Google Plusbox Makes Life Harder For Marketers

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Google loves to experiment with features and UI(User Interface) by providing different features to limited sub-sets of users. Recently you may have heard that Google is starting to integrate alternate content into search results using something called a plusbox. For example, they’re testing adding Google Finance information inline with some results.

I happened to find one of these in action (for my employer Tucows no less) when searching for software on Google. Here’s what a Plusbox looks like closed:

Googletcxclosed

And here’s what it looks like open (i.e. after clicking on the ”+”):

Googletcxopened

This raises an interesting challenge for marketers in publicly traded companies like Tucows. Now you have to worry about the impact of your stock performance on the perception of searchers. You also have to pay extra attention to those normally bland and generic descriptions of our company because it may just end up (like ours did) representing your company in Google!

I’d be interested in feedback from others who might be starting to think about this kind of stuff. And may I also say publicly – Damn you Wikipedia! Tucows has been the number one result for “software” longer than Google has existed. Now we’ve been bumped by the collective hive intelligence! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Google Plusbox Makes Life Harder For Marketers

  1. Simon Rodrigue

    This is why it is so important that you purchase the keywords that are important to you. This way you can at least ensure that your brand message is being communicated, regardless of where the click goes.

  2. Jay Goldman

    Ken –
    Any idea where Google is pulling the info that it puts in the plusbox from? Is there any way to control it (obviously the stock quote is from the market…)?

  3. Ken Schafer - One Degree

    Jay,
    It comes from Google Finance:
    http://finance.google.com/finance?q=TCX
    The text is credited to Reuters:
    http://tinyurl.com/25fsu8
    Reuters attributes the text to Reuters Fundamentals:
    http://tinyurl.com/yragzg
    And they say the get information from public documents:
    http://tinyurl.com/274jae
    So in the end our press releases and filings with the SEC and TSE probably have WAY more impact on marketing in the age of Plusboxes than we would have imagined.

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