Google overhaul

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The tech giant has overhauled its famous search to show more pictures, videos and context.

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March 20, 2019

Google has updated its search functionality to make visual information more readily available.
JHVEPHOTO, ADOBE STOCK

Google has rolled out a host of updates to its search product. The updates are designed to make visual information more useful as pictures and video become more central to the Internet experience.

The new features showing up in searches include introductory videos about public figures, topic videos to help users plan trips or learn about new subjects, and an overhaul of its ranking system for displaying image-based searches, offering users more context and easier ways to shop online.

Businesses can leverage these changes to their benefit by integrating photos, videos, online reviews and more into Google’s “My Business” page.

Posting through Google My Business lets you publish your events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps. By creating posts, you can place your timely text, video, or photo content in front of customers when they find your business listing on Google.

BENJAMIN DADA, UNSPLASH.COM

Your business profile appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. Creating a Google My Business (www.google.com/ business) page is free, and you can update your Business Profile with it so you can stand out and bring customers in.

Once you set it up, you can learn how customers are interacting with your Business Profile. How did people find you? Where are they coming from? It’s similar to Google Analytics, but tailored to your specific business. It’s also designed to be much less overwhelming. While many data scientists are devoted to analytics’ ability to handle any deep dive, the sheer amount of variables involved is enough to frustrate those without a statistics degree.

Google My Business also gives you the tools to build a website for your company, for free, in less than 10 minutes. The free website builder makes it easy to create and edit your site from your computer and phone. Google handles the optimization, ensuring your new site will look great on any screen, from desktops to tablets and phones. By doing it Google’s way, you might be losing a bit of your own autonomy, but the tradeoff might be worth it. All of the sites set up through Google My Business are designed to drive customer actions, using Google’s other services, like Maps to help people find you, and AdWords, Google’s online advertising platform that aims to turn searches into sales.

Matt is managing editor of sister publication Nursery Management.