Will Google Bulletin Change Our SEO Strategy?
Amidst updates to Google Home, Google Assistant and their monolithic search engine, Google is promising another elusive yet exciting new development. Is Google Bulletin the next big thing we’ve all been waiting for? And how will it change our SEO strategy if it is?
What is Google Bulletin?
Although information about Google Bulletin is currently scarce, Google’s vision is for people to contribute “hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone”. The company wants to give power to users to publish “inspiring stories that aren’t being told.”
Upon first glance, the premise behind Google Bulletin is encouraging. But off the back of Mark Zuckerberg’s recent post addressing Facebook’s role in the 2016 US election, whether Bulletin will exacerbate the Internet’s flood of fake news and misinformation is uncertain. Only time will tell whether Google has a strategy for prioritising quality content.
How Do You Use It?
Google describes Bulletin as a “free, lightweight app” where you can capture and share photos, videos and text. All straight from your phone. According to an attendee of Google’s launch event for Bulletin, you’ll be able to update your posts continuously and see real-time viewership stats.
As for where these posts are going, Google says they’ll be published “straight to the web”, negating the need for a blog or social media platform. Google has emphasised that these posts will be easy for the public to find in Google’s search results. So it goes without saying that the release of Google Bulletin will have an impact on SEO in the future.
When Can You Try It?
The app is currently being tested in Nashville and Oakland in the United States. Google hasn’t yet announced when it will exit this limited pilot phase and make the app available for Australian users. But given that Google have already hosted a launch event for this new project, we should expect to see Bulletin rolled out sometime this year.
Should We Use Google Bulletin for SEO?
When there’s any mention of a platform that allows users to publish content online, the first thing that pops into the mind of any SEO fanatic is… an opportunity to create backlinks.
Backlinks are any links from external websites that direct back to your website. Basically, the more backlinks to your site with relevant anchor text, the higher your search ranking will be. While there are hundreds of factors that determine a website's search ranking, backlinks are essential. Which begs the question, can we use Google Bulletin to create them?
Given that Google Bulletin’s primary focus is on encouraging “inspiring stories that aren’t being told” in one’s local community, it seems likely they’ll have stringent measures for filtering out spam and self-promotional content. And so they should, to maintain the integrity of the platform.
But if businesses were to adhere to these rules by creating exciting and locally-relevant content, we might still be able to reap the SEO benefits without causing too much interruption. If so, our content marketing and SEO strategies will need to change accordingly. That being said, we’ll know more once the app is released, so stay tuned!
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