It’s March 12, 2019 and the 30th birthday of the World Wide Web. Ten years later, Google was founded. Search engines have become an integral part of our daily lives by helping us find answers to nearly any question we can think of. We even have fun with search engines by asking Alexa “what’s your favorite color?” or “are you a spy?”
Search engines are continuously evolving in the feature sets they offer, but their purpose of helping searchers find key information has not changed. A feature recently introduced that’s becoming more prevalent at an exponential pace is aggregated search results.
Search engines such as Google have been steadily moving forward with providing aggregated search results by delivering results from a diverse set of information sources, rather than simply links to websites. The aggregated results include information from websites, images, videos, blogs, news outlets and anything else the search engine finds. The positive aspect is that searchers are spending less time combing through search results in hopes of finding the needle in the haystack with the answer to their question.
While aggregated search results are great for searchers, they can have a negative impact on a brand. Information being delivered from a variety of sources could end up giving incorrect or just plain bad information. This can happen through business directories and listings or content on other websites. It’s even possible for search engines to combine information from multiple sources into a single search result.
Search engines such as Google are enabling people to find the answer they need and complete tasks such as booking a hotel room or making a restaurant reservation without ever visiting the business’ website. When a company’s web traffic starts to take a tumble, site owners will often choose to pay for ads with Google or redesign their website entirely. Guess which of those decisions will have the best short-term outcome.
When it comes to search engines, he who delivers the most results is strong and he who delivers the best results is mighty. Take it a step further and he who delivers the most and best search results conquers all. Except where specifically banned by governments, Google is the king of the hill.
Google loves to be fed information and it prefers accurate information whenever possible. To help properly feed the beast, leaders should search online for their own businesses as well as industry-specific directories. They should be sure to claim any listings that make sense for their given business and update as many details in those listings as possible. Keep a log of those listings so you can check back on them periodically to make sure nothing has changed. Google provides a handy “Suggest an edit” button in the Maps search results, which means literally anyone can recommend a change to a listing. A business owner might not even know a requested edit has been made or why.
Google prefers to serve up search results from its own data sources. To fuel one of Google’s tools, set up a Google My Business listing for each business location. It’s a great way to provide Google with accurate information about a business and its locations. These listings include details such as:
- Correct company name
- Business description
- Contact information including phone, email, physical address and website
- List of services and/or products
- Business hours
With Google My Business listings, organizations can also share “Posts” that include news, content offers, product information and event listings to promote a business, products and services. Having a Google My Business account also provides a way to respond to customer reviews and learn how people are finding a business as well as the actions they take as a result of the listing.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the rapid pace of continual change, but working these changes into the overall marketing strategy is entirely manageable. Search engines such as Google are always providing a wealth of information and tools to help. Tell Your Tale does this type of work almost every day and are happy to help. Give us a call at 713-864-1344 to speak with an expert that will deliver a customized solution.