Google Search Changes Explained – Your March Monthly Marketing Bundle

22 March, 2018

The Gorilla jungle is entering autumn but only because autumn is known as fall, doesn’t mean the marketing world is ‘falling short’ of new digital marketing tactics.

In fact, the digital environment is thriving with Google releasing a bunch of new search engine functions including a new image search experience, a new ‘people also search for function’. As well as the introduction of breadcrumb SERPs.

Aside from Google’s new developments, marketers are also tracking the concept of dark social.

Too busy to read the whole thing? We get it: logistics, synergies, KPIs – all that stuff. Here’s the skim-read version. You really should read the whole article though…You can click on the dot point that takes your fancy and head straight to the relevant section.

In this month’s digital marketing roundup:

Image Search Feature – Why did Google make the change?

If you’ve recently used Google Image Search and clicked a picture, you might have noticed you can’t select ‘view image’.

Let’s take a look at the old Image Search function:


And here’s what you see now when you search a query and click an image in the Google Image Search:

Gorilla Serp.png

Now you can only see the buttons: Visit, Save, View saved and Share. This means you need to visit the actual page location to be able to view the image in full.

Google announced the change on Twitter:

“Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on.”

You might be asking: why make the change in the first place?

In February, Google signed a partnership with Getty. “A multi-year global licensing partnership, enabling Google to use Getty Images’ content within its various products and services.”

As part of the deal, Google said it will use Getty images across its various products and services.

Makes sense so far. So what’s the issue?

Getty made a complaint against Google’s “alleged traffic and revenue losses to its customers’ sites because users could see (and potentially copy) images directly from Google Image Search results. Getty claimed that the ability to save and download images promoted copyright infringement and ‘piracy’,” says Sterling from Search Engine Land.

The complaint leads to two issues with the previous Google Image Search function:

  1. Users could see and potentially copy images directly from Google Image search results

And this issue can result in:

  1. Copyright infringement and piracy issues

Google’s new image search function change is a reminder we need to be careful about the images we post in marketing collateral. Here are a few paid and free resources to source pictures:

Free image resources:

Paid image resources:

Google’s new ‘people also search for’ function – Here’s how the new search feature can improve research

The Google query refinement box has had a revamp after Google spent numerous years testing various designs and versions.

What’s the change?

Let’s say you type, ‘automated reactivation emails’ into the Google search. Once you scroll past the ads, you will see Google’s organic search results.

Automated Reactivation Emails Before.png

To see the new ‘people also search for’ feature appear, click an organic search result. For example, I clicked, 73 best Re-engagement Emails images on Pinterest.

Wait about five seconds and click back to search results.

Automated Reactivation Emails After.png

You will now be able to see Google’s ‘People also search for suggestions’.

Three ways Google’s new search feature can help achieve your marketing goals

#1. Topic research

Say you are writing a blog about automated reactivation emails.

Generally, the research phase consists of scuffling through various quality content pieces and generating ideas.

Using the previous search example, say you received some useful suggestions from the ‘best re-engagement emails’ post and would like to read some similar articles.

Google’s new search function means you can quickly search through similar articles and topics that may benefit your topic research.

#2. Keyword research

Continuing on the blog idea, you’ve finished your topic research, written the blog and are up to keyword research or SEO optimisation. Google’s ‘People also search for’ feature can help provide additional ideas for potential keywords.

Tip #1: Use the Google Keyword Planner to see volume search results and competition levels of the keyword ideas.

Tip #2: Read our article about using keywords in your content to find more ecommerce customers for further insights.

#3. AdWords advertising

If you invest in AdWords advertising then you likely know the importance of using negative keywords to help get the most from your AdWords spend. (Don’t worry if you don’t, we’ve written a helpful article about using negative keywords to help you out).

All you have to do is search one of your keywords in Google, for example, ‘automated reactivation emails.’

Looking at the ‘People also search for suggestions’ box, I may decide ‘text’ should be a negative keyword because people searching for, ‘re engagement text’ aren’t as likely to purchase my services.

Similarly, the suggestions function can also help identify new keywords to add to a campaign. For example, ‘reaching out to lost customers’ may be another way of saying ‘reactivation emails’.


These suggestions should only be used as a guide.

It’s important to use tools such as the Google Keyword Planner to see the value of the potential keyword before adding it to your AdWords campaign.

Breadcrumb SERPs – Google releases another search function

In the past month, Google has updated many of its search engine features. Among these changes are breadcrumb SERPs (search engine results pages).

Breadcrumb SERPs occur when a person looks up an informational query in Google. The search engine results page, or SERP will then trigger results accompanied with images.


According to The Search Engine Journal, this change is the beginning of Google’s evolving ‘mobile first’ search engine.

Does my business need to optimise for breadcrumb results?

Roger Montti from Search Engine Journal recommends leaving the new feature as is:

Ranking for these phrases may not lead to increase sales. Most of these searches I’ve reviewed do not feature advertising. This may indicate that the search queries themselves are of little worth in terms of lead generation or direct sales.”

So what’s the benefit?

Until we learn more about how Google is selecting the images, it might be helpful to include relevant images in your content.

Think images of people or places when you’re writing about certain topics.

The search results changes may also show Google is transitioning to a mobile first display so it could be a good time to double check your website is optimised for mobile devices.

Is it the end of social sharing? Dominating dark social

Econsultancy’s second Marketing in the Dark report surveyed more than 1,200 brand marketers. It found that only 4 per cent of respondents regard dark social as a top-three technical barrier challenge.

Technical Barriers-1.Png

But what is ‘dark social’ and why is it important?

Here’s a quick video to explain:

“This phenomenon refers to any type of social sharing that can’t be tracked, or in other words, the activity that takes place in private messaging channels such as Messenger, WhatsApp, or Snapchat,” outlines Nikki Gilliland at Econsultancy.

Think about it.

When’s the last time you publically shared a post on Facebook?

The reality is a growing number of people are moving away from ‘sharing’ images on public forums and are moving to sharing in private channels.

This social change shows a huge opportunity to get in front of your competitors by creating a focus on dark social channels. Here are some of Nikki’s tips about how to approach dark social marketing:


Mimic User Behaviour

Embrace change.

If your target market is moving to dark social then mimic their behaviour. Many brands are now beginning to use WhatsApp for marketing.

Digital Marketing Short Takes


Learning all the most important digital marketing news, insights and advice from around the online jungle blogosphere can be fun.

Pick up your favourite work beverage and read this month’s roundup.

By Jessica Goerke
Since 2018 Jess has smashed client goals as a PPC specialist with her signature holistic approach to digital marketing. When she’s not driving awesome results for her clients, you’ll usually find her in the gym.
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