New Google Posts Content Feature
Why are local pack listings including Google Posts?
Leading SEO agencies like Customer Scout immediately noticed when posts by Google began appearing in local 3-pack listings. Some had worried that Google was dismissing the value of Posts as an aspect of Google My Business, but this was a clear indication otherwise.
As a new feature, truncated text from these posts is appearing via Local Finder as well as the 3-pack listings. If a web surfer is searching for a car in your area and your dealership comes up, this feature can provide that potential customer some very important and useful information.
What are Posts by Google?
Google Posts is the unofficial name for a feature originally introduced in 2016 so that U.S. presidential candidates could have important information displayed in a card-like format at the top of search results. The experiment was so successful that this new feature was soon extended to businesses.
What are 3-pack listings?
Local Finder is a component of Google that provides users with highly targeted and local content. The 3-pack is particularly important because it showcases the three most relevant local business to the search query in a box that sits atop the rest of the search results provided by Google.
Can the local pack be influenced?
The Local Finder along with the local 3-pack are used by Google to present relevant information about local businesses. This can include an address, phone number, business hours and review score.
These boxes are very crowded as is, and there is no universal rule to what content will appear in them. The focus here is on the user, and Google’s strategy is to provide the information within the space available that supports that local business’ right to be showcased. While you may not be able to influence it directly, you can influence it indirectly through a solid overall GMB plan.
Why has Google made this change?
Why has Google made no official statement? It is difficult to say but note that Google has been coy in the past in order to avoid influencing the data that it wants to collect. The obvious answer is that Google is seeking additional attributes it can use to pair businesses with relevant search terms.
Google already uses similar elements for Local Finder. These include:
• Website scraping
• Google Review posts
• Google My Business descriptions
Other recognition elements that are available but not yet included in Local Finder are:
• Objective attributes
• Subjective attributes
• Third-party reviews
• Q&As from Google My Business
Be mindful that Google may not be emphasizing Google Posts at all but rather deemphasizing some of the other elements listed above. Posts by Google may be cropping up more and more in order to fill an information gap created by other changes to the algorithm.
Consider a scenario in which a local dealership has only a few reviews and none of them mention its auto shop. A post that discusses the shop and the various services available may be enough to push that dealership into the Local Finder for a web surfer seeking automotive maintenance.
Another potential explanation is that a greater emphasis on Posts is part of the plan for moving beyond Google+. If the goal is to have Google My Business be the means through which local businesses interact with clients and potential customers, then it makes great sense that the changes to Posts are an early step toward making GMB the primary social network for businesses available through Google.
What does this mean for your local business?
It is worth noting that Google has not yet made an official statement regarding this new feature. Nevertheless, Customer Scout is hard at work on strategies to ensure that your business is prevalent in Local Finder and that the content you want customers to see scores highly.
There is still much testing and analysis to be conducted by Customer Scout and the industry at large. But there is little doubt that this is an exciting change that could mean big things for your dealership.