If it already feels like the internet is reading your mind, Google’s new proposals for their Search may just push that even further.
They spoke during their 3rd annual Search On event about the shift happening in search for individuals looking for content and how it now focuses more on imagery or complex scenarios rather than a single question.
Google now aims to move toward a “multimedia” approach to searching, something that is more reflective of how the general population views content on the web.
And while Google already has many different options for those searching to land on Maps, or Lens, or Translate, or any of their other products, they are moving toward something that focuses more on anticipating the searcher’s next move or next thought rather than simply the one they posed.
For example, if someone has looked up Canada, or “Where to Travel in Canada”, at the present moment they may get government website links, some listicles on the best places to go, or a map of the country. The proposed multimedia approach will present the searcher with videos and images to stimulate idea building, along with user-generated content from areas in Canada that will build trust with the user.
Instead of giving them several paths, it will take them on a journey from the very start.
Another option they are proposing is a “discussions and forums” tab that will show community-led discussions, much like what we see now in Reddit, that once again puts the trust in the hands of real people.
And that seems to be a theme with the updates – Google is leaning on user-generated content and community-building to further its platform. Google sees trends happening as individuals turn away from large companies and news outlets for answers and instead to people just like them from whom they believe they will find more personal and authentic answers.
Where does this leave marketers?
This will be a big shift for marketers as they restructure their search campaigns, find out what matters to their audience, and target accordingly.
It will mean thinking of Search in a different way. The rules will change, and marketers will need to change as well. Depending on your current approach and current target, this could mean leaning more into video or imagery that answers questions around your brand, it could also mean partnering with trusted influencers to create user-generated content.
As Google aims to make Search more complex for the user, it will also make Search more complex for the marketers looking to use this tactic. And though it might seem like an uphill battle, there is a massive opportunity to reach and engage with your audience via Search in a new way.
This could mean that the impressions on Search, because they have more depth and resonate with users in a more meaningful way, will create higher value for your business once viewed or engaged with by your target.