Google has started to experiment with an entirely new, almost Twitter-like format of search results. These results could eventually allow any celebrity or business to have a content feed built directly into Google Search results. 

The new results, which have been rolled out for US presidential candidates and selected small businesses, feel like stripped out versions of Google+ posts and have been given prominent positions on search result pages.

The product is being positioned as an “experimental new podium,” initially allowing users to hear directly from the US presidential candidates in real-time on Google.

Google says it plans to roll the feature out to other “prominent figures and organizations” in the future. And with some small business already a part of this experimentation phase, this feature could become a powerful tool for brands to deliver content to consumers through Google.

We’d love to explore this new feature with you.

Let’s dive in.

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How does this feature work?

Dubbed ‘Posts’ around the web, (though a Google representative confirmed to The Verge that these are in fact not called ‘Posts’, and don’t have a name yet), these new search results will allow users to communicate with text, images and videos directly on Google.

Google explain more about the feature on its landing page:

Creating content is fast and simple, and once published, posts will appear instantly in search results related to the candidate. Each post can also be shared on popular social networks, amplifying the message even further.

Initially, it looks like these snippets of content will feature quite prominently whenever the name of an individual or company is searched in Google (if they’re active on the ‘posts’ new platform, that is).

Alongside presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and John KasichA Healthy Choice spa are one of the first business to have been spotted using the feature. Upon searching ‘a healthy choice spa’ in Google, their ‘posts’ appeared second in the search results:

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Upon clicking on one of the posts from the Google search results page, you’re then taken directly to the post in a full-screen view:

google-post

Though it may feel like a Google+ post, aside from sharing to other networks, the ‘social’ elements have been completely removed. You’re unable to comment or ‘+1’ (Google +’s version of ‘likes’) and you also can’t opt to follow and receive updates from a page or follow in any way.

It feels as though this platform will be a way to share content that’s only visible if someone searches for something relevant in Google.

A new platform for business

Andrew Jewellers were the first business spotted using this feature, as discovered by search expert, Mike Blumenthal.

Since Blumenthal’s discovery, a couple more businesses have also surfaced: A Healthy Choice (as mentioned above) and Escape Pod Comics.

Google search has a much larger reach than any social network and this feature could be extremely powerful for small businesses and large brands alike, especially if posts continue to receive such prominent placements on the Google search results pages.

The ability to communicate and deliver real-time content directly to Google search results gives users the reach that Google+ is largely unable to deliver. And this could be a perfect platform to deliver important company updates, real-time news, and offers.

Though Google says it does not plan on charging for this feature, it could potentially evolve into a competitor to Facebook Sponsored posts too, with Google allowing users to sponsor posts based on keyword searches.

Over to you

It’s not quite clear when this feature will be opened up to more users, though Google does have a waitlist on their landing page for any interested parties to sign up (we’ve joined the waitlist and can’t wait to experiment and share more with you once we’re using the feature).

What are your first impressions of this feature? What types of content do you feel businesses should be posting to Google? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

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Written by Ash Read

Content crafter at Buffer. I’m fascinated by storytelling, entrepreneurship, and travel. When I’m not writing, you’ll usually find me on a football pitch or basketball court.

  • http://hedstrominternetconsulting.com/ Steve Hedstrom

    Thanks for the update on Google’s moves Ash! I’m very interested to see where this leads for businesses. Happy Monday and I’ll be sharing this with my network today! 🙂

    • http://ashread.com Ash Read

      Thanks Steve! Should be super interesting t see how this evolves when it rolls out to more people 🙂

  • Jessica de Heij

    oeh interesting! Can’t wait to see more…

    • http://ashread.com Ash Read

      Thanks for commenting Jessica 🙂 I’m really excited to learn more too – we’ll be sure to share anything we find here on the blog 🙂

  • dvonbieker

    Thanks for the heads up! Would love to give this a try.

    • http://ashread.com Ash Read

      I can’t wait to give it a try too 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Walter

    Did anybody notice that this new feature is working for all candidates except Donald Trump? Lol funny.

  • susanbreidenbach

    Will we searchers be able to screen out certain types of posters? I’ll stop using Google if my search results are full of campaign pitches from power-lusting parasites (a.k.a. professional politicians). It’s bad enough I’m already forced to pay their salaries…Seriously–will the posts be filtered at all by user preferences?

    • http://www.datacurator.com.au curatethedata

      Just don’t search them

    • http://ashread.com Ash Read

      I believe these will only show up if you search for certain keywords, for example a politician’s name. I’m not 100% sure but I don’t believe they’ll show up when searching for less specific and broader keywords. Hope that helps 🙂

  • http://www.bridgetwillard.com Bridget Willard

    That would be awesome. I wonder if regular profiles will show up like this, too.

  • Adrijus Guscia

    This can make people use Google+ more if it rolls out to everyone. And seems like a useful thing. Looking forward to see how this pans out.

  • divya

    Thanks for sharing this information, it helped me a lot in finding valuable resources for my career

    Hadoop Training in Chennai

  • Pandian

    Thanks for the update Ash.. Looks interesting!! I’m really excited to learn more..
    Cheers

  • fashion diy team

    It might at least keep the active companies nearer the top hoping it will help small biz too and all those who have something say be quicker than searching across all social media or searching on news channels to know what’s happening yeah really like it! (so far)

  • http://sunnylandingpages.com Ashu

    Somewhere some SEO expert must be having orgasm after reading this 😀

  • Kyle Johnson

    I see that the content isn’t labeled in any way, so it seems like this is just a way to pollute my search results without me knowing about it.

  • Christine

    I think it will be helpful when searching very specific things, agree when looking for general content it will “pollute” results. Very interesting. As a business, should love this.

  • https://www.flexmr.net/ Chris Martin

    I hope this stays in the realm of local business. Though it’s a fantastic idea, and helps give smaller businesses much more prominence in search results, I do think that it has the potential (as with any new feature Google releases) to be abused by a lot of unscrupulous SEOs.

    So long as it is kept to specific (long-tail) searches only, I think this will add a lot of value. I just don’t want to see cleverly positioned posts for marketing services when I’m searching for news (etc.)

  • http://webspokn.in hyderali

    Hi Ash,

    I’m seeing this new update from last couple of weeks & I thought it was twitter because of the way it was presented but after reading your post I see that it is a new feature in Google SERP. Lets see how it rolls out & whether it could be beneficial for Google+ or not.

    Thanks for the update!

  • http://essaypro.com/writer.html?id=7265 brainywriter

    Google loves people who loves studying.
    They have a lot of tools that help students to improve their skills and knowleges.
    For example, there is the whole web site for Education.
    I, also, found the article that describes all features of Google Education: http://essaypro.com/blog/how-does-google-helps-students/