How Will Marketers Leverage Google’s New Illustration Feature?

By Tyler Arnold, Account Executive & Digital Strategist at LCI 
When changes are made to the world’s largest search engine, marketers notice. It’s not surprising then that Google’s decision to include illustrations in health-related search results received major press last week. The announcement, confirmed in USA Today, went live for most users over the past several days.
Currently, illustrations are only visible on the 400 most popular health-related search terms. Each illustration is approved by 11 doctors before the Mayo Clinic provides final sign-off. Marketers looking to be included in the illustrations are out of luck until Google expands their illustrations to other sectors and search results. There’s no word on when that could take place, however, as this move seems rooted more in altruism than search efficiency. As Google’s vice president in charge of search, Amit Singhal, said to USA Today, “When you’re a parent in India, Brazil or sub-Saharan Africa, your child is sick and all you might have for help is your smartphone, this information might really matter.”
Online marketers looking to get ahead of the curve can start by making sure they’re participating in Google’s Knowledge Graph. According to Wikipedia, Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine’s search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources. Creating SEO friendly content and utilizing schema markup (a sort of “code” for search engines) is the first step to making sure your content is Knowledge Graph ready. Frequent social media activity and a proper Wikipedia page will also increase your odds of being included in search results that include Knowledge Graph content.
While there’s no announcement from Google about when their search results may start including images in other verticals, the search engine is eager to provide more information on traditional results pages to its users. Having lost market share to both Yahoo! and Bing during Q4 of 2014, Google is hoping new innovations in its search business will ensure it stays competitive. That means marketers are going to have to learn new skills more quickly in order to take advantage of opportunities that may arise with next-generation search technologies – all in at a moment’s notice.
How do you plan to leverage Google’s new illustration options? Let your comments in the space below or email me directly at [email protected].

6 thoughts on “How Will Marketers Leverage Google’s New Illustration Feature?

  1. Great post, Tyler. It’s crucial to know what’s on the horizon so we can begin to think about how we can incorporate changes for our clients to further leverage their products and/or services. Marketers always jump when Google makes changes, so its nice to know what’s coming down the pipeline. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  2. Tyler – I’m glad to see Google is FINALLY incorporating graphics into their search results, it’s about time! At some point, maybe they’ll even move towards including video? Cheers, David

  3. Thankfully the illustrations on the unseemly search terms are just small thumbnails. I’d hate to gross out someone next to me in Starbucks 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing, Tyler! Google’s illustration feature definitely sets up great potential opportunities for marketers. I’m interested to see how the new feature plays out across different industries.

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