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How Google Posts Could Affect the Future of SEO

In recent months, Google has undergone some interesting changes. Penguin 4.0 had its final phase implemented, which means it’s now in real time. The search engine also displays official Twitter profile feeds for entities to all English search engines around the world.

There is a clear emphasis on providing current content to users so that search engines receive the most up-to-date and relevant results first. Google is now going one step further in providing real-time updates by introducing Google Posts, also known in the past as Your Podium on Google.

This “experimental new podium” will allow individuals and businesses to produce content directly on the search engine. When people search for a particular business or name, the content will rank highly in search results. In a way, it seems to be the new Google+ for brands and celebrities.

How does it work?
Google has been relatively quiet about the new feature, but has been experimenting with it for some time. In January 2016, it was launched as a way to allow political candidates the opportunity to post lengthy debate rebuttals.

The goal is to give people the opportunity to hear directly from the companies and people they care about. At this stage, it’s by invitation only and only verified people and organizations will be able to use the feature.

Those with an invite will be able to communicate directly on Google through images, videos, and text. The content creation process is meant to be quick and easy, just like on social media. Once you’ve published your content, it will instantly become visible in search results related to your name or that of the organization you represent.

Entities also get their own profile, which looks a lot like your average social media page. It displays a profile picture above their name, above what appears to be a cover image, along with their post.

Clicking on one of the posts opens a dedicated full-screen webpage displaying the full text and accompanying images. You can also share the posts on popular social networks quickly. All you have to do is click the social sharing icon to share the post directly to Facebook, Twitter, email, or Google+.

It’s a lot like the carousel Twitter profile feeds you see on Google today, with a card-like format. However, while you can share the content, you cannot currently like or comment on it. These options may be something that will be introduced in the future as it is currently in its early stages.

We know that Google has had problems in the past with the development of its own social network; only time will tell if this new platform will perform any differently than Google Buzz and Google+.

Manage a one-way content feed
For Google users, the new feature will allow them to receive up-to-date information directly from their favorite brands and people. But what will it mean for public figures and organizations? Well, it puts a one-way content feed that builds right on top of search results pages under your full control.

The fact that the feature isn’t available to just anyone helps instill a sense of trust. Google verifies everyone first, so you know the information and messages you see come from a trusted source.

There are several ways you can take advantage of the new feature, now that you have a podium where you can reach your customers instantly. Users will be able to access the content you post directly from the search pages., without having to navigate any other links. They will see all this, even if they only write their name.

You have the opportunity to drive relevant content to Google, increase user interactions through the use of text, images, and videos, and encourage social sharing. Higher engagement will also help you increase conversion rates. How do you know that the reader has specifically searched for you; there is a higher chance that they will be interested in what you have to say.

You can instantly post lightweight content with fast loading results, just like on social media. However, the fact that you get a dedicated webpage means you have a bit more control over the amount of information you post and the corresponding images.

What does all this mean for SEO?
With brands and people being offered the opportunity to directly control the content that appears on Google when you search for their names, you can see some pretty significant implications for both organic and paid brand searches.

The carousel appears below the paid ads, but above the organic listings., so it ranks high in the results. If you do it right, there’s a lot to gain. While it may subtract clicks from your other results, it could end up saving you money that you would have otherwise spent on pay-per-click ads.

You just need to make sure that you make the most of the opportunity and include links within the posts that take your users to your website. Since we’re talking real-time, it’s the perfect way to draw attention to current sales or promotions you’re running, and therefore increase conversions.

Like we said, it essentially puts you in the driver’s seat. You can steer the content in any direction you want, so you could even use it to distract users from any negatives that show up in search results for your brand.

While the feature is currently invite-only, you can join the waitlist if you’re a public figure or represent a brand or business. While we have yet to see how this new feature will pan out, it’s worth joining the waitlist to find out.

It’s a great opportunity to control what people see first when they Google your name, so make the most of it. One day it could become a very powerful and useful tool to deliver the desired content directly to the consumer.

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