Google has rolled out a new feature which was referenced in mid-August by many sources by being Google’s next step in their quest for global knowledge. The feature which is shown below seems to be an addition to their Knowledge Graph, which is Google’s effort for discovering answers to questions you may have, giving you factual information about a topic you are looking for. Here are the search results for “universities in boston:”
The typical search results are shown, except at the top there is a sliding carousel where you can see universities and colleges in Boston. If you click on one of them, the search results updates with the results using the name of the school you picked, for example Suffolk University:
This is a helpful step for searchers because it provides the most relevant search results in a visual way. Also, the results at the bottom of the page are given more prominence because people like clicky carousels with pictures.
What does this mean for search marketing? Well, it seems that those spots in positions 6-10 on the page just got a little more visibility if people are searching for things that are included in the Knowledge Graph. Also this does not impact search engine rankings, so SEOs can breathe a sigh of relief. It will be interesting to see what kind of queries will start bringing up information that you are looking for in this new way. I’ve figured out “popular movies of (year)”, “colleges in (city)”, and “attractions in (city)” produce results this way as well. Play with it; you just might find what you are looking for a whole lot easier. Thanks Google.
FYI: This information in the new feature seems to have Knowledge Graph information only, and it does not mean you will be featured in the carousel if your site is a typical listing.