Google trials new feature so businesses can post to search results

Google's podium on Search for presidential candidates could soon be available to businesses.

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US presidential candidates have been using the feature to communicate in real time with the public through Google Search.

Image: Google

The new Google search publishing feature that's been enabling US presidential candidates to post instantaneously to relevant search results will soon be available to businesses and celebrities.

For the past few weeks the feature has been available to US presidential candidates, allowing them to communicate in real time with the public through posts that appear in Google Search.

The posts appear on Search in the style of Google Now cards and allow campaigners to publish long-form text, images, and video under an approved account.

Candidates, such as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, get a badge with a blue tick over their image, and a menu of issues they're campaigning for. The expandable menu sits above a listing of candidate's profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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At google.com/Posts, Google says the feature will soon be available to other "other prominent figures and organizations" but the company has already been trialling the feature with some businesses.

"Creating content is fast and simple, and once published, posts will appear instantly in search results related to the candidate. Each post can also be shared on popular social networks, amplifying the message even further," Google explains.

Local search expert Mike Blumenthal first noticed this last week, discovering a special profile for a New York-based jewellery story, Andrews Jewelers, when searching for engagement rings in Buffalo.

As he noted, a key difference with Google+ is that profiles wouldn't appear in search results whereas these experimental posts do gain a prominent placing.

Also, unlike Google+, which encourages sharing inside the network, the new feature offers an option to share posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email. At present, there's no way for users to comment on posts or follow a particular account, leaving search as the main window to accounts.

Google confirmed to The Verge that it is trialling the new publishing feature but denied that it is called Google Posts.

Google describes the feature as an "experimental new podium" on Google for users to hear in real time from candidates when they're searching for them.

"In the future, we plan to make it available to other prominent figures and organizations. If you're interested, please join the waitlist," it notes.

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A special profile for a New York-based jewellery story, Andrews Jewelers, on Google.

Image: Google

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