Google Posts Now Live for All GMB Users — but Will They Be Used?
June 23, 2017 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
Google Posts is a feature that first launched in early 2016 as a way for political candidates to directly post content that would appear in Google search results (“candidate cards”). It soon expanded to other categories (including local) and became known as “Google Posts.”
Here’s Google’s official description of Posts:
Posting on Google is a new way to share relevant, fresh content with the people who are searching for you. Use images, videos and even animated GIFs to engage your audience, and add inline links to drive traffic to specific content. This enhanced format allows searchers to hear directly from the primary source — you — and complements existing results from across the web.
Yesterday Google announced general availability of Posts for local businesses through Google My Business (GMB). Here are some of the things that Google envisions local business owners will do with posts:
- Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
- Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
- Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
- Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.
Posts can be created through GMB on the desktop and mobile, and will appear under a new “posts” tab on mobile business profiles. They will also appear in the Knowledge Panel on desktop and will have a limited lifespan, depending on their content. I couldn’t find any live examples (except for Mike Blumenthal’s client Barbara Oliver Jewelry).
This is a potentially very useful promotional tool. It’s a way to get offers, dynamic content and seasonal information in front of consumers, beyond the basic profile, NAP and reviews information that appear.
The big question is will small businesses use it? Posts is probably something that local SEO practitioners and agencies will have to do on behalf of their customers, though Google clearly envisions this as a direct tool for SMBs. (Posts is another place for content that also appears across social media but there’s no API/automation currently available to do this efficiently to my knowledge.)
Andrew Shotland of LocalSEOGuide had some early insights and predictions about local Posts and their SEO impact last year. He sees both a big upside for those serving local businesses (including enterprises) and spam potential as well.