Google announced in mid August that they would be expanding their test of the beta ‘direct to search’ posting for SMBs.
Barbara Oliver Jewelry just received her entree into the beta so for the first time I can test the product and assess its value1 . And learn better what how it performs and what benefits accrue to Barbara when it appears in the search results.
What is the product?
Originally I described it as a local social sharing product. I suppose that it is in some sense but more along the lines of a blog and not really in the vein of a G+ or Facebook. Maybe like Twitter with no character limit.
It is really a publishing platform with the unique distinction of making fresh content available for limited periods of time on the front page of search.
When and where does it appear?
In the current iteration it will ONLY show on a brand search for the entity that is using the product. It presents in an AMP like carousel just below the home page of the entity and to the left of the Knowledge Graph. The pages are extremely fast on mobile.
Relate Post From Local U:
Video Deep Dive: Google Posts, A New Paradigm for Fresh Local Content or Another Failed Social Experiment?
How Sharable is it?
The post has a permanent URL and the built in ability to share via G+, Facebook, Twitter and email.
Ever visible but NOT evergreen
One of the advantages of a blog is that the content, once indexed by Google and visible in search, can send traffic to a business website forever. Roughly 50% of my 30,000 monthly visitors come from articles written in previous years. It’s content that keeps on giving. Particularly when it’s gotten a few links.
Content on Google Posts shows for a limited time on the front page and then it is stored on the business’s Posts page. BUT it is not indexed for Google search and can’t be found via Google, they can only be browsed2. Very limiting indeed.
At this point in the beta, the content has nowhere to go. It is conceivable, that with enough shares, it could show in search though we don’t really know.
But its not too hard to imaging that Google could easily push the content into Google Plus or even back to the SMB website for a more lasting value if the content is good.3
The local indexed search results are for the most part very static. A listing from YP.com barely changes year to year let alone month to month.
This product actually allows for scheduled minute to minute changes. Since it publishes in real time a business (or any organizational event like the Olympics or Google I/O) can be posting during a live event. The posts can be scheduled to disappear from search as quickly as they appear of they can be scheduled to last up to two weeks.
For sure they bring a dynamic nature to the otherwise boring content of a brand search that currently does not engender repeat visits by the user.
What’s Impressive Continue reading Google Posts Directly to Search Feature Expansion Continues – Now What?