Changes and Updates to Google Search Listings
Google recently announced a brand-new look for its search listings, which will initially be visible via its mobile app, and which will change the display of paid search ads, in addition to providing more branded icons for related search listings. This is all being offered in an attempt to increase the visibility of specific paid search listings, and to make them stand out better on a page of returned results.
This initiative should be great news for all those advertisers who are opting for paid searches rather than standing pat with organic searches, since it should provide even greater return on their investment. Instead of the old green text box on an ad listing, the ad notifier will now become displayed in bold print, which should provide increased awareness of which ads are paid and which are not.
In addition to this small change, a bigger change has been incorporated in the area of offering the new brand icons which will be seen on the search listings. Google itself has offered some insights into the rationale for these changes, noting that the intent is to emphasize any website’s branding, putting it front and center. It also intends that users should be able to identify where information is coming from, and which pages will contain the information being sought on a search.
Impact on marketing efforts
Google has had a long-standing commitment to increasing company branding for its users, having set up its own internal think tank known as Brand Studio, which makes use of media, technology, and user creativity to generate experiences which connect various Google products and the people who might want to use them. The purpose in establishing this Brand Studio was to theoretically organize all global information, and make it accessible to everyone with a Google account, so that it could provide value in company branding and in general business usage.
While these recent Google advertising changes may seem relatively minor, they could still have a major impact on marketing efforts for any social media marketing manager or executive. This should provide a much clearer way to establish and emphasize your company’s branding, and it may also tend to influence user behavior when they’re conducting searches. For instance, when users recognize a specific brand logo which is displayed in the search results listing, they would probably be more likely to choose it and click on it. This in turn, may lessen the impact of search rankings, because those results which are listed at the top may not have an associated brand logo with them, and might be passed over in favor of a result which does include a recognizable brand logo.
Another intended opportunity provided by the search listing changes is to allow some companies the chance to re-brand their logo, and offer a new look to users conducting searches. Google itself has recently re-branded its Google AdWords, converting them to just Google Ads, and it recognizes that this kind of re-branding is more than just a simple change of logo, but can provide a company with an opportunity to completely revise its mission, its message, and the way it interacts with its followers.
This should provide many companies the opportunity to respond better to its users’ true needs and desires, because it is bringing its own mission in line with the actual needs and desires of its users. Being more responsive to your target audience is a good thing, and that’s why the potential for re-branding can be such a boon to many companies.
Google fully expects that the implementation of these changes will provide the basis for even more action buttons, and may also provide useful previews to other search results implementations in the future. The much-publicized closure of Google+ occurred in early 2019, and at that time, hundreds of thousands of accounts, along with all associated photos and text, were deleted by the company.
According to Google, it was obliged to shut down its attempt at a social media platform because of ‘low platform usage’ and various challenges in providing a product that users would genuinely find useful. However, it is widely known that Google+ suffered massive public relations damage as a result of a data leak which was discovered in March 2018, but which was not disclosed until six months later.
More than 500,000 user accounts were affected by this data leak, which allowed numerous third-party applications to gain access to user information which was supposedly designated as private. Google had initially planned to shut down the social media platform in November of this year, but when the company discovered another security bug which allowed apps access to information which was not public, it was obliged to move forward the timetable and bring a swift closure to its failed platform.
Ever since Google+ began its demise, the company has been searching for additional strategies which could provide value as tools for business. It has also been seeking more social features which can be incorporated into its core search result listing, so that revenue potentials can be maximized, and that competition from other social media platforms can be successfully managed.
The present updates are considered to be steps in that same general direction, because they provide greater branding options for companies, and help to establish increased personalization. These steps are thought to be very important for those companies which are seeking to establish or significantly increase their presence on organic searches made by users.
Rollout of changes
As mentioned above, the rollout will first be apparent on mobile apps, after which they will also find their way to the desktop version of Google, so that all users can experience the same kind of search listing improvements. Site owners who wish to establish a brand logo for their organic listings would be well advised to investigate this through Google, so they can take advantage of the increased visibility that will be provided by the branding logo in search listings.