Google has recently announced that Google Posts is now widely available to Google My Business users, giving SMEs the opportunity to micro-blog directly to the Knowledge Graph. Potentially, this represents a huge opportunity for those businesses, so understandably, the SEO community is taking note.
While there are some things of which are still unclear, here are my initial observations, along with recommendations on how you can use Google Posts for your business’ benefit.
Who can use Google Posts?
In its launch, Google has suggested various ways to use Posts, which will look something like this:
The feature will initially roll out to the majority of businesses and sectors, with the notable exception of B&Bs and hotels.
The idea is that anyone using Google My Business will have access and the ability to post their own Posts to their locations. Currently, the tool is not available via Google Plus – though I suggest this would be a logical next step, given Google’s drive to get more of us to use its social network, even if just for SEO benefit.
How to use Google Posts
To use this new feature, login to your Google My Business account and navigate to a location management page. You’ll see ‘Posts’ is now an option in the left-hand side menu:
Here, you can choose to write a new post; clicking on this will open up a variety of other options, too:
As you can see, Google Posts makes it possible for you to post a simple text update, a photo or an event, and to add a button. Practically speaking, this means that we might use the feature to post a photo of our latest project or a link to our latest blog post.
Google’s official explanation of Posts states that:
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.
It’s worth noting that Posts only last 7 days in the Knowledge Panel, after which it’s not clear where they go, whether they will be archived or whether users will still be able to access them. Logically, they would contribute to Google’s understanding of specific businesses and industry trends, but we’re not sure how else they might be used right now.
Event posts are slightly different, in that they will last until the event date and be removed thereafter.
Up to ten posts will show at any one time in a carousel format. On a mobile, the first 100 words of the Post will be visible, with other Posts accessible via a Posts tab.