Digital Digest – January 2017

2017 came around quickly, and suddenly we’re in February already! We’ve put together a bite-sized package of what you may have missed in January to stay up-to-date with the digital world.

Google Shopping now live in NZ in Beta Status

Probably the biggest online news for New Zealand this year is the roll-out of Google Shopping! See our post here for more information.

Heaps of roll-outs!

Apart from the above, there has been a few interesting and exciting deployments to SERPs and Google Applications, such as:

  • The inclusion of a ‘search filter carousel’. This is similar to a function that you often see at the top of Image Search, where there are icons let a user narrow-down the category without the topic search. See example of ‘baby clothes’ below:
  • baby-clothes-carousel-nz

  • The mobile-friendly testing tool now has API access. Information was revealed on the Webmaster Central blog on the 31/01/2017 and essentially this roll-out means that you can now test URLs using automated tools using the API method. How does this help? You can now manual test and monitor certain pages of your website to prevent ‘accidental regressions’ in your templates.

  • The new AdWords interface ‘Alpha’ has been rolled out to more advertisers. In January, more and more AdWords specialists reported being able to access this new interface which was first confirmed in March 2016. Have you seen it? If so let us know your thoughts!

  • In another interface update, the photos section of Google My Business has seen an update to make it easier to use. For more information see this post from

  • AMP carousels are multiplying. As more importance is put on mobile traffic and user-experience everyday day (it seems!), internet surfers are noticing a growing number of single-source AMP carousels. See more on AMPs on our post here.

A little bit of testing!

Google users around the world have reported seeing some changes that aren’t yet Global, which suggests that the search engine is testing the below in some markets:

  • A digital digest just isn’t the same without an algorithm update or penalty to report, and January 2017 has not disappointed. Google has been threatening to deploy the ‘intrusive mobile interstitial penalty’ since as early as August 2016 and d-day was earlier this month. Think you might have been affected? Read more here.

  • The ‘local knowledge panel’. In the US, some people have seen a new box connected to Google My Business that allows owners to post promotions and deals otherwise known as a ‘Latest from the owners’. Image thanks to Search Engine Land below:



Some announcements!

  • In an exciting statement for most, Jeff Albertson (Product Manager at Google) announced that Google Maps will start showing information on how difficult it is or isn’t at 25 locations across the US! We certainly need this in Downtown Auckland so hopefully this feature comes to NZ soon.

  • Matt Cutts (now former Head of Webspam at Google) officially resigns from Google. See more from the man himself here.

  • Speaking of web spam and links, it has also been made clear that the ‘link command’ is officially redundant. More about this from SEO Roundtable here.

In non-Google related news

Not all of the digital digest is about that one Search Engine (thought most is, lets face it!). In other news:

  • Popularity for the alternative engine DuckDuckGo grew significantly in 2016, with over 10 billion private searches taking place according to their CEO and Founder Gabriel Weinburg. Will they continue to target market share this year? Time will tell.

  • Bing announced the highly anticipated realise of Ad extension scheduling. Marketers utilising Bing Ads can now, ‘control when your extensions are delivered for the time that’s most ideal for your business, reducing wasted clicks!’. Read more about this from Bing here.

So there you have it! Think we’ve missed something? Drop us a line.