Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more businesses need to publish urgent announcements.

This may include health and government organisations announcing shelter-in-place directives or quarantine guidelines; schools and learning centres announcing transitions from offline to online; travel bans; or, disease spread stats.

With that in mind, in order to help organisations out, Google has released a new tool in the GSC. It’s still considered to be in beta meaning it’s not fully developed and can be subject to changes. The new announcement tools will help authority websites to submit important announcements on their website without needing to use structured data. Keep in mind that because the tool is still in beta, you may not see results in Google Search right away.

The tool has the following requirements and rules – 

a) announcements must expire within 1 month of posting, so it’s only for short-lived announcements;
b) if an expiration date is not required, the announcement will default to expire 7 days from the time it  was posted;
c) it’s focused on health and government organisations as well as schools; and
d) it doesn’t support news articles.

Despite the fact that you or your clients may not be “authority sites”, it’s always great to keep up-to-date. However, beware and don’t abuse the tool as Google may decide to take manual actions and mark your announcement ineligible to display as rich results. If such a drastic measure is taken, you’ll have to resubmit your website for consideration in order to fix it.

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