8th Mar, 2016 / Sofiann McKerrellSofiann McKerrell

Image showing an example of presidential posts as they appear on Search

Image Source: Google Posts

Google’s search publishing feature that has only been available to US presidential candidates will soon be open for business use.

According to a post in Google, “other prominent figures and organisations” will soon be able to use it. In fact, the search giant has been doing trials with some businesses.

Search expert Mike Blumenthal first noticed the trials being done just last week. He was searching for engagement rings in Buffalo when a special profile for Andrews Jewelers, a jewellery store in New York came up on search.

He noticed a key difference with Google+. While Google+ profiles do not appear in search results, the experimental posts have a prominent placing. They can be shared outside the Google+ network as well, such as Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Google confirmed they are running trials of the new publishing feature, but they denied it is named Google Posts. In a post, they simply described it as an experimental new podium.

The podium allowed presidential candidates to communicate with the public in real time, and helped people stay informed about what’s going on in presidential politics at the same time.

Candidates can publish posts that will appear on Search in the style of Google Now cards. This gives plenty of room to send a message using various media – images, videos, and long-form text.

Under an approved account, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, for example, gets a badge, complete with a blue tick over their image. This indicates they can publish posts.

People can then view the posts by clicking on the image or the expandable menu that lists down the issues a presidential candidate is campaigning for. The same menu can be seen above a candidate’s profile on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Google also teamed up with Fox News to keep citizens informed about presidential politics. People can hear from candidates in real time and right on Search results. Google Trends was also used to highlight key insights throughout the presidential debate. For example, rankings of which candidate was most searched during the last debate was given minute by minute.

Dulce Candy, Mark Watson, and Nabela Noor, three of the most prominent YouTube creators, also joined in the debate as moderators, providing citizens with more information they can use before taking the polls. This is believed to create powerful and personal interactions between voters and candidates.

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