Local Memo: Google Adds Support for Ticket Pricing to Business Profiles
In this week’s update, learn about Google’s new ticket pricing feature in business profiles; an experimental “Hear about this place” feature in local results; an unconfirmed Google algorithm update; the fundamentals of influencer marketing; Twitter’s Link Spotlight feature for Professional Accounts; and the long road to build the metaverse.
Google Adds Support for Ticket Pricing to Business Profiles
Businesses in attraction and tourist categories now have the ability to configure and edit ticket price information directly in Google Business Profiles. A new “Admission tickets” subheading appears in the Search interface for GBP under the “Edit profile” heading. Users can add the name of the event, price, visitor type (adult, child, etc.), a URL where tickets can be purchased, and additional details chosen from a set list including “Guided tour,” “Audio guide,” “Refunds/Exchanges,” “Instant confirmation,” and “Mobile ticket.” Tickets configured using this interface can also be featured in an ad unit for local tours and attractions that Google rolled out last year.
Searchers will be shown options for purchasing tickets directly from the venue or operator, or indirectly through providers such as Evendo, GetYourGuide, or Headout. This interface looks similar to Google Food Ordering with its multiple integrated options for pickup and delivery. Google will also display links to tickets under a new Experiences heading in search results.
New ticket ordering experience, courtesy Google
Google Tests “Hear About This Place” in Local Results
Some users have noticed a new “Hear about this place” feature that appears prominently in Google profiles on mobile. Displayed as a button with a speaker icon, the feature when tapped reads information about the business aloud. It’s unclear how this feature is being rolled out as it currently seems to only be available to users in India, though these users are able to see it not only for businesses in India but for U.S. businesses as well. It’s also unclear at this point exactly what the source is of the information the feature reads to the user, since the one video capture I’ve seen (shown below) is incomplete. Still, it’s very interesting that Google would seem to be filling out the missing pieces of a fully multimodal search experience for local — which already includes searching by voice, text, and images and seeing these same media in the results in various combinations.
— Anuj thaker (@Anuj_Thaker03) October 13, 2022
Unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update
Many SEOs seem to agree that there was an unconfirmed Google algorithm update around October 12-13. Though we have seen a large number of official updates in recent weeks, including the Helpful Content Update, the September Core Update, and the most recent Product Reviews Update, this is the first unofficial update in some time. Observers have described the impact of the update as “drastic” and various search tracking tools confirm that there seems to be more volatility in search rankings during the two-day period than has been observed since the September Core Update finished rolling out on September 26.
The Fundamentals of Influencer Marketing
Ashley Segura (Ward) offers a comprehensive guide to influencer marketing on Search Engine Journal. The article explains how brands who work with influencers can reach a broad audience more effectively and at a lower cost than traditional advertising. Spend on influencer marketing is expected to reach $16.4 million in 2022, with 75% of marketers saying influencers are included in their plans for the year.
Even in the B2B world, 86% of brands say they find influencer marketing valuable, in forms such as client testimonials. Influencers can range from high-profile celebrities to customers of companies like Death Wish Coffee, which offers a free month of coffee for posting about the brand on social media. Brands who feel they don’t know where to start with influencer marketing should look to the examples of successful competitors or companies in parallel industries.
Twitter Launches “Link Spotlight” CTA Button
Twitter has added a feature called Link Spotlight to Professional Accounts, continuing the theme of the recently launched Location Spotlight (which adds business listing details), Shop Spotlight, and Mobile App Spotlight. The new Link Spotlight lets professional users add a CTA button to their profiles that directs users to a URL. The button options include local commerce-friendly selections like “Book an appointment,” “Make a reservation,” and “View menu,” as well as “Read now,” “Stream live,” “Watch now,” and others.
Once activated, the Link Spotlight appears in the user’s Twitter profile above the tweet timeline. Unfortunately, Twitter does not allow just any URL to be linked to the Spotlight CTA. Only URLs from an approved list are included, such as Spotify, TicketMaster, YouTube, MenuPages, OpenTable, GrubHub, and ChowNow. Twitter says that they are limiting the selections due to “technical complexity and trust and safety concerns,” and that they will consider adding to the allowed list over time. The Link Spotlight feature is now available for U.S. users.
Link Spotlight, courtesy Twitter / Social Media Today
Will the Dream of the Metaverse Come True?
At Meta’s recent Connect conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reminded the audience that the full realization of the metaverse is still several years away, stating: “It’s not like this stuff is going to be fully mature in a year or even two or three years. It’s going to take a long time to build out the next computing platform.” Zuckerberg predicted that metaverse technology would “start to get fully mature” by the end of the decade. Though many were expecting a clearer outline of the company’s vision at Connect, the conference was instead focused on targeted updates and announcements, mostly having to do with VR for professional use.
Meta announced a partnership with Microsoft that would bring immersive VR to Microsoft Teams meetings, with integrated Microsoft apps like Word and Excel. The company spent $10 billion last year on Reality Labs, its metaverse division, and that investment is paying its first dividends with the success of Quest games, 33 of which have surpassed $10 million in revenue.