In this article we’ll examine three developments in Google Search and their implications for marketers going forward. Google is the world’s most-used search engine—stay up to date so you don’t get left behind.
1. Acquisition of Frommer’s
On Monday, Google purchased the travel brand Frommer’s for $23 million. In an effort to attract more advertising dollars, the tech company has set its sights on the travel industry. Frommer’s is widely regarded as America’s premier authority for travel, providing a series of guidebooks and trusted information about destinations across the globe. Google may incorporate Frommer’s content into its Google+ business listings, as they did after their 2011 purchase of Zagat Survey. The Frommer’s acquisition is suggestive of a developing trend in which the company not only directs users to content, but owns it as well. By owning trusted travel-guide content and showing it in search results, Google can leverage sales of travel-related advertisements and provide users with better tools for making travel arrangements. Moreover, the acquisition highlights the growing importance of trusted content and recommendations within the search space. In order to improve rankings in search, marketers should work to leverage recommendations by providing social avenues for consumers to voice their opinions.
2. Gmail in Search Results
Google announced last week that they will be testing the incorporation of Gmail content into Google search results. This means that when you search on Google, in addition to relevant content from across the web, Google will also show you relevant content from your personal emails. A Buzzfeed article praised Google for the development, describing it as “social search that makes sense,” connecting users to “a world of almost nothing but relevancy.” The new feature has significant implications for the future of email marketing, as your company’s emails now have the potential to give you prime visibility outside of your client’s email inbox. The move is indicative of a trend towards delivering content to users that is not only relevant, but personalized. To capitalize on the trend, marketers should develop tailored email marketing strategies and focus on producing target-specific content.
3. Updated Search Algorithm
Google recently updated its search algorithm, PageRank, in order to discourage piracy and win favor with content companies. The updated algorithm ranks websites lower based on the number of times they’ve been reported as infringing on the copyright of others. The move will help users to find better quality content more easily. This move comes in conjunction with a shift in the algorithm towards signals indicative of social relevance. Google associates social signals with higher quality content. This means that shared content, conversations, and recommendations are becomingly increasingly tied to the ranking system. The take-home here is obvious: develop (your own) quality content worth sharing, and Google will reward you.