Android 6 “Marshmallow” & SEO Series: Sponsored Google Now Cards
How might Android Marshmallow's new features impact the future of mobile search? In part two of a three-part series on the topic, contributor Cindy Krum discusses Google Now Price Alerts cards and Visually Similar Products.
Google Now is Google’s predictive search solution that tries to anticipate a user’s needs before the user searches. It presents information in the form of “answer cards” on your mobile phone, your smartwatch or (if you have downloaded the plugin) on your desktop computer.
The previous article in this series discussed Google’s Private Index and how it is beginning to impact searchers, especially with Google Now and Now on Tap. This article will build on that. This is the second article in a three-part series, and it will help explain how Google’s Private Index will allow notifications to searchers when the price of a product they are interested in decreases.
The article will also dig into Google’s ability to understand images, to help them identify competitive products other than the sponsored product presented in Google Now. (There have not been any announcements about this, so it is probably a program that is in some kind of limited and/or exclusive beta. If you know more about this process, please let us know.)
If you have not noticed it, Google has been adding a variety of different types of sponsored results that are especially prevalent and persuasive in the mobile interface. These sponsored results can be presented for queries about flights, hotels, movies, TV shows and some products. They are driven by feeds, rather than PPC bidding, and are less visually distinct from the organic results below them.
These Sponsored results are likely a way for Google to regain traffic that is otherwise being lost to in-app searches. By putting the information directly in the search result, they are making it easier to find and consume, thus preventing the searcher from switching to an app.
In that same vein, it appears that Google is testing Sponsored Google Now Price Alert cards in Google Now. Until recently, Google Now cards have all seemed passive and organic, but that might soon change.
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