Google is experimenting with ways to allow news publishers, marketers and other businesses and organizations to post content directly to the search engine—offering instant search results in exchange.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has been testing this idea throughout 2016. Politicians have been using the platform to publish content related to presidential debates, while the HBO program “Silicon Valley” has used it to promote its recent season premiere.
Google’s new interface, which does not yet have an official name, allows users to format and upload a blog post to its own dedicated page, with individual posts capped at 14,400 characters each. Users may also incorporate links and up to 10 images and videos per post.
To searchers, this content will appear in a carousel of similar posts. For example, a search for “Silicon Valley” produces these results:
Google’s testing of the new tool does make a lot of sense, considering that media and marketing companies across the globe are increasingly posting content to social media sites and other highly popular online platforms, rather than driving users to their own websites and blogs.
In this way, Google may be trying to compete with Facebook’s Instant Articles, which allows users to host content on the social media platform as long as they follow guidelines.
According to Google, the experiment is not connected to the company’s Accelerated Mobile Pages program, which streamlines code in an effort to speed up how users access digital content. It will likely be months before the company is ready to roll it out for widespread use.
What does this mean for content marketers? While blogging is still incredibly important, it will be up to marketers to explore a wider range of digital publishing platforms to ensure their content is reaching their intended target audiences. This is only the latest evidence that the world of content marketing is rapidly changing—and it’s important to keep an eye on what Google does next.
Steve Bailey is president of ProPRcopy, a company offering copywriting services to businesses and organizations across a broad range of industries.