Despite being the proverbial grandfather of search, Google has tried (and failed) for years to create a social network that people actually enjoy using. Neither Google Buzz or Google Plus ever generated a user base comparable to sites Facebook or Twitter, largely falling flat and going unnoticed.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again right? That certainly is the approach the search engine giant seems to be adopting with the BETA release of “Posts with Google.” Currently invite-only, this new program combines social feed components with content building capabilities. While the platform is reminiscent of Tumblr or LinkedIn Posts, its potential to significantly impact search results is something marketers cannot ignore.
As explained on Google Posts official landing page:
“Every day millions of people search on Google, many of whom are looking for information about prominent individuals and organizations. Now we’re experimenting with a new way for users to hear directly from select entities they’re searching for on Google.
Verified individuals and organizations can now communicate with text, images and videos directly on Google. Creating content is fast and simple, and once published, posts will appear instantly in search results related to the publisher. Each post can also be shared on popular social networks.”
The model explained above isn’t exactly surprising, especially when keeping in mind Google’s ever-present goal of delivering relevant information as fast as possible. It isn’t really new, either, as real time Twitter updates have long been found on SERPs referencing individuals and companies who foster direct brand searches.
What is special about Google Posts is that it provides an outlet for brands to create content that derives direct search engine benefits. SearchEngineLand‘s guest author Tony Edward used Tory Burch’s profile as an example. He points out that the page is similar to social media profiles in that it contains a post feed, profile photo and a cover image. However, the ability to publish a variety of content (beyond tweets) and maintain a dominant location in the SERPs could arguably make Google Posts more valuable than the rest. By placing these real-time updates under paid ads and above organic results, Google has demonstrated its extreme desire to make this platform both noticeable and popular — so much in fact, that it will push traditional organic links further down the page in doing so.
Google Posts is still in the testing phase, but just think about the possibilities if the platform is eventually opened up to a wider base of individuals and brands. From a content creation standpoint, Google Posts allows for more direct indexing of photos, links and videos included in content published on the platform. Even though it may steal a few clicks away from paid or organic listings, the real-time updates and prime SERP location is still a very effective combination from a conversion standpoint. The integrated feed establishes trust and experience with a user before they ever arrive on an organization’s primary website, ultimately making the online conversion process easier.
(And if it does take a few clicks away from Google Adwords campaigns, who cares? As Edward points out, it could lower the monthly budgetary costs while still encouraging positive interaction with the brand online.)
Should this platform pick up momentum, methods of data tracking will likely be the next addition to Google Posts. Whether this happens before or after the program is open to the public, only Google knows. If this is the future of searchable content creation, marketers and Webmaster should pay close attention to its ongoing development.
Want to see check Google Posts out for yourself? Sign up for the waiting list here.