This week it was announced that Twitter and Google struck a deal that now lets Google to start allowing tweets to show up in its search results once they are posted. Clearly for Twitter, the benefits are many. Tweets will now be seen by a wider audience and in turn should provide more opportunities to drive advertising revenue for the company.
For Google, this means that their search results will be enhanced by greater access to real-time tweets while at the same time providing users with a broader range of content.
This move by Google is inline with its strategy to constantly evolve the experience of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The ways people are looking for information now are different than they were even just one year ago, and as such, Google needs to ensure that it is providing a platform that best reflects these new behaviours.
Outside of real-time tweets, another area Google is focusing its attention on is conversational search, or voice search. Mobile voice searches have more than doubled in the past year according to an October 2014 study by Google. This study found that 55 per cent of teens and 41 per cent of adults use voice search more than once on a daily basis. The top activities voice search is used for are to ask for directions, to call someone and to play a song among other things.
Google is also continuing to provide answers to its own results, thereby taking clicks away from other legitimate websites. So when you perform searches like “time in new york”, “pounds to kilograms”, and even “apple stock”, the first results will be powered directly by Google. In part, this is an effort by Google to provide users with faster more real-time results, but it also shows Google getting more into the content game.
Ecommerce is the other trend forcing Google to tweak its SERP to be more inline with human behaviour. With Product Listing Ads (PLA), people can browse a wide selection of products complete with high-quality imagery and relevant product information like brand and price, directly on the Google SERP. This provides users the opportunity to buy directly from the main Google results page, instead of having to shift through various brand sites.
Google is clearly evolving its platform to better match our search preferences. We want access to real-time content. Hence their recent deal with Twitter. We’re performing more voice searches. Enter Google Now. We want one-click buying. Google reacts by providing PLA’s.
The next evolution we might be looking at would be in the world of wearables. With the looming launch of the Apple Watch we will see how Google responds to the next form of search, on our wrists.