Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Google’s Newest Social Sharing Environment for Business? Google Posts
Update: Google has confirmed that this is a test with a very limited number of local businesses. Searchengineland referred to product as “Local Business Cards”. However the Verge indicated that Google has yet to name the product.
Google appears to have a new post/stream oriented publishing platform waiting in the wings to replace Plus. Unlike Plus it is currently being given broad front page exposure on keyword searches.
It is immediately available for candidates in the Presidential election AND appears to be available to a select group of beta testers. The new platform allows for a post stream to show up in the SERPS associated with your web page.
The product is being positioned as a real time communication publishing & platform. Their landing page proclaims:
An experimental new podium on Google
Hear directly from the US presidential candidates in real time on Google.
The placement of the stream in search is very obvious and visually very compelling. Currently you can not get immediate access but need to join a waiting list.
I discovered the product while searching for Engagement Rings Buffalo. I have no idea how widespread its distribution is but I searched on this phrase earlier in the week and this was not there.
If the final product provides similar placement, this posting product will immediately get both a brand AND a local business following. In the above screen shot, the stream is follows the #2 website and is from a prominent local jeweler. This is the sort of the exposure missing from Plus that prevented it from being a meaningful business communication platform.
Clearly this sort of display plays to Google’s incredible strengths and could very well become paid placement that is easy to use and understand by the small business. It could be directly competitive with Facebook Boosted posts.
Posts from the product are available to share on the major social sites and via email.
As you can see, the name is displayed prominently above the stream and to its left there is a link that takes you to the complete list of published content which exists on a slimmed down Plus like page.
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Yes, I’ve been seeing this for my Presidential hopeful for the past few days. It totally surprised me. I’ve not yet seen it for products though. Neat, Mike.
Good spot Mike! I see the next seo gold rush taking place. Do you suppose Andrews jewelers was a test site or just got the lucky boost from accident?
I am not sure. They have only been posting for 3 days…
Really awesome work mike. Its really new thing that Google will be trying to make its SERP more better and better.
Those who saw this system in action in the Good Old Google+ Days understand this powerful combination of social & SEO but very few people ever really saw it work for them because Google was constantly testing & changing the rules, I suspect the same is the case here…here today gone tomorrow, I wouldn’t get too excited.
Maybe Google figured it out finally. Time will tell.
It totally surprised me. Good spot Mike!. now, i’m join a waiting list.
Where are the companies actually posting these updates if its not G+? Where are companies inputting the posts?
What is the name of the platform?
@Matt I assume that there is a login at the /posts URL. Google has said that the product does not have a name.
Ok Thanks. I understand it better now.
What it means is more real estate for brands.
Thanks for breaking it down so nicely Mike – and for providing the wait list link 🙂
@Mike – i’m not seeing this in UK yet.
Was the snak pack also on the SERP or did this replace it?
Personally i think it looks hideous and doesn’t offer the user any variety of businesses to choose from.
I can see the benefit in branded searches where a user is searching for a specific business. This gives them access to more detailed content about that business (& keeps them on google for longer…)
I just hope it doesn’t cannibalize the snak pack and make real estate even more scarce for local businesses.
On the flipside…posting on G+ never took off like G wanted because usage of G+ is low (outside of SEO community) and the content wasn’t surfaced prominently in SERPs. I guess that this incarnation solves that problem.
Thank you mike for your insights on this new feature. I think It’s good when we are talking about National level like president election or Catastrophic events but it could be mess when it comes to promotion for Business and it’s services at local level unless it has some restrictions to it or some kind of boundaries to it. but i am excited to see what can we do with this new features.
Thanks for sharing this. I can see the similarity in concept to Facebook boosted posts and Twitter ads. The problem I see is that the example is a commercial search, and the post isn’t exactly relevant to that. If it does replace the snak pack it would be hard to argue improved user experience.
Mikel excellent article !!! I think it will be an interesting integration with Google + , Google As we know us every day and each time the result will be smarter and more intuitive about the needs of the user. For example in Google Now depending on my place I Recommend this site to which I visited already or similar . With Google Now is providing important information to us given our searches and sometimes our location.
What we fight sometimes with Facebook is sometimes I do not like I see sometimes in different sectors FB : That’s more people than are recommended products , but is already getting more publicity. and Google ( not Google+ ) is the search engine that is where the user initially to find something that interests you ( companies) arrives.
Greetings. I hope I have translated well . 🙂
I do not think that it will integrate with Plus. I think, if it makes it to a real product, it will be a super simple way for small businesses to create content that sits at Google but depends on search rather than followers to be successful.
Well this is a powerful and impactful change. Its an experiment…hm.
It sure takes up a lot of search screen real estate. Also sharing ALL the branding elements for Andrews “including that 3 d printer” did not have ANYTHING to do with engagement rings.
If the search phrase had been “Adrews Jewelers” well then the branding page real estate…would be “different, IMHO…but on this phrase…not so good.
But its an experiment.
More change. I’m getting a migraine.
Thanks for the head’s up. I just looked it up and saw the same. Do you know which other businesses could be beta testers? This poses a LOT of questions. Like, will they phase out Plus in favor of this? Or maybe they’ll just integrate it into Local? This is something that we need to keep our eyes on.
Do we know if this is still occurring now the Presidential elections are over? It would be interesting to hear whether this feature is going to still be used (e.g. paid marketing) or whether they are going to keep it reserved for national events
Yes it is still occurring and being tested in the small business market.
Now that doesn’t really surprise me, at least its being restricted to brand terms but something tells me this may become part of the Adwords ecosystem before too long
Google has committed to make this free if it gets released more broadly. From their POV it is fresher content and keeps folks on Google better than say YP.com page which might otherwise show there.
Interesting to see this article now that Google Posts have been released to local businesses over a year later
Yes… this product has been in testing for 18 months before finally seeing lift off in a form that has changed numerous times… the current version is “watered” down somewhat but still useful
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