google are going to be requesting advertisers to verify their identity in order to include further information with the ads (name and location):

Google hope that this change will increase trust in ads by providing users with more information on who is advertising to them.

It is expected that this change will take a few years to cover all global territories. This is rolling out in the US first and continue to expand globally.

Check out our latest blog posts for the latest news, and if you’re interested in finding out more about what we can do for your brand, get in touch with us today.