As well as the excitement of Christmas we are also excited to share with you this week’s Lab Weekly that discusses a increase in the sitemap file sizes for Google and Bing, a range of updates from Google and the world of social media.

Google Have Dropped the Content Keywords Feature in Google Search Console

Google have recently announced that they have removed the content keywords feature in Google Search Console which was one of the first features to be found when the platform was first built. Google have dropped this feature due to their being other features that you can use instead such as Search Analytics and Fetch.

Google My Business is Testing a Messaging Feature

Earlier on this week Google My Business posted in their help documents a new pilot program that allows certain businesses to chat with their customers via the local knowledge graph panel. When you are in this test feature you will see a “message” icon has been added to your local listing. Google is slowly inviting businesses to use this feature and the messaging goes through your businesses SMS number or via Google Allo.

Increase in Sitemaps File Size Limit for Google and Bing

Sitemaps file size has been 10MB for both Google and Bing, however, they jointly announced that they are increasing sitemaps fscreenshot_166ile size to 50MB. This will not allow you to add any more links than you could before however it will allow your sitemaps files to be significantly larger.

Fabrice Canel from Bing had this to say;

“While most sitemaps are under this 10 MB file limit, these days, our systems occasionally encounter sitemaps exceeding this limit. … Most often this is caused when sitemap files list very long URLs or if they have attributes listing long extra URLs (as alternate language URLs, Image URLs, etc), which inflates the size of the sitemap file.”

Early Wednesday morning Google also announced it on their Twitter.

Social

Facebook

Facebook has launched Instant Games inside of Facebook and Messenger, these arcade style games can be played either individually or to compete against a friend. The games can be played both on the social media’s website or in the apps. To compete against a friend, you don’t have to play at the same time, your scores will simply compete against the other person’s high score. In Messenger, once challenged you will get a message ready ‘User challenged you to a game’ of which you can then Play Now. There is also a games option along the top bar of the keyboard where there are currently 17 games available to play including PAC-MAN, Space Invaders, and Words with Friends. More games are sure to come but with the feature still being new, there are a few bugs which need to be sorted out. Users also have the ability to share their scores onto Facebook, and within that post other users will be able to click and play the game themselves.

Pinterest

Pinterest announced only yesterday that they have launched a new feature called, Showcase. It allows visitors who interact with business profiles to see manually selected visuals that best depict the brand. Pinterest showcase highlights up to five boards however if you haven’t elected to feature anything on your showcase then the feature won’t show on your profile. Showcase is only editable via the web interface but viewers can benefit from it on iPhones, Android and web.