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We’re writing to let you know about a recent update to our Developer Policy Center. We make updates from time to time as part of a continuous effort to make Google Play a positive experience for both developers and consumers.
This email is to inform you of recent changes we’ve made to our policies:
- We’ve updated our Deceptive Behavior policies to emphasize functionally deceptive apps and our requirement to provide accurate disclosures and metadata.
- We’ve introduced a Manipulated Media policy for apps that spread or create altered media.
- We’ve updated our Malware policy. Visit the Google Play Protect site for additional information about enforcement and reporting malware.
- We’ve updated our Subscriptions policy to ensure transparent communication of subscription offers.
- Developers with apps currently on Google Play will have 60 days from the issuance of this notification to bring their apps into compliance with the Subscriptions policy to prevent removal.
- We’ve rebranded the Ad Network Certification program to the Families Ads Program.
- We’ve updated our Families policy to include disclosure of collecting personal and sensitive information from children.
- We’ve updated our Families policy to provide further clarification on Bluetooth use.
- We’ve updated our Families Ads and Monetization policy to prohibit ads and monetization practices that are spammy and/or manipulative.
- We’ve launched our Location policy to promote transparency and limit inappropriate access to location data especially in the background.
- Because compliance with the Location policy may require substantial changes to your app, affected developers will have an extended timeline to make any necessary updates. To view timelines and other updates, please visit our Help Center.
The following enforcement timelines will apply to these policies (with the exception of the Location policy):
- Any new apps or app updates published after this notification will immediately be subject to the latest version of the Developer Program Policies.
- Apps currently on Google Play will have 30 days from the issuance of this notification to come into compliance to prevent removal, except for the Subscriptions policy which will have 60 days.
We encourage you to review these policy updates carefully in case any of your existing apps are impacted.
As a part of the Webmaster Conference series, last fall we held a Product Summit at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. It was slightly different from our previous events, with a number of product managers and engineers from Google Search taking part. We recorded the talks held there, and are happy to be able to make these available to all of you now.
In the playlist you’ll find:
- Web deduplication – How does Google recognize duplicate content across the web? What happens once a duplicate is found? How is a canonical URL selected? How does localization play a role?
- Google Images best practices – Take a look at how Google Images has evolved over the years, and learn about some of the best practices that you can implement on your site when it comes to images.
- Rendering – Find out more about rendering, and what it takes to do rendering of the web at scale. Take a look behind the scenes, and learn about some things a site owner could watch out for with regards to rendering.
- Titles, snippets, and result previews – What’s the goal of titles, snippets, and previews in Search? How do Google’s systems pick and generate a preview for a page? What are some of the elements that help users decide which page to click in Search?
- Googlebot & web hosting – Starting with a look at the popularity of different web servers, and the growth of HTTPS, you’ll find out more about how Google’s crawling for Search works, and what you can do to control it.
- Claim your Knowledge Panel – Knowledge Panels are a great way for people and organizations to be visible in Search. Find out more about the ways you can claim and update them for yourself or for your business.
- Improving Search over the years – Are dogs the same as cats? Should pages about New York be shown when searching for York? How could algorithms ever figure this out? How many 😊’s does it take to get Google’s attention? Google’s Paul Haahr takes you on a tour of some changes in Search.
We hope you find these videos insightful, useful, and a bit entertaining! And if you are not subscribed to the Webmasters Youtube channel, here’s your chance!
Posted by John Mueller, Search Advocate, Google Switzerland
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many organizations and groups are publishing important coronavirus-related announcements that affect our everyday lives.
In response, we’re introducing a new way for these special announcements to be highlighted on Google Search. Sites can add SpecialAnnouncement structured data to their web pages or submit a COVID-19 announcement in Search Console.
At first, we’re using this information to highlight announcements in Google Search from health and government agency sites, to cover important updates like school closures or stay-at-home directives.
We are actively developing this feature, and we hope to expand it to include more sites. While we might not immediately show announcements from other types of sites, seeing the markup will help us better understand how to expand this feature.
Please note: beyond special announcements, there are a range of other options that sites can use to highlight information such as canceled events or changes to business hours. You can learn more about these at the end of this post.
How COVID-19 announcements appear in Search
When SpecialAnnouncement structured data is added to a page, that content can be eligible to appear with a COVID-19 announcement rich result, in addition to the page’s regular snippet description. A COVID-19 announcement rich result can contain a short summary that can be expanded to view more more. Please note that the format may change over time, and you may not see results in Google Search right away.
How to implement your COVID-19 announcements
There are two ways that you can implement your COVID-19 announcements.
RECOMMENDED: Add structured data to your web page
Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. We recommend using this method because it is the easiest way for us to take in this information, it enables reporting through Search Console in the future, and enables you to make updates. Learn how to add structured data to COVID-19 announcements.
ALTERNATIVE: Submit announcements in Search Console
If you don’t have the technical ability or support to implement structured data, you can submit a COVID-19 announcement in Search Console. This tool is still in beta testing, and you may see changes.
This method is not preferred and is intended only as a short-term solution. With structured data, your announcement highlights can automatically update when your pages change. With the tool, you’ll have to manually update announcements. Also, announcements made this way cannot be monitored through special reporting that will be made available through Search Console in the future.
If you do need to submit this way, you’ll need to first be verified in Search Console. Then you can submit a COVID-19 announcement:
More COVID-19 resources for sites from Google Search
Beyond special announcements markup, there are other ways you can highlight other types of activities that may be impacted because of COVID-19:
- Best practices for health and government sites: If you are a representative of a health or government website, and you have important information about coronavirus for the general public, here are some recommendations for how to make this information more visible on Google Search.
- Surface your common FAQs: If your site has common FAQs, adding FAQ markup can help Google Search surface your answers.
- Pausing your business online: See our blog post on how to pause your business online in a way that minimizes impacts with Google Search.
- Business hours & temporary closures: Review the guidance from Google My Business on how to change your business hours or indicate temporary closures or how to create COVID-19 posts.
- Events: If you hold events, look over the new properties for marking them virtual, postponed, or canceled.
- Knowledge Panels: Understand how to recommend changes to your Google knowledge panel (or how to claim it, if you haven’t already).
- Fix an overloaded server: Learn how to determine a server’s bottleneck, quickly fix the bottleneck, improve server performance, and prevent regressions.
|As communities respond to COVID-19, we know businesses are facing unique challenges. Below are some resources to help as you navigate this time for your business.
| CONSIDERATIONS FOR GOOGLE ADS
Managing your campaigns through COVID-19 We’ve shared some considerations to help you evaluate your ads and adapt to dynamic market conditions. These include topics like assessing tone, reviewing assets, and evaluating context. See the full list
| COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
Resources to help businesses manage through uncertainty We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you stay connected to your customers and employees. Additionally, get tips on working remotely and modifying your advertising if necessary. Find more resources
| INSIDE GOOGLE MARKETING
5 principles guiding our media teams in the wake of COVID-19 Google’s global marketing VP for media shared a set of principles and guiding questions that Google’s own brand teams are using to evaluate our media campaigns in this dynamic market. Read the 5 principles
| TOOLS TO HELP YOU SAVE TIME
Easier resubmissions and appeals of ad policy issues For eligible disapproved ads, a new tool can help you resubmit or appeal a policy decision directly in Google Ads without contacting customer support. Learn more
Bringing Android Enterprise to your organization opens up new possibilities for your business, and a well-structured communication plan can help employees understand all the capabilities.
We’ve created the Android Enterprise Employee Adoption Kit to help IT teams communicate the features and benefits to their employees.
Resources include helpful videos, flyers, email templates, and slide decks that walk through how to get started with Android device features and management tools. We’ve designed these assets to be useful for preparing your users, assisting them in getting started, and sharing out tips, especially for those switching to Android.
Getting teams ready for Android Enterprise
To generate buzz before introducing Android Enterprise to your organization, you can use and customize our email scripts to share details about the new mobile experience for your team. Some companies may wish to create a demo desk to give new users a guided tour of Android Enterprise features. We’ve included suggested scripts to help walk employees through what’s to come.
Our user adoption slides detail the benefits, features, and scope of different device management modes. New YouTube videos offer a helpful overview of using the work profile, managed Google Play, and zero-touch enrollment. These videos can be embedded into internal sites or shared out directly.
Also, customizable slide decks walk through initial steps with a new Android device, provide detailed instructions for key tasks like downloading an app, or highlight the many benefits to using the work profile.
Learning Android features
Giving your team regular tips and tricks helps them take advantage of Android features and gain confidence in their device. We’ve prepared assets that offer suggestions for using helpful productivity tools in Android and embracing the privacy and work-life balance the work profile offers.
This kit is available for all those who wish to help their teams find success with Android. Learn more about Android Enterprise and how it can transform your business.
|Posted: 31 Mar 2020 09:33 AM PDT
Health organizations are busier than ever providing information to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. To better assist them, Google has created a best practices article to guide health organizations to make COVID-19 information more accessible on Search. We’ve also created a new technical support group for eligible health organizations. Best practices for search visibility By default, Google tries to show the most relevant, authoritative information in response to any search. This process is more effective when content owners help Google understand their content in appropriate ways.
To better guide health-related organizations in this process (known as SEO, for “search engine optimization”), we have produced a new help center article with some important best practices, with emphasis on health information sites, including: How to help users access your content on the go The importance of good page content and titles Ways to check how your site appears for coronavirus-related queries How to analyze the top coronavirus related user queries How to add structured data for FAQ content New support group for health organizations In addition to our best practices help page, health organizations can take part in our new technical support group that’s focused on helping health organizations who publish COVID-19 information with Search related questions.
We’ll be approving requests for access on a case-by-case basis. At first we’ll be accepting only domains under national health ministries and US state level agencies. We’ll inform of future expansions here in this blog post, and on our Twitter account. You’ll need to register using either an email under those domains (e.g. email@example.com) or have access to the website Search Console account.
Fill this form to request access to the COVID-19 Google Search group
The group was created to respond to the current needs of health organizations, and we intend to deprecate the group as soon as COVID-19 is no longer considered a Public Health Emergency by WHO or some similar deescalation is widely in place.
Everyone is welcome to use our existing webmaster help forum, and if you have any questions or comments, please let us know on Twitter.
Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Search Advocate & Ofir Roval, Search Console Lead PM