Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week


Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week, the mysterious “Google Posts” feature has made another return to the SERP, this time with GIFs and videos – could it be here to stay?

Plus, why marketers aren’t investing in the hottest new technologies as much as you might think; and Google announces a new type of search product with “shortcuts in search”, which could mean big changes for SEO and paid search.

Google Posts return – with GIFs and videos

Google launched its “Posts” initiative during the US presidential election last year to relatively little fanfare.

Dubbed an “experimental new podium”, Google Posts has since come and gone from the SERP several times, each with as little explanation as the first. Now it has reappeared in searches for several US sports teams, including the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees – complete with GIFs and videos.

Clark Boyd took a look at the new incarnation of Google Posts this week and considered what Google could be seeking to accomplish with the feature.

Google’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ ad could be the future of paid voice search

Google sparked a small firestorm last week when reports surfaced that its intelligent assistant device Google Home had delivered what appeared to be an unsolicited advertisement to unsuspecting owners: a plug for the new ‘Beauty and the Beast’ live-action film.

Al Roberts took a look at the reactions to what Google denies was an ad, and considered whether this could potentially be the future of “voice PPC”.

Google announces “shortcuts in search” – can it get users on board?

Google announced this week the launch of “shortcuts in search“, a new means of discovering quick answers to information via a set of tappable shortcuts within its Android app.

But will this initiative take off, what will it mean for SEO, and how will Google manage to integrate paid ads into this new search experience? Clark Boyd examined the new feature on Search Engine Watch and considered how it could impact search rankings, what paid placements might look like, and whether Google can get users on board.

Despite the hype, most marketers not investing in hot new technologies

Fear of missing out, or FOMO, apparently isn’t a concern for marketers when it comes to new marketing technologies.

According to a survey conducted as part of OnBrand Magazine’s State of Branding Report 2017, marketers are well aware of the new technologies that are expected to be important to their brands in coming years, but the majority aren’t rushing to invest in them before they’re fully-baked.

Of the more than 550 marketing executives and brand managers OnBrand Magazine surveyed, 65% have no plans to invest in new technologies like 360-degree video, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), chatbots and beacons in 2017.

So why aren’t marketers interested in these new technologies just yet? Al Roberts looked into the reasons why marketers are holding back from investing in newer innovations at the moment – and what it is they’re spending their money on instead.

Google to wind down Site Search by the end of 2017

Search Engine Land reported this week on the news that Google is due to sunset its Site Search product by the end of 2017.

Google Site Search, as it says on the tin, is an internal site search product which is powered by Google’s search technology, and is charged by monthly query volume.

Site owners who have been using Site Search up until now will be encouraged to move onto either Google’s ad-powered Custom Search product, or its new Cloud Search.

Google told Search Engine Land in a statement:

We are winding down the Google Site Search product over the next year, but will provide customer and technical support through the duration of license agreements. For GSS users whose contract expires between April 1st and June 30th, 2017, we are providing a free 3-month extension with additional query volume to allow more time for them to implement the necessary changes to their site.

Related reading

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A screencap from Pokemon Go of a player walking past a Pokestop.


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