This Week in Search: Google, Facebook and Instagram Announce Changes

Pure SEO’s This Week In Search series takes a look at the top SEO and SEM news stories from the week.

Three of the top dogs of the internet announce changes, including a feature to help drivers park and a stance against fake news.

Google Introduces New ‘Find Parking’ Feature for Google Maps Users

It’s always hard finding a park, but now Google Maps users in 25 US cities will have the convenience of having their Android app find one for them. The participating cities include Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Detroit, Portland, Orlando and St. Louis.

Once users put in their destination, they can select the ‘find parking’ button on the direction card to see a list of parking garages and lots near the selected location. Users can pick their desired parking spot and Google Maps will add it to their trip, including walking directions from the parking space to the end destination.

Google Upgrades Flight and Hotel Search to Save You Time and Money

Google is upgrading both their flight and hotel search features to help searchers find the most efficient and economical route. With a new price view grid, searchers can click on ‘dates’ to see the calendar view of possible dates, with the cheapest prices highlighted in green and the most expensive in red. There is also the option to see price graphs over time.

Google Hotel has added a similar price view grid, showing nightly rates as well as price trends, so you can see how rates change over time for your chosen hotel. These features are available on mobile devices and will be available on desktops later this year.

Google Reveals New Look for Local Inventory Ad Product Search in Knowledge Panels

Last May, Google introduced the freedom that allows searchers to check if a local retailer has specific products in stock. Now, the knowledge panel includes a search box, product category links and large product listings. Users searching on a mobile device can swipe through a carousel of product listings.

This feature is part of the Local Inventory Ads product, which allows retailers to promote products available in their locations through inventory feeds sent through to Google. All links and search results lead to Google Shopping pages.

Instagram Stories Are Coming Soon To Mobile Web Browsers

In the next few weeks, those who use mobile devices such as tablets will be able to view Instagram stories on their preferred devices. At the moment, Instagram stories can only be seen in the app, but soon they will be accessible on any mobile device. It will be some time before users can upload stories using a mobile device, but they will be able to view others’ stories on a bigger screen.

Facebook Will Block Ads from Pages That Share Fake News

Facebook has put their feet down and have begun banning pages from advertising on Facebook if they have a history of repeatedly sharing news they know is fake. Previously, Facebook would not allow ads on its platform if they linked to fake news, but now they are taking it one step further.

Facebook said, “Now, if a page repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checkers, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook.” They also said, “False news is harmful to our community. It makes the world less informed and erodes trust.”

Rachel Matela

Rachel is a Filipino Kiwi with a passion for the arts. Having graduated with an Arts Degree in English from UoA, she found writing work at PureSEO as a Junior Copywriter and quickly moved on to the role of Editor. In her spare time, she reads Austen and teaches dance classes in the weekend.

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