Tag Archives: Google

Google Launches New Next-Gen Local Discovery Tool

Google

Google’s new “tappable shortcuts” now make it possible to find key localized information without the need to use a search box for users in the United States of the Google app on Android, IOS and Google.com on the mobile web.

Google says search app users will need to have the most updated version of its app to have access to the shortcuts. Then, with a tap on a shortcut icon, located just below the search engine’s search boxes, they can find quick information about weather, sports, food, television programming and other entertainment. The data is grouped by interest, cuisines, atmosphere and various other attributes.

The search engine also said it will soon introduce new shortcuts for “big moments and events” that may be one-off shortcuts for things that attract a lot of search queries – like elections or the Olympics.

Driven and accompanied by rich data, Google’s new move provides a strong incentive for businesses to add more enhanced data as part of their local SEO strategy.

“The Google search box is great when you’re looking for a specific answer, but there are also moments when you just want to catch up on the latest for topics of interest,” writes Google’s Vice President of Product Manager, Tamar Yehoshua, on the Google Search Blog that announced the shortcuts.

He added that Android users will have access to even more shortcuts, including translation tools, nearby attractions, travel information, a currency converter, games and more. The blog also offers a short video that explains how the shortcuts work.

The new launch is likely Google’s bid to compete with Yelp and other such providers of local content, industry experts have said, as this sort of machine learning-driven activity entirely bypasses the traditional search box.

“These are essentially prepackaged queries, using a range of data behind the scenes, to replace typing with tapping,” writes Greg Sterling of industry publication Search Engine Land. “The experience represents a template for other kinds of mobile search results beyond the four categories currently present. Shopping and Travel come immediately to mind. Android features more shortcuts than iOS. Currently, you can buy movie tickets via the entertainment shortcut. We can expect more transactional capabilities like this to roll out to other categories.”

He added that, while there are no advertisements currently on Google’s shortcuts, he assumes there will be if the tools gain widespread usage – especially if we see large numbers of people entirely bypassing the search box in key categories.

“The changes also come at a time when the major technology companies are bringing back the idea of portals as a stepping off point to the web,” elaborated Sarah Perez from Techcrunch.com.  “In the internet’s early years, users would visit their favorite homepages for this sort of information — news, weather, local, sports, etc. Now, they’re being shuffled off into apps. Facebook, for example, has been trying to combat this shift, by steadily adding features that would have otherwise necessitated users to exit its own app for others — like weather, shopping, jobs and more.”

DAS Group is available to help your business make sure it’s on top of the latest digital marketing trends; we would be happy to share ideas with you.

The Evolution of Google’s SERP as a Result of Mobile Devices

The Evolution of Google's SERP

Over the last ten years, the design of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) has changed significantly, thanks to the influence of mobile devices. According to a recently released study on Google and mobile-influenced user search behavior, the search giant has adapted its SERP layout to accommodate the new search habits of mobile device users.

Mobile-influenced Search Habits

With the vast proliferation of mobile devices, searchers encounter and digest search results very differently than they did in the days of desktop search’s dominance. Mobile device layout encourages a vertically oriented search style in which users selectively “scan” for relevant information. Essentially, we now consume more content, much faster: while users once took 2.6 seconds to consume a SERP, that time has now been reduced to a mere 1.3 seconds.

Google’s SERP Design Changes

Since most searches are now conducted on mobile devices, Google has accommodated users’ mobile-influenced search habits in its page layout. The company has re-designed their SERP from a more horizontally oriented, triangular pattern appropriate for desktop viewing to a vertical pattern that suits the vertical design of mobile device screens.

This mobile-influenced design also remains consistent in Google’s desktop SERP, which goes to show how much our mobile search habits have changed the way we consume content more generally.

Implications for Your Business’s Search Listings

These new habits, along with the corresponding changes to Google’s SERP, affect the way businesses should approach search engine optimization. Here are a few key takeaways:

Have a Clear and Visible Main Message

Since users spend less time perusing search results, businesses need to capture their attention by articulating their message clearly and up front. Be sure to include an appropriate title that accurately describes your business.

Work to Achieve a Google Knowledge Graph

Google’s knowledge graphs synthesize links and information relevant to certain search terms. These boxes are located on the side of desktop SERPs and at the top of mobile SERPs.

This placement means that mobile searchers see the Knowledge Graph before any organic listings. When a knowledge graph turns up in a Google SERP, the top organic listing receives 22% fewer clicks, while an overwhelming 93% of searchers view the Knowledge Graph and 49% click the graph.

Although you cannot directly create a knowledge graph, there are measures you can take to gain a knowledge graph result for your business. These include typical organic SEO strategies such as adding structured markup to your site. Once your business has a knowledge graph, you or a representative can edit the graph and suggest changes.

Get Local Listings in Order

When a map and local listings appear above the organic listings on a SERP, the map and listings receive more clicks and views. This means it remains important to add or claim your name, address, contact information, and business hours on Google My Business.

Get Ratings

Registering your business will also help you to gain star ratings. Since listings with star ratings capture an average of 24% of page clicks, you should encourage your customers to provide reviews. As always, having more positive reviews will help your business to appear at the top of search listings.

Increase Organic Search Ranking

Some things remain the same: today, the top four organic listings capture the most search activity, regardless of any changes to Google’s page design and added features. Listings below the top four receive only 16% of clicks on desktop searches, and this number drops to 7.4% on mobile searches. This means that it is more important than ever to continue to use organic SEO strategies to get your business’s page in the top spot.