Google’s Search product has always been focused on providing the most relevant results to users. With its re-signing of a deal with Twitter, Google has demonstrated that real-time content is also a priority for search. Apparently, Twitter alone is not enough to meet the demand for real-time news results. Google has quietly been launching its own Twitter-like, real-time news offering that will allow verified individuals and businesses to post results directly to Google Search.
These real-time results have been rolling out since January when Google began allowing presidential candidates to create “information cards.” As of March, Google started letting local businesses in several markets create informational snippets that show up in search. Information about these snippets or cards — or whatever they will eventually be called — can be found at google.com/posts. However, Google told The Verge that “Posts” is not the name of this initiative. (It doesn’t have a name yet.) For the sake of simplicity, I’ll be calling them cards throughout the rest of the post.
How does this affect SEO?
There isn’t a lot of solid information out there right now about how this will likely affect SEO, but there is speculation. Some of the more intriguing tidbits include the following:
- These new posts/cards won’t rely on traditional ranking factors such as inbound links. This may be a step toward lessening or removing the importance of links as a ranking factor.
- Posts/cards show up at the top of the page in a carousel-type format. This will push down organic results — especially on mobile. So, even if you rank well, your result may still show up below the fold.
- Non-local or service area businesses may not gain access to these cards. That means local businesses using cards may kill their national and service area competition. (Learn more at Search Engine Land about this issue.)
- Local directories (Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.), e-commerce, and content sites may take a backseat to local business cards.
Get on the Waiting List
Nothing is set in stone with regard to this Google initiative. While it’s currently catering to presidential candidates, some celebrities, and local businesses, there is a chance that it will open up to national and service area businesses in the future. Get your company on the list by visiting google.com/posts and begin considering ways that this change to the search results page may help or hinder your current SEO & content strategy.
Read more on this at: fortune.com