More threads by James Watt

Oct 25, 2013
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For those who haven't heard yet, Google recently rolled out their "Google Posts" for SMBs in most verticals around the world. Mike Blumenthal has a great writeup:

Google is formally announcing the world wide availability of Google Posts today. The product allows a business to micro-blog directly to their Knowledge Panel result, create Posts of up to 300 words in length and include a photo. The Post can be further defined as an event with a date range or a call to action link can be added with a URL to a page that the business?s chooses.

You can read the rest here.

There's a pretty wide range of places they can show in desktop and mobile. I've seen some reports that a selection of local business posts are showing in the SERPs for general keywords, though I haven't seen that in the wild myself yet. Anyone using posts yet? How's it working out? Any sightings of posts in more general search results?
We have posts showing in both desktop and mobile. So far we have yet to see any measurable impact. I came here to ASK THE SAME QUESTION you asked above!!! How's it working out? Any impact yet??? etc. (great minds think alike ;)

My quick reaction is that on first view we'll have to adjust photos and/or take new ones as the mobile version--off of mobile features a photo that is very wide and has very little height.

Sort of a little weird as the GMB Main photo is essentially square. It simply requires a new type of photo with very different dimensions. You can click on it and the post will reshape with the original full photo...but the first view is a sort of panorama as opposed to a square.

We have not heard customer or lead feedback yet, as referenced above.

I do have some general perspectives and reactions:

1. A friend in the hotel industry (a very special type of local) has mentioned he has seen reductions in traffic to his sites year to year of about 10%. Those are big drops in traffic. The hotel industry is probably the industry most impacted by monetization of results.

The KP steals traffic from websites. It reduces traffic. Our smb's take calls and if we ask the caller if they saw the website, more and more often the answer will be NO. Not a majority, but its a growing number. We know we are getting calls off the KP.

To a large extent if we get the same or more leads with our without having the traffic we are okay by that. But generally we want visitors to visit our sites. We have more compelling content and "methods to our madness" that drives sales. The KP does not do that for us.

The Post's allow us to get some part of that compelling message to visitors. But not all of it.

So we are pleased to see it there...but in our regards its simply not enough. And after years of experience....we know this is google's content and googles "page". Its not ours. We are not happy about that and tremendously wary.

Lastly I've commented on this before. More than any other element of search we are seeing this enormous "HiJacking" of search traffic by Mobile PPC. More and more we see mobile visitors clicking on our ads. That is both good and bad. We are getting the traffic...but it is costing us a lot.

To the extent that mobile advertising is making an enormous DENT on mobile search traffic.....well then BIG DEAL about Posts on the KP. Searchers aren't getting to organic or Maps traffic like they did in the past. They are getting sucked up by the PPC vacuum.
Interested to see some examples of this in the SERPS!

Also curious to see if there is an impact on ranking.
Thanks for sharing Dave! I don't have anything noteworthy to share yet on posts, I think ultimately it won't make much of a difference for the Photographers I'm working with, unless they start showing for general queries.

I agree the PPC on mobile is out of hand, but that's the problem with search... it's Google's game, we're just playing in it. From what it sounds like, the Hotel industry is definitely at the forefront of erosion from Google's profit machine. Given Europe's 2.7 billion settlement against Google a few days ago, I don't imagine they'll be loosening the purse strings anytime soon either. Guess we'll just need to stay agile, be ready to diversify, and pay attention to changes as they hit.
Interested to see some examples of this in the SERPS!

Also curious to see if there is an impact on ranking.

From what I read in Mike's post these aren't being indexed now, which means they shouldn't show in serps. That is my understanding of this new feature.

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