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Google has now introduced a way for coronavirus-related announcements to appear in Google search results

Google has now introduced a way for coronavirus-related announcements to appear in Google search results

Posted: 9th April 2020

Many businesses have been impacted by the current coronavirus outbreak. Most organisations are releasing important announcements that affect our everyday lives. Google has recently announced that you can now make sure any announcements related to COVID-19 are highlighted in Google search results.

Some examples of what Google considers to be a special announcement are:

  • Announcement of a shelter-in-place directive
  • Closure notices for schools or public transport
  • Quarantine guidelines
  • Travel restrictions
  • Notification of a new drive-through testing centre
  • Announcement of events moving from offline to online, or cancellation
  • Announcement of revised hours or shopping restrictions
  • Disease spread statistics and maps

There are two ways that you can make sure your coronavirus related update is highlighted. The first being adding special structured data to your web pages. Structured data is added to webpages in order to ‘talk’ to search engines, so they know which important information you wish to be visible in results pages. Google’s new structured data for coronavirus updates is ‘SpecialAnnouncement’.

The second way of getting these announcements noticed in search results is to submit one through Search Console. This option is still currently in development so you may not see your announcement straight away. There are limitations to submitting a special announcement this way. It is only short term. You must set your announcement to expire within one month of posting, or it will expire after seven days and you will have to resubmit. You will then have to manually update and re-submit once it has expired

When the ‘SpecialAnnouncement’ structured data is added a web page, it will be eligible to appear with a COVID-10 announcement rich result alongside a normal featured snippet. This special rich result will contain a short summary that is equipped with the ability for searches to expand and read more.

Google is urging people to use structured data in order to get their announcements seen. Whilst it is currently only being used for announcements from health and government agency sites, Google is actively developing this feature in order to be used by more sites soon.

Find out more

If you would like to find out how the team at Priority Pixels can add structured data to your webpages, get in touch today by emailing: hello@prioritypixels.co.uk

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