It has become a thing in my house. A question comes up and someone recommends that we “ask the Google.” You can ponder the implications for mankind now that we count on technology to answer every question, but I am focused on what this means for brand marketing.
Search Engine Result Page Not About the Top 10
Search result pages have changed. Being in the top 10 of organic rankings for a keyword, phrase or question does not get you to the top of searches.
Today, search engine results pages (SERP) have (in this general order):
- Google Ads – paid placements at the top of the page. There can be none, one or several, depending on the keyword searched.
- People also Ask – a feature that includes related queries to the original search phrase
- Knowledge Graph – boxes that include data ranging from companies to celebrities on the right of search results page
- Local Packs – several local listings appear together, often under a map marking the location of each one
- Image Packs – often a single row of images appearing on the results page
- Organic Results – web pages that match the search keyword or phrase in value order
Having fresh, accurate content in multiple locations across the web gives every brand the best chance of winning space on the first SERP page.
Google My Business Matters
In the quest to provide the most relevant search results to all customers, Google has put increasing emphasis on validating businesses online with the Google My Business tools. To rank well, businesses must claim and complete their listings.
Listings need active maintenance to stay relevant. This includes adding images and other content so that Google knows the brand is actively in the game.
Also important is getting Google reviews. I have seen several cases where Google My Business listings with reviews get priority over similar listings without them.