We've introduced new content this past month our our corporate website making checking into our blog throughout the week more valuable than ever before.
With a fun video feature called Try It Friday, you can check out new apps, products, or just learn something fun to consider trying as you watch me, Nancy McCord, and my team test a variety of things live.
Additionally, you'll want to connect with our corporate Instagram site at Instagram.com/nancy_mccord.
At McCord Web Services, our team is looking for and testing new ways to engage, inform, and entertain our website and blog visitors; while identifying new ways for businesses to bolster web visibility.
As the December holidays are rapidly approaching, I want to take just a moment to thank you for choosing us as your AdWords, blog, and social media service provider. May your holidays be spent with friends and family this year in a celebration of joy.
Make sure to read my blog post on eye tracking studies as this will help you to understand this information more fully.
As Google works hard to keep users on the search results page longer in order to not lose relevance but also to have the opportunity to serve more advertising and make more money, it becomes harder for business owners to get Google.com searchers into their website to see their full range of services, products, and marketing information.
How is Google keeping searchers all to themselves?
The Knowledge Graph
Although you may not know the name of this feature, surely you have seen it in action when you have done a search recently. The image to the right is of one such knowledge graph boxes that popped up on a search I did recently on Pope Francis.
Google chooses when to show this additional content, which is gleaned from a variety of sources. In many cases the information is supplied by Wikipedia or other relatively authoritative websites.
You will not typically find content from business websites but rather news resources, Wikipedia, .org, Google images, or authoritative sites supplying the content found in the knowledge graph.
In some cases the knowledge graph may show results from your own Google+ contacts – another reason to start building your empire on Google+ to benefit your own business. In many cases, the reader simple gets the information they want from the knowledge graph and does not even leave Google.com for more information.
The Google Carousel
Just like you've seen the knowledge graph, you've probably seen the Google Carousel as well but didn't know what it was called
Typically this black background slide show pops up for restaurants and hotels when you query a specific location. By interacting with the ribbon you can see images pulled from the business' Google My Business page, get directions, read reviews and even click into their website.
Typically Google will preferentially show the business' Google My Business (aka Google Places page) in the top organic spot in the organic search results with a map and a knowledge graph on the right. The actual business website may or may not appear at all in the organic results in the first ten results.
Just this past week Google started replacing the Google Carousel with a three pack of AdWords ads for some viewers, you may want to do a few test searches to see if you are one of Google's guinea pigs as they work to fine tune what should show for these type of local business searches.
The Quest for Organic Placement Just Got Harder
Based on all these features that Google is loading into the search results page, it is getting harder and harder for a business owner to appear in the organic results. This is just another reason why so many businesses are now flooding into Google AdWords; in an effort to appear on the first page of search results.
All these changes are great for Google, making their search engine results page becoming a destination into itself, but making it much more difficult for a business to garner traffic organically.
If there is one important take away from this information it is that a Google My Business page is now key for your business in order to be competitive and to potentially appear in the "local" knowledge graph and in the carousel and location specific results.
With Google showing fewer website results you've got to use Google's own products to leverage your exposure for desktop and mobile searches.