How Can This New Feature Affect SEO As We Know It?

Towards the beginning of 2016, Google announced their new feature, “Posts”. Their original intention was to use the platform as a “podium” for the 2016 Presidential Candidates. What they were originally calling “Candidate Cards” would offer the active candidates of the 2016 Presidential Election to include virtually any information they deemed beneficial to their prospective voters, including video, text, and images.

In March, this feature was tweaked and rebranded, though there is still no official working name. It is being referred to by the general public as many things, including Google Local Business Cards or Local Cards, but in this blog, we will be calling them Google Local Cards.

How Can This New Platform Help Me?

As Google explains it, this feature will be available to established and verified organizations or individuals so they may more effectively communicate directly with their potential audience. With Google Local Cards small business owners, niche sites, and local organizations can choose what content they want published and it will appear instantly on Google’s SERPs. The intention, as it is with most Google services, is to make connecting directly with what you need easier and hassle-free.

Google local cards

So How Does It Work?

Put simply, this new feature will let brands or businesses bypass the customary algorithm used to determine where search results land on Google’s SERP. Instead, Google will offer local results to those searching for it at the top of the results page. Since the Google Local Cards feature does not rely on indexing as its primary way of determining the authority of a search result, this method will allow Google to rely heavily on the user-centric popularity of the site itself.

In other words, if I am searching for “Bike Shop in Fresno”, I can expect to see a Google Local Card for the most popular bike shop in Fresno, rather than for a bike shop somewhere around Fresno with a great blog (which is not what I was looking for).

Is This The Future of SEO?

It’s too early to tell if this feature will be the be-all, end-all of SEO techniques, but it is likely that more updates and improvements will be made to allow local business to really take advantage of this opportunity. As of right now, the “experimental feature”, as Google calls it, is only open to public figures and well-established organizations and businesses.

join the waitlist

However, while we can’t exactly say what direction Google is going to take with this, we can speculate on how it will affect those that rely on SEO heavily.

Who Will Benefit and Who May End Up Getting Left Behind?

Google has made it clear that this feature is meant to highlight local businesses to those looking for their specific services. This means that they will beat out other major websites that may be offering related information. Websites like WikiHow or About may be negatively affected, but on the other hand, small storefronts could be seeing an increase in popularity because they will be appearing higher up than they normally would on the SERP.

Other types of companies and sites that may be negatively affected by the implementation of this new feature are mobile businesses that don’t have a physical storefront or office, such as local independent plumbers, car repairmen, or mobile dog groomers. It could also affect e-commerce sites.

highlight local businesses

On the other hand, this evens the playing ground for the so-called little guy and can help give them a one-up on the competition by ranking them based solely on their popularity and not on how much effort they have put into their website. That being said, if you are a local business trying to figure out how to take advantage of this without getting beat out by other local business in your area, just make sure all your bases are covered. It can’t hurt to have a well-indexed page, but don’t forget to focus on organic popularity, which can often be created or boosted by investing time and energy into social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter.

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How We Can Help

Clicc Media Inc takes pride in being at the frontlines of SEO optimization along with all the services we provide. Schedule a 1-on-1 appointment with one of our SEO experts today to learn more about the anatomy of Google’s search and how internet marketing can boost your business’ revenue.

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