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Google Experiments: Business Posts in Search Results, Clickable Phone Numbers in Organic Listings


Google has been testing out some interesting search engine features that could potentially benefit firms and businesses. Check out these news updates…

Google Tests Content Posting Feature for Businesses in Search Results

On Friday, Search Engine Land and The Verge announced that Google has been experimenting with a new feature in its search results that shows custom posts by local businesses. Search Engine Land called these posts “local business cards,” which appear in a “card carousel” (alluding to the carousel format that places images side-by-side for horizontal scrolling). The Verge called it a “Twitter-like feed” with a design that is similar to Google’s mobile “cards.” The new feature is essentially the business version of Google’s recently launched “Candidate Cards.”

Both websites said they confirmed with Google that the posting feature was a test, after it was first spotted by search expert Mike Blumenthal in a search for engagement rings in Buffalo.

Search Engine Land says the experiment only involves a few dozen local businesses. It also reported that the content (text and photos) being posted is completely original and not pulled from Google My Business. By clicking on a post within the carousel, you can view the post in a separate page, which The Verge suggests that these posts are connected to a new experimental publishing podium by Google. You can also easily share the posts on social media sites.

If Google were to roll this out as a permanent feature for businesses (rather than just presidential candidates), it could lead to a number of benefits for these commercial entities. For example, businesses could increase their visibility and prominence on search engine results pages (SERPs). Furthermore, they could also use these posts to better showcase their products, services, and companies as a whole. Search Engine Land states that this type of feature could also be significant for local SEO, and Blumenthal says it could become an easy-to-use paid placement that would likely give Facebook Boosted posts competition.

Click on the links above to learn more about Google’s content posting experiment!

Clickable Phone Numbers Spotted in Organic Search Results

Clickable phone numbers are usually only seen in seen in Google’s ads. However, it looks like the search engine is now experimenting with this click-to-call feature in some organic search results as well, according to Search Engine Land. If Google were to add clickable phone numbers to organic search results, it would be interesting to see how that would impact conversion in organic search, as well as the competitive edge of paid search.