Google Plus has risen from the dead! No we are only joking, that is highly improbable.
Google have rolled out their Articles work for smaller companies using a Google My Business account.
Regardless of what Articles are? You would be forgiven for being confused, handling your organization info on calls for a few deciphering of the gap between Google + and Google My Business, that may result in some head scratching.
Therefore why we’re taking the opportunity to research what Google Posts are and what they imply for smaller companies (and actors, large companies and Twitter).
Google has also refrained from making a huge song and dance of Posts — so the quantity of information out there’s particularly limited on this occasion. To increase the confusion, the term ‘Google Posts’ or ‘Posts on Google’ is not actually the official name given to this feature, as per some of the Google search algorithm updates, Posts has been named as such by the wider community.
The term Google Posts was presumably born from the language utilized by Google when describing the feature, e.g ‘post with Google’.
Let’s start from the beginning: What are Google Posts?
Originally tested during the 2016 US elections, Posts offered candidates the ability to submit updates that would appear directly in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps.
These posts were also categorized with dropdowns, further helping users to access critical information. In 2016, selected businesses and individuals, including musicians, were used to trial Posts. Apparently these test results were good enough for a larger roll out in 2017.
The posts appear as cards in the SERPs with a variety of calls to action including ‘more’ and social sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Google.
The huge G state that:-LRB-*********)
“Posting on Google is a new method to share relevant, fresh content with the men and women that are browsing for you. Videos, utilize image and animated GIFs to engage your audience, and ad inline links to drive traffic. This improved format enables searchers to hear directly from the principal source — you — and complements existing results from throughout the net.”
the way to utilize Google Posts
First things first, if you are located in London such as us, Google have not completely rolled articles out to everybody so that you need to connect the waiting list. It is worth registering.
as soon as you’ve been accepted, the format seems to be reasonably easy. Log on to your GMB account, select ‘Create a Post’ and follow the options.
Image credit: Google. (Very telling that Google are using mobile screenshots, reinforcing their mobile first approach)
You can use Google Posts in a number of formats including events (with dates and times), image based, video, animated GIFs and text based posts.
Google say that every post will be removed after 7 days, after the date for an event has expired “to make sure that posts are timely”
Impact on SEO
In a case study this past year on Search Engine Watch, Rebecca Sentance noticed that Google Posts were appearing for search terms like ‘engagement rings Buffalo’, i.e non branded search terms. This was exciting upon investigation it would appear that Google has backtracked to get Posts.
Probably a great thing — it would be a safe bet that the underbelly of the search engine optimization world would look to spam Posts should they appear for transactional terms. As discussed in an earlier blog post, SEO is more than content, onsite and links.
Great SEO also takes into consideration the entire user flow, including improving click-through rates from results pages, which Posts should contribute to.
We might need to await a larger roll out to observe the true effect that Google Posts will have on CTR. It doesn’t take a leap of faith to bet that, if used the eye will be drawn by Posts and add to credibility and improve CTR.
The simple fact which you’re able to incorporate autoplay GIFs into Posts that appear in search adds another dimension to your appearance in the SERPs. We think that early adopters could obtain those at 3rd, 2nd or even 4th place who might distinguish their record a vital advantage over competition.
Finally, let’s face it, Google has an assumed amount of authority with the majority of internet users. That is what makes them rewarding. That’s slightly different, although they may not be trusted by them as a new.
Accompanying your Google Posts is really a wonderful blue tick beside your name, providing your new boost concerning social proof. You have been endorsed by Google. Then we can overlook the effect of status if this does not have an impact.
Mobile vs desktop
This is where there’s a difference for Posts. The long and short of it is that Posts are almost immediately viewable when scrolling on mobile (just below the maps result) whereas for branded search on desktop they’re on the ideal hand side Knowledge Graph, below all your other GMB information.
With Google’s push towards mobile-first indexing and AMP, Posts take a prominent place in the SERPs on mobile. Does this dictate that they’ll be thought of as a element that is ranking? Not necessarily. Expect businesses to receive higher levels of engagement and CTR in comparison with desktop for searches that are branded.
On the flip side, this advantage could be neutralized for non branded searches where the Post carousel is appearing directly beneath the search result, as opposed to under the business’ GMB profile.
How do Google Posts influence your ranking?
Considering the almost stealthy roll-out of Posts, we don’t expect Google to comment on whether Posts will be taken into account as a ranking element in search. For the moment we’d advise concentrating on utilizing them as a feature to improve traffic, and so CTR, to content.
Posts are certainly not a social network in the standard sense, when compared with the significant platforms like facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. We only need look at the information available on how ability might or might not affect to guess that Google won’t comment on SERPs for some time — if ever on the influence of Posts.
Are posts a spin off of Google Authors?
Posts seem to be somewhat of a spin off of the now defunct Google Authorship experiment, but with more functionality, i.e. the ability to advertise events in Posts. Much like Google Authorship, Posts will provide seek results with a different measurement and articles.
Firms will have the ability to drive traffic via search results to certain parts of content or key calls to action from Posts, adding further alternatives for users compared with the more standard major search link or associated sitelinks.
Top stories and Twitter carousel
Again, we’ll have to find this roll out fully to find the effect on search results, but it’s an intriguing conundrum for Google. Big brands will have a tendency to have Google’s ‘Top Stories’ and a Twitter carousel appear in search results. Add Posts and it raises questions that are interesting. Which takes priority? Content Twitter/news outlets, or published to their GMB page?
One would imagine that Google would look after their own interests, but their latest record $2.4 billion fine by the EU for essentially providing biased Google shopping results may influence their decisions on this issue.
Posts do seem to compete more directly with the Twitter carousel on account of their time-sensitive nature, which isn’t exactly fantastic news for the already presumably very sweaty and sleep deprived team at Twitter. Especially thinking about the language used on Google’s page explaining Posts: “Your Presence on Google, Fresher than Ever”.
We are really quite excited about the capacity of Posts. It adds another dimension and we can see early adopters using content advertising efforts to be significantly boosted by it.
Interestingly — and a topic that has been briefly touched upon by Search Engine Watch — the way in which businesses utilize Posts might be a significant influencing factor on their effectiveness. Businesses will need to be conscious of whether they use it to promote new products, events, provide key information (e.g guides), or a blend of content.
First impressions count, even before the user has clicked on your search result. Early adopters should look to define their strategy for Posts rather than being an early adopter for its sake.