Google’s New “Write Directly to Search” Feature to Be Expanded for Local Businesses

What does Google have in common with a magician?

They both ask, “is this your card?”

I’ve been told that it’s not a good joke if you have to explain it, but momma didn’t raise no Louis C.K. so let me tell you what this Laffy-Taffy-worthy punchline is all about.

Google has confirmed the expansion of a new feature that could prove to be a great boon for local businesses trying to promote their branded products. This feature shows up in users’ searches in what can best be described as “cards” that display information on relevant products or services. So the next time you search for something, your question may be answered by Google veritably “pulling a card from their sleeve.”

This feature, which still hasn’t been given a formal name by Google, first appeared in January for the presidential elections. It has also been used to display real time updates for sports and other events. The cards themselves are essentially fast-loading pages that live directly on Google. They show up in a horizontal stream with each card featuring a picture and a short description along with a link to share it on twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email.

Creating these cards will allow small businesses to show up immediately in search results. Businesses can essentially write directly to the search results what they want to target for their brand. This could be a simple way for businesses to establish a web presence that users can easily find. In a way, this new feature could make search results more similar to a social channel where a business has a space to share more up-to-date branded content.

While it could be possible to monetize this in the form of boosting a card’s ranking for broader local keywords or by allowing companies to pay to include a call to action, Search Engine Journal reports that Google doesn’t currently have plans to monetize this feature). The exciting thing about this feature is that it proves Google is focusing more on local search results as an actual destination for users rather than just a mid-way point.

Keeping an eye on the progression of these new cards, as well as any other industry updates, is something we always strive to do. We’ll leave the jokes, however, to the Seinfelds of the world.