Google’s Event Search Can Boost Visibility and Participation

Google’s new event search makes it easier for brands to promote their events right on the main page of the SERP. This offers a new search vertical that brands can incorporate into their optimization strategy to promote their organization and build recognition within their community.

Google wants to provide users with a seamless search experience, regardless of the intention of the search. Over the past few years, we have seen the growth in the importance of micro-moments as Google seeks to better align the content displayed with the intent of the user. Marketers must now understand the micro-moment of their target audience and how Google displays content results for this type of search in order to maximize their visibility. For example, certain types of searches will produce more local results, others will have more ads, pictures, videos, or a Quick Answer.

google events search restaurants SERP

We also regularly see modifications made to the layout of the SERP as the search engine giant continually looks for ways to create a page that enhances the user experience across a variety of different types of searches. Google has experimented with various rich answers, carousels, and display formats of local search results, to mention just a few.

Recently, we have looked at the rise of different vertical searches that now compete with Google in particular areas. More than half of ecommerce shoppers, for example, will start their search on Amazon rather than general search engines, and this number continues to rise each year. Social media platforms, in particular Twitter and Facebook, also look to position themselves as the search engine to use when users want to engage with others about current events or the hot topics of the day. Facebook now boasts more than 2 billion searches per day as its own internal search features become increasingly successful.

Google’s introduction of the event search will help them establish themselves as the leader within this vertical, providing users with customized experiences whether they perform research at home on their desktop or look up events while on-the-go through mobile. The event search identifies particular events and lists them along with the relevant information making it easy for users to decide where to go.

How will the new event search work?

According to the example put forth by Google, users can perform a search for queries such as “jazz concerts this weekend” and then receive a SERP that features upcoming events along with relevant information such as the date, time, and location.

How Google's event search appears on smartphones
Image from Google

These new event searches can then be used to promote events that your organization hosts, thus making it a new potential point of optimization. If your organization runs various speaking events, sponsors charitable events, or otherwise gets involved in either your local community or the industry community, now it is easy to promote these occurrences on Google, drawing more attention to them.

As you optimize your content to appear in event search, however, Google has prepared some guidelines for webmasters to follow.

  1. Markup all designated events using the Event element on schema.org
  2. Google wants only actual events, no store hours or non-event products or services — such as discounts or deals
  3. Do not include short term discounts such as, “50% off the concert until Saturday,” in the markup
  4. If the event runs over multiple days, correctly note the start and end dates
  5. If different elements of large events require separate tickets, add a unique event markup element for each portion

How can marketers take advantage of the new event search?

Marketers can leverage this new event search to draw attention to their participation in both their local community and their industry community. A brand that regularly hosts events can use this search vertical to establish brand recognition. Brands that participate in their local community, even if it does not directly impact their industry — such as sponsoring charity drives or youth events, can introduce more people to the brand name, boosting those who will consider their organization in the future. Businesses that host talks or other industry-related events can also use events to portray themselves as an industry leader and build a reputation of authority.

All events that marketers host should now be marked up with the appropriate schema to ensure that they will be displayed for the right queries. Fill out all the appropriate information about the event, including the name, date, location, and time. If possible, you should also include information on the performances, prices, a URL for the event, and the end time. The more information you include, the more appealing your event will appear to prospective attendees.

Google continues to look for ways to maximize its ability to serve customers across various search verticals. With search splintering away from exclusively search engines to include social platforms and ecommerce sites, Google continues to look for ways to boost relevance and provide customers with what they seek. Brands that optimize for the different search verticals, including this new event search, will position themselves well for attracting user attention and gaining recognition for the brand.

 

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