The emergence of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made it very easy for users to customize their newsfeeds and stay up to date on topics that interest them. Of course, Google is still one of the main news sources for most folks online due to the simplicity of making a search and finding dozens of results in seconds. Understanding that consuming news is a daily activity for most web users, Google has launched an interesting update within its mobile app aimed at throwing as much news and content at users as possible. According to a user on Reddit, Google is now displaying “Trending News” cards within the search results, which sit atop the “related stories” carousel as shown in the interactive GIF below.
The most intriguing aspect of this update is the fact that Google will customize the “Trending News” cards based on a user’s previous search history and habits. By adjusting the content according to the preferences and search habits of each user, the “Trending News” cards will provide a customized and unique user experience. In an era where users figuratively consume content (emphasis on the usage of “figuratively”, as one cannot eat blog posts) on a myriad of platforms, it seems like Google is making a push to cement itself as the major source for news. Social media platforms make it easy to customize news feeds by giving end users the opportunity to choose which accounts they follow. This new update from Google is an attempt to replicate that functionality within search results with a twist, which can result in more hang-time on Google and an increased amount of clicks for websites.
While this is a relatively cool feature and will lead to more news (and yes, even “fake news”, whatever that may be) being read by users, what does this means for those of us in the search engine optimization circle? If anything, this reinforces the notion that content marketing, whether you’re actively doing SEO or not (although you should), is essential in any digital strategy. Consistently publishing relevant and engaging content will not only increase the number of pages you have indexed on search engines, but it will help you capture more organic inbound traffic and boost the authority of your website. Should you get ahead of the competition and create content based on recent news in your niche, you may even get the opportunity to be featured within Google’s “Trending News” cards, which can open up a whole new stream of organic traffic…and who wouldn’t like to get more traffic?