Google is testing a new feature that enables publishers and marketers to publish directly to the search engine.
Sounds great. Publish onto Google without having a publishing site of your own and achieve high search engine rankings.
Hold on Skippy. Just because you see that Facebook has launched Instant Articles and that you see Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook as the gatekeepers of the Internet is a far cry from “Posts” signaling the end of websites.
Let’s look at what “Posts” really is. Though you can publish up to 14,400 characters with ten images or a video in any post, the search result lasts for only seven days. Seven days.
Per Mark Bergen (@mbergen) of re/codes, the feature is very limited.
“Google rolled it out for the Fox Republican Debate in January, allowing candidates to to campaign with small “cards” — a web interface that pops out, with social share buttons — in real-time search results.”
This from a Google spokesperson who talked with Bergen:
“We believe this new feature gives entities another channel to share rich, authoritative, content with users who are search for them on Google, and who might not necessarily follow them on Twitter.”
You get it, something akin too what you see when Twitter posts are displayed when you search for a person or a company – just with additional media.
Most media companies aren’t even being let in to use “Posts,” let alone professionals publishing, such as lawyers.
Though it’s cool for Jimmy Kimmel to create compelling content in the form of pictures and video for “Posts,” Google has not even communicated to advertising partners in general the availability of the feature.
A Google representative claims its all a test, per Bergen. “We’re continuing to experiment with the look and feel of this feature, including other potential use cases.”
Many publishers, including some law firms and their marketing and public relations agencies, are quick to look at third party publishing platforms as a means to get reach for their content. Google “Posts” being no exception when I shared Mirkinson’s sensationalistic piece in Salon.
But just because you can publish elsewhere does not mean it is in your best interests. You need to have that “book on the shelf” for credibility and a body of work that you own and control.
And Google is smart enough to know it is not trivial to run, maintain and regularly upgrade a publishing platform for the entire free world. It’s easier to index content from elsewhere and make billions in the process.