What Google Posts Could Mean for Online Communication and Search Results

How Google's new "Posts" platform could impact companies online search plans

Google Posts platform
Google's new Posts platform.

If you have not yet heard of the new Google feature called “Posts”, do not feel too badly, the company has launched this “experiment” with very little fanfare or notice. This is surprising since this new platform has the potential to dramatically change real time online communication and how search engine results are posted.

So What Is Google Posts?

In a nutshell, Google Posts allows someone to publish content in real time directly to search results.

Yes, you read that correctly, someone is able to publish content directly to Google search results page in real time.

This is a dramatic change to how Google displays content currently, and it addresses one of the biggest problems with search engine results – namely that older posts which have been online for a while are often listed higher in those results than newly posted content that has not yet been indexed by the engines. That new content is oftentimes what people really want to read, yet search results have long failed at delivering this content in the way that real time social media does. Google Posts seems poised to address that shortcoming with search results by allowing for real time publishing to their site, and they have started by offering this platform to the US presidential candidates.

Hear What the Politicians Have to Say

As of this writing, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio are all using Google Posts, with Donald Trump as the notable exception here.

If you do a quick Google search for any of these candidates, you will find a section on the SERP (search engine results page) that says “Candidate Name on Google” (with “candidate name” being whomever you searched for). This section lists some recent posts published by each of these candidates – posts that they made and which were immediately listed on these search result pages.

According to Google, “US presidential candidates can now communicate with text, images and videos directly on Google. Creating content is fast and simple, and once published, posts will appear instantly in search results related to the candidate. Each post can also be shared on popular social networks, amplifying the message even further.”

Read that statement again and you should notice some pieces of it which are very important and potentially groundbreaking, namely that “posts will appear instantly” as well as the fact that those “posts will appear in search results.” Never before has Google given people the ability to so directly influence what is published in the results pages, but with Google Posts, they have done just that.

What Is the Experience Like?

If you click on any of these Google Posts entries, you will see that it appears almost like a Google+ posting. Visitors can share that post with other social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) or either email it to someone or share the URL link. Additionally, each individual posting allows you to see a full feed from that candidate in a fashion similar to other social sites – yet this content is not on a social media site.

It is in Google search results – a place where all candidates and companies would love to be able to better promote their messages and content. That is the power here, this combination of Google search coupled with a real time feed that feels like it belongs in social media.

What Does the Future Hold for Companies?

Google states that Google Posts “is only available to the 2016 US presidential candidates” and that in the future they “plan to make it available to other prominent figures and organizations.” Well, the reality is that they already have some companies using this platform.

If you do a Google search for “Andrew Jewelers New York”, you will see that this company is also using Google Posts. Not only does a search for their company name bring up this content, but a more keyword focused query for “wedding rings buffalo NY” also shows this Google Posts content.

This is potentially a huge shift in how companies could communicate with an audience through Google search. Instead of publishing website content, using SEO best practices, and waiting for Google to effectively rank that content over time, Google Posts could actually give organization the power to publish directly to their results in real time. If that sounds like an almost scary amount of power, that’s because it potentially is! That being the case, you’d have to expect that Google will be very cautious in how they roll this feature out to a wider audience, if they do so at all.

Remember, this is technically still an experiment, so Google Posts may never be fully available for companies to use, but the possibilities it offers are very exciting and it does, indeed, have the potential to dramatically shake up that way that content is published and searched for online.

Give It a Shot

Google is currently allowing people to sign up for the waitlist to use Google Posts, so if you want to be a part of the experiment, head over to the landing page and sign up now.