Punch Communications Recommends Brands Take Steps to Own Their Search Footprint as Google Refines Results

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In the past month Google has begun to implement subtle changes in the way it returns search results.

In the past month Google has begun to implement subtle changes in the way it returns search results, and integrated PR, search and social media agency Punch Communications is advising that these refinements will offer brands the opportunity to ‘own’ their digital footprint within the search engine.

The most noticeable change to Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) has been the decrease in the number of results served per page for some search terms, with the search engine opting to display seven results instead of 10 in up to 18 per cent of current searches. Additionally these results most commonly occur while conducting specific searches, such as for a brand or company name, with Google attempting to serve a variety of brand-specific content, such as social profiles and links from authoritative third parties that relate to that brand ahead of other websites.

This refinement will offer opportunities for all brand marketers to potentially ‘own’ the results page for branded searches, increasing their share of traffic for that term. Effectively, brands that create diverse digital properties – such as social media profiles and apps – and that benefit from references on credible third party sites, will benefit under the proposed changes.

Pete Goold, managing director of integrated social media, PR and search agency Punch Communications, said: “These changes are a further refinement of Google’s results to improve user experience. It seems to primarily affect items such as branded search, where site links are commonly used, and appears to have increased emphasis on content related to the brand’s website. This includes relevant social platforms, apps, articles and even additional pages from the originally served site, so brands should be looking to capitalise on their full portfolio of owned and earned sites.

“As theses changes being rolled out are still in the early phases Google is waiting to see how the online community will react. In the short term however, it’s a development for search engine marketers to keep a keen eye on.”

For more information about Punch Communications, a PR agency that specialises in integrated services including social search, please visit http://www.punchcomms.com, or call 01858 411 600.

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Keredy Andrews
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