Museums, musicians, movies, sports teams and sports leagues are now being given a special area for their content to appear in Google’s search results, through an expansion of the “Posts by Google” program.
Posts by Google — more commonly called Google Posts — launched last year as an experimental way for selected groups to post information directly on Google’s servers, which in turn appeared in a dedicated area of Google’s search results for relevant queries.
Google Posts originally involved US presidential candidates and expanded to a small group of local businesses. Today’s news is an even bigger expansion, opening up the feature to museums, movies, sports leagues and sports teams in the US and Brazil. Musicians in Brazil can also apply.
Share text, images, video & animated GIFs
Several organizations are already taking part. For example, here’s The Henry Ford museum:
The “Posted by owner” section is where content from the museum appears. This is all posted directly to Google’s servers. You can see all the content the museum has posted here. Posts can contain images, video, and even animated GIFs.
By the way, if you don’t see the example above or some of those below, try searching on mobile versus desktop. I couldn’t get any to trigger on desktop.
Another special unit for already crowded results
Google Posts do not replace other units that appear on the search results, such as the regular web listings, local information, the top stories box, tweets from an organization or other material. Nor are Google Posts guaranteed to be at the top of the page. They might appear anywhere, as this example for NCAA basketball league posts shows. Hang in there — it’s big!
Did you make it through that? Personally, I find it overwhelming having Google Posts added to search results like this that are already overloaded with special units.
Some baseball teams using Google Posts
Here’s an example for Boston Red Sox posts:
A quick spot-check reveals the New York Yankees, the San Francisco Giants and last year’s World Series champions, the Chicago Cubs, are all Major League Baseball teams making use of Google Posts (as is the MLB itself). Orange County’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are not, that I can see, to my disappointment. Go team!
Supposedly only US and Brazil national level teams and leagues are allowed to use the service. However, both Liverpool Football Club and Manchester City — English football teams — have accounts. Meanwhile, previous support for cricket appears to be gone.
Musicians are allowed to make use of the service, but only for those in Brazil for now, Google says. Here’s an example for Vanessa da Mata:
Getting going with Google Posts
Google hasn’t said how many new organizations have already been added to the service, but we’ll update if we get a figure. A search suggests there may be up to 34,000 organizations of various types using it right now.
Google confirmed to Search Engine Land that experiments for US presidential candidates is over (and accounts run by the Clinton and Trump campaigns are gone). Google also said that other past experiments for awards shows, TV shows, music festivals and Fashion Week have ended. In some cases, the accounts may be gone. In other cases, as with the Oscars, content might remain.
Google told Search Engine Land that any of these, and perhaps others, might return as deemed in the future.
As for the small business program, Google confirmed to us that this remains active. Indeed, some in the program from the beginning like Escape Pod Comics and A Healthy Choice Massage and Day Spa, continue to post to the service. Right now, the best advice for small businesses that are interested seem to be to use the the application form and select the “Other” option.
For more information about the program, see the Google Posts home page, which in turn leads to the application form. Google says turnaround time for an answer is about a week. You can also see Google’s blog post today about the expansion.