With more and more people moving away from Google and towards alternative sources for information, the platform has been under pressure to diversify to remain competitive. Enter Google Perspectives. So, what is the new feature and how might it impact your digital PR strategy?
What is Google Perspectives and Will it Impact Digital PR Strategies?
Google Perspectives is a new Google search feature designed to help users find tips, advice, and stories from sources other than websites. Appearing as a dedicated section in search results and as a filter, it serves users with content shared by real people and content creators. This includes short and long form videos, images, and written content posted on social media platforms and online forums.
So, if you’re searching for recommendations on running trainers, you might find results from YouTube, blogs, and TikTok videos, alongside the traditional list of web pages you might expect.
The way people search for information is changing. In 2021, TikTok overtook Google as the most popular website on the planet. Google’s own Vice President said last year that its data shows around 40% of young people go to TikTok or Instagram rather than Google when looking for a nearby restaurant.
Clearly, Gen Zs have a huge part to play in this trend. As the first truly digitally native generation, they favour the short-form, interactive and more personal results of a platform like TikTok over scrolling through reams of text in the Google search results. We also know that social media users of all ages look to influencers for information and recommendations. In fact, research by YouGov found that 62% of users trust influencers more than brands. So, it’s no surprise that users are actively seeking out influencers directly in the social platforms.
In addition, the rise of platforms like Reddit and Discord has sparked another alternative way of gathering information – via “real people” in forums and community discussions. Like influencers, the viewpoints and advice offered on these platforms tend to be considered more authentic, because they’re coming from individuals, as opposed to corporate-feeling brands. And what’s more, these individuals are very knowledgeable about their niche.
Google Perspectives has been designed to address these changing behaviours, offering users of all ages and communication preferences a much more diverse range of opinions and formats to browse. Of course, written content from trusted companies and organisations still have an important part to play and remain highly sought after by many. Google Perspectives simply offers users a greater choice of sources and content formats to engage with.
Whilst Google Perspectives has been designed to offer viewpoints from real people, there’s still an opportunity for brands here. In fact, when harnessed well, it offers companies even more ways to serve engaging content to their target audiences.
There are several things your brand can do to make the most of Google Perspectives right now:
- You’ve got to be in it to win it. Perspectives favours content on forums and social media platforms. So, ensure your brand is active in these places. Remember, creating a company profile isn’t the only way to show up on social media platforms. Influencers are experts in the platforms they create on. So, partnering with a creator is another great way to showcase your product or service in a way that feels authentic and genuine. Plus, it will help you reach a ready-made engaged audience and create endorsement from a trusted source.
- Create content that Perspectives is looking for. The new feature relies heavily on videos and images, so ensure you’re including relevant and engaging visual content in your social posts wherever relevant. When it comes to written information, Perspectives favours Q&A and forums, so consider adding these to your website to create user-generated content and testimonials.
- Optimise your content. Just like traditional Google SERPS, Perspectives’ algorithm serves evergreen content that was created a while ago, as well as brand new sources. So, ensure all your existing work is optimised for the keywords you want to be ranking for to boost your chances of success.
- Put your audience first. Whilst optimising your strategy to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Perspectives is sensible, this should never be done at the sacrifice of your audience. Remember, ultimately, the people you want to engage with your content are your target customers. So, any assets that your brand is involved in creating – whether that’s a YouTube video, a TikTok partnership, a Reddit discussion, or a Q&A section on your website – must offer your target audience genuine value. Get this right, and the algorithm will reward you.
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