Google’s Immersive Search is Expanding
By now we all know that Google’s ultimate goal is to deliver users the most relevant results and content based on their search query (well, and to make a ton of money). With last month’s rollout of the “Destinations” feature on mobile, Google is not only delivering these relevant results, but making sure all user actions after their search take place on Google. Keeping users on Google Search throughout the consideration and purchase process is being dubbed “immersive search” and has implications for searches, local SEOs and SMBs alike.
According to Google, Destinations will help users, “discover and plan your next vacation,right from Google Search on your phone.” To do this, Google integrates a wealth of information (both their own and others) related to vacation planning: hotel and flight information, popular sightseeing spots, weather and more. Instead of having to click on ads or organic links, Google provides all of this information in Search, so all the user has to do is scroll. Even though they aren’t monetizing the Destinations experience, Google is still collecting user and conversion data.
Google’s immersive search experience lives beyond Destinations. When a user searches for “best italian restaurants open near me” they are met with the screen below. Not only does Google offer local restaurants, but the option to choose open, upscale, top rated or all of the above.
If the user clicks on the blue arrow, they are given another infinite scroll of listing options. When a user chooses a restaurant, they are given several listing attributes to consider, such as hours, reviews and reservations.
While immersive search will benefit users, local SEOs and SMBs may see less traffic to their sites. On the flip side, local listings may see more interaction, which can be monitored with the insight data that Google provides. Further, it will be interesting to see which verticals this immersive experience will occupy in the coming months.