Launched in 2016 during America’s presidential election, Google Posts was originally intended to be used by the candidates. In response to the extreme limitation, Google expanded the service to a number of local businesses in the same year. Here’s why it gained popularity among small- and medium-sized businesses so quickly:
What they can do
Google Posts basically allow users to communicate directly in the search results. This differs from the Knowledge Panel since you can highlight content, information, products or services. These posts can be images, videos, or even animated GIFs. You can even add inline links on the posts to drive traffic to a particular page, service or product. According to Google, this enhanced format enables searchers to hear directly from you while complementing existing search results across the web.
Your posting instantly shows up in search results on both mobile and desktop platforms. Whether they’re texts, images, videos, or events, you can schedule the time and duration of the post with ease. This is a great feature that provides immediate access and can be particularly useful when you are planning to launch a product, open a pop-up store, or run a promotion. Also, Google Analytics will give you updates on how many people have seen and interacted with your content.
How it differs from Google+
Google+ helps small businesses by working with Google Search to improve the ranking of your content on search results. It also integrates with Google for Business services to provide business information such as location, directions, phone number, photos, and reviews. The difference with Google Posts is the interaction, where you can communicate directly in the search results.
Google has yet to announce when it will make Google Posts available to everyone, but if you’d like to use it for your small- or medium-sized business, you can request access. If Google supports your company’s category and geography, it will verify some of your information and keep you posted on the status of your approval via email. Applicants can expect the first response within one week of submitting the form.