May 14, 2013, Issue #25

Google Now is for Business Now

Google has released several updates on its search over the last few years. From Panda to Penguin updates, the Google search is only getting better and better with new algorithm updates almost every year.

Google Now

With the surge in the use of Smart Phones powered by Android and iOS, several organisations come up with several apps for Mobile phones. Google has come up with yet another innovative product for Mobile phones which is Google Now.

Google Now is an intelligent personal assistant that is available within the Google Search mobile application for the Android and iOS operating systems. Google Now uses a natural language UI to answer questions and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of web services. Since Google Now is based upon Predictive Analytics, it also passively delivers information to the user that it predicts they will want, based on their search habits.

Watch the video below to learn more about how Google Now works on your smart phone.

Google Now is a direct response of Google to Apple Siri. Watch the video below about how they compare and contrast each other. While understanding if Google Now would be more successful than Apple Siri is a different question to explore, let us see how Google Now would improve your search and impact your business.

Top 4 business reasons to use Google Now

4. Better conversion rates - Google can now predict what you need when you need it without searching. Google Now has a deeper understanding of your customers search needs which means better analysis of the customer data. Google Now is raising the bar in search with its predictive search capabilities that enables better data mining for marketing purposes. This means that Search will become even more relevant. For instance, companies can create Widgets which customers can embed on their browser home page and use them. Imagine creating your company Tab and making it available on customers' mobile browser. When this widget is made available on Google Now and when customers use them, they can get to your company page directly from their browser using the widget. This could potentially increase the conversion rates.

3. Alignment of business KPIs with right search metrics
Google Now gives the results based on personalization, geo-localization, public sources and its users' search history. It aggregates information from various sources: Location, Searches, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google+, Google Finance. This means better alignment of Business KPIs with right search metrics (Table 1).

Table 1:
Business Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Search Metrics
Conversions Links
Transaction Value Rankings
Retention Crawl rate/depth

2. Better Business Intelligence - The biggest shift is that the "customer" will be put at the centre during search. Google would serve the customers based upon the aggregation of all the information like location, check-ins, likes, +1s, Social shares etc. This valuable information of the customer offers Google a better understanding of the customer behaviour and therefore enables better service.

1. From Tactical Search to Strategic Search - The key lies in the Local SEO. Organisations can stay ahead in the game by understanding the customer interactions across all the channels and offering a localized search. This way the businesses can outsmart the competitors. But this is possible only through a Strategic search optimisation i.e., leveraging the customer information from Google+, Search history etc. But this approach could be a No-No for a customer who doesn't want to share information. Customers have the option of staying away from this search simply by logging out while searching / by not integrating the search with the Google mail.

The Search ecosystem will always continue to change rapidly. So, it's always better for Marketers to keep customers and users in mind while doing the SEO than doing the optimisation for the search spiders.

Moving forward, the search results will focus less on-page orientation and more on customer orientation. Understanding this will enable a Search marketer to stay ahead in the game.

Go right now! Google Now!

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