Google’s adding another social-like feature into their search results, this time by adding posts from popular musicians within relevant SERPs.
As you can see in the examples above, musicians can now post direct on Google, via Google Posts, enabling them to add personal insights to help to guide searchers with relevant information about tour dates, latest releases, etc.
Here's what it looks like in action:
As explained by Google:
“When you look up [participating] musicians, you’ll find updates from them in their Search results, inside their Knowledge Panel. There, you can find images, videos, GIFs and text posted directly by the artist you’re searching for. You can easily tell if the updates are from a verified musician—posts will be marked with a blue checkmark next to their name.”
The option is the latest extension of Google Posts, which is available to selected, verified users. Google says the new option is available for all musicians - who obviously fit the necessary requirements – worldwide, adding another element to the search experience.
It appears to another concession from Google that social is slowly eating into search traffic. Over the last 12 months, Google has introduced a range of similar search additions, including ‘Google My Business’ posts and videos of celebrities answering common questions about themselves.
Those are normally the types of updates you’d expect to see on relevant social channels – and with more search traffic now shifting over to social networks, it makes sense for Google to stay up with usage trends, and interests.
Facebook, it’s worth noting, now facilitates more than 2 billion searches on its platform every day, while Pinterest reported in August that monthly mobile text searches are up 40% over the 2 billion searches per month the platform was seeing in 2016. And that’s before you consider Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Definitely, with social search increasing, there's clear logic to such tools - though it is difficult to say what they’ll add to the experience. Similar to the celebrity answers, it seems more of a surprise than a functional add-on, but then again, if Google can serve you more information direct within the search results, that might stop you clicking through to the relevant social profile of each musician, and keep you coming back to Google for similar insights, if enough artists start using it.
That’s likely the bigger challenge – by now, most celebrities have built their audiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there’s not a lot of reason for them to switch across and start posting such updates on Google too.
In a marketing context, the benefit could be in habitual development – if more users start coming to Google for extra information and updates like this, that could make Google more of a destination for similar updates from your brand, which you can submit via Google Posts or Google My Business updates.
It’s hard to see it becoming a significant element, but all opportunities for exposure can be helpful, and Google My Business posts can certainly raise awareness of your latest updates and campaigns within search results.
Incorporating content from famous users may help boost the value of that functionality.