Google Update Roundup: What's New in 2024

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By Trent Ruffolo

Mar 26, 2024

5 min

As a marketer, staying on top of every update from Google can be a challenging (and time-consuming) task: there have already been dozens of updates in 2024.

As one of Google's trusted partners, we want to offer strategic guidance on these changes so you can spend more time on what matters most: growing and scaling your business. Below, you'll find our roundup of the most important Google updates so far in 2024 — with insight into how they might impact your digital presence.

Updates impacting all business types

Social media updates are now visible on Google

Last year, Google started allowing businesses to add social media links to their Google listings. Now, Google is actively featuring posts from those social profiles — specifically Facebook, Instagram, and X – in the 'Social Media Updates' section on your Google Business Profile.

Businesses can link their social media handles and create posts in Yext in order to take advantage of the increased visibility that linking can offer. For more information on this update, check out this blog post.

Privacy updates could impact driving direction clicks

To deliver more accurate results to consumers, Google is making updates to better protect people's privacy. As a result, businesses may notice a decline in the 'Get Directions' clicks starting from January 2024.

Updates impacting EMEA

The Digital Markets Act rollout

In early March 2024, the Digital Markets Act went into effect. For those who are less familiar, The Digital Markets Act was passed by the European Union to regulate the largest global tech companies (like Google) to prevent them from abusing their market power.

To comply with this act, sites like Google, Facebook, and others will likely make a series of changes to their search experiences. These changes could impact where and how you show up in search.

For more information on the Digital Markets Act, how businesses could be impacted, and what to do in the meantime, check out this blog post.

Hotel website URLs

To comply with the Digital Markets Act, Google recently started adding direct website links in the local results. At the moment, this experience appears to be primarily supported for hotels. The impact could be huge, as guests no longer need to click on your listing in order to get to your website: now, they can click to your website link directly from the local pack.

Shopping searches

To comply with the Digital Markets Act, Google recently made changes to how they present shopping results in the SERP. Here's a rundown of what you need to know:

  1. Google introduced a 'Products' tab and 'Product Sites' tab in the search results to promote fair competition and enhance organic visibility for merchants

  2. Google rolled out a carousel of rich results, which are likely to appear for searches related to travel, local offerings, and shopping

  3. Google has included dedicated 'aggregator units' to direct users to various aggregator websites

These updates are just a few of the many changes that will likely come from the Digital Markets Act. We'll continue to cover any important shifts that follow.

Updates impacting restaurants

Food ordering button update

In June 2024, Google plans to remove the option for guests to place an online order directly through Google. Instead, searchers who click the 'Order with Google' button will be directed to place an order directly on the restaurant's website — or to order via a third-party site like Seamless, GrubHub, DoorDash, or UberEats.

Restaurants can still use Yext to sync their first-party Pickup and Delivery URLs to the Order with Google experience, known as Food Place Actions. For more detailed information on this update, check out our blog post here.

Price range updates

Guests have always been able to gauge how expensive a restaurant is by looking at the number of dollar signs placed on a restaurant's business profile. Now, instead of dollar signs, Google is showing actual price ranges (e.g. $10 - $20).

Price ranges are sourced directly by Google and cannot be actively managed by restaurants today.

Suggest feedback on menu highlights

Guests have the ability to take photos and leave feedback about specific menu items, which get featured as Menu Highlights on a restaurant's business profile. Now, you can provide feedback to Google and report outdated dishes, or update details (e.g. change the dish name). This can help ensure your menu items are reflected accurately on Google. This is important for letting customers know exactly what dishes you offer — and it ties back to discoverability in search results. (To use a simple example: if someone searches for "pepperoni pizza near me," the clearer it is that your restaurant offers pepperoni pizza, the more likely you are to show up in those search results.)

This feature is currently only supported through the Google UI.

New "Nearby Events & Deals" section

Google recently started showcasing "Nearby Events & Deals" in the SERP. Consistently shown as a pack of four, Google is sourcing these results from local businesses who create offer and event posts. This new experience is currently only available for businesses in the food and restaurant vertical across the US Canada, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, and India (with more geos to come).

Offer and event posts are great opportunities to create awareness and drive more engagement with your business. For example, a Mexican restaurant could create a weekly offer post to promote the discounts that are available on #TacoTuesday. Restaurants can easily create offer and event posts in Yext.

Sites like Google are constantly making updates and adding new features that could impact where, and how your business shows up in search. As a trusted Google partner, we're here to help you stay on top of these changes: check out our Publisher Updates section on our blog for weekly and monthly updates.

Interested in learning how Yext can help you turn your digital presence into a differentiator? Check out our listings, location pages, and reviews products, or request a demo here.

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