Friday recap: Fact Check tag available in Google News, Similar Items feature for Image Search and CTAs for Instant Articles
Even though it’s a short week with the Good Friday public holiday, there’s still plenty of content marketing news to catch up on.
Google has now made its fact check tag available to everyone, a Similar Items feature has been rolled out in Image Search and Facebook is introducing call-to-action (CTA) buttons for Instant Articles.
In other news, Linkedin has made a few more updates to the desktop site and Google fights to keep fake business listings out of Maps.
Google Fact Check available worldwide
Late last year we wrote about a new tag that Google was trialling for Google News articles called Fact Check.
As of this week, the tag has been rolled out globally for all users.
Like other tags you see in Google News such as ‘Opinion’ and ‘Local Source’, the Fact Check tag will be placed alongside articles that meet the relevant criteria. To be able to use the tag, publishers must use the Schema.org ClaimReview markup as well as follow the policies for structured data markup and the Google News Publisher criteria for fact checks.
The snippet displayed in search results will show information about the claim made in the content, who made the claim and the fact check of the claim.
The opportunity to markup your content comes with a warning, however. If your article does not match up to Google’s standards for the fact check tag, it may ignore that site’s markup altogether, which means your content may not get pulled into search results at all.
This warning is likely aimed at fake news sources, given that the main goal will be to prevent fake news from ranking highly in search results. After recent accusations that Google itself is spreading fake news, it’s no wonder they are being cautious.
To find out more about adding the fact check to your content, check out Google’s Help Centre.
Similar items in Google Image Search
Google has updated the image search to show relevant products alongside certain image results.
According to the official blog post, the ‘Similar Items’ carousel “supports handbags, sunglasses, and shoes and will cover other apparel and home & garden categories in the next few months.”
When image search results are displayed, a carousel will appear beneath each result with products that match items within the image.
To make your products eligible for appearing in these carousels, Google outlined the following criteria:
- Products have schema.org product markup, including an image reference
- Products have a name, image price and currency and relevant metadata
- Pages have been tested by Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
Once the markup has been applied, it could take up to a week for Googlebot to recrawl your site and retrieve the information.
Google is not the only site to offer this sort of feature. Pinterest recently launched a chrome extension that enables users to add items from the web to their boards on Pinterest or see similar items within the search function. Its ‘Shop the Look’ feature also lets users tap individual items within a pin to see where they can purchase those products.
Google’s Similar Items feature is available globally in mobile browsers and the Android Google Search app.
CTAs for Facebook Instant Articles
Good news for Instant Article publishers – you can now include CTA buttons with your content.
There will be two main types of CTAs available to encourage more engagement with readers – one to drive Page likes and the other for email newsletter sign ups.
The newsletter CTA requires the reader to enter their email address, whereas the Page like CTA just embeds your Page’s image with a ‘like’ button underneath.
Facebook said that “We recognise that publisher business models are diverse, and we’re continuing to collaborate with the industry to identify and develop new call-to-action units”. As such, they are working on rolling out CTAs in the near future for free trial sign ups and App installs.
The move to include the CTA buttons could be a result of an undesirable adoption rate by publishers. Facebook likely expected Instant Articles to be a lot more popular than what they have been, and are trying new ways of keeping brands (and followers) on the site.
New features on LinkedIn
Following the major desktop update that was rolled out last month, LinkedIn has published a blog post listing the extra updates it has made after receiving user feedback. Some of these have already been covered in previous Friday recaps, such as the photo editing feature and the new Trending Storylines.
Other updates include the ability to customise the types of notifications you receive from LinkedIn by editing your preferences, search tools that include saved searches and specific text field searches.
LinkedIn also said that “We’re also planning to bring back some features that we heard you missed and we’ll continue to add new tools to help you make the most of what LinkedIn has to offer”. Upcoming features to be rolled out include preferences for viewing the Feed by the top or most recent posts, expandable profiles and more publishing freedom.
For more info check out the full blog post.
Fake listings get kicked out of Google Maps
Google has been actively cracking down on fake business listings by improving its verification processes.
Google defines fake listings as businesses that aren’t real or legitimate, that are just set up by ‘bad actors’ for the purposes of scamming people looking for services.
“Unlike email-based scams selling knock-off products online, local listing scams require physical proximity to potential victims…Bad actors posing as locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, and other contractors were the most common source of abuse—roughly 2 out of 5 fake listings.”
The verification process originally involved either sending physical mail to the address provided or calling the listings number to verify a phone number change. It has been discovered that these measures could still be abused to get fake listings verified, so Google has stepped it up a notch.
Now, bulk address registrations at most addresses are prohibited, algorithms have become more advanced to identify mangled text in address fields, and the anti-spam machine has been updated to detect any other data discrepancies.
If you have a legitimate business listing then it should be fine, but it’s important to be aware of Google’s policies just to be sure.