COVID-19 Special Announcements for Google & Bing: MoreVisibility

COVID-19 Special Announcements for Google & Bing: MoreVisibility

Pablo Rosado – April 6, 2020

Since COVID-19 has affected many organizations and businesses, Google and Bing have developed methods that can be used to let them know if your organization has any special announcement that relates to COVID-19. However, please note that all of their guidance has been provided rapidly, and is still undergoing changes. Therefore, additional changes and updates may be required, and the new functionality may encounter bugs.

The two methods for indicating a special announcement include:

#1 Structured Data Markup Implementation: This is the recommended method, as it:

  • Works for both Google and Bing
  • Allows you the most flexibility and a more proven framework for providing information to Google and Bing.
  • You may be able to tie pre-existing updates that you push to your website (such as alerts that are visible on the front-end of your website) into this markup as well, making the process more automated.

#2 A Form Submission via Google Search Console: This is a secondary option as it:

  • Only works for Google
  • It is in Beta, so it may change over time
  • Lacks clarity on the process for how the form completions will be pushed to Google, like how often they will be processed.

What Will This Look Like in Search Results

Google has stated that they may display this special announcement underneath a search result for the website to inform users of the announcement, as in the example below.

Bing has not provided any visual examples of how this will look in search results. However, Bing did state that “A label showing your special announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic with a link to your site for more details may be used on web results for your official website and in local listings shown on the SERP or map experiences. This provides an easy link for your customers and community to find your latest information.”

Recommended Implementation Method – Structured Data Markup

The first (and recommended) method is to use a new Special Announcement markup that was made just for COVID-19. Like other markup types, this requires site owners to add specific code onto any and all webpages that contain the same forward facing announcement for a user. So, if you have an alert that is displayed on all pages, the markup should be on all pages. If you have an announcement that is only on one page, the markup for that announcement should only be on that page.

Details and developer documentation on the Special Announcement markup with code examples can be found here:

While there are many different attributes that can be used for this markup, the only required attributes for Google are:

Source link