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Business Profile Hotel Rates, Feedless Onboarding & Travel Goals With Performance Max

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Google Adds New Travel Search Features

Google announced last week a bunch of new travel ad and local features. These include the ability to add hotel rates directly on Google Business Profile, “feedless onboarding” for Google Hotel Ads, and Performance Max that use travel goals.

Google Business Profile Hotel Rates

Google said hoteliers can now add rates and availability to their Google Business Profile. This allows them to bypass technical spreadsheets and files uploads. “Individual hotels that meet eligibility requirements can directly input their rates through their Google Business Profile to participate in free hotel booking links,” Google wrote.

Here are the steps to add this:

(1) Sign in to the Google Account used to manage your Business Profile.

(2) Search for your hotel using Google Search.

(3) Click Manage your rates within the booking module.

(4) After you’ve acknowledged the terms and conditions and confirmed your booking page URL, you’re all set to add your room rates and availability.

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Feedless Onboarding

Google said it supports “industry-standard protocols to bring hotel availability, rates, and inventory online.” Google added that you should “talk to your technology providers to see if they are already able to connect your hotel information to Google.”

Google also said they are “opening up access to Hotel Ads by enabling advertisers to create Hotel campaigns without needing a Hotel Center account in the coming months. This means that any Google Ads advertiser will be able to run ads for the hotel’s website by using rates we’ve sourced.”

Performance Max For Travel Goals

Google expanded Performance Max for travel goals. Google said that hotel advertisers will be able to promote their properties and increase bookings across all of Google’s channels, later this year. Performance Max for travel goals simplifies ad campaign setup with pre-populated asset groups for each hotel property, with auto-generated images, descriptions, and videos that you can review and edit. It also extends your reach to property-specific queries on Search, in addition to promoting your hotel properties across Google’s advertising channels that comes with Performance Max.

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Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Microsoft Bing Says The lastmod Tag In XML Sitemap File Is Critical

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Microsoft Bing posted a new blog post saying “for XML sitemaps, one of the most critical tags you can include in your sitemap is the “lastmod” tag.” And it will become even more critical as Bing is reworking its crawl scheduling stack to rely more on this lastmod field.

Yes, by June, the way Bing decides what to crawl will be more dependent on the lastmod tag. Fabrice Canel from Microsoft wrote, “we are revamping our crawl scheduling stack to better utilize the information provided by the “lastmod” tag in sitemaps.” This is being done so it can “enhance” the “crawl efficiency by reducing unnecessary crawling of unchanged content and prioritizing recently updated content.”

“We have already begun implementing these changes on a limited scale and plan to fully roll them out by June,” he added.

So making sure your lastmod date is accurate is now even more important. It should be the last time you modified the URL, not the time the URL was first published and not the time the XML sitemap file was generated. In fact, that is the biggest issue Bing found with the field, that it often just shows the date the XML sitemap file was generated and not the date the page of the URL was last modified.

Here are some data points Bing put together on XML sitemaps:

  • 58% of hosts have at least one XML sitemap.
  • 84% of these sitemaps have a lastmod attribute set.
  • 79% have lastmod values correct.
  • 18% have lastmod values not correctly set.
  • 3% has lastmod values for only some of the URLs.
  • 16% of these sitemaps don’t have a lastmod attribute set.
  • 42% of hosts don’t have one XML sitemap

Oh, Bing still wants you to use the IndexNow protocol for the most efficient crawl solution but if you don’t – make sure your lastmod date is accurate.

In terms of Google, in 2015 Google said they don’t really use the lastmod date but then changed that in 2020 they said they do. The current Google documentation says, “Google uses the lastmod value if it’s consistently and verifiably (for example by comparing to the last modification of the page) accurate.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Search Console Video Indexing Report Adds Impressions & Sitemap Filters

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Google has updated the video indexing report within Google Search Console to add impression data and a way to filter the report by your available sitemaps.

As a reminder, the video indexing report went fully live in August 2022 after Google started to slowly roll out the video index report within Google Search Console earlier in 2022.

Google added two new features to the report; impression data and a sitemap filter. Here is a GIF of these two features:

Video Indexing Google Report Upgrade

You can now overlay the impressions your indexed videos saw directly in this report. Google said, “the impressions are aggregated by page which means that if the same page appears multiple times in a single search result page (or a single Discover session), then we consider each appearance as an impression.”

Here is what it looks like:

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Google added, “The Search performance report groups video search appearances by property, not by URL, which means that if multiple pages show in a search results, we’ll count only one impression. As a result, the Search performance report can show lower impression counts than the Video page indexing report.”

The sitemap filter is a nice addition also, so you can see what videos you submitted via your sitemaps compared to what Google really indexed. Google said, “To help you focus on the video pages that matter most to you, you can now filter the Video indexing report to show only video pages that are present in a selected sitemap. The filter applies to all the report features: the chart, chart totals, issue list, and exports.”

Here is a screenshot of that:

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You also see a section in the sitemaps location for discovered videos:

Again, if Google sees videos on your site, Google will display the new “Video indexing report” on the left navigation bar in the coverage section of Google Search Console. The report shows the status of video indexing on your site. It helps you answer the following questions:

  • In how many pages has Google identified a video?
  • Which videos were indexed successfully?
  • What are the issues preventing videos from being indexed?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Helpful Content & Link Spam Update Done, SEO, Search Console & More

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