‘Google it.’ Any company whose brand name comes to take precedence over the original verb, have conquered their industry. For Google, this was search.
However, in social media? They’ve never really hit the mark
When Google Buzz first launched in 2011, it tried to become a combination of Facebook and Twitter. Alas, it was retired less than a year later. Replaced by Google +, which recently met with the same fate due to the recent data scandal.
So what’s next? Google Discover.
JOURNEY THROUGH CONTENT
Google recently unveiled plans for their next update. Google Discover will tie together a search engine with social media, rather than trying to be a multifunctional social platform.
You will see personalised content before you have even typed in a query. And evergreen content will be morphed into a newsfeed, even when the content isn't new to the site, but it's new to you.
Google Discover holds one main difference, it’s not social. It alludes social media due to the introduction of feeds. However, unlike other social sites, you can’t like or retweet (yet). You can’t build communities and interact with an audience. A smart move by Google choosing to move away from content that begs for engagement and providing them with an opportunity to differentiate themselves.
What is really noteworthy about Discover is that it’s one step ahead of… you.
It highlights content you haven't even started looking for yet. And it’s the combination of mobile-based search and social media-style feeds that will result in a shift from simple query answers to journeys through content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CONTENT MARKETING?
Digital marketers already have a tough time trying to please search engines and outmanoeuvre competitors
And while social media has the potential to deliver real impact on your business, you're going to need to loosen your purse strings to get noticed in these increasingly pay to play environments.
The good news is Google Discover will help users come across content, old and new, organically. This removes the awkwardness of manipulating your content for SEO, and allow for natural, quality, evergreen content to be discovered and re-discovered.
If a marketer posts high-quality content that is relevant to the user, there is a high chance the user will find the content. However, if you are relying on ‘brand loyal’ engagement, you might not get the same results. Google will still be able to improve search engine rankings, as information is better understood in the new system.
This new approach makes the need for kick-ass content more important. Discover wants to encourage high-quality content in a more precise way.
Google is also introducing Topic Layer, which builds subtopics around the original specific topic. Using Topic Layer, Google can recognise and develop certain skill sets. For example, if you are a skilled violinist, the content displayed will help you become advanced. The need to search for content will be diminished, and instead, information will be readily available.
Along with Topic Layer, Discover introduces Activity Cards, for repeat searches on the same topic adding more context on your search activity. Closely linked with Collections where users can organise and save content.
This is where visual content will soon replace text-based answers to queries.
Depending on your reading preferences, Discover will be multilingual. For example, you can choose to read sports in English and recipes in Spanish. Content will able to stretch internationally, another win for content marketers.
There you have it, Google’s latest refresh. The move will trigger a change for SEO and digital content, for now though, content marketers can breathe a sigh of relief as their job will be made slightly easier with Google’s refined approach to Search.